Learning To Be More Handy

22 Replies

Hi all!  I'm a handy guy at all.  Instead of having my handy man come over for every little thing I want to learn to do things on my own.  Does anyone know of a Blog, youtube channel etc. that is good for learning to fix things?  I'm sure there is a youtube channel that is a one stop shop for learning all different types of fixes.   

Originally posted by @John Olsen :

Hi all!  I'm a handy guy at all.  Instead of having my handy man come over for every little thing I want to learn to do things on my own.  Does anyone know of a Blog, youtube channel etc. that is good for learning to fix things?  I'm sure there is a youtube channel that is a one stop shop for learning all different types of fixes.   

There is really not a one stop shop as most people are specialized these days. Just google what you want done and there will be a video on it. 

 

@John Olsen I agree with the others when an issue comes up or something you want to know about, just Google it and you'll find the answer. There are books you could buy, but I think they're a waste of money and time. I've been doing this type of work for 40 years and there is always something I'm researching to learn. 

@John Olsen

I have a three-part approach. The first thing you need is the book Renovation by Michael Litchfield. It's in its fifth edition right now. That book will give you a birds-eye view of all kinds of different renovation issues. From there, Taunton Press, the same people that publish Renovation, have a whole series of more specialized books on different aspects of home improvement. Black and Decker also has a series of Complete Guides (Complete Guide to Wiring) while Stanley also had a Complete (Complete Wiring) series of books that's still extremely useful. If you have access to the general and specialist books on how to do stuff and THEN you go to YouTube for video demonstrations and other internet sources for more guidance, you can't realistically be steered COMPLETELY wrong even on complicated renovation projects.

Whereas you can easily be steered wrong just by going to YouTube and checking out unvetted videos at random. You'll see people doing things on YouTube that can get you electrocuted or slinging a whole lotta blood in a hurry.

Mimic what @Jim K. said, youtube can be a great source, but for every 5 videos one of them will be the correct way of doing something.

Originally posted by @John Olsen :

Hi all!  I'm a handy guy at all.  Instead of having my handy man come over for every little thing I want to learn to do things on my own.  Does anyone know of a Blog, youtube channel etc. that is good for learning to fix things?  I'm sure there is a youtube channel that is a one stop shop for learning all different types of fixes.   

 The internet can only go so far and know your limits. Even the most handy know their limits as to what jobs they can/cannot handle.  

You need to know how to handle and work with tools.  Its very easy to injure yourself so work carefully and you need to be comfortable with handling tools. Being handy is a huge plus because if you have to pay someone for every nail to be installed it can be costly.

Years ago I hired most everything out and worked along side the guys I was paying. Now I can easily spot good and poor work, but it did take a lot of hours on the job

@John Olsen

Take it as opportunities arise, google the issue, troubleshoot and learn.

One other way is to shadow the techs when they at work on your property, most are happy to share knowledge. Some of my techs are happy to troubleshoot over the phone and help me resolve issues as they know I come to them for big capex work.

As you scale you learn to identify talent and efficiency. Some of my best guys are consistently charging me below the market price and make good money by being efficient. They plan and execute projects in a cost effective manner that benefits everyone.

Check with the local Home Depot, Lowe's, etc.  Sometimes they have free classes on "how to install a ceiling fan" or "how to paint" and similar.  Usually they are listed on a big board right inside the entrance to the store. They are trying to sell ceiling fans and paint, obviously, but you will definitely learn some things you didn't know before.

@John Olsen

My favorite resource that I’ve found is the Family Handyman website and magazine. I’m a beginner investor with a little bit of construction in my background and have learned a ton from their resources for the basics. It’s a great starting point in my opinion.

@John Olsen I'm in the same boat. I live in an an older house, so I've had plenty of projects to work on. One channel that sticks out to me is "Home RenoVision DIY." Unlike most diy videos, the production value is good and he has tons of videos on learning the basics and more of carpentry, wiring, drywall, plumbing, etc.... What's great, is that he has video series of actual projects start to finish, such as finishing a basement. It's the closest thing to a diy one stop shop youtube channel that I've found.

Hope this helps.

If you need to learn how to fix a specific item, using Google or Youtube are good sources for how to. I would still recommend gaining general knowledge. I watch "This Old House", which is the original renovation show, where they actually show you how to do things. (Unlike the flipping shows where they focus on drama and design). I also listen to "At Home with Gary Sullivan" on the weekend. It is syndicated on AM radio and the show is all about how to fix things. You can listen to him on the internet too. Lots of random "how to" ideas that will build your general skills. 

Although the internet will tell you how to do specific things, it is important to build a general though process. Nothing ever goes exactly as planned, so if you don't have critical thinking skills, you are dead in the water.

A lot of good information from other investors ! A thing that I could recommend is doing little side projects on your own house. If you do not own a house, maybe do little projects for family and friends.

The best way to learn is to DO!

Don't know how to do a specific task asked by a family or friend, youtube it !

*Don't put yourself in a dangerous situation

This could be avoided by actually calling in a professional and most of them are willing to walk you through the process! 

The best thing is to fix stuff, generally most things in a home need maintenance.  I would start with simple things. 

1. Clean your traps out under sinks

2. Replace seals on your faucets so they do not leak

3. Install new silicone around your tubs and showers

4. Re build your toilets 

5. Clean out new washing machines, dishwashers, dryers

6. Drain your water heater to prevent hard water build up

7. put in a couple of USB outlets in the home, renters will appreciate it since they all have phones and tablets they want to charge

8. Clean your bath fans.

9. Insulate your attic hatches with foam board, did you know a bare attic hatch with no insulation can reduce the overall effective R value of your entire attic by up to 15% depending on its size ? 

10. Wash your outdoor coil on A/C with a garden hose.

These are just minor things you can do that will get you comfortable with your hands, you tube will have videos on each topic, my suggestion would be anticipate what has been missed  and  service it so it does not become a problem later. 

I agree with @Jim K. I have read the RENOVATION book from cover to cover, then again backwards, for many many years. It's my first "go to" on many projects. I use the 5th here's a link:

RENOVATION 5th

The next book I would get is Black and Decker's Code for Homeowners

CODES FOR HOMEOWNERS

Then from there, you can get books that will go into detail even further. There are plenty of books out there, and each one has it's pro's and con's. To find a book that works for you without having to buy them all, hit up the local library. They carry most of the popular ones in topics from Roofing and Siding, to Masonry, to Trim, to Tile, etc.....Try each book out, when you find the one that speaks to YOU, then buy it used off Amazon to keep in your personal library. YES USED BOOKS OFF AMAZON ARE GREAT! Costs $1 plus shipping most of the time.

Then, when all that is said and done, youtube. Why not just got straight to youtube? Because there are bozo's out there who will post anything and you may not be getting good information. Having some idea of what you are looking for will weed out the idiots. Then you can see the real thing in action.

I also agree with @Chris Vanderberry . Is it weird that my FAVORITE MAGAZINE is FAMILY HANDYMAN?????? Get a year's subscription. You won't regret it.

You ought to have the confidence at that point to try things out after all that!

Good Luck!!

I LOVE BOOKS!! THEY ARE THE BEST!! (Sorry @Charles Goetz !!)

Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock :


Although the internet will tell you how to do specific things, it is important to build a general though process. Nothing ever goes exactly as planned, so if you don't have critical thinking skills, you are dead in the water.

 Agree with this. Because half the time you will be fixing something that someone else did incorrectly and you will have to figure out how to undo what they did or adapt to what is existing. 

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