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Fundamentals of Home Maintenance: From Repairs to Renovations

From routine upkeep to major renovations, learn the basics of home maintenance to keep your house in order.
Fundamentals of Home Maintenance: From Repairs to Renovations is rated 4.2 out of 5 by 6.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Home is My Castle I received DVDs a few weeks ago. Excellent delivery. Enjoy the instructor and how he takes time to show each step. Not too slow or too fast. I have already accomplished a few of the projects successfully. Feel more and more empowered as a homeowner and female.
Date published: 2022-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this!!’ Informative!! I love how they tell you what to do before you start. Which tools to use. Or preparing a garden in your mind before actually getting the shovel out. Money is tight these days so doing projects myself will save me a ton.
Date published: 2022-05-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Youtube has better home maintenance tutorials Watching some of the videos of this course I noticed that the instructor Andy would sometimes be in the way of the camera when doing a task- example: The backsplash installation. In that tutorial he is explaining about the use of spacers and as he installs them between the tiles the viewer does not see his technique. Youtube videos will show and explain the "Why" of the technique.
Date published: 2022-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fundamental of home maintenance I am not at all handy. Whenever there is something wrong in the house, I either have to bribe some friends for help or pay to seek professional help. Since I bought this course, it emboldened me to try before paying for help. The course is very precise to discribe each topic with the background knowledge and the equipments to complete the job. I successfully completed some projects that I wouldn’t have even attempted before learning from this course. I highly recommend this course to someone like me that is not handy at all.
Date published: 2022-05-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good information, but some basic fundamentals are I found the episodes informative, but lacking in addressing the types of frustrating issues that a novice DYI will encounter. For example: Many faucets don't have the convenient push connectors or flange nuts as shown. What then? The garbage disposal replacement was particularly incomplete. Take it from a novice DYI who has been through this. For example, it was not mentioned that most disposals don't come with an electric cord, and it is one royal PIA to hook one on. Or, that there is a plug that needs to be removed from the dishwasher hookup. You think you are done, and then your dishwasher backs up (I had a disposal installed by a "professional" who didn't know the plug had to be removed.) These are just basic details that should at least be mentioned in passing, if not shown in detail. I've only watched about 25% of the lessons, but attention to detail, especially with the basics frustrations a novice will encounter, is lacking. The instructor is knowledgeable, entertaining and engaging, but has lost touch with what a true novice is up against.
Date published: 2022-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from very informative and helpful I learned so much from watching this course. The lessons were presented in a way that was easy to understand. I now feel much more comfortable with these concepts and I am definitely going to try some of them.
Date published: 2022-04-27
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In Fundamentals of Home Maintenance: From Repairs to Renovations, you will gain practical insights that allow you to roll up your sleeves and take charge of household repairs from leaky faucets to clogged gutters. Taught by home and landscape experts Andy Machin and Margaret McClure, these 41 practical lessons will jump-start your understanding of how to perform home maintenance.


Andy Machin

A good toolbox goes a long way.

Andy Machin is a home improvement specialist who focuses on home remodels, renovations, and additions. He has also taught college-level construction estimating.

By This Expert

Fundamentals of Home Maintenance: From Repairs to Renovations
Margaret McClure

Growing your own food is as natural and sustainable an activity as you can take part in. It’s good for the environment, it saves you money, it’s fun, and educational for the whole family. Plus, food just tastes better when it comes from your garden.

Margaret McClure is a landscape and interior designer who remodels fixer-uppers for resale.

By This Expert

Fundamentals of Home Maintenance: From Repairs to Renovations
Fundamentals of Home Maintenance: From Repairs to Renovations


Home Repairs, Upgrades, and Beautification

01: Home Repairs, Upgrades, and Beautification

Working on your home may feel like a lost art, but with the help of this course, you’ll be on your way to mastering the basics of maintenance and renovations. To get started, let’s identify what you can tackle as home maintenance—and some rules of thumb for budgeting and planning your projects.

6 min
Understanding Home Plumbing

02: Understanding Home Plumbing

Let’s delve into the guts of your house. Plumbing is one of the most important aspects of your home. Fortunately, it is easy to perform simple plumbing tasks yourself. In this first segment, get to know the ins and outs of your home’s plumbing, from copper pipes to PVC joints.

6 min
How to Unclog a Drain

03: How to Unclog a Drain

One of the most common plumbing tasks is dealing with a clogged drain. We all are familiar with water that takes forever to drain. See how to unlodge those pesky clogs.

18 min
Installing a Bathroom Faucet

04: Installing a Bathroom Faucet

Shift your attention from pipes to faucets, those decorative fittings where you get incoming water for your sinks. What happens when a faucet leaks? Or if you want to upgrade your style? Get your toolbox and hone your flair for faucet repair.

