Alex D’Alessio was completing his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Maryland when one of his professors told him the best engineers were often the laziest people.
Those people, his professor told the class, were also the ones who decided to find a solution.
Now, Alex shows off his creative solutions and renovation mistakes to about 424,000 followers on TikTok and Instagram combined.
He and his now-wife Kylie D’Alessio bought their home in Baltimore City in August 2020. They didn’t have the money to hire contractors to fix up the older areas of their home. With no experience at all, they took on projects themselves.
The first big project was redoing their laundry room in September 2020, Alex said. The previous owners rented the townhouse for years, so the laundry room was in “pretty bad shape,” he said.
They expected it to be done in a weekend. Instead, with a lot of help from YouTube, the project took more than a month. It was stressful, but when they stepped back and looked at their work, they were in awe.
“Everything from there [on] was built on top of the confidence from that first project,” Alex said.
Throughout their renovation, they sent their friends and family videos of the process. After the laundry room was finished, Alex started posting videos of himself working on different projects on TikTok.
He posted the first video in December 2020, but went viral in February 2021 when he posted his full bathroom renovation. The video currently has about 863,400 views on TikTok.
When they first started renovating their home, Kylie was the handier one, she said. But Alex did a lot of research in his down time to figure out how to use tools and do floor tiling himself, she said.