What is it?     What you need     Getting started     Find out more


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What is it?

  • Do-it-yourself house and garden maintenance and improvement is one of the most common ways of using free time.  

  • Home decorating, improving the quality of interior fittings like kitchens and bathrooms, adding extensions and the like are all jobs that can be tackled in this way.  

  • Some jobs, particularly plumbing and electrical work, require special knowledge and skills and they can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing.  

  • Reasons for doing DIY include the pleasure of using and developing practical skills, and the satisfaction of getting the job done, as well as the more practical issue of saving money.

Find out more


Ask the Builder  (a USA site)
bright beige - the home for style online 


Changing Rooms 
Practical Householder 
Real Homes & Self Build    

You can also look at many of the general home and garden magazines.

Getting started

  • Find a local DIY group (see organisations above).

  • Take a class or course at your local adult education centre or DIY store.

  • Consult books or magazines on different types of DIY.

  • Check in your local library/paper or DIY store for more information.

What you need

Skills and people
  • People of all ages and both sexes can tackle basic DIY and can learn the skills needed to do the more complicated jobs. 

  • Most people do DIY either on their own or in co-operation with family or friends.  A big job is often much more easily tackled with some others to help and advise you.  

  • Some people go to classes in order to improve their skills and gain confidence, as well as for the social contact.

Equipment or clothing
  • Each DIY job to be done requires particular materials and tools.  Much DIY time is taken up by deciding on the precise nature and amount of material and tools needed.  

  • General tools, like saws, drills, hammers and screwdrivers, are needed for many jobs.  They may be manual or powered. 

  • A manual of some kind is desirable for the more complicated work.

A place or facilities
  • By definition, DIY is generally done in the home, either your own or a friend's.  

  • But some people extend their activities to working on the local community hall or school.  

  • Classes will generally have access to some kind of specially equipped workshop.

Have a go - get started now

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