DIY Projects

These DIY projects are a collection of do-it-yourself tutorials that provide the online plans and basic carpentry information you will need to get started building a deck, building a patio cover, building stairs, framing a backyard shed, installing crown molding, and more. Once you realize your potential, ideas will begin to flow.

DIY Projects

There are many resources available on that can assist you with your DIY projects. There's a stair calculator to help you figure out the rise and run of stairs. There's a roof pitch calculator to assist you in building roofs. There are tutorials available in the framing carpentry section that provide the basics of residential wood framing and span tables (for rafters, ceiling, and floor joists) to help you determine the sizes and lengths of joists and rafters to use on your projects.

DIY Projects

Wooden Privacy Fence
Building a wooden privacy fence is an easy DIY project that you can construct yourself while saving money on labor costs. Learn how to estimate materials, mix concrete, set posts and rails, and install wooden pickets.

DIY Workbench Plans
Building a workbench was one of my first DIY projects. I needed a place to store my tools and a place to do my work. I can't think of a more practical first project for someone interested in carpentry and woodworking.

Build a Patio Cover
Building a patio cover was the most rewarding DIY project I have ever added to my home. The two plans that are currently available on are called patio cover plans and almost free-standing patio cover plans.

Patio Cover Plans
Using these plans as a tutorial and guide, you can design and build a patio cover or outdoor room yourself. A patio cover can increase the value of your home and save on your electricity bills.

How to Build a Deck
This 7-part DIY project uses a 10x10 deck example to provide a detailed explanation of all the phases of deck building (design, framing, footings, decking, stairs, railing, and stair railing).

Cedar Deck
This article is a step-by-step, detailed account of my experiences building a cedar deck in the hill country of central Texas. I constructed this 500-square-foot deck to add floor space to an existing concrete slab and metal patio cover.

Framing Carpentry
This section covers several elements of residential framing carpentry, like building a roof, building walls, framing windows and doors, calculating the sizes and lengths of floor joists, ceiling joists, and common rafters. Understanding framing carpentry is required for most DIY projects.

Outdoor Shower Plans
I designed and built this outdoor shower on my property in the Texas Hill Country. The corrugated tin and western red cedar structure blended well with the local architecture. One end of the outdoor shower is for bathing, and the other is for dressing. There is a small triangular bench for a place to sit and four decorative hooks for hanging your towel and clean clothes.

Installing Crown Molding
Installing crown molding in your home is a perfect home improvement DIY project. Learn how to install crown molding using some easy-to-learn tips, like how to cut crown molding and how to use a coping saw to cope inside joints.

Install Ceramic Tile
Learn tips on mixing thin-set and general ceramic tile laying techniques. Learn how to estimate tile so you will have enough for your entire project with a few left over for spares. Learn how to lay out tile properly so that you have even run out on all sides of your room(s). Learn how to cut tile with a wet saw.

Build an Archway
This tutorial discusses two methods of creating an arch shape: use a formula to calculate the focus points of the arch or cut a thin strip of wood to bend into the shape of the desired arch.

Build a Split Rail Fence
Building a split rail fence was one of the easiest DIY projects I have ever done. If you dig your post holes precisely ten feet apart, you won't have to cut a single rail or post.

"Most people believe themselves incompetent to design anything and believe that it can only be done properly by architects and planners." ~ from The Timeless Way of Building, by Christopher Alexander. (An excellent book!)

You can design your carpentry projects yourself by observing life around you and by studying the patterns of building that work. The Timeless Way of Building and A Pattern Language are excellent books to read if you want to learn more about building and designing the timeless way.

 See Also (on

Framing a Wall - Learn how to build walls for residential construction.

Floor Framing - How to construct a floor for residential construction.

Framing a Roof - Learn about framing Gable and Shed roofs.

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