It’s no secret that the heat has been turned up in the property market this year, leading to many homeowners reassessing their plans for the future. We’ve got a combination of climbing interest rates, rental shortages, increased inflation and costs of living, and, to top it off, COVID-driven pressures on materials and labour affecting the building industry. All of these factors have put people in a pickle as to what their best next step should be. Do they sell? Do they buy or continue to rent? Do they stay put and renovate?
Here we look at why an increasing number of homeowners are choosing to leap into the world of DIY renovations, which YouTube channels to tune into for the best tips, tricks, and inspiration, and finally, which projects are leading the charge in the home improvement space.
With many financial factors to consider, staying put (for now) and tweaking your existing abode has become an increasingly appealing option. Homeowners are thinking more carefully about how they can better utilise existing spaces in their homes, how they can create multifunctional zones and whether there are any simple cosmetic tweaks – like a new lick of paint – that will breathe new life into tired walls. And with the pressure on labour and materials, savvy spenders are looking at taking on DIY projects instead of getting the professionals in.
How to get started with DIY
If you’re a complete newbie to the DIY game, or your experience only extends to chief reno show armchair critic, taking on your first project is likely to be a bit daunting. The best way to prepare (aside from an hour-long aisle chat with a friendly Bunnings assistant) is to turn to YouTube and soak up plenty of reno content. You’ll find everything from step-by-step tutorials to build a deck, learn how to install a toilet, give your kitchen a makeover, and even, reviews on the best power tools for DIY’ers. You can even engage with the content creators (and other viewers) through comments on YouTube to garner extra help and support. And just like everything else on YouTube, you’ll find millions of videos covering different aspects of home DIY projects – which can be tricky to navigate. We’ve weeded through them to find 5 of the best:
1. Home Repair Tutor
If you think you missed your calling as a tradie, the Home Repair Tutor YouTube Channel will be right up your alley. Started up by Jeff Paterson (a general contractor from Pittsburgh, US), Jeff has over 17 years of home improvement experience under his belt, and it shows. With over half a million subscribers, the channel features hundreds of easy-to-understand tutorial videos on the many ways you can improve your home (with a particular focus on bathroom remodelling). Content is uploaded to the channel weekly, and there’s even a Platinum Membership option for those who want more detailed and in-depth tutorials on how to completely remodel a bathroom
2. House Improvements
A channel dedicated to short, easy-to-follow, DIY home improvement videos where the host (and construction industry pro) Shannon covers a diverse range of tutorials, favourite products, and everyday repairs. Through the House Improvements YouTube Channel, you can learn how to build a raised bed veggie garden, fix a squeaky clothes dryer, remove carpet tacks and everything in between.
3. Home RenoVision DIY
Looking for something a little more in-depth? The Home RenoVision DIY YouTube Channel has you covered with high-quality, longer-form DIY videos, with plenty of content around the 1–2-hour mark. The most popular video on the site – with over four million views, is where host Jeff (a house flipper with over 25 years of experience) walks you through the entire process of building a shed from scratch – in under four hours of viewing. If Jeff inspires you to consider a career in house flipping check out our guide on how to house flip here.
An online design source and DIY inspiration channel dedicated to showcasing cool projects that aim to be affordable, unique, and often incorporate recycled or reusing existing materials. The HomeMadeModern YouTube Channel has over 1.6 million subscribers and nearly 400 videos detailing the DIY process of everything from creating your own floating shelves, to building a floating desk and even a whole collection of drool-worthy DIY projects using concrete as a base material.
5. Living to DIY with Rachel Metz
Looking to makeover a space? Rachel Metz and her adorable bulldogs allow you to follow along on her journey as she tackles the dos and don’ts of DIY and gives you plenty of inspiration to make-over rooms in your home, with a few little building and crafting projects to try your hand at along the way. Rachel’s channel Living to DIY, brings a feminine and youthful spin to the journey of DIY home improvements, making it inspiring, easy and fun to follow along!
Where to focus your DIY efforts
Now that you’ve sorted your sources of DIY education and inspiration, it’s time to think about what sort of projects you’d like to tackle around the home. Here are the top three (DIY-friendly) home makeover trends for 2023 (that also help with re-sale values)!
1. Make your outdoor living spaces work harder
With lifestyle changes and more time than ever spent working and entertaining at home, maximising your outdoor living space is a key trend for 2023. And now is the perfect time to finetune yours in preparation for the warmer months ahead.
Giving your outdoor spaces a makeover doesn’t require a team of professionals, particularly for easy wins like landscaping and styling. Put your green (and carpentry) thumb to use and build your own veggie patch or garden bed, give the hedges and trees a fresh trim, water blast and re-stain tired decking. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to win at al fresco entertaining, you could try building an outdoor fire table with Home RenoVision’s tutorial or tackle an outdoor pizza oven.
2. Multi-functional islands
One of the biggest home styling trends for 2023 has been transforming your living and kitchen into a cohesive and multi-purpose zone through the use of benches and islands. The aim of the styling game is to join the two spaces together to make one beautiful, functional space. While these can be best left to the experts (particularly if you want to integrate a sink or cooktop), there are plenty of DIY options that repurpose existing furniture like bookshelves or dressers, or check out HomeMadeModern’s DIY Kitchen Island with Slate Countertops.
The biggest benefit of including an island that transitions from your kitchen to living is that it extends your options for entertaining and dining – and let’s face it, what party doesn’t end up in the kitchen?
3. Dial up the luxury in your bathroom
The third most popular home makeover trend for 2023 is elevating your bathroom’s lux factor. Getting a plumber or electrician in may be necessary if you’re not keen to tackle tiling or fixtures yourself (although you may feel inspired after watching tutorials from the Home Repair Tutor). If not, you can still do a lot to bring the wow factor without the help of tradies. Our favourite Rachel Metz has plenty of bathroom makeover inspiration ideas you can jump straight into!
Doing your YouTube homework
While YouTube is an excellent source of inspiration, it’s essential to fact-check and become a discerning viewer of the content. Here’s how to pick the good from the bad:
- Sort videos by popularity and ratings – videos with high view counts and positive ratings are your best bet.
- Check video durations – it’s unlikely you can learn to tile a bathroom competently through a three-minute video. Choose durations that are up to the task.
- Don’t just stop at one – watch multiple videos to gain different perspectives, ideas, and tips – particularly for larger projects.
- Verify the source – anyone can create a YouTube video; make sure you check the creator’s credentials to ensure they have relevant experience and expertise.
- Read those comments – comments from other viewers can provide valuable insight. They can save you from making mistakes someone else has already made and tell you whether it really is as easy as it looks.
DIY or DI-don’t – the choice is yours!
Whether it’s a fresh coat of paint to remove a dated feature wall or something more significant, DIY is a satisfying, addictive, and affordable way to add value or liveability to your home – but it’s not always for everybody. If you’re not much of a fixer-upper, and think it’s time to make a more significant lifestyle change, call your local First National Real Estate, and your friendly experts will help you find the perfect place to call home – no elbow grease, sweat or tears required!