25 Tips to Becoming Good at DIY (Even if You’re a Newbie!)


As unpredictable as our economy is today, it’s now more valuable than ever to be skilled at doing things on your own rather than hiring out expensive contractors to do the work for you. Being able to complete your own home construction and re-furnishing projects is an ability that will save you thousands nowadays.

I’m sure this sounds very appealing to you, but perhaps you simply don’t know where to begin as a newbie Home DIYer.

If you’ve navigated to this article, it’s likely that you are looking to save money, or develop practical skills, through personal adjustments and creations for your own home. Home DIY (do it yourself) is one of the most detail-oriented and rewarding types of DIY!

And don’t worry, it’s entirely possible for anyone to become a home DIY expert, so make sure to follow these twenty-five simple tips to becoming good at DIY; let’s get started!

1. Plan Your DIY To-Do List

Regardless of your DIY project, the best way to get started is to make a list of what you need to get done. Make a primary list of what you need to do no matter what and a secondary list of what you could afford to push off for a while.

Having a physical copy of your list will allow you to cross things off. And making notes next to each box is a great way to stay organized during your home DIY remodeling process.

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2. Watch YouTube Videos

YouTube videos are another great way to get expert advice for DIY projects. However, YouTube tutorials are probably the easiest and safest way to make sure you’re doing something correctly.

By carefully taking mental or physical notes while watching ‘how to’ videos, you will be much less likely to mess up something big during your own ‘fix it’ process.

YouTube videos like the one below include many tricks and tips that you either wouldn’t have thought of or can now try without having to experience trial and error first.

3. Talk to DIY Experts

Learning from experts is not a new concept; this is universally known as the best way to learn how to do something. One way to utilize expert experience is to investigate DIY pages on blogs and social media pages such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.

4. Look for Tips and Tricks

There are many pages that have plenty of tips and tricks for being successful with DIY projects; expert opinions can teach you just as much as personal experience, so go look through those DIY expert’s pages for advice on how to get started on your home remodeling journey.

5. Start with Simpler Projects First

If you start with simpler projects first and complete them successfully, that is how you’ll know that you are ready to move on to harder projects.

Some examples of simpler projects in, let’s say, your kitchen, would be refurbishing your pantry. For beginners in home DIY, I would suggest tackling a project like this first, as opposed to something like replacing your dishwasher or re-grouting the wall tiles.

6. Don’t Overwhelm Yourself

The purpose of starting with simpler projects is to get a handle on the basics so that you don’t overwhelm yourself. Even if you aren’t particularly adept at painting or deep cleaning, simple projects like repainting a pantry are realistic for you to begin with!

Once finished with the project, you will have learned how to efficiently dust and clean old shelves and floors, as well as how to quickly and evenly paint shelves and short sections of walls.

These skills will help you in more complicated house refurbishing projects later on, where you need to focus your attention on more difficult aspects, rather than just dusting or painting.

7. Invest in Tools

DIY Projects can be exhausting and taxing, both mentally and physically, so a good way to make sure you don’t burn out in the middle of remodeling your home is to purchase the best and most effective tools. The best way to find out what tools you should purchase, or which you don’t actually need, for certain refurbishing projects is to learn from the experience of others.

8. Utilize Forums

Learning from other people’s mistakes is one of the best ways to save money and time in your house remodeling projects. Forums like Quora, Reddit, Yahoo Answers, and more are ideal for finding answers to questions from others who have done the same or similar projects previously. They will have advice about which tools to use or not to use while doing your project.

9. Do One Project at a Time

Unspecific to DIY, projects sometimes take a chaotic turn every once in a while, and you end up running in circles. Do one sub-project at a time. This is different than doing one room at a time. If you’re remodeling the master bedroom, that’s one room with many projects.

Start with one attainable project. This might mean getting rid of old furniture or clearing out the bathroom for remodeling. Whatever it is, complete it before starting on another project.

10. Finish Your Projects

One of the biggest mistakes that people who are new to DIY make is leaving multiple projects partially done. This will slow you down, as you will constantly have to ‘switch gears’ and you will feel extremely frustrated and overwhelmed because you see that you have a lot of work to do. Finish all of your DIY projects before you start the next one.

11. Work on One Room at a Time

When you’re in the midst of such consuming DIY projects, you’re much less likely to get overwhelmed if you are doing one thing at a time, so make that thing a room. Start with the room that is most practical, or even easiest to tackle in the beginning, just to get yourself going.

This is one of the best ways to stay organized and to avoid confusing yourself or mixing up your materials.

