Expert home-improvement tips for your fall DIY projects

September 20, 2019

Brett Tutor, a carpenter and former home inspector, has a short list of must-have tools. A good hammer is essential, he said. He also recommends an air compressor (which can be used as a nail gun and pneumatic paint sprayer), a table saw, a miter saw and a speed square to help with angles. (Getty Images)

The Capital Home Show is back at the Dulles Expo Center, Sept. 20-22, and the event’s headlining speaker, Brett Tutor, stopped by WTOP to share some insight and advice for your fall DIY projects.

Be realistic

On TLC’s “Trading Spaces,” Tutor and his co-stars transform the look and feel of a home for a few thousand dollars. But not all of the projects featured are best for the average homeowner to take on.

“People see something on TV and, you know, it’s an episode and it looks like no big deal, but you don’t know that it really took 40 people and two months to do it. And materials cost a lot more,” Tutor said.

For novice DIY-ers, Tutor suggests starting with a painting project. A new color on your front door, for example, can enhance your home’s curb appeal. And a new coat on the walls inside can brighten up your living space.

Kitchen cabinets are another relatively small project that can have a big impact.

“Cabinet doors are pretty inexpensive. You put some new doors on there, repaint the doors, put some new hardware on there and it can totally transform your kitchen,” Tutor said.

Upgrade your toolbox

Tutor, a carpenter and former home inspector, has a shortlist of must-have tools. A good hammer is essential, he said. He also recommends an air compressor (which can be used as a nail gun and pneumatic paint sprayer), a table saw, a miter saw and a speed square to help with angles.

“If you can use a table saw, miter saw, air compressor and a nail gun, you can just about build a house — at least a doghouse,” Tutor said.

Educate yourself

Tutor’s motto is, “If I can do it, you can do it” — especially if there’s internet access.

“I think a lot of things are changing now. There’s YouTube, there are all these home renovation shows, so I think there’s a lot more resources for people to learn. So I really like to encourage people to do stuff themselves,” Tutor said.

The Capital Home Show runs Sept. 20-22 at the Dulles Expo Center. Brett Tutor will speak on the main stage Friday, Sept. 20 at 2 p.m. and Saturday at noon and 3 p.m. Tickets and detailed information is available on the show’s website.

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