We have updated our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use Effective July 1

Home Safety How To & DIY

Improve the value of your home by discovering our home safety step-by-step tips & ideas.

The interior of a house featured on This Old House Season 42 that sustained fire damage.

Filed under:

How To Repair Damage After a House Fire

Repairing your home after a fire is physically demanding and emotionally exhausting, but we made this guide to help you through it. 
S22 E16: Tom Silva learns how to fire-harden a home

How to Harden Your Home Against Wildfire

General contractor Tom Silva meets with a homeowner and improves her home’s fire resistance with the help of a fire-hardening contractor.

How to Babyproof Your Home

Nathan Gilbert, Mauro Henrique, and Heath Eastman help a homeowner prepare their home for their baby’s future, keeping them safe from serious hazards like poisons, electricity, and falls.

Safety Tips for Home DIY Projects

Doing it yourself should also mean doing it safely. But for folks without a lot of construction experience, knowing how to keep safe while still making progress on a home renovation or repair can be one of the most challenging aspects of the job. Keep these simple precautions in mind while tackling your own projects to increase the odds of staying safe and finishing the project.

How to Get Rid of Smoke Smell in Your House

Whether it’s from a fire in the home or a wildfire nearby, put that scary memory behind you with these effective tricks for removing the odor of smoke. Here’s how.

Creating a Forever Home: Aging in Place

Here’s how you can go about aging in place not just gracefully but gradually—without giving up the house you love.
Attached garage

How to Increase Garage Door Security

Protect your home and everything inside with these simple tips to help make your garage, an easy entry point for burglars, more secure.

How to Choose a Home Security System

There are many factors to consider when choosing a security system for your home, from installation to monitoring and more. Read our guide below to find out all you need to know.
Person rekeying a lock on the door of a residential home

How To Rekey a Lock: A Comprehensive Guide

To improve your home’s security, you can rekey your locks. Read our guide on how to rekey a lock and when it's best to hire a professional.

How to Deep Clean Your House

Go beyond the weekly dust swipe-and-sweep and gear up for what pros call a "deep cleaning." Read our tips for deep cleaning your living room, bathroom, kitchen and laundry appliances.

Changing Locks on a New Home

Here’s how to change a door lock on a new house to keep your home safe and secure.

Keep Basements Mold-Free

Planning to create or redo a below-grade living space? Finished basements are vulnerable to damage from storm-water intrusions, leaking pipes and hot-water tanks, or simply high humidity. Lower the risk of mold or mildew taking hold by remodeling with materials made to shake off damp conditions

How to Monitor a Home with a Smart Phone

In this edition of DIY Smarts, Ask This Old House host Kevin O’Connor shows general contractor Tom Silva a new home monitoring device that works with a smart phone.

How to Create a Drainage Swale

The plant-populated channels can redirect storm water to specific locations

How to Stop Garage Break-Ins

From a burglar’s point of view, an attached garage can mean access to the entire house, even if an automatic door operator keeps it locked up tight. A whole-house security system is your best safeguard, but these DIY moves can also help defeat intruders at this potential entry point

How to Install Your Own Security System

Ask This Old House host Kevin O'Connor helps a homeowner install a wireless alarm system.

How to Safely Get Rid of Unwanted Household Items

How to toss or recycle household materials in need of special treatment. Note: Be sure to check your local laws before proceeding

How to Build a Storm Shelter

This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows how to pour a massive concrete storm shelter. Read on to also learn more about design considerations and guidelines to keep you safe from the storm.

How to Choose Hurricane Window Covers

This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shows a homeowner several ways to protect windows during a storm.

How to Install a Motion-Activated Security Light

Ask This Old House Master Electrician Scott Caron installs a light above a garage to illuminate a dark driveway

How to Install an Electronic Air Cleaner

Improving indoor air quality with This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey

How to Clean Up Attic Mold

This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shows a professional approach to eliminating dangerous fungus outbreaks in the home

Discover Your Home's Top 10 Danger Zones

Watch these common problem areas to help prevent costly household disasters
View under a sink with many household products

How to Handle Household Products Safely

Learn the best way to reduce your use of certain household products, as well as the proper way to dispose of those you no longer need

How to Install a Fire Sprinkler System

In this instructional video, This Old House plumbing and heating contractor Richard Trethewey describes how an in-home sprinkler system works

How to Choose and Use Safety Gear

This Old House host Kevin O'Connor and plumbing and heating contractor Richard Trethewey discuss various types of DIY safety gear

How to Remove a Dangerous Tree

This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook and arborist Matt Foti remove a badly decayed tree.

9 Highly Toxic Old Household Products

If it's been a while since you cleaned out the basement or shed, watch out for these dangerous household chemicals hiding on the back shelves

How to Install a Vintage Lockset

This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shares his tricks of the trade for installing a mortised lockset

Child Safety in the Home

Thousands of kids go to emergency rooms every year as a result of preventable, accidental injuries. Here's how you can lower your youngster's chances of being one of them

Fire Pit Safety: 5 Tips to Consider

Keep your loved ones safe with these fire pit safety tips.

How to Stop Break-Ins

Discover your home's vulnerable spots before you go away on vacation, and learn how to prevent burglaries for less than $250

Keep Mold From Taking Hold

Mold spores are a problem anywhere it's humid, but in post-Katrina New Orleans, the scourge was hard to beat; here's how the owner of the TOH TV NOLA project did it