Working Alone: 8 Tips & Techniques for the Solo Home Fixer-Upper

Working Alone: 8 Tips & Techniques for the Solo Home Fixer-Upper

Taryn Williford
Sep 24, 2014
(Image credit: Porch)

There's a lot to love about living alone (making "dinner" out of cheese and ice cream has to be my personal favorite). But there are also quite a few challenges that come with being just one pair of hands in a space that needs lots of attention. As an amateur, there's going to be a lot you can't—or shouldn't—do alone when it comes to home improvement projects. And then there are these eight things that you can tackle solo.

How to Carry Plywood by Yourself

You don't necessarily need a buddy to carry a 4' by 8' sheet of plywood, all you need is some rope and this clever trick. Porch →

How to Build Levers and Pulleys

Taking it back to grade school with this one. Simple machines are easy to build and can help you lift and move several times more weight than you could handle alone.→

(Image credit: Natty by Design)

How to Make a Furniture Dolly

It can be simple or sturdy, but a wheeled dolly will make fast work of moving furniture or other heavy materials. All you need is a solid frame and four wheels. The easiest DIY dolly? A Skateboard.

Make a String Bucket Elevator

Working in an attic or up on the roof could mean lots of trips up and down ladders with heavy equipment. Take a tip from treehouse living and rig up a big bucket on a string to help you take everything up at once. eHow →

How to Test a Circuit Breaker by Yourself

The best tips are the ones that make you go "duh." From Family Handyman:

Find circuit breakers by plugging a loud radio into the outlet you’re working on. You’ll know you have the right circuit breaker when the music dies.

How to Handle Extension Ladders

With the risk of injury, it's best to have a spotter when you're working with a tall ladder. But if you're going to do it alone, make sure you're well-versed in the proper technique for using extension ladders safely. WikiHow →

How to Snap Chalk Lines Solo

Marking straight lines for laying tile or a similar project doesn't need to be a team task. Here one way you can work a chalk line solo. YouTube →

Make DIY Cabinet Jacks

Yes, even installing kitchen cabinets can turn into a solo job with the right tools. These handmade jacks hoist cabinets up into place for one-man installation. This is Carpentry →

What's your favorite tip for working on home improvement projects alone? Share your favorite DIYs and YouTube tutorials in the comments!

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