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The Do-It-Yourself Movement

do it yourselfer How big is today's do-it-yourself (DIY) trend?  Well, consider that there are several TV channels devoted to do-it-yourself home improvement, and that other channels often feature a show or two on this topic.  In addition, there are many magazines, books, and web sites that cater to the do-it-yourselfer.

What is behind this growing trend?  There are several reasons why homeowners choose to tackle projects on their own.  Firstly, many tutorials and information sources are available about most types of home improvement projects, which can help you complete your projects quickly and efficiently.  Secondly, if you take on your own home improvement projects, you can save a lot of money.  Thirdly, doing your own home improvement projects gives you all the control, and can ensure the project turns out exactly as you want it.  Finally, do-it-yourselfers have fun and enjoy a sense of accomplishment when their projects are finished.

painting tools While it may seem like a relatively new trend, the do-it-yourself movement actually began after World War II, with the development of latex paint and easily installed wall coverings.  Many households were being formed and construction tradesmen were in relatively short supply.  Homeowner how-to magazines appeared and makers of home improvement products began to provide step-by-step instructions.  Today, many do-it-yourselfers paint their own homes and many DIY households do a wide variety of home improvement projects and maintenance tasks themselves.

DIY Projects

Savvy homeowners who are also handy don't need to hire a professional to repair and upgrade their homes.  Many projects are easy for the homeowner to accomplish, and take little professional skill.  With a little know-how and the right directions, you can give your home a major facelift for pennies on the dollar.  In some cases, homeowners may find it cost-effective to hire a contractor for more difficult projects.

do it yourself project DIY projects that fall into the "decorator" category can have a big impact on your home.  Making curtains, reupholstering furniture, and using decorative painting techniques are easy for just about anyone to master, and they can give your home interior a needed boost.  Painting your kitchen cabinets, updating fixtures like sinks and faucets, and replacing countertops are also quick, easy, and inexpensive projects that most home owners can tackle.  Replacing your lighting fixtures, the knobs on your cabinets, or the doors on your kitchen cabinets are other examples of easy and inexpensive fixes to improve your home interior space.  Do-it-yourself projects can even be fun.

For those with more skills and a little more time, bigger projects like replacing flooring, cabinets, and bathroom fixtures can definitely be accomplished with the right instruction and attitude.  Today there are thousands of resources out there for the do-it-yourselfer, including Internet websites and classes at home improvement stores as well as do-it-yourself books and videos.

One place that do-it-yourselfers love to work is the yard.  Instead of calling a landscaper, there are lots of DIY projects that you can do to increase your home's curb appeal, as well as its enjoyment.  Whether you are doing something simple, like planting a new garden or replacing your front door, or doing something more complicated, like building a pergola or erecting a stone wall, it's certain your DIY project will add value and enjoyment to your home.

On, you will find a broad selection of home improvement resources and products for homeowners and home remodelers.  Whether you prefer to do it yourself or hire a contractor, you are sure to locate the information you seek and the plumbing, electrical, and hardware items you need in these printed and web-based resources.

Do-It-Yourself Books

  • Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual (1991 Edition)
    This best-selling how-to manual from Reader's Digest has information about tools, materials, and techniques; it covers a broad spectrum of home repair and home improvement projects.  Written with both novices and experts in mind, you'll find out how to install a bathtub, wallpaper a ceiling, hang a door, rewire a lamp, tile a floor, clean a chimney, repair a roof, construct a patio, and more.
  • Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual (2014 Edition)
    This updated how-to manual, from the editors of Family Handyman and Reader's Digest, addresses current building codes as well as contemporary materials, tools and technology.

Do-It-Yourself Consumer Magazines

  • Do-It-Yourself Decorating
    This online Better Homes & Gardens magazine can inspire you with many new ideas for your home and garden, help you succeed with step-by-step how-to instructions, photos and diagrams, and save your time, money and energy with proven and practical tips.
  • Family Handyman
    This Reader's Digest publication features home remodeling advice and guidance.  Magazine readers can find home repair tips, kitchen remodeling ideas, garage storage suggestions, basement finishing examples, and much more.
  • This Old House
    Published by Time Inc., this monthly magazine discusses a wide range of home improvement topics.  While much of the magazine is devoted to project planning and ideas, there is also good coverage of home improvement tools and products as well as home repair and remodeling techniques.

Do-It-Yourself Retailer Magazines

Do-It-Yourself Resources

  • Bathroom Design - Features bathroom planning and remodeling pointers and tips.
  • Deck Ideas - Learn about deck designs, materials, and construction methods.
  • General Contractors - Learn about hiring and working with a contractor or tradesman.
  • Home Improvement Loans - Home remodeling financing resources and information.
  • Kitchen Remodeling - Features kitchen planning, design, and remodeling ideas and tips.
  • Patio Ideas - Learn about patio design and construction, pavers, and patio furniture.
  • Residential Architects - Resources include home plans and home architect directory.
  • Room Additions - Home remodeling products, contractors, and consumer resources.

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