The best DIY advice sites
Whether you’re trying to save money or you’re a dab hand at renovations, DIY can be a convenient way to make changes to your property. DIY – which stands, simply, for Do It Yourself – became popular in the second half of the twentieth century, when property ownership increased and people started making improvements to their homes.
Today, DIY projects can range widely in scale – from small jobs, such as fixing a faulty drawer or bleeding a radiator, to large undertakings, like fitting a new carpet and building a garden shed. Whatever your next DIY project may be, you can find plenty of advice and information online. Here’s a rundown of some of the best DIY advice websites out there.
DIY tips and tricks
In the late 1990s and 2000s, property programmes dominated TV schedules in the UK. So perhaps it’s no surprise that some of the best online sources of DIY information come from TV channels. The BBC’s DIY website hasn’t been updated since 2006 but if you’re just starting out there’s some invaluable information here, including essential tips on planning and safety. There’s also a handy paint calculator tool, so you’ll know just how much to buy.
Channel 4’s DIY site is also a treasure trove of advice. Here, you’ll find a range of ‘how to’ guides for your home: a range of topics are covered, from how to measure for curtains to how to fit underfloor heating. This DIY site is part of Channel 4’s old website, though the information is still relevant and reliable. Their newer online offering, Scrapbook, also has a series of essential DIY guides but there’s a much smaller variety here than offered by its predecessor.
Elsewhere, UKTV’s DIY site has a variety of detailed guides. If you’re embarking on an outdoor DIY project, their tips on paving, decking and outdoor maintenance could be a lifeline, and there’s valuable guidance on woodwork projects too.
You can find plenty of information from non-TV sites as well. The Guardian’s Do It Yourself and Save series – published in print in 2010 but still available online – is packed with salient details and celebrity DIY stories. And DIYnot is a godsend, full of detailed how to guides and lively forums where you can ask questions and get help from other DIY-ers.
Reading DIY tips can be useful but sometimes you simply need to watch someone take on a DIY task before you can tackle it yourself. If you’re looking for DIY videos, B&Q’s YouTube channel is a great place to start. B&Q is the UK’s leading DIY and home improvement store and their YouTube videos show you how to carry out a variety of DIY activities. Popular videos include multi-part guides on putting up wallpaper, how to fit carpets and skirting boards and how to tile a floor.
Wickes – another leading shop for DIY materials – also has a variety of DIY videos on its website. Wickes’ how to videos offer step by step advice on how to give DIY projects a professional touch, with tips on everything from fitting a kitchen worktop to insulating a loft. And if you’re still in need of video-based DIY advice, Videojug’s DIY section hosts a number of useful clips on home improvement and decorating.