The Home Improvement site is an older, graduated, Stack Exchange which looks as though it's going to have a fair amount of scope overlap with Arts & Crafts. From their help centre (emphasis mine):

We welcome these topics:

  • Questions you would typically ask a home contractor.
  • Which tools, materials, and best practices for home improvement task.
  • Identifying the source or cause of a problem within your home.
  • National building codes (of any country).
  • Installation, maintenance, and repair of major appliances.
  • Carpentry and woodworking.

The two bolded topics, at least, look as though they might also fit on this site, although our what's on-topic page in the help centre hasn't been filled in yet.

This isn't a problem in itself - there are plenty of other Stack Exchange sites with overlapping scope - but perhaps we should address how to deal with the issues that might arise from this. What is the difference between this site and Home Improvement in attitudes towards questions on similar topics? How should we advise new users who aren't sure which site to post on? It'd be great to have a nutshell summary of the difference between the two sites when it comes to questions that could fit on either.

  • Motivation for this post: I was thinking vaguely of a question about wallpaper and realised I wasn't sure whether that would count as Arts & Crafts or DIY. May 21, 2016 at 17:09
  • I would be curious if you have a more concreate example. If you are thinking about wallpapering any part of the house then DIY seems better. I am not sure about wallpaper in a crafting environment so I would need an example to pull me back to A&C.SE
    – Matt
    May 21, 2016 at 17:58
  • @Matt What about a question like "What kind of glue to use for wallpaper?" which isn't specific to any particular usage or environment? May 21, 2016 at 17:59
  • There was another meta concerned about a main site question because artistic intent was not present. That was not the sole issue about the post (and I don't want to dive into wallpaper in comments. It could almost be its own meta now.) but in the wallpaper case I don't see how it is related to a crafting genre per sei. If it was narrowed down to where you would be using it that would change the options but better results. Some wallpaper have adhesive already and just have to be mixed with water.
    – Matt
    May 21, 2016 at 18:08
  • Woodworking is a tougher one since it has its own beta. For the most part I think woodworking is on topic on all of these sites. Just a matter of what the user wants to do. If the expertise is not there or not enough traction we could consider migration (Assume it is a good candidate and the OP is ok with it in certain circumstances). The meta about it is here: meta.crafts.stackexchange.com/questions/57/…
    – Matt
    May 21, 2016 at 18:10
  • We are working on the FAQ: meta.crafts.stackexchange.com/questions/167/…
    – Matt
    May 21, 2016 at 18:11
  • I really don't see a lot of scope overlap on DIY besides woodworking. Some people might ask there but I would bet it gets closed. Home Improvement to me does not equal crafts. I think I will ask in their chat what they have seen as far as crafting goes.
    – Matt
    May 21, 2016 at 18:13
  • 1
    Starting to think my comments are forming an answer.....
    – Matt
    May 21, 2016 at 18:16

2 Answers 2


Arts and Crafts isn't the same thing as DIY.

  • : that's a craft; it wouldn't fit on DIY but it would fit here
  • : that's a DIY job; it fits there but it doesn't fit here

There is some overlap, but I think it's minimal because of the types of tasks that each site covers. You can also think of it in terms of scale - many of the crafts we deal with here are small-scale things (with some exceptions), and many DIY tasks are larger scale. Additionally, each type needs a different set of skills.

Where there is overlap, it doesn't really matter where it's posted. If it's on-topic where it's posted, it can stay there, there's no need to do anything special with it. The only difference I can see is the perspective from which answers are going to be written: here, they'll be written from the perspective of hobbyist craftsmen and women; there, they'll be written from the perspective of doing the job so that it works, rather than for being a nice solution.

  • I do get your point but careful with the wiring example. Wire-craft is a thing that would be welcomed here. It would not be the first time a user made a mistake and asked a blatantly off topic question. We already have jewelry questions using wire tag.
    – Matt
    May 22, 2016 at 0:04
  • @Matt Wiring as in electrical wiring, rather than the craft.
    – Åna
    May 22, 2016 at 10:04
  • I'm saying I know the distinction but others might not.
    – Matt
    May 22, 2016 at 11:43

Quoting the FAQ you did

Which tools, materials, and best practices for home improvement task.

DIY is about home improvement and not arts and crafts. I don't expect any scope overlap there really (keep reading...). I checked in with one of the mods over on DIY chat and we can expect a similar take on it from there community as well.

BMitch: @Matt We consider hobby projects and decorating advice as off topic, the latter because of the subjectivity. I think both of those would cover art and craft questions, so probably a good delineation with an Arts & Crafts SE.

The exception to that comes from woodworking and carpentry. There are now 3 SE sites that could handle those questions. Woodworking.SE, DIY.SE and ourselves. As we have already discussed in another meta. The main bullet from that

Woodworking is definitely a craft, so it's certainly on-topic here.

We can lets the users figure this one our on there own. Woodworking is a very large and encompassing craft. Something like timber framing would not be on topic here. Nor would DIY.SE keep a question about gluing rocks to wood for a school project (Not the best example but you hopefully get the idea). Just a matter of what the user wants to do.

If the expertise is not there or there is not enough traction we could consider migration in either direction (Assuming it is a good candidate and/or the OP is OK with it in certain circumstances). This has happened a few times in the WW.SE chat with the mods of DIY and we have moved a few questions around successfully.

We don't have a lot of woodworking questions yet so it should be easy to give the right amount of attention to each one and give the best direction for those questions.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .