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Old 10-05-2009, 06:23 PM   #1
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DIY newbie - Best way to learn


Hello everyone,

I am new to DIY and wanted to know if anyone has some suggestions as to good places to learn the basics. This forum is great but I have noticed when reading posts people refer to terms/tools, etc that I am clueless about and it makes it difficult to absorb the information.

I am motivated to learn anything and everything involving DIY house tasks so I need a good basics place to start.

Any good terms sites or resources out there that you may have encountered along the way?

Also, what do you think is the best way to learn/where to start.

Thanks!

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Old 10-05-2009, 06:31 PM   #2
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DIY newbie - Best way to learn


What do want to learn ?
Carpentry, electric...?
If you don't know a term use google to look it up
That's what I did when I started working at a Hospital in IT Dept

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Old 10-05-2009, 06:41 PM   #3
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Yea google would work good if I new terms to look up so I guess I meant to ask a good place with basic terms -

A DIY project I had in mind to do first was laminate floors / ceramic tiles.

I guess the whole DIY world is overwhelming and I want to learn it all at once (unfortunatlety it doesn't work that way) so I was curious as to the best way to start.

Right now I am interested in flooring/tiles
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:52 PM   #4
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Having no idea if you have ever run a saw or worked with any tools. It's hard to answer your question. But I will try.
Learning DIY things can and will be both fun and satisfying if you do in face learn and do a good job. Whatever you do you will more than likely have to do over so just prepare yourself. It's called trial and error.
Lets say you go for a Lam floor first. You will need a miter saw. You will need to learn how to properly use that saw before you can cut anything. THAT IS the most important thing!
Read some books on installing Laminate flooring, search here there is allot of info on the subject. And then try it on a small scale. Maybe a small bedroom, or a closet.
The more things you attempt and get done the more confident you will become.
But don't ever forget safety. It is the most important thing to learn.

Ask specific questions here you will get all the help you need.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:12 AM   #5
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I started watching This Old House and some other shows, then went to library and took out beginner books on the projects I was considering (my first was laminate flooring as well) and also lurked on this board for a while... I agree at first some terminology is foreign (much still is), but like anything, if you continue to read these boards, you will pick up on things as people discuss varying methods to go about something.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:27 AM   #6
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I find books helpful for the basics because they provide good overviews of projects and terms. Personally, I like the Black and Decker photo guides as general resources. These educate me on the terms and help me determine if a project I'm considering is something I can do myself or best left for the pros. Other people on here can recommend specific resources for electrical, carpentry, plumbing, et al.

I've learned primarily through helping out my father-in-law with projects. Offer to help your friends whenever they do a project, or have them help you.

The Internet is great for researching and asking questions about specific projects because inevitably your project won't conform to the examples in the books. But it's likely someone else has encountered such issues, hence the benefit of chatrooms like this.

Also decide what you want to want to do and what you want to contract out. I am very knowledgable about electrical work, but I call someone to handle all but the smallest plumbing projects because I personally don't like doing them and the tools are specialized. Other people swear off electrical because it is dangerous unless you know exactly what you are doing.

Finally, start small. If you want to learn plumbing, try fixing a leaky faucet before you try to install a tub. As you become more skilled, you'll eventually find that skills transfer to other projects and you'll be able to tackle more complex projects. For example, installing a garage door opener is not hard but involves a variety of knowledge including electrical and structural.

That is my two cents.

RST

P.S. Don't try to learn everything at once. With tools, only buy what you need for the job. Same for this, focus on learning what you need to know for a specific project rather than trying to master everything first.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:54 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone, you all mentioned great ideas and feedback. I find myself watching HGTV daily now and always offering help to buddies doing there own renos lol.

It seems that DIY is something that you never fully master, always learning new things and having to conform to new techniques/building laws etc..

I guess it comes down to having the time and patience to learn and motivation to follow through.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:16 PM   #8
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My best suggestion is to visit the numerous DIY blogs online as well as watch The DIY Network (I love that show). Also, just learn by doing ... can't beat that. Find a small project, do some research and give it a shot.

Tim
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:41 PM   #9
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DIY newbie - Best way to learn


Quote:
Originally Posted by LeviDIY View Post
I started watching This Old House and some other shows, then went to library and took out beginner books on the projects I was considering (my first was laminate flooring as well) and also lurked on this board for a while... I agree at first some terminology is foreign (much still is), but like anything, if you continue to read these boards, you will pick up on things as people discuss varying methods to go about something.
Levi DIY and the previous poster suggested you should go to Libraries or Home Centers, where you can get excellent books on ALL subjects. But, as Scuba Dave suggested you should, at the same time concentrate your efforts on ONE. As some would say; "A Jack of all trades, a Master of ONE! (a/o ...master of none..) (No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!

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