"Do it yourself!" could be the words coming out of a frustrated mother's mouth as her child whines for help with something that he or she is quite capable of doing on their own.
But what happens when you are up to your eyeballs in a plumbing repair and you don't know how to piece together the pipes under your sink? Do you stumble through and hope that you guessed right? Do you give up and call a plumber?
In the world of home repairs and improvements, DIY doesn't have to be a solo journey. There are good sources you can seek out for a little "hand holding" when working on a seemingly daunting home repair or project.
Top 11 DIY resources:
1. Search engine: This is my number one go to for DIY information. When I was installing reclaimed wood floors in our living room, I searched "how to install wood floors" and "how to use a drum sander." What popped up in the search results was an extensive list of links to help me with the job.
2. YouTube.com: One of the first results that came up in my search was YouTube. I have to admit, I thought YouTube was the library of funny pet tricks or dancing babies until I found the archives of DIY tutorial videos. Through some very helpful video tutorials I learned how to use a drum sander and an edge sander before I even rented them.
3. BobVila.com: When you think of home improvements and repairs, inevitably Bob Vila comes to mind. The fun-loving host of "This Old House" is back with his own website full of helpful DIY tips and tutorials.
4. FamilyHandyman.com: This website is an extension of one of my favorite home repair and improvement magazines. Known for their step-by-step photographed tutorials, Family Handyman's online tutorials are equally thorough and easy to follow.
5. ThisOldHouse.com: Also an offshoot of the magazine, This Old House has some great information for the avid woodworker and home improvement enthusiast. The information and vocabulary tends to be above an amateur level, but it is still a good resource.
6. DIYNetwork.com: A compilation of all the tips and tutorials that aired on the DIY Network. DIYNetwork.com is sure to have at least a short video or discussion on most home improvement and repair topics. The format tends to be more of an overview than a detailed tutorial, but the videos are helpful for seeing a project in action.
7. 5min.com: I literally stumbled upon 5min.com. The site touts itself as "Your one-stop shop for instructional videos and DIY projects." It is a virtual videopedia of tutorials that are all five minutes or less. The topics cover everything from "how to rock an 80's hairdo" to "refinishing your wood floors."
8. Instructables.com: This fun and light-hearted website is a compilation of tutorials submitted by average writers and bloggers. People share their instructions on a wide range of topics for your benefit. Some of the photos and instructions lack professionalism, but the sheer number of "instructables" shared more than makes up for what it lacks.
9. Home improvement stores: Gone are the days when a pimply-faced teenager sourly greeted you as you entered a home improvement store. Today's big-box home stores have experienced employees who are available to answer your questions about virtually any DIY project you've decided to tackle. Weekend workshops are offered for free to help you learn new skills.
10. Amazon.com: Do you prefer to learn at your own pace and in the privacy of your own home? Amazon has virtually every how-to book known to man, including copies of out-of-print instructional books sold by private resellers. In addition to the paper-paged volumes, Amazon has e-books available for immediate download to your iPad, Kindle or other eReader.
11. Handy friend: If all else fails, ask a friend, neighbor or Uncle Fred. Sometimes, nothing beats the face-to-face help of someone you know.