DIY DIVA

DIY Resources

I’m constantly on the lookout for instructions on how to do things, which I will inevitably ignore so that I can “do it myself”. Apparently DIY is synonymous with “learn the hard way”, and clearly nobody clued me into that before I picked up my first drill.

Which isn’t to say that I don’t occasionally stumble on awesome websites that are the inspiration for new projects, or just give me a boost of “That doesn’t look so hard, I could do that” when the rest of the world is wagging its collective finger at me and saying that good girls do laundry and don’t play with big power tools. (Don’t worry, I’ve got a finger for them too.)

In any case, I occasionally do posts on my favorite DIY resources as I find them, but for the greater good of humankind I keep track of them all here. Have fun, check back often, and be sure to tell me if you have any faves that I need to check out.

Inspiration

Lowe’s Creative Ideas – A ton of projects by category and ease. They have threaded comments on each project and mods that will answer your questions on what materials to use or how to modify the plans.

Calfinder Idea Gallery – Great first place to start when trying to pick out a style or material for a particular room. Way better that googleing “bathroom floors” and crossing your fingers.

Woodworking Plans from Woodcraft – A good place to start exploring the possibilities, from building your own furniture to building your own cabin. And pretty cheap if you want to go ahead a purchase the plans.

General How-To

wikiHow -  A good place to start for any kind of project. Particularly the Home and Garden section. You can get great high-level information, and it can give you a general sense of whether or not the project is something you’d like to attempt.

doityourself.com – A little ad heavy but there’s good general information here on almost any home-related DIY project.

Grit.com – Chock full of “rural American know-how”. Country livin’ at it’s finest, along with great recipes, DIY projects, and how-to information for everyone. And of course there’s a huge tools section on their site… be still my heart.

Home Owning, Home Buying, Home Building

Old House Restoration and Repair Advice – blog by The Old House Web.  Authoritative source for old house restoration and repair guidance.

Sample Construction Timeline – for anyone wondering about the steps and timing for building a house from scratch (with professionals).

HouseMaster – Great info on things to look for (other than closet space) when buying or selling a home.

Building Science Homeowner Resources – Great source of technical information on home owning and home building. They have floorplans and cross sections by geography which have been a huge help for us in understanding all of the construction details of our addition.

Energy Star – Tons of information on building, renovating, or otherwise creating an energy efficient home. Particularly check out the information on tax credits.

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Web Tools, Calculators & Other Fun Stuff

Building Cost Calculator- from Building-cost.net. This is the most comprehensive Building Cost calculator I’ve found for new construction (can also be used for additions.) My favorite feature is that it breaks everything down by material and labor cost, so I can feel all warm and fuzzy about how much money I’m saving by doing it myself.

Easy Project Calculators from Remodel Estimates are also good, if you’re just looking for a quick and easy estimate. You can pick by project type, or by room being remodeled.

HouseMaster’s Preventative Maintenance Checklist – Create your own PM checklist for your house, the calculator even gives estimated cost.

REScheck – Free software from the U.S. Department of Energy to help you calculate the amount of insulation you need in your home/addition.

Snipi – A handy toolbar for collecting, organizing, and sharing images or products that you come across while surfing the web.

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Houseblogger Resources

WordPress.org- DIYdiva is powered by WordPress. I started blogging in 2004 with Xanga, moved to Blogger in 2006, and finally started hosting my own site with WordPress in 2008, which has been by far the best experience. It’s powerful, extra customizable, and opensource. For a taste of what it’s like you can create (or easily switch over to a wordpress hosted blog @ wordpress.com)

Houseblogs.net- A kickass community for houseblogs (or even just people who like to read houseblogs.)

Timetoast.com- Easy to build, fun, interactive timelines you can embed on your site.

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