So you have decided that you are going to do some home projects all by yourself and save money. Before you embark on these projects it is important that you have all the required tools plus information. There is a lot of information online but what exactly speaks to your niche?
Born out of the Media Lab at innovation powerhouse MIT, Instructables is a DIY social network that covers the entire spectrum of projects — complete with step-by-step how-to directions — ranging from tying basic knots to building a loft for a large space to baking honey maple bread to sewing a felt bag. The site is easily searchable by category (featured along the top of the site), and includes slideshows, videos, and a questions-and-answers board. Instructables features both free and premium memberships. (Twitter: @instructables)
We’ve always loved ReadyMade magazine, and now, with the latest website redesign, we love that DIY-ers can search their entire library of archived projects for inspiration and detailed instructions. The ReadyMade forums allow registered users (it’s free to sign up!) to chime in on what kinds of projects they’d like to see published, share projects they’re working on, and more.
Your next home DIY project is starring at you from your phone. Do you want to know how different colors would look like or do you want to find something that fits your budget? Your phone or tablet will come in handy.
- Houzz (Free, iPhone, iPad & Android)
If you’re looking for images to inspire a remodel, try Houzz, which CNN deemed the “Wikipedia of interior and exterior design.”
In a simple, elegant interface, you can browse more than 4 million photos by room, style, location, and furniture type, and save shots you like to a virtual scrapbook (similar to a Pinterest board).
Coolest feature: Plug in the name of any major paint brand and color (e.g., Behr in “Aged Olive”) and see images professional designers have posted and tagged with that paint color installed — especially helpful for nosing out the subtle nuances in different neutral grays, beiges, and creams.
RoomHints (Free, iPhone)
If you’ve ever wished you could quickly crowdsource decor advice, RoomHints is for you.
After entering what you’re looking for (a new sofa, paint color ideas, or even general advice on what to do with a certain space), upload a photo of the room, and design pros weigh in with recommendations.
Coolest feature: From the designer-recommended pieces that pop up, you can save favorites and even shop right from the app
YouTube is also a great resource when it comes to DIY projects for your home. All you need is good internet connectivity and you are off to learning. There are certain channels that offer greater content than the rest.
YouTube is an excellent resource if you want to be handier around the house. Whether you’re dealing with simple repairs or big improvement projects, these YouTube channels offer fantastic video tutorials that can save you time, money, and frustration.
The HouseImprovements YouTube channel covers a broad range of DIY projects including plumbing, carpentry, and electrical. Over the past four years, Shannon has created cover 125 DIY videos that range from projects for beginners to more complicated jobs like wood stud framing and how to hang dry wall. He does a great job of explaining projects and repairs in an easy to understand fashion. If you’re looking to tackle bigger home improvement projects, rather than small repairs, his channel will prove more useful than the channels listed below. He may not have the charisma of a Bob Vila, but if you want no-fuss help with your DIY projects, his YouTube channel is a must follow.
The FIX IT Home Improvement channel is the brain child of a former hardware store owner who made it his business to help homeowners with projects around the house. With over 6 years of “How To” videos at your disposal, you’re likely to find help with your home repair. Plumbing issues and repairs is his specialty, making his channel a great resource whenever you’re dealing with a toilet, shower, sink, or hot water heater. Whether you need help replacing a water heater pressure relief valve, replacing a toilet fill valve, or simply want to know how to properly set and place a mouse trap, the FIX IT channel has the answers.