Best DIY Bible/Resources?
May 22, 2014 3:51 AM   Subscribe

What are the best DIY resources in 2014? I really enjoy, but it's largely just entertainment, rather than instructional. Websites, magazines, and books are all fair game.

TOH seems like it's just geared towards people who'd like to be handy, but ultimately will always just get a contractor (and given the incredible cost and scope of the projects, who could blame them?). And nearly all the blogs I've found just document DIY projects undertaken by people who know not much more (and in some galling cases, significantly less) than I do about carpentry, plumbing, and electrics. Paid or free is fine.
posted by Admiral Haddock to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
This site has free copies of public safety codes (building, fire, plumbing, etc.), which are dry reading, but have valuble guidance on how to do things properly.

Reddit's /r/DIY has some good stuff from time to time along with a lot of meh. But knowledgeable folks often pop up in the comments to identify problems in the work, which is pretty educational.
posted by exogenous at 6:11 AM on May 22, 2014

If I need to learn how to actually do something, I'll look at Family Handyman first.

But if I'm more generally interested at looking at cool DIY projects and tutorials that I could feasibly do one day:

Young House Love
Pretty Handy Girl
Ugly Duckling House
posted by fontophilic at 6:14 AM on May 22, 2014

If you're like me and bought a "fixer upper" then you"ll find Hammerzone has some good stuff.

For my reno jobs, I've found it best to start out with general questions, moving towards specifics, on forums at Lumberjocks, Terry Love, John Bridge, etc. because there's usually more than one way to do something and old homes can have lots of hidden issues that require you to change course.

posted by bonobothegreat at 6:29 AM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've had good experience with print magazines geared to the DIY handyman. Handyman Magazine and any of the woodworking magazines at bookstores or lowes.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 6:33 AM on May 22, 2014

I really enjoy Family Handyman to the point where I have considered a subscription. Pretty major for someone who loathes print magazines. The website covers a lot of the how to stuff, but I even enjoy flipping through the print magazine for ideas and random tidbits.

I also enjoy specific forums like Terry Love for plumbing, John Bridge for tile, and Mike Holt for electrical. I usually only visit those when I have specific situation I am trying to address though.
posted by ohjonboy at 6:58 AM on May 22, 2014

I like watching TOH episodes, but for specific info/advice/see how something is actually done, they also have specific tutorial/how-to videos which are more geared towards DIYers. See their YouTube channel, "Ask This Old House" episodes, and just search their website or their videos.

There is DIY StackExchange as well, there are a couple of really helpful people there (including pros).

There are a few appliance repair forums on the web I've ended up at various times as well, such as,, others.
posted by thefool at 7:27 AM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

For inspiration, especially of the sort that's into preserving pink bathrooms, I'm all over Retro Renovation.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:28 AM on May 22, 2014

The 'A to Z' guide is the Reader's Digest book (Amazon), written by the editors of (you guessed it) Family Handyman.

I subscribe to the print edition, as well as have the book, so there you have it.

Nothing beats going through major remodels as a DIY-er, although it can be a painful learning experience (firsthand). I acted as my own General Contractor many years ago on some major work (add a bath, remodel existing, change windows, restucco etc etc) because I had more energy and time rather than money.

And having a professional GC doing work later (major kitchen, other major projects) you know what questions to ask, as well as understand the process very well.
posted by scooterdog at 7:32 AM on May 22, 2014

The complete Fine Homebuilding is available on DVD. A lot of it is touring houses that are already built, but there are tips and technique columns in every issue, too. Plus, they've got a searchable index online.
posted by hwyengr at 8:27 AM on May 22, 2014

I really love the Black and Decker Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair. I bought an older house and basically knew nothing about upkeep and repair. That book walked me through everything that came up, and was super easy to understand. You can grab it used for a buck plus shipping--definitely worthwhile. Kindle format available, too, if that's your thing.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:28 AM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

« Older Queer sci-fi   |   waiting is the hardest part Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.