Six Home Improvement Skills You Can Learn From YouTube
When friends see my DIY projects and renovations around the house, I very often hear “oh I wish I could do all that stuff!” All the time I hear people bemoaning a shelf they’ve been meaning to get someone to put up for them, a light fixture they hate, or a hole in the wall they need fixed. These are all tasks I’m happy to jump in an attend to myself. It feels AMAZING to take 20 minutes (or a weekend) and fix an issue that’s been bugging you for months. What’s my secret? YouTube.
There are certainly projects I wait to get help with when I’m new to them. For example right now I’m waiting on help installing my new range hood, but only because that involves cutting a hole all the way through an exterior wall of my house (honestly, after YouTubing some tutorials, I may even attempt this one, I’d just need to buy a fancy attachment for my drill.) Most home projects you’re waiting to do take minimal tools, and you can learn how to do them from the fantastic selection of how-to videos on YouTube. I would caution you that until you’re comfortable and sure of what you’re doing not to attempt any complicated wiring or plumbing, but beyond that, the world is your oyster! In this post I want to get you started with some of the most common household projects, and some good videos to guide you through your first attempts. You’ve got this! Hanging a Heavy Framed Picture or Mirror with Drywall Anchors Art really makes a house a home, get those posters framed and hung up! If you happen to have a stud finder and want your picture exactly centered on a stud, that’s great, but it very rarely works out that way, and these wall anchors expand in the wall so the sheetrock can take the weight of your art. Tools Needed: Drywall Anchors, Picture Hook, Screws, Drill Skill Level: Beginner
Hanging a Load Bearing Shelf Now you’re ready to move on to a project that uses a lot of the same skills and tools. Wall mounted shelves provide great storage without taking up any valuable floorspace, and they’re certainly much cheaper than high quality bookshelves. Tools Needed: Drywall Anchors, Screws, Drill, Level, Shelf, Brackets Skill Level: Beginner
Replacing a Light Fixture Intimidated by electric work? With proper safety practices, there’s no need to be. Save that exorbitant electrician fee and try replacing that ugly old boob light yourself, just be 100% sure you’ve turned the power off on your breaker board to that particular fixture, always double check with your pen AC tester before you start touching wires. Changing a light fixture can update a whole room in 5-20 minutes. Tools Needed: Screwdriver, Pen AC Tester
Skill Level: Beginner
Patching Drywall Have you ever lost out on part of your security deposit because of a damaged wall? Learn how to repair that hole or dent yourself for only a few dollars worth of materials! Tools Needed: Spackle/Joint Compound, Fiberglass tape or patch, putty knife, sanding block, paint to match existing wall Skill Level: Beginner
Tile Backsplash Feeling confident? Ready to tackle something big? If you have a fair amount of patience, and willingness to follow directions and measure exactly, you are TOTALLY ready to try some tiling. The cost of tiling is primarily in the labor, so you will save tons of money even if you have to buy all the tools for this job. When we were looking at replacing our shower enclosure, a new very not exciting acrylic enclosure would have been between $500-900, and the cost of our tile enclosure (which is gorgeous, btw) was around $500 to install myself, and I did it in a week’s worth of toddler nap-times. Tools needed; Thinset mortar, Tile, Tile Saw, Jigsaw & Diamond Bit Grout, Mortar Float, Tile Spacers, Mixing Paddle & Drill Skill Level: Intermediate
Painting a Room: I have a lot of people ask me if it’s worth paying someone to do their interior painting. Unless you’re made of money, or completely without patience, my answer is going to be no way. This is a project that can 100% transform a room for about $60-75 in materials. My biggest tip for interior painting is don’t buy cheap anything! The more expensive paint, brushes, and rollers are all worth the money. Your project will turn out far better with less work and less frustration. High quality paint also covers in fewer coats, so you can actually end up spending less on paint by choosing one that costs more per gallon. When choosing paint, look for one that says it’s paint + primer, I like Valspar Reserve. You’ll need to choose a finish as well; 90% of the time you’re going to want Eggshell for interior walls, but Satin is nice for rooms that need to withstand a lot of moisture or cleaning. My second biggest tip, is understand that the prep is a huge chunk of the work. Once you get to rolling, the job can go pretty fast, but taking your time with all the little corners, edges, and wall imperfections makes a tremendous difference when your job is done. Tools needed: Painter’s Tape, Spackle, Putty Knife, Sandpaper, Drop Cloth, Paint Brush, Paint Roller and Handle, High Quality Paint Skill Level: Intermediate (If you’re going to do a pro job, lots of people do beginner level work painting, but it shows)
Armed with these six skills, you can completely transform your house all by yourself, no expensive contractors needed, no waiting around for help. I used no less than four of these skills just in my projects over the weekend. I can’t wait to finish up all the little details in our kitchen and bathroom remodels to share with you, but here’s a little taste of what we’ve been up to in the bathroom, which is on it’s second transformation since we bought this house. The first pic is when we bought the house, the second is when I hated the mauve so much I painted it a color that ended up being really unflattering for makeup/etc, despite being lovely to look at, and the last photo is our current bathroom renovation, which is 95% done. To see more current bathroom pics, including our gorgeous black and white graphic tile, check out my Insta stories.
Until next time!
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