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What is the word that means “that which can be fixed up at home”?

For example, I buy parts from a store, bring the parts home, and then can construct the thing out of those parts by myself. What is the word that means such an object, one that can be made at home in a do-it-yourself style?

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"Fix" and "construct" mean two different things. "Construct" means to build for the first time. "Fix" means to repair it after it is broken. –  American Luke Mar 6 '13 at 15:53
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@Luke To fix is not merely to repair or restore— for example, it can mean to prepare, as in fixing breakfast, or to attach, as in fixing a mirror to the wall, or to secure, as in fixing a flagpole at camp. Further, the questioner said fix up, to equip, e.g. fix him up with a new phone, which you probably couldn't do at home, or fix him up with a ham radio, which you could. –  choster Mar 7 '13 at 1:30
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Yes, but it doesn't come across like that in this context. Besides, to "fix X up" is an idiom. –  American Luke Mar 7 '13 at 2:26

7 Answers 7

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I don't think there is a single word, hence the popularity of the acronym DIY. The closest term I can think of is self-assembly.

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+1 "Flat-pack furniture" is sold for "self-assembly". –  Andrew Leach Mar 6 '13 at 14:58
    
DIY is not a popular acronym in America. It is much more common in Britain. –  tchrist Mar 6 '13 at 16:05
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DIY is certainly popular in the US. In fact there is a television network called DIY dedicated to home improvement programming. –  horatio Mar 6 '13 at 17:04

Coming from the German word 'Bausatz' which should be the one you mean, I would translate this by 'kit' if you really need just one word. If two words are still reasonable I'd use 'construction kit' or 'building kit'.

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+1 Kit appears in such terms as kit car, kit computer, or kit plane, and for modifying them at home you might get an exhaust kit, turbo kit, stereo kit, and so on. You can even get a factory-made kit house. –  choster Mar 7 '13 at 1:03

An object which has been made at home can be called homemade. While this term is often used for cooking, it is used for many other things.

If someone were to ask you where you got that "thing", you can tell them they can make it themselves at home; it's homemade.

A synonym of homemade is homebuilt (alternatively home-built or home built). There are many references to things that can be constructed at home including homebuilt aircraft, cars, guitars, and homebuilt machines in general.

Another term that is not as widely used is homebrew. The term originates in brewing beer or spirits at home, but has been adopted for use in other fields, including electronics projects (here and here), computers, car projects, and a homebrew nuclear reactor.

DIY or do-it-yourself has become a very common term in the U.S., contrary to some comments here. We have the DIY Network, part of Home and Garden TV, which has become an institution among DIYers, handymen (and women), homemakers, and homebrewers.

To make something from readily available materials is to improvise. Improvising doesn't have to be done at home. It can be done anywhere. Here is a YouTube video example of improvising.

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Doesn't homemade also imply made using common items available at home? In my case I am talking about somethings whose specific parts can be bought at the store and then the object can be constructed at home (perhaps by screws, glue, tape, or anything) using those parts. –  user13267 Mar 7 '13 at 0:16
    
No, if it's made at home, it can be called homemade. You may be thinking of "improvise". I added that to my answer, with a definition and an example. I hope that helps. –  Canis Lupus Mar 7 '13 at 0:42

flat-pack: a piece of furniture or other equipment that is sold in pieces packed flat in a box for easy transport and is assembled by the buyer.

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Home-repairable things can be used.

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If it does not come fully assembled, it comes unassembled.

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A few others have hinted at my personal choice, "do-it-yourself" or "DIY." This is really the only word I would use to describe the sort of construction (especially of furniture) that you described.

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