Last Updated on May 15, 2020
This Old House is the longest-running home renovation show on TV. You may have watched the original host, Bob Vila, when the show debuted in 1979, and it’s still going strong nearly 40 years later. Even though the homeownership rate has actually declined in America since we first met Vila, interest in home renovation has skyrocketed.
We are all still watching TV for inspiration for home improvement projects – there are now two networks entirely devoted to meeting our insatiable demand for renovation programming, not to mention magazines, websites, blogs, and books – but for the nitty-gritty of step-by-step instructions, we are increasingly turning to YouTube. Here is a list of seven YouTube channels you don’t want to miss once you’re ready to get off the couch and pick up a tool.
Bob Vila is long gone from TV, but the This Old House empire is still going strong. The TOH YouTube channel offers new content weekly and runs the gamut of gardening, carpentry, technology, and smart home, HVAC, roofing, and more. True to its roots, it skews slightly toward maintenance rather than interior design, organization, or crafting. If you want to repair drywall, turn your yard from weeds to grass, or patch your roof, TOH probably has a video to show you. With nearly a million subscribers, it dominates the home improvement market of YouTube despite being a little old-school.
There aren’t many DIY home renovation topics Shannon doesn’t cover. He installs dryer vents and dimmer switches, teaches you how to use a tile cutter and a belt sander, re-shingles a roof and puts in a sump pump, all in a very thorough, methodical, step-by-step way. Although these videos aren’t flashy or funny, they would be great for someone with no experience doing anything around the house. If you worked your way through everything he covers, your home would be in tip-top shape and you’d be able to call yourself a true handyman.
Steve Ramsey is a personable host who will walk you throw a gamut of predominately woodworking-related topics. With ten years of content available, you can find videos showing you how to build a chessboard, sawhorses, chairs, tables, and even a set of medieval stocks. He has built big, outdoor things, like a compost bin, as well as small, indoor projects, like a silverware organizer, plus created spots about how to use power tools, paints, and stains. The building projects are not step-by-step tutorials for the rookie and Steve rockets through complicated issues but he’s so entertaining and funny that it makes for a compelling and inspiring watch anyway.
Steve Ramsey launched a second YouTube channel that expands beyond woodworking into home and yard maintenance and has invited plenty of outside talent to share their areas of expertise. There is plenty of traditional home maintenance – installing door trim, adding insulation, painting the exterior, unclogging a toilet, replacing an outlet – but there’s also a bevy of related info. If you have any interest in domestic animal husbandry, gardening, decorating, or nearly anything else that could happen in, on, or around your home, you’ll probably find a video for it here.
Like the Woodworking for Mere Mortals posts, Bob’s videos are not step-by-step for the inexperienced, but they are catchy and inspiring with sped-up film and background music. He covers standard reno fare – how to build closet doors, how to turn an attic space into a closet, how to install a hardwood floor – but he also does smaller woodworking projects – a cake stand, a planter, a stepstool. In addition, he does some goofier jobs, like a cyborg arm, a wooden sword, and a giant super-soaker water gun. After a few minutes on his site, you’ll be looking around your house for something to make.
Here you’ve got years of videos to choose from on a wide variety of topics. You’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to maintain your snowblower, replace the handle on your toilet, and patch a hole in your drywall. The host does mention specific products, although not in a way that feels like an endorsement, which makes it a little easier to run to the store to get what you need. The videos are not particularly stylish nor always well lit – the host, a former real estate investor and hardware store owner, is unlikely to ever get his own TV show – but they are straightforward, easy to understand, informative, and to the point.
Jeff classifies his videos as either step-by-step or quick tips, giving you a choice between a 5-minute overview or a 25ish-minute detailed look. He does cover topics including electrical, carpentry, and cleaning, but his specialty is plumbing and bathroom remodeling. The in-depth bathroom remodel videos are a little fast and vague for the absolute newbie, but if you have any familiarity with tools and reno, these posts should be among those you watch when acquiring new DIY skills as well as confidence.
Given the sheer volume of information available on the internet, there’s no reason you can’t find a YouTube video to walk you through anything you want to do around the house, whether it’s as simple as changing a light bulb or as complex as building an addition. If you’re new to the world of home renovation, start with a small project and a step-by-step video, and as your skills grow, you can move on to more complex jobs. YouTube has both the details and the inspiration to keep you busy indefinitely. All you have to do is get out of the chair and grab a tool and you’ll be ready to tackle anything!
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!