DIY “Do It, You…Must Be Kidding Me!”

Some tips to take the DREAD out of DIY

Quick intro for those new to DE: Experts agree that moving is one of the top stressors of a lifetime. It’s overwhelming enough to move into a new home, particularly because you’re not yet over the experience of leaving the one you just owned, sold and departed. And now, do you really need or want to deal with DIY projects?

Moving to Delaware takes time, including logistics of registering everything and figuring out where the best hardware stores are before you tackle improvements around your new home. Taking your time to get your new home is important before taking on a new project, according to experts at

Take heed, though, Newbies. Within a few months you too will be recognizing your home’s “faults.” You’ll recognize the limits between your lifestyle and your home with ideas on how to make your home work better for you. AND yes, many improvements can be made on your own, but some may require advice and action from a specialized contractor. How do you know which is which? House Beautiful offers some tips on knowing that difference.

The best projects for newbie DIY-ers, according to Family Handyman, include the obvious: small tasks that shouldn’t cost much. Click the link to check out their great tips. But it’s somewhat of a nerdy publication that assumes we all own well-equipped toolboxes and table saws, so proceed with caution before taking on what you didn’t bargain for.

Houzz (the Google equivalent of home improvement) recommends being realistic. In an article about affordable renovations or repairs, it suggests adding your own personality to your home before doing anything drastic. That’s what makes a house a home. Be sure to follow any restrictions, such as those of an HOA (Homeowners Association). Many cosmetic projects can be easily accomplished, even on a tight budget. There are plenty of suggestions on where to start, such as This Old House’s “under $100” ideas, many that have nothing to do with living in a necessarily “old” house.

Bring the outside in, recommends a local Delaware design website. For example, making your home “nautical” in detail needn’t cost a fortune. With a bit of imagination and a trip to the nearest hardware store, it’s possible to make your Delaware coast home, well, beachier.

Enter Delaware native, Marnie Ousler who grew up in a world filled with renovation and construction projects. Her father and brothers introduced her to the concept of giving houses new personalities while saving the importance of their original character. She’s even got her own show on DIY Network, a show and website dedicated to the art and frustration of do-it-yourself projects.  

To get a merit badge for ‘daunting,’ you could tackle adding a doorway to an outdoor shed (20 hours, moderate difficulty) or a home’s façade that needs a bit of attention. If you’re more of a crafty, indoor personality, try these crafty projects that can be done with items as simple as a shoe rack or even an oven preheated to 350 degrees! 

Do It Yourself isn’t for everyone, but with enough ingenuity and examination of what makes you happy in your own home, you may be amazed by what you can do while personalizing your home, where your heart is.

By Bridget FitzPatrick

2 responses to “DIY “Do It, You…Must Be Kidding Me!”

  1. Good article! However, in lower slower Delaware finding a GOOD handyman or someone who is licensed, insured and does quality work is very hard to find with all the new construction going on.

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