Just joined this site a while back, and I as wondering if DIY is the right place for do-it-yourself questions, which aren't home improvement related?

If not, is there an alternative StackExchange site where I should go?

Just clarifying (before asking questions)!



Noticed that there is a another question has been asked some time ago:
Home Improvement or DIY - scope change to grow site

It has been six months since then, has the community formed a consensus on the matter?


4 Answers 4


In my opinion and from seeing the type of questions that are closed by the community, the site is for DIY in and around the home.

So questions about DIY car repair are off topic, DIY electronics seems to be boarder line and might get answered (depending on what your working on). DIY furniture building can go either way, but toy making is off topic (no elves here, sorry Santa). DIY roof repair and deck building are defiantly on topic, and basic lawn and garden care are also OK.

If your not sure about a question, ask it. The worst that will happen is the question will be closed, and it will help further define the site.

The best way to see what is on/off-topic is to visit the site often (and contribute), you'll notice the types of questions that get good answers and the type that don't (or get closed). The site is defined more by the community than it is by the faq, so it's hard to definitively define exactly what the site is about.

Really it comes down to what the community is able to answer, and what knowledge those contributing to the site have. As the name states you'll notice that questions about building/repairing/improving the home get great answers, but fringe questions teetering on the edge of off-topicness will not. So again the best way to figure out what the site is about is to hang around for awhile, and get to know the community.

  • 3
    Also, please don't ask what color you should paint your room! We don't know what you like, so we can't really answer that (but definitely not white, maybe a nice shade of blue).
    – Tester101
    Mar 29, 2011 at 12:32
  • I'm sorry but that appears to be a non-answer. To summarise what you have said, topics X, Y and Z are on-topic, but topics A, B and C are off-topic, simply because people tend to, or tend not to, close them. IMHO this site still lacks a commonly understood definition, and many people, myself included, feel much less inclined to participate when I don't know if I am asking my questions to the right audience. Thus it would be great if that definition was stated somewhere (such as the FAQ).
    – bguiz
    Mar 30, 2011 at 3:19
  • 4
    @bguiz - The site is defined clearly, questions about building or repairing a home yourself are always on-topic. The questions most people are confused about are fringe cases, and as with any stack they need to be handled on a case by case basis. I guess to define it better, it should be thought of as "DIY Home Improvement" not "DIY" and/or "Home Improvement".
    – Tester101
    Mar 30, 2011 at 11:52
  • 1
    Professional home improvement has also been explicitly declared on-topic, so I think that leaves it as a home improvement areas, period. However, there are a great many things that can be considered home improvement, and as always the boundaries are a fractal mess of exceptions exceptions to exceptions...
    – keshlam
    Jun 1, 2016 at 2:11

Adding as an answer to restart the discussion: Here is an example of a healthy online discussion forum where "DIY" refers to more than "home improvement", the DIY subreddit.

Has there ever been a voting as to whether the topics on diy.SE should be extended to include everything related to tinkering for which no separate SE pages already exist? It seems that the knowledge for "general tinkering" is present on diy.SE already.

  • 1
    for my personal preference and as someone who has been a member here for much longer than I have been browsing the diy subreddit, I prefer the limited scope here. IMO, the subreddit is far too broad and I frequently find myself asking "is this really diy?" while browsing that site. Or more succinctly put, Here is where I would ask questions, there is where I would show off my work.
    – kinar
    May 31, 2016 at 21:14

Past consensus has been that the "DIY" in the URI is misleading, and that this really is a home improvement discussion, though DIY home improvement is certainly on topic. Other DIY gets marked off-topic and/or referred to more appropriate places.

Unfortunately there has not been an agreement that fixing the URI is worth the effort and search-engine disruption.

This isn't the only SE area which has this problem.

I really wish the folks running the site would come up with a solution for this... but that's a question to bring up over on the general SE Meta.


"Do it yourself" means you are the one who does it.

Improving your home is Improving your home.

DIY Home Improvement is home improvement you do yourself.

the DIY is only in the context of working on your Home.

if anything home-improvement and home-repair should be separate.

DIY is always by subject or hobby or task or whatever.

  • But most home repair is home improvement.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 10, 2020 at 1:22

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