Do you wish you knew how to install ceramic tile in your home or put siding on your house? Have you always wanted to possess the welding skills to fix equipment or create a work of art? You could learn all of this and more through the Dutchess BOCES Adult Learning Institute’s (ALI) homeowners classes.  
This spring, ALI will be offering carpentry skills for remodeling, residential plumbing, residential house wiring, and welding fundamentals.  
“The homeowners classes were designed specifically with people in mind that want to do their own home improvement activities,” shared Rebecca Green, the director of educational resources. “Our instructors really know their craft and can cater their curriculum to the people in the community and what their needs are for their homes.” 
“First, we talk about what they are hoping to learn. The class is really flexible,” shared Tom Skean, who teaches the carpentry class. Depending on student interest, some things the class could work on include building a wall, including a window and door, and working with siding, drywall, and flooring. “I’d say the class is about 95 percent hands on. After going over safety, hand tools, and power tools, we get right into it,” added Skean.
The welding fundamentals class is also flexible to student needs. “The class is open to all skill levels, whether they’re looking to evolve their skills or build them from the ground up,” teacher Jake Maneri said. The class will focus on three types of welding: tungsten inert gas (TIG), metal inert gas (MIG), and stick welding. Students can work on a variety of projects, including repairs to equipment, creating art, and more. 

Isabel Alves, president of the Dutchess County Board of Realtors, shared, “I think that teaching homeowners the basics is very helpful.” Regarding the upcoming classes, she said, “A lot of times, first time homebuyers go into a house and they have no clue how to do any of these types of things. Whether it's electrical or doing a repair with plumbing or welding, it's good that they learn these skills. It saves money in the long run and continues to maintain the house.” 

Alves notes that for larger projects, homeowners should “take care to get the proper permits with their town so that they don't run into trouble later on when they're going to sell the house.” 

Alves also shared that applying the skills learned in class at home could positively impact its value. “A house that is not maintained is going to deteriorate and then when it comes to sell the house it won't have the same value as a house that has been well maintained.” When it comes to repairs and home improvements, Alves says, “If you're going to do it, do it right.” 

ALI classes can help homeowners do just that. The carpentry, plumbing, and wiring classes are from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the welding class will be held on Saturdays from 9 to 2 p.m. Classes last for five weeks. With 25 to 30 hours of hands-on learning, students will be ready to take on their projects at home. 

In addition to homeowners, the classes can be of use to those who want to explore potential careers. “We've had people that are interested in being part of a construction company or determining whether or not they want a career in one of the other trades come and take these courses to see what it might be like.” shared Green. “They can see if it’s something they want to continue or if it isn’t the right fit.” 

With offerings in the fall, winter, and spring, students have multiple opportunities throughout the year to register for homeowners classes.