Are you feeling inspired by the latest DIY craze? A complete remodel may not be the place for the novice DIYer to begin, but every homeowner should learn some basic home improvement skills. Handling even the simplest home repairs yourself can save you time and money.
Here are some easy ways to further your DIY education.
Home Improvement Stores.
Many home improvement stores offer classes on basic home repairs — often for free! Most retailers offer a wide variety of classes, from repairing siding to planting gardens. Check the locations nearest you for a posted calendar of upcoming classes. You should be able to find this information either in-store or online.
Even if your local store does not host classes, store associates can be a wealth of information. Most retailers strive to hire experts in a particular area. Don't be shy about asking questions. If associates can't provide an answer about a tool or material, they should be able to point you to someone who can.
If you're new to home ownership, chances are one of your neighbors is much more seasoned. Don’t be afraid to look for an older, more experienced neighbor to walk you through the ABCs of home repair.
If you aren’t sure where to start, post in your neighborhood forum or start asking neighbors for referrals. Someone within your neighborhood will be able to help you with minor repairs and basic maintenance — just make sure to return the favor and pay it forward!
Books And Magazines.
Many DIY experts have chosen to share their knowledge by writing books or regular magazine columns on home management and DIY projects. Try a quick search online for the top-rated books in these subjects. Visit your local bookstore to browse and get recommendations from staff. Your branch library is a wealth of free information, too. Ask your librarian where the home care book section is and start reading.
Websites And Blogs.
A quick Internet search for “how to learn home repair” will result in hundreds of blogs and websites for you to peruse. Just check out the Repair and Maintenance section of American Home Shield®'s Home Matters blog. We have hundreds of articles with DIY tips and illustrations explaining maintenance for home appliances and systems. These days, we have a blog post covering almost every topic imaginable, from how to fix a running toilet to how to build a rain garden.
Many community colleges are home to programs that issue certifications to home improvement contractors. Many also offer basic job training courses in such areas as electrical, plumbing, HVAC and carpentry. Some community colleges even offer "Home Ownership 101" courses designed to help first-time homebuyers make and tick off the items on their honey-do-lists. These classes are often very affordable and provide more in-depth information than blog articles or one-day workshops. They also require more of a commitment — up to 14 to 16 weeks of regular classes, homework and even exams. Check your community college's online course catalog for their specific offerings. In some cases, these courses may be offered online.
Whether you hit the books or apprentice with the master DIYer on your block, at some point in your homeownership journey you will encounter a DIY challenge that you didn't anticipate would be on the test. Don’t worry. You can prepare for these eventualities by purchasing an American Home Shield home warranty. Because one of the smartest moves you can make as a homeowner is knowing when to call in the professionals.