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    Be your own handyman! There are plenty of times when calling a professional is warranted, but for those pesky small jobs, learning how to DIY will save you both time and money! Handyman Steve, will answer your question and show you the basics from what to look for before buying a house, signs that may mean significant cost and negotiating those into the sale, and how to fix just about everything from a doorknob hole to trouble shooting HVAC systems, electrical and plumbing issues. Each class will start with an overview of the topic and one or two YouTube videos for reference. We will go over the safe use of tools needed for a project and practice with those tools to gain confidence in their use. Students are encouraged to bring their own tools from home, even ones you have no idea what they do! Got a project in mind? Bring photos! Requirement: Safety glasses, well fitting work gloves, ear protection, and closed toed shoes. Note: PPE is also available to borrow from the workshop for general use! CLASS DESCRIPTIONS: HOME SYSTEMS & MAINTENANCE BASICS: This class will provide a platform for awareness and understanding of how residential utilities work; HVAC, wells, solar, generators, municipality provided utilities and homeowner’s responsibilities to maintain them. We will cover a lot of reference materials and practical knowledge of the important mechanics of a home. CARPENTRY BASICS: This class is designed to provide an awareness of what’s in your walls and how to use a variety of tools from hand to power. What you need in your tool box and how to use tools will be covered! EXTERIOR MAINTENANCE: This class covers the basics of windows, doors, decks, stairs and anything that is susceptible to climate extremes. How to weather seal, repair and prevent rot damage is the main focus of this class. We will use epoxy, caulk, and Bondo to repair wood. We’ll also look a various paints and stains to see how they perform and where best to use them. INTERIOR MAINTENANCE: This class is all about keeping the stuff you use most in good working condition to avoid costly repairs. We will discuss appliances and their maintenance and common failures. ELECTRICAL: Electrical will provide an awareness of how power gets to your dwelling and how it is safely distributed throughout. Fire Safety and new NFPA standards will be addressed. We will use a variety of tools to determine if a line is “live”, how to trace an outlet to a breaker, and how to replace or upgrade a breaker to GFCI. PLUMBING: Plumbing is intended to provide awareness of how water gets into and out of your dwelling. We will cover wells and maintenance issues, water from municipalities, septic systems, underground leaks, gutters, French drains, sump pumps and basements. For the practical portion of this class we will replace a toilet wax seal and rebuild the tank valves (it’s way easier than it sounds!). RENOVATING 101: In this class, we will discuss levels of difficulty for a renovation and how to best cost out a project. Material types, costs and labor costs will all be covered. DRYWALL: Due to high demand on expanding this subject, this is a newly offered class. We will go deeper into drywall techniques and fix different size holes using various tools and methods. PAINTING: Due to high demand on expanding this subject, this is a newly offered class. We will paint with various paints and applicators (brushes, rollers, paint can, paint gun.). If the weather is compliant, we will try an airless sprayer outdoors as well. DECKS: In this newly offered class we will discuss care and maintenance of decks as well as cover the different materials used in deck building. We will frame a wooden, pressure-treated 4X4 stoop with posts and railing. Just in time for your summer project!
  • Renovation 101: Selecting Your Finishes

    Are you interested in renovating your living space(s)? Do you get overwhelmed at the vast selection of tile, countertops, cabinets, flooring, and paint colors? How do you make sure it all works together? Betsey Dempsey, color expert, and owner of Color Concepts, will show you the steps you need to take for your renovation and how to select items so your space is everything you hope it will be and more. This class will meet inside CVU.
  • Starting Soon (flickr) (CC BY 2.0)

    Suburban Homesteading 101: Preserving & Storing Your Harvest - ONLINE

    Tired of wondering if your food is safe? Want to be more of a locavore? Wish you could eat homegrown food year round? Join us for this informative and interactive series that will explore the trends and realities of Suburban Homesteading. No matter if you have a small yard or some acreage, these workshops will help you understand how to best use your resources and land. We will cover preserving and storing your harvest in this session, plus how to sell some of the bounty to offset your expenses! This class will meet online. A Zoom invite will be sent to you with information on how to attend prior to the start of class.
  • Sheila Sund (flickr) (CC BY 2.0)

    Dog Body-Language & Communication: What Does Your Dog Tell You?

    In this presentation, Alana Stevenson goes over how dogs communicate through body-language with each other and with people. Learn how your body-language and movement can affect dog behavior both on and off-leash. Predict conflict at dog parks and understand when and why a dog might shy away or bite. Appeasement gestures and why you should never punish a growl will be discussed. This class will meet inside CVU.
  • Sheila Sund (flickr) (CC BY 2.0)

    Positive Dog Training

    Alana Stevenson is professional dog and cat behaviorist and trainer and the author of "The Right Way the First Time" (recommended by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers) and "Training Your Dog the Humane Way. " She has over twenty years experience teaching dogs and working with aggression and behavioral problems. This class is for any level. Learn how to teach your dog positively! There is no need for leash corrections. Understand how to reward your dog with your voice, praise, food, and by providing positive feedback. Learn proper body-mechanics and leash-techniques so you can control your dog but still keep the leash loose -- which allows for more off-leash control! Get your dog to look at you, turn with you, walk better on leash, sit from the front and the side, stand-up, lie down and to settle, and the principles of wait and stay. This is an outdoor class, so you will be teaching your dog how to behave in public and during distractions. A 6 ft nylon leash and flat collar or body-harness required (front-connection harnesses preferred). Bring poop bags and water. The first class is for people only and will be indoors. This class is for dogs 3 months of age and over. Dogs 6 months and older must have received a rabies vaccination. Puppies must have received their second distemper vaccination to participate. Note: This is an outdoor class and the fee covers up to 2 handlers per dog. In the case of bad weather, class will be held on Thursday instead of Wednesday. This class will meet outside on the CVU grounds, except for the first class which will meet inside. Please check-in at the CVU main entrance before the start of class.
  • Flower Arranging: Spring Table

    Celebrate the season or Mother’s Day with a pretty arrangement of daffodils and multi-colored tulips from the instructor’s own garden, plus flowering stems like hyacinth, allium, and hawthorne branches. Bring a pair of pruners and an old shirt or apron. All materials supplied. Feel free to bring cuttings from your own garden to add. Please check-in at the welcome desk at the main entrance inside CVU.
  • Richard Senior (flickr) (CC BY 2.0)

    Beekeeping Basics

    Have you thought about keeping bees? This is the opportunity to learn more about these vital and fascinating creatures providing so much of our food. The instructors, or apiarists, have over 60 years of combined experience and will pass along not only the facts, but also tips from hands-on experience in the field and many years in the beekeeping business! Learn more about your bee passion from Vermont based beekeeping experts at this popular Access class. These three sessions will enlighten, and maybe even inspire you to start a few hives of your own! Plenty of question-and-answer time and all the info needed to start your own operation. A "possible" 4th field session may be offered. Date, time, and location to be determined based on weather. A course book valued at $10 is included in the price.