This five-day course is an introduction to the unique challenges of renovating or adding on to an existing house. Participants will learn the skills and techniques to plan and take on their own home renovation projects. The class is designed to give the student both practical and theoretical experience in a class workshop setting and on the building site. Specific areas covered in this course include framing up the walls of a scale model home addition, introduction to trim work, being your own general contractor, and basic electrical wiring. This course will introduce students to the skills and tools needed to prepare for and execute work on their own home projects, building comfort and familiarity with typical tools such as circular saw, chop saw and table saw.

The final three days of the class are spent on an actual renovation project in which the students participate in the various projects involved in a client’s home. Past projects have included framing up interior walls, removing and replacing windows, re-siding with clapboard, framing up and installing French doors, and more. Field trips to nearby lumber and architectural salvage yards will supplement guest lectures and hands-on practice. Students who have projects of their own are encouraged to bring plans and photos to discuss in the class setting when possible.

Course start time: Sunday, 5pm
Course end time: Friday, 5pm

  • Competency Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • Sterling College credits: 2 Continuing Education Units ($260 additional)

Working on an actual, local renovation project, students will learn step by step basic renovation theory and techniques needed to tackle any standard home renovation. Specific skills include structure and design considerations, demolition, reframing, trim, finish and material selection. Field trips to nearby salvage suppliers and lumberyards will supplement lectures and hands-on practice.

Course Objectives

•  To understand the workings of the structural house

•  Identifying design principles specific to renovation

•  Develop basic hand/power tool competence

•  Broaden knowledge of available building materials and services

•  Develop strategies for tackling personal renovation projects

Suggested/Required Reading

Connell, John. Homing Instinct
Nash, George. Renovating Old Houses:Bringing New Life to Vintage Homes
Nash, George. Old Houses A Rebuilder's Manual

Tools/Materials to Bring

•  Personal hand/power tools (if any- not required)

•  Work clothes/gloves

•  Safety work boots

•  Safety glasses and ear protection

•  Sketch book and pencil

Start Date: April 19, 2015