Americans are projected to spend an unprecedented $485 billion on home repairs and remodeling this year — a figure that includes both professional services and DIY projects, according to industry experts. In an era when social media reigns supreme, DIY enthusiasts are increasingly turning to platforms like YouTube and TikTok for guidance and inspiration.

One prominent figure in the world of DIY renovations is Alex D’Alessio, a self-described “dummy” who has amazed hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. His journey from having no experience using power tools to become a full-time social media star has captivated audiences who are seeking instruction on home improvement projects.

D’Alessio’s success lies in part in his relatability. He doesn’t shy away from showing his mistakes and failures, offering a dose of reality to his followers.

Inside the townhouse that D’Alessio and his wife Kylie purchased in Baltimore in 2020, the evidence of D’Alessio’s DIY attempts are everywhere. He said it all started with his first project, when he aimed to save money by building a table.

“Kylie was like, ‘We need to get like a $500 coffee table, we need this and this.’ I was like, ‘Let’s spend the same amount of money — half the money — on the tools and the wood. If I can’t build it, I’ll let you get whatever coffee table you want if you don’t like it,’ and I let it rip,” D’Alessio said.

D’Alessio said he learned everything on YouTube, which he fondly refers to as “YouTube University.”

Through the power of Google, YouTube tutorials and his own hands-on learning experiences, D’Alessio has accomplished a series of renovations in his home. He has tackled his laundry room and projects in his basement, created a home bar and revamped the primary bathroom. He is currently working on transforming his bedroom.

D’Alessio’s mother-in-law, Sherry Mooney, initially had reservations about D’Alessio taking on the role of his own handyman. Mooney expressed concerns about him abandoning his six years of schooling. His wife also had doubts and gave him six months to prove himself.

D’Alessio has managed to secure paid sponsors and now earns double the income he made in his previous corporate job. He said he has spent “maybe” $10,000 on projects, which he estimates would have cost $80-90,000 using professionals.