Best DIY Sites, Lessons and Other Resources for Beginners

If you have a computer and an internet connection, doing DIY projects has never been easier. Deceptively easy perhaps. The problem isn’t that there aren’t enough resources for a beginner – it’s that there are too many. It can be difficult to sift through all the click-bait and SEO-driven content to find the quality advice that will really help you with your project.

Here are some sound resources: The best DIY sites, classes, and channels for budding DIYers, along with some general rules of thumb for finding the kind of guidance you need.

DIY lessons

It may seem old-fashioned, but if you’re a real newbie, taking a DIY class or workshop can really be the best way to get started. You will learn which tools to use and what to have on hand. Despite new technology and materials, any beginner is prone to basic mistakes like screw removal. Get some hands-on guidance in a classroom if you want to avoid having to run to a breakout at 2 a.m. when you’re trying to finish the new headboard you saw on Pinterest.

Most importantly, you get the chance to actually build things. Most in-person DIY classes have a few small fees to cover materials, but don’t let that put you off. If it’s your first time using a hammer, you’ll want to practice on a cheap birdhouse in an instructor-led class, not your patio, where you’ll end up smashing your toes on nails that aren’t flat.

National home improvement stores usually offer regular classes on a variety of DIY topics, but don’t forget to check out your local home improvement stores as well. A community college can also offer group classes at an affordable price that can help you avoid DIY failures.

Learn online yourself

During the pandemic, both Home Depot and Lowe’s quickly expanded their virtual course offerings, taking advantage of the mania of home improvement shut-ins. As people venture again, livestream learning seems to be here to stay. The two retailers are streaming workshops — dubbed “Homeowner 101” and Lowe’s DIY-U, respectively — to complement their live tutorials.

An online class can of course be more convenient, and almost as good as attending. Be sure to check if there are any fees and if advanced registration is required. Also, be sure to set up and monitor a proper workspace ahead of time.

DIY websites to follow

There are a number of do-it-yourself websites. But some are more aimed at beginners – better at explaining the basics, avoiding too technical jargon, and placing a high value on safety and good practice.

  • Bobvila.com is an excellent resource for beginners with articles on everything from major DIY problems (like when to hire a contractor) to more technical projects (ship installation, anyone?). Its namesake and guiding light, Bob Vila, has hosted a plethora of TV shows and played himself on the vintage Tim Allen sitcom, Home Improvement.
  • Familyhandyman has thousands of articles, including guides to almost every home improvement project and product reviews. They are a great resource for the aspiring DIYer who already has a vision for their home but needs to know how to get there.
  • DIY / Magnolia Network The DIY Network now forms itself The Magnolia Network. The very comprehensive website features episodes of the TV shows, as well as multi-chapter workshops aimed at developing skills in the home and garden (“Learn to Landscape”).

Realtor.com’s “DIY 101” section doesn’t have as many tutorials as others on this list, but it’s an excellent resource for the do-it-yourselfer looking specifically for projects that increase the value of their home as efficiently as possible. . The content of the site is determined by input from brokers from all over the country.

YouTube channels to follow

YouTube is an indispensable resource for any DIY enthusiast. If you’re getting started, check out these channels for some great general tips and specific guides.

  • This Old House has been creating content for DIY enthusiasts since 1973 – first as a magazine, then as a TV show, and now via YouTube. Despite the name, it’s not just about historic homes, but features journalism-esque videos on every renovation topic you can think of.
  • Home RenoVision DIY was started by a general contractor with over 25 years of experience, who grades assignments on a level of difficulty. Its hundreds of low-key but very specific how-tos include videos like “How to Clean Your Brush” (no job too small!).
  • Lowe’s Home Improvement also has hundreds of professionally hosted videos. Sure, there’s a bit of store promotion, but a lot of solid stuff too — look for clips labeled “DIY Basics.”
  • The Home Depot channel has fewer views and subscribers than Lowe’s channel, but its library of tips, troubleshooting, and guides for both indoor and outdoor projects is worth checking out. Particularly nice: their how-to-on-do series (“How to get rid of your floor.”)

Resource Search Tips for Beginner DIYers

Focus

While good information can be everywhere, turn your gaze to sites and channels that label projects for newbies, or at least rate or rank their difficulty. And focus thematically too. DIY can cover a wide, wide variety of topics. If you’re looking to repair your roof and a site seems geared towards craft projects, it probably won’t be that useful to you, even if an article or course on construction work is occasionally offered.

Be specific

Don’t be afraid to be precise when looking for resources on how to run a project. Very precise. For example, it is better to search for “how do I install a Kwikset 909 deadbolt” than “how do I install a deadbolt”. If you look up the exact model name of the thing you’re working on, you can usually find a specific step-by-step guide that’s more helpful than a general search.

Ignore the production quality

DIY content is not always beautifully or professionally displayed. Don’t be afraid of outdated websites or videos with poor production quality. While videos with perfect transitions, cool edits, and great lighting may be more enjoyable to watch, they may not be the most helpful. Someone who has spent 40 years repairing faucets may not have a 4K streaming option, but they still have the best approach or information to share.

What it comes down to on DIY sites for beginners

While the range of resources can seem overwhelming at times, there’s never been a better time to be a budding DIYer. In addition to good old personal lessons (more than ever), there are easily accessible, high-quality websites and YouTube channels that provide live and detailed demonstrations – far better than you could ever find in books or tutorials. No matter how obscure your project is, there’s a resource to help you learn exactly how to get it done.

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