Be in the Know: Home Improvement Reference Center

August 08, 2018 | By Baltimore County Public Library

Person drilling a piece of wood on a table

Looking for a how-to guide to help get you started on your next home improvement project? The library offers the Home Improvement Reference Center, an online database of do-it-yourself projects, absolutely free. 

The Home Improvement Reference Center requires no account to get started, and with thousands of topics to choose from, there’s no reason to hold off learning! Want to build a classical pergola? Eager to learn more about feng shui? How about a basic introduction to welding? Looking for instructions on how to install a garden spigot? Does Whiskers need a wall-mounted cat climber? All of these projects and more are on the website.

First, choose from one of the following categories:

  • Decorating
  • Electrical
  • Maintenance
  • Outdoor
  • Plumbing
  • Remodeling
  • Woodworking

From there, you’ll be taken to a list of subcategories to find your specific project or topic. Each of the links take you to a PDF of a simple explanatory guide as well as step-by-step instructions with pictures on how to install, build or fix your subject of interest. Or if you’re more of a visual learner, the site also offers a collection of how-to videos to watch and learn.

Additional features include:

  • A glossary of home improvement terms. So if you aren’t sure what an escutcheon is or need clarification about the differences between a cripple stud and a jack stud, you can get that explanation.
  • A conversion chart to refer to for metric conversions.
  • Information on the adhesive best suited for your project.
  • A Homeowner’s Journal, which you can print out and use as a written record of your home’s history as well as a tracking place for all future renovations and repairs. 
  • A short guide on what to consider when hiring a home contractor if you’re looking for a few pointers in that department. 

So go on, figure out that project you’ve been putting off or have a little fun on a new one. Happy crafting!

Category: Collection and Materials