"How To" classes?

orangecameraDecember 27, 2012
What is a good way for a non-professional to learn the right way to deal with common household situations, where with proper knowledge, it would be a DIY fix?

I'm thinking about things like changing a regular light switch to a dimmer, or putting up a small amount of wallpaper. These are not jobs we really need professionals for, but we do need the right instruction.

With all the DIY tips online, it's become impossible (at least for me) to wade through them all and tell who knows what they're talking about, and who's just copying what they read somewhere.

So, are there websites that really are the best? Are there other resources I don't know about? Unfortunately, I don't know a lot of handy people, and the ones I do know are professionals. I don't want to ask them to teach me things so I don't have to hire them anymore!
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If you are in the US, your local community college may offer evening/weekend, not-for-credit classes. Also, Home Depot offers short hands-on classes on weekends in some locations.

Some of the advice on This Old House (old PBS program) is very good: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/

I'd avoid ehow; many of the articles seem to have been written by people who have never actually done the work they describe.
    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 5:47AM
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Yes, I'm in NJ. We have a fantastic community college but I've never seen this type of class in their catalogue. I'll check with them though, thanks for the suggestion.

Are the classes at Home Depot good? I guess I'm a bit jaded, and assumed they were really sales pitches.
    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 5:51AM
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The Home Depot classes here are quite basic and short. Like 20 minutes. THey know you are going to do things yourself (or you would not be at Home Depot). The ones I have seen are not sales pitches for expensive stuff.

Matt and Shari (of PBS) have another show and a website. They may have some episodes you will find useful: http://www.mattandshari.com/program-notes.html

There are, as you point out, a lot of websites and videos. If you find a useful video on youtube, chances are good that there are related videos on their youtube channel. Often the most watched videos on fixing something are indeed the best.
    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 6:23AM
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Nancy Hehmann
You can also find good books at Lowes and Home Depot on how to do different things. My hubby and I teach ourselves to do a lot of things. Too expensive to hire everything and not always convenient. My son even taught himself to make great furniture.
    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 11:08AM
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Hey, OC! While definitely hit or miss, you can try typing in "DIY (blank)" into YouTube and often get some pretty classy results. For example, we just typed in "DIY dimmer switch youtube" into Google and this was the second organic result:
... We hope this helps!
    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 11:40AM
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Interiors International, Inc.
Youtube has everything, it amazes me.
    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 12:07PM
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