10 min
Decorative Yard Plantings

05: Decorative Yard Plantings

Nothing makes a house feel like a home as much as curb appeal. Whether you want to take up gardening as a hobby or beautify your home’s exterior, learn the basics of decorating your yard with plants that match your house and your personal style.

16 min
How to Fix a Toilet

06: How to Fix a Toilet

One of the most common home ailments is the running water sound of a leaky toilet. From flappers to flush valves to frightening clogs, grab a wrench, hitch up your pants, and get started on a surprisingly simple repair.

27 min
Replacing a Toilet

07: Replacing a Toilet

Sometimes repairs won’t cut it, and you have to replace the whole toilet. This may seem intimidating, but with the right tools and elbow grease, you can feel pride in doing the job yourself—and save a bundle!

23 min
Garbage Disposal Repair and Replacement

08: Garbage Disposal Repair and Replacement

This motorized piece of kitchen magic is a lifesaver for cleaning up after dinner. But when you flick the switch and hear an angry noise—or nothing at all—what do you do? Let’s look under the sink to find out.

14 min
Home Electricity: Installing a Dimmer

09: Home Electricity: Installing a Dimmer

Mood lighting is one of the best things you can do for creating the right ambience. Installing a dimmer switch is a great introduction to electrical work. From the fuse box to the light switch, tour your home’s electrical systems and upgrade your lighting today.

13 min
How to Replace an Electrical Outlet

10: How to Replace an Electrical Outlet

Electricity is the life blood of your home and working outlets are crucial for working circulation. If you have a malfunctioning outlet, don’t panic. This step-by-step lesson will get your power flowing in short order.

12 min
Replacing an Interior Light Fixture

11: Replacing an Interior Light Fixture

Along with dimmer switches, your home’s light fixtures are some of the most dramatic upgrades you can make. Pick up your voltage tester and other tools, and let’s create a little lamp magic.

21 min
Replacing an Exterior Light Fixture

12: Replacing an Exterior Light Fixture

As with interior lighting, replacing exterior light fixtures is an easy upgrade; but there are a few nuances to keep in mind for lights exposed to the elements. Learn about safe upgrades here.

8 min
Changing Air Filters and Vents

13: Changing Air Filters and Vents

Along with plumbing and electricity, your home’s HVAC components make up one of the most critical systems. In this lesson, you’ll review thermostats, ducts, furnaces, and more. See how a little up-front maintenance extends the life of your home’s heating and cooling system.

11 min
Installing a Smart Thermostat

14: Installing a Smart Thermostat

We live in a digital world, and a digital “smart” thermostat is one of the most exciting upgrades you can install. Connect and control your HVAC system from anywhere with this nifty gizmo.

9 min
Building a Vegetable Box

15: Building a Vegetable Box

Have you ever wanted to grow your own food and live more sustainably? Get a 101 introduction to growing goodies in your own backyard.

19 min
Installing Home Insulation

16: Installing Home Insulation

What are batts? What does R-value mean? Can you really install your own insulation? Jump into this cozy project and find out how to install your own insulation safely, from garages and attics to basements and crawl spaces.

10 min
Hanging Drywall with Ease

17: Hanging Drywall with Ease

The job of hanging drywall may look daunting, but with your expert guidance in this lesson, you’ll be hanging, drilling, taping, and painting like a pro!

41 min
Interior Maintenance: Drywall Patching

18: Interior Maintenance: Drywall Patching

Holes happen. Maybe a child or pet ran a little too fast into a wall, or maybe you’re taking down a piece of art. Regardless of how it happened, find out how to cover up drywall scars so your walls will appear as good as new.

24 min
Painting Interiors

19: Painting Interiors

Your home’s paint colors are key markers of your style and sensibility. From accent walls to repainting the whole house, gain insight into the tips and techniques of the pros.

13 min
Sealing Things Up: Caulking

20: Sealing Things Up: Caulking

As houses settle, cracks may appear all over—particularly where molding meets the wall. With a bead gun, a tube of caulk, and a little patience, you can seal your home with ease.

16 min
Interior Upgrades: Wall-Mounting a TV

21: Interior Upgrades: Wall-Mounting a TV

Home maintenance doesn’t just include preventing problems or major renovations. Mounting a flat screen TV in your den or media room can set you up for hours of entertainment. Here, get a few tips for mounting your TV so it is sturdy and level.

17 min
Hanging Shelves

22: Hanging Shelves

One rule of thumb about houses is they almost never have enough storage. Hanging shelves can add storage, help you organize your stuff, and give your home an expressive design flair. Take the first step to a new home today!

9 min
Hanging a Mirror

23: Hanging a Mirror

Like TVs and shelving, a mirror on the wall will do wonders for making your home expressive and practical. In this helpful lesson, learn to hang a bathroom mirror properly.

