I'm wondering how come diy.stackexchange.com ended up being called Home Improvement?

This is not a purely philosophical question but rather I found it confusing that there is actually not Do-It-Yourself site in the Stack Exchange family, and the one that comes closest is actually a home improvement site, mostly for contractors..

So for instance questions about do it yourself repairs and/or modifications to gadgets have no place on SE.

  • Sounds like this might be a better fit on that site's meta... – Servy Aug 19 '13 at 15:49
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    meta.diy.stackexchange.com/questions/198/… ... Seems like they simply decided to change the name based on the site scope, but kept the DIY subdomain it was originally assigned. FWIW the new name much better reflects the community's focus, IMO. – user102937 Aug 19 '13 at 15:49
  • @RobertHarvey - it was always about home improvement (at least that was always my reading of things). – ChrisF Aug 19 '13 at 15:54
  • @ChrisF: [shrug] ... I always thought the term DIY meant "do it yourself." – user102937 Aug 19 '13 at 15:55
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    it is definitely not primarily for contractors. There are a few contractors with high rep, but plenty of regular folks who are doing-it-themselves. – Kate Gregory Aug 19 '13 at 15:56
  • @RobertHarvey, given some of the questions about electricity, it might reasonably mean "Do In Yourself". – Mark May 27 '16 at 23:54
  • @RobertHarvey, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_it_yourself#Subculture – Pacerier Mar 28 '18 at 20:42
  • @Pacerier: Exactly. – user102937 Mar 28 '18 at 21:54

The Home Improvement site is for DIYers as can be seen on our about page:

Home Improvement is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers.

But only for stuff you do to your house. The reason it has the url diy.stackexchange.com is two fold:

  1. homeimprovement.stackexchange.com is too long (and too hard to type).
  2. Do-it-yourself (DIY) has long been synonymous for home improvement - certainly in the English speaking world.

A gadgets site was tried but found to be too broad a topic for a Stack Exchange site.

  • homediy seems short enough.. – Pacerier Mar 28 '18 at 20:42
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    @Pacerier What other DIY is there?! – Tim Jul 10 '18 at 19:35

Do-It-Yourself has long been associated with home repairs done by the owner, since at least the early 20th century. It is well known in popular culture, at least in the United States. Alternative, broader usages did not become popular until later, and only by extension. So DIY seems a natural fit for a home improvement site.

It is also a lot shorter than homeimprovement.stackexchange.com. Who wants to type that monster in each and every time?

As for questions about tinkering with gadgets, no I do not believe that we have a dedicated site for that. But why should we? Generally, you should ask those questions on a site that caters to your gadget of interest. For example, Android Enthusiasts or Raspberry Pi.

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    "home"... Boom, got the cached URL (in most modern browsers). Also, I'm amused that there's a lot of speculation going on here, but nobody seems to know the actual answer. – user102937 Aug 19 '13 at 15:53
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    Cody, the reason there should be a broader DIY community is that sometimes the gadget may not be an Android gadget.. In my specific case it's a coffee maker. And I don't think there's a coffee-makers.stackexchange.com, nor should there be one. The issue is that the question doesn't really fit on electronics, or diy, or any of the other ones. – Miky Dinescu Aug 19 '13 at 16:04
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    That is a bit of a dilemma. Part of the reason there shouldn't be a coffee-makers.stackexchange.com is that there aren't very many experts on coffee makers and how to repair them. That also makes it difficult to fit into the scope of an existing site. Although to be fair, I wouldn't have known if that were on topic for Home Improvement or not without first checking their FAQ, so I get what you're saying, @Miky. – Cody Gray Aug 19 '13 at 16:06

So for instance questions about do it yourself repairs and/or modifications to gadgets have no place on SE.

All things that you "do yourself" would cover far too broad a topic for an SE site: there's no reason to put all such questions in one place. Why should "do it yourself" questions about fixing a motorcycle go in the same place as "do it yourself" questions about building a birdhouse?

Instead, you should ask based on what you are "doing it" to. Electronics? Motor vehicles? Bicycles? Robots? Your Android or Windows Phone?

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    Interesting point of view. The problem with that is that too much fragmentation is detrimental to the development of the respective communities. It also makes it difficult to find the right community to post a specific question.. – Miky Dinescu Aug 19 '13 at 16:01
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    @MikyDinescu: I would say that putting everyone who "does things themselves" (whether it's to gadgets, cars, home repairs, or whatever) together on the same site is what would lead to fragmentation- you'd get groups within the same site that couldn't contribute to each other's questions. Also, unless you get rid of the electronics, motor vehicles, bicycles etc SE's, adding a general "DIY" site would make it much harder to find the right community. "Hmm, I want to ask about making a repair to my car, but I'm doing it myself. Should I put it on Motor Vehicles or DIY..." – David Robinson Aug 19 '13 at 16:05

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", DIY subreddit: http://reddit.com/r/diy

Perhaps there should be a voting whether the topics on diy.SE should be extended to include everything related to tinkering for which no separate SE pages already exist.

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    Even if there were to be a discussion of broadening the subject matter, that's up to the DIY site, not SE as a whole. Each site is autonomous in deciding what is on topic and what is not. SE does not proscribe it to them. – Catija May 27 '16 at 18:56
  • Ok, will bring it up on their meta. – Lenar Hoyt May 27 '16 at 19:51

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