12. Take a Step Back

Like in every significant project or assignment, you will likely reach a point where you say ‘where do I go from here?’ When you hit this point, take a step back. Taking a step back means looking at what you have left to do, and what you really could do next.

Being realistic might mean working on a part of your DIY project that you are slightly less excited about. Remember, you can get to everything, you just need to do one thing at a time.

13. Come Back Later for the Extra Details

That leads us to our next point, which is to not focus on details like picture frames, door handles, etc. These are all things that can be done last. When you metaphorically take a step back, you can’t see these details. This is because they are the least important part of your DIY home renovation process. Focus on ‘the big stuff.’

14. Using Cheap Tools Will Cost You More

Earlier, we discussed purchasing tools. If your first thought was ‘I can do it without buying tools,’ you might want to reconsider. If you attempt projects that require specific tools without them, you risk ruining the materials you’re working with. Sometimes, it is much cheaper to just purchase or rent the tools you need, and you won’t have to pay to replace damaged materials.

15. Using Cheap Materials Will Cost You More

Additionally, you also should avoid purchasing cheaply made materials, even if you have an extremely small budget. If you have good tools and cheap materials, you’re either going to cost yourself more time or more money, neither of which you likely have an excess of.

16. Don’t Forget About Maintenance Expenses

For example, if you’re remodeling a shower, make sure to use wall tiles that will last a long time. They might be more expensive initially, but you’ll avoid having to replace them three months down the line.

17. Look for Deals

Before you go about buying tools left and right, look for deals. Just because you’ve decided to invest in the best tools does not mean you need to empty your wallet doing so.

An important aspect of DIY is still its cost-effectiveness, so don’t forget that you’re trying to save as much money as possible when you’re looking for your tools.

18. DIY Doesn’t Have to Only be Done Alone

Since DIY is a way to avoid company and overpriced business charges, people usually forget about hiring people to do something for them. Your version of your ‘do it yourself’ remodeling of your home could incorporate a carpet cleaner, or maybe a person to come to replace your tire.

If certain projects are ones you can do at home, and some aren’t, by all means, hire someone! This refurbishment and remodeling are specific to your situation and your home, so whatever will get your home looking like you want it to is the way to go.

19. Ask for Constructive Feedback

This one might be difficult, especially if you’re in the middle of a huge project that you think is going well, but it’s important to ask for other people’s opinions. Sometimes when we get caught up in the process, we tend to miss little mistakes because we are so focused on the overall look and function.

Asking a neighbor or family member to take a quick look and tell you what they think is a great way to get constructive feedback.

20. Ask for Help from Friends and Family

Just because it’s a ‘do it yourself’ project, that doesn’t mean that you have to do it all by yourself. Don’t hesitate to use family members or friends to help you complete heavy labor sub-projects or give you ideas. It’s rare for one person to take on such large projects alone, and much more practical for a group or family to work on these types of refurbishments together.

21. Don’t Forget to Take Breaks

Projects like remodeling are taxing, to say the least, especially when you are DIYing the remodel. Take breaks so that you don’t get burnt out. Your breaks could even take the form of lesser projects in the process, like cleaning out a closet. But if you’re working super hard, nonstop, you’re going to lose motivation and energy pretty quickly.

22. Keep Your Home’s Resale Value In Mind

Remodeling a house can be tricky if you intend to resell it one day. If this is you, or maybe you’re even remodeling it to resell it, make sure you keep in mind what houses typically found on the market have.

For example, crazy colors, weird walls, or anything out of the ordinary will usually decrease the value of your house and property. Keep this in mind during your DIY endeavors.

23. Make Money From Old Appliances and Parts

As we discussed at the beginning of this article, it’s usually a good idea to seek expert experience and advice in your DIY projects. If part of your DIY home renovation includes replacing old appliances, watch this video to get an expert’s advice on how to make money from the old appliances that you are getting rid of.

24. Take Before and After Pictures

Before and after pictures are a great motivator during any journey, whether it be your weight loss journey, improvement in makeup technique, or the first time you are DIY remodeling your home.

When you get frustrated along the way, which you will, look back at those before photos. Recognizing how much progress you’ve made so far is a great way to get up and at it again.

25. Share Your Newfound Skills With Others

After you’ve concluded the personalized refurbishment of your home, you will probably have much expertise and knowledge to share. Remember how useful social media platforms and expert opinions were along the way for you.

If you share what you’ve learned with others, you’ll be able to help other people in similar project situations avoid wasting both time and money, and many people will be thankful for that.

Remember that you couldn’t have done everything you did on your own, so give back to others through your own personal trial and error experience.

John

I love fixing up my own home and I set up this blog to help others do the same.

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