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