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Fundamentals of Home Maintenance: From Repairs to Renovations

From routine upkeep to major renovations, learn the basics of home maintenance to keep your house in order.
Fundamentals of Home Maintenance: From Repairs to Renovations is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 19.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from I needed this! I have been a YouTube go-to person for years but I love this class. Because it was created by a pro, the instructions are clear and step-by-step. I haven't needed all these lessons yet (hope- never), but the ones I did really helped! I love that Wondrium has practical hands-on classes as well as those that exercise my mind. It's hard to think about dinosaur evolution when the sink is leaking.... LOL
Date published: 2023-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gift for grandsons. I bought these as Christmas presents for my two grandsons who have both started their own households this year. No real comment regarding usefulness.
Date published: 2022-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Very Good Start for a Novice & A Good Refresher This is a Great Start towards becoming more self sufficient in taking care of your home. I’ve been nattering at GC to try to bring in Trades Related Courses so naturally I had to buy this one. This is a very good course for someone who has a few basic tools and very little knowledge as to the why and how of repairs and upgrades. It covers SEVERAL Different Topics so each topic is very basic and doesn’t really cover things “in depth” but then, including “everything” would be more confusing than helpful for a novice and many of the topics could be an entire Course by itself. It’s NOT an entire “Trade School” in a box. Cramming a lifetime of experience into a 20-30 minute presentation would be impossible. As a younger person just trying to get an idea or an older person who has more time than money, this course should easily save the viewer much more than it cost in repairs by eliminating having to hire someone to do it. As a lifelong tradesman I can’t say I learned a whole lot although I learned a few things … even in trades where I am very familiar. This course will not answer ALL your questions but it will give you a place to start and enough information to know important questions and … for some tasks, it will take you through it start to finish. It should also give you enough confidence to tackle things and get into projects you might never have tried on your own with a reasonable amount of success. Personally, I’d like to see courses come out focussed on a single topic in depth like, Masonry, Plumbing, Electrical Wiring, Home Furnace Maintenance & Repair, Small Engines & Etc. but this Course is a Fine Start.
Date published: 2022-11-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I weather-stripped our doors The weather-stripping project for our front door solved one of our home’s problems. Every time we turned on our over-the-stove kitchen fan, the interior side of our front door smelled like food. The fan’s vent exited near the exterior side of our front door. Per Andy Machin’s suggestion, I looked at the space between the door and frame, and I saw sunlight. The kitchen fan probably sucked the fumes right back into the house. I replaced the old weather-stripping and now I see no sunlight. Also, I replaced the weather-stripping on another door. These two projects cost about $30 and four hours of time. The money that we will save on power bills will pay for this course. The videos are full of ideas and my success with the weather-stripping gives me the confidence to try other home repair/improvement projects. Thank you Great Courses for another great course!
Date published: 2022-11-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Helpful Tips for Home Projects Having been a homeowner for many years, I found this course to be very useful in that it presented some tips and tricks to make better projects. Andy provided encouragement to start projects and showed that they could be easy to complete.
Date published: 2022-10-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good basic home maintenance course This course departs from the lecture hall and goes right to work! Andy Machin takes us right to the item of discussion and shows us how it is supposed to work, how the test for safe conditions, how to find the controls and tools for each job, and covers each part of the house to provide a good foundation on home maintenance. This course can save you an entire repair bill at home many times over! I highly recommend this for the beginner home repairer!
Date published: 2022-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfectly clear... This course explains the procedures you need to repair and maintain systems throughout your home is a very concise and clear manner! A great course!!
Date published: 2022-07-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from well organized, excellent presentation and editing.
Date published: 2022-07-05
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In Fundamentals of Home Maintenance: From Repairs to Renovations, you will gain practical insights that allow you to roll up your sleeves and take charge of household repairs from leaky faucets to clogged gutters. Taught by home and landscape experts Andy Machin and Margaret McClure, these 41 practical lessons will jump-start your understanding of how to perform home maintenance.


Andy Machin

A good toolbox goes a long way.

Andy Machin is a home improvement specialist who focuses on home remodels, renovations, and additions. He has also taught college-level construction estimating.

By This Expert

Fundamentals of Home Maintenance: From Repairs to Renovations
Margaret McClure

Growing your own food is as natural and sustainable an activity as you can take part in. It’s good for the environment, it saves you money, it’s fun, and educational for the whole family. Plus, food just tastes better when it comes from your garden.

Margaret McClure is a landscape and interior designer who remodels fixer-uppers for resale.

By This Expert

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


Home Repairs, Upgrades, and Beautification

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.

6 min
Understanding Home Plumbing

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.

6 min
How to Unclog a Drain

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.

18 min
Installing a Bathroom Faucet

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.

10 min
Decorative Yard Plantings

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.

16 min
How to Fix a Toilet

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.

27 min
Replacing a Toilet

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!

23 min
Garbage Disposal Repair and Replacement

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.

14 min
Home Electricity: Installing a Dimmer

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.

13 min
How to Replace an Electrical Outlet

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.

12 min
Replacing an Interior Light Fixture

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.

21 min
Replacing an Exterior Light Fixture

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.

8 min
Changing Air Filters and Vents

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.

11 min
Installing a Smart Thermostat

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.

9 min
Building a Vegetable Box

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.

19 min
Installing Home Insulation

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.

10 min
Hanging Drywall with Ease

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!

41 min
Interior Maintenance: Drywall Patching

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.

24 min
Painting Interiors

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.

13 min
Sealing Things Up: Caulking

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.

16 min
Interior Upgrades: Wall-Mounting a TV

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.

17 min
Hanging Shelves

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!

9 min
Hanging a Mirror

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.

11 min
Replacing Door Hardware

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.

12 min
Installing a Smart Deadbolt

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.

10 min
Installing Window Blinds

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.

8 min
Replacing Wall Baseboards

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.

19 min
Adding a New Kitchen Backsplash

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.

33 min
Inspecting and Cleaning a House Foundation

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.

8 min
Patching Stucco

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.

10 min
Decorative Lawn Edges and Lighting

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.

15 min
Laying New Sod

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.

22 min
Cleaning a Rain Gutter and Downspout

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.

11 min
Power-Washing the House and Walkway

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.

10 min
Exterior Paint Touch-Ups

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.

8 min
Weather-Stripping a Door

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.

18 min
How to Repair a Broken PVC Sprinkler Pipe

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!

10 min
Assembling a Lawn-Tool Organizer

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.

9 min
Overhead Garage Storage

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!

18 min
Renovating a Wet Bar

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.

68 min
Your Essential Toolbox

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.

7 min