The question https://diy.stackexchange.com/q/3712/21 is an example of a "non-home DIY" question, i.e., a question about building personal property that isn't part of your home. It's a good opportunity to further clarify the scope of the site. (Previous discussions: Home Improvement or DIY - scope change to grow site and DIY vs Home Improvement?)

At first I thought it should be off-topic, just like computer repair and car repair. But the question has attracted a large number of views and several answers, so it seems to be a good match to the community. (Or were the views perhaps because it was linked to from another site?)

What do you think? We have previously decided that appliance repair is on-topic.

  • It will likely get more views now that it is linked to in this question ;)
    – Tester101
    May 25, 2011 at 17:00
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    I had noticed that particular question as well and had the same concerns. I think the number of views/votes it has is partly due to its age. If I remember timelines somewhat correctly, it was asked near the end of beta/beginning of launch. I think we were still hurting for questions at that point.
    – Doresoom
    May 26, 2011 at 17:28
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    300 views in the 5 months since it was posted doesn't seem like a huge amount to me, and the most recent activity was the OP answering it and accepting his own answer. But there seems to be some support for handyman questions that don't directly relate to HI.
    – Niall C. Mod
    May 27, 2011 at 16:47

2 Answers 2


I think it is somewhat marginal.

However, as noted in comments to the question here, flexibility in on and off topic should scale with the # of questions per day you are getting; if you aren't getting enough questions, or would like more questions, I would be more generous in interpreting the boundaries of on-topic.

(and if you are like Stack Overflow, getting 3,600+ questions per day, we are veering heavily toward the "much stricter" part of that spectrum.)

So, I would allow it for the time being; the only risk is any future questions of that type being asked with the defense for them being "but you allowed this other one.."

  • I'm in agreement here, and I don't think some more DIY-but-not-home-improvement questions would hurt. There is of course some challenge in the details: A question that involves building something substantial using plywood and 2x4's, or using a plasma cutting torch seems on-topic to me, while building something involving supplies from the art store and a hot glue gun seem off-topic. Is this worth trying to define, or do we just leave it to the community to use the voting mechanisms per-question to decide?
    – gregmac
    Sep 27, 2012 at 16:24

The short description for "Home Improvement" is "Q&A for contractors and serious DIYers," which implies non-residential questions are acceptable, as well as serious DIY projects. That description is perhaps inaccurate for the sake of brevity, but I think that anything that reasonably relates to carpentry, woodworking, electrical work, contractor work, machinist work, pool construction and repair, etc. or the appropriate tools, materials, etc. for such tasks should all be considered acceptable.

Similarly, any phenomenon that might be considered by a professional to be related to such topics, whether it be galvanic corrosion (chemistry), forces (physics/engineering,) mold development (biology), tree-related issues (botany/gardening), etc., which would have an impact on the overall success of an on-topic project should be considered acceptable if there is no other forum that is deemed more appropriate.

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