11 min
Replacing Door Hardware

24: Replacing Door Hardware

With their heavy usage, doorknobs are one of the home fixtures that break most often. Replacing a doorknob is a quick, inexpensive job to do yourself. So, take a few minutes to review this simple task in this lesson.

12 min
Installing a Smart Deadbolt

25: Installing a Smart Deadbolt

Doorknobs are quick to replace, but a digital “smart” deadbolt is one of the most exciting investments you can install. Whether you lock your keys inside or need to grant access to your house from afar, a smart deadbolt is a paragon of convenience.

10 min
Installing Window Blinds

26: Installing Window Blinds

Whether you have just moved into a new home or want to upgrade your window treatments, hanging blinds is an expensive task that may take weeks to schedule. Fortunately, it’s a basic job most of us can learn in a few minutes. Gain a window into this window job today.

8 min
Replacing Wall Baseboards

27: Replacing Wall Baseboards

Baseboard and other moulding are powerful decorative finishes that can add depth to any room. Your big box stores offer countless designs, so dive into the ins and outs of this renovation job in this lesson.

19 min
Adding a New Kitchen Backsplash

28: Adding a New Kitchen Backsplash

Nothing says “wow” like an impressive kitchen, and a tile backsplash is the easiest way to transform a humdrum kitchen into an eye-catching showpiece. Find out what you need to tackle this project.

33 min
Inspecting and Cleaning a House Foundation

29: Inspecting and Cleaning a House Foundation

Your home’s foundation is the, er, foundation of a solid house. It’s important to keep it clean and take care of cracks as soon as possible. Explore the structure and materials of a foundation. Then review what kind of attention it needs to remain in good shape for years to come.

8 min
Patching Stucco

30: Patching Stucco

Stucco has been around for 9,000 years and is still in use in homes around the world today. One downside to stucco is that it is susceptible to damage from moisture. Learn to repair your home’s stucco like a champ.

10 min
Decorative Lawn Edges and Lighting

31: Decorative Lawn Edges and Lighting

Shift your attention from your house to your yard. What would you like to do to beautify your landscaping? In this practical lesson, learn the basics of defining your lawn with edging and accent it with lighting.

15 min
Laying New Sod

32: Laying New Sod

Nothing says proud homeowner like a lush lawn, and the quickest way to transform bare dirt to beautiful grass is by laying new sod. Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty in this landscape lesson.

22 min
Cleaning a Rain Gutter and Downspout

33: Cleaning a Rain Gutter and Downspout

Clogged gutters can be as pesky as clogged toilets, so it’s important for homeowners to clear debris from gutters and downspouts. Climb up a ladder with your experts to watch what you need to do to take care of your gutters.

11 min
Power-Washing the House and Walkway

34: Power-Washing the House and Walkway

Pollen, dust, and other scum easily can turn your sidewalks and siding into eyesores. Fortunately, high-pressure cleaning, once a year, can make your house truly sparkle. Give it a try after this enjoyable explainer.

10 min
Exterior Paint Touch-Ups

35: Exterior Paint Touch-Ups

As with the difference between interior and exterior lighting, painting outdoors has its own challenges. What kind of paint do you need? How many coats? Touch up your home’s exterior with the help of this lesson.

8 min
Weather-Stripping a Door

36: Weather-Stripping a Door

If you’ve got a gap in your door, the cold drafts in the winter may wreak havoc on your heating bill—and bugs in the summer will drive you bananas! See what you need to fix this pesky problem with ease.

18 min
How to Repair a Broken PVC Sprinkler Pipe

37: How to Repair a Broken PVC Sprinkler Pipe

It happens: Maybe a freeze cracks a sprinkler pipe or the age of the pipe causes a break. If you have a leaky sprinkler pipe, how do you diagnose it? And what do you do about it? Have no fear—the repair is here!

10 min
Assembling a Lawn-Tool Organizer

38: Assembling a Lawn-Tool Organizer

A homeowner’s garage can be a frightening sight, particularly after a few years of accumulating stuff. From rakes to brooms to saws, how do you keep it all organized? Get a few practical tips to create order from chaos.

9 min
Overhead Garage Storage

39: Overhead Garage Storage

A home can never have enough storage. A garage with good, vertical space is an ideal place to stow boxes and seasonal decorations. See what it takes to install a storage system over the garage door—and free up a pile of space!

18 min
Renovating a Wet Bar

40: Renovating a Wet Bar

Treat your friends and neighbors to a drink and some snacks at a brand-new, in-home wet bar. In this lesson, you will see how to turn some old cabinets and a dumpy sink into a sparkling showcase for hours of entertaining.

68 min
Your Essential Toolbox

41: Your Essential Toolbox

You’ve gained an amazing amount of homeowner mastery in this course, but what do you do next? Because prevention is the best cure, your next best step is to build a toolbox of the essentials you may need in a pinch. Tour your ideal toolbox in this final lesson.

7 min