5 Places Where You Can Learn Home Improvement Skills


How to Repair, Remodeland Renovate Your New Home

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as tearing up an old linoleum floor and laying down some beautiful old growth hardwood in its place, especially when you did it all yourself. But getting to that level of DIY accomplishment requires a lot of time and patience, and a healthy dollop of research.

With our exceedingly comprehensive guide to DIY home improvement for first-time homeowners, we’ll help you learn the skills you need to tackle any DIY home improvement project, from painting a room to maintaining a properly manicured lawn.



11. Lay an Eco-Friendly Layer of Insulation

Photo by Kolin Smith

It’s bad enough to have to get up in the morning, let alone get up and experience the icy shock of a cold floor. What you need is some warmth underfoot, a little cushion as you pad across the house. Enter cork. Resilient yet durable, stylish yet earthy, a natural cork floor can turn any cool room into a cozy haven.

Cork is also a lot easier to install than traditional wood flooring. Manufacturers now offer products in engineered panels that snap together without glue or nails. These floating-floor systems sit well over plywood, concrete, or even existing flooring. In one afternoon you can turn a floor into a comfortable mat where your toes can roam free without fear of the big chill—or expensive area rugs.

Cost: Average is about $6 to $8 a square foot.

See How to Lay a Cork Floor for full step-by-step instructions.

2. Faux Shiplap Backsplash with Peel n Stick Flooring


Another easy home improvement project idea that yo

Another easy home improvement project idea that you can make without spending a ton of money or time, this faux shiplap backsplash tutorial uses adhesive flooring to create an easy backsplash. No serious woodworking or carpentry skills required and of course, no tile cutter needed. If you love the look of a pretty tile backsplash, but can’t exactly lay tile yourself or afford it, try this cool tutorial. For DIY countertops you’ll love, look no further than this cool home improvement hack.

21. Cut Costs With a Programmable Thermostat

Photo by Ryan Benyi

Going digital with a model that automatically changes the indoor temperature setting is fairly easy, and it can trim about $180 off your annual heating and cooling costs. Simple models that only control heat are sold at home centers for around $25. But units like the one shown here can handle many more functions, including cooling and humidifying. Typically they’re purchased through and installed by HVAC contractors, but you can get a good deal on one by buying online and install it yourself in no time.

Cost: About $475.

See How to Install a Programmable Thermostat for full step-by-step instructions.

Collins Complete DIY Manual

Albert Jackson and David DayMarch 1, 2011

Billing itself as “the most comprehensive and authoritative DIY manual ever produced,” this guide has one of the highest reputations in its field. Designed to be equally useful to DIY novices and remodeling professionals alike, it covers a wide variety of topics, including decorating, tiling, wiring, and plumbing.

Despite this, some readers find that while the book provides solid background information on how things work, it’s lacking in step-by-step details on how to actually do each job. Given the book’s age, its guidelines on building permits might no longer be accurate for some locations.

4. Easy DIY Window Trim


No special fancy tools or hardware required for th

No special fancy tools or hardware required for this easy DIY window trim. I really thought you needed a contractor to do anything remotely like this, or at least needed serious woodworking skills. Before you go thinking the same thing for any longer, go check out this easy step by step tutorial that should prove to you that installing a window frame yourself is totally doable. Home improvement DIY does not get any better than this, save money and get something that looks fantastic. Update your old windows now with this cool do it yourself project.

Books And Magazines

Many DIY experts have chosen to share their knowledge by writing books or regular magazine columns on home management and DIY projects. Try a quick search online for the top-rated books in these subjects. Visit your local bookstore to browse and get recommendations from staff. Your branch library is a wealth of free information, too. Ask your librarian where the home care book section is and start reading.

Related: How to Save for Home Improvements

How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding and Maintaining Your Home

Charlie WingJuly 18, 2018

If you’re a new homeowner, this richly illustrated guide will help you build a good foundation in understanding how the systems in your home do their jobs. You’ll learn how electrical, plumbing, and heating and air conditioning systems work, as well as how to care for them and what can go wrong with them. Even your home’s framing and foundation are covered.

If you want to know why faucets leak, why furnaces start making funny noises or why circuit breakers trip, this is the reference for you. While the book’s focus is on preventing and diagnosing problems, not on repairs or upgrades, it does offer guidance on how to learn repair techniques.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are wikiHow courses different from typical wikiHow articles? All wikiHow courses have been carefully vetted, researched and well-written to teach anyone how to do anything. Our courses go significantly more in-depth on a topic to help you develop a skill that will improve your life. How will I receive this course? Once you have completed the enrollment process, you will receive a confirmation email that your course has begun. You will then receive a lesson to your inbox each day for the next 5 days. Make sure that the email address you provide during enrollment is the email you would like to have the course materials sent to! To make sure you don’t miss them, add learn@courses.wikihow.com to your contact list. How much experience do I need for this course? This course has been specially designed to be fun and engaging for everyone, regardless of age, income, gender, or experience. Our goal is to make home maintenance and DIY improvement accessible to everyone. What is wikiHow’s refund policy? We want our learners to be satisfied with the wikiHow Pro membership experience. That’s why, if you try our courses or other features of wikiHow Pro and aren’t satisfied, you can cancel your membership at any time. Contact support@ for help managing your membership.

Community Colleges

Many community colleges are home to programs that issue certifications to home improvement contractors. Many also offer basic job training courses in such areas as electrical, plumbing, HVAC and carpentry. Some community colleges even offer "Home Ownership 101" courses designed to help first-time homebuyers make and tick off the items on their honey-do-lists. These classes are often very affordable and provide more in-depth information than blog articles or one-day workshops. They also require more of a commitment — up to 14 to 16 weeks of regular classes, homework and even exams. Check your community college's online course catalog for their specific offerings. In some cases, these courses may be offered online.

Whether you hit the books or apprentice with the master DIYer on your block, at some point in your homeownership journey you will encounter a DIY challenge that you didn't anticipate would be on the test. Don’t worry. You can prepare for these eventualities by purchasing an American Home Shield home warranty. Because one of the smartest moves you can make as a homeowner is knowing when to call in the professionals.

Related: Best Money-Saving DIY Home Improvement Projects