With over half a million YouTube subscribers and Instagram followers awaiting his every DIY tip, trick and advice on home improvement, Slater Young could very well be the country’s version of Mr. Fix It, or our one-man answer to the Property Brothers.
It’s only been less than a year since the former Pinoy Big Brother housemate uploaded his first DIY video on Instagram, and he has already become the go-to resource of many homeowners for anything that needs fixing in their homes—a leaky faucet, a smelly toilet, a jammed door, etc. He’s friendly and approachable, sounds like he knows what he’s doing, and goes the extra mile to deliver practical information.
Dealing with anything related to construction has been second nature to the guy. After all, he’s had about 15 years of experience in the construction business. Prior to winning PBB Unlimited in 2012, he had graduated with a Civil Engineering degree at University of San Carlos in his hometown Cebu. He later on founded Litecrete Philippines which supplies lightweight concrete in many high-rise constructions in the Queen City of the South.
A big factor to his becoming an all-around handyman, says Slater, is growing up with an engineer dad. “I grew up in construction talaga,” he tells ANCX. “Since I was in high school, kasama ko na ang dad ko going around construction sites, ako ang driver nya. Pag may problem sa construction and even though he knew the solution, tatanungin nya ako. Ite-test nya ako kung alam ko ba kung paano [sosolusyunan], if I am creative enough to find a way around it.”
At home, fixing things that had broken down was a bonding activity for father and son. And that’s how Slater’s home construction and improvement game got strong through the years. “Ang tawag ni Daddy [John] sa sarili nya actually is The Original Slater,” the younger, uhm, Young shares.
The post that started it all
Slater remembers his first DIY IG post. He fixed a squeaky door in their family home, better known as the Skypod, one of the most famous Filipino homes on YouTube, envied for its design and the spectacular view of Cebu’s skies. Turns out it’s not entirely perfect as many assumed: Slater found one door problematic. “Yung door na nagja-jam sya, hindi sya nagko-close ng smooth. Pet peeve ko kasi yun. Gusto ko pag let go ko, it closes itself,” he shares.
One time he also talked about the leak in one of the heaters in his son Scottie’s room. Slater explained what needed to be done, step by step—and that resonated with a lot of people.
That’s when he realized that many of his followers had been experiencing similar problems. He was initially thinking he’d post a video again if ever something breaks down in the Skypod. But then he started receiving messages from friends, thanking him and telling him how much he had helped them. Others were asking how to DIY certain things or use power tools. Before long, he’d already become the go-to person for those with questions related to home improvement.
By September last year, Slater has set up his own YouTube Channel. “I’ve had that idea for a while, but I never had the time to do it. Then when the pandemic hit, work from home tayo lahat. Walang masyadong ginagawa, so I just decided to do a video,” he recalls. He asked his wife Kryz Uy, a seasoned vlogger, to take his video as he talked about the Skypod’s lighting design.
Back when he was starting, Slater told his wife he’d be happy to have 20,000 subscribers by end of 2020. Eight months and 38 videos after that maiden video, the Slater Young channel already has 517,000 followers. “[The growth] has been crazy fast,” he says.
The new home improvement guru
Slater says 80 percent of what he has vlogged about on YouTube are stock knowledge. But to be technically correct about certain topics—he doesn’t want to spread misinformation—he consults experts on specific trades, an electrical engineer on electrical consumption, for instance.
He admits it also sometimes takes a lot of trials and errors before he figures out the right solution. He mentions one time when he spent about P12,000 worth of cleaning solutions from Lazada to get rid of unsightly stains in their home. “It took me eight days of trial and error to figure out paano talaga sya gawin,” he shares.
Being a home improvement geek, he’s got three cabinets full of random items that they need for their home upkeep—from screws and nails, double sided tape and cleaning paraphernalia, power tools and pressure washers. “I think I got that habit from my Dad kasi yung sa kanya mas grabe pa—parang parking area worth,” he offers.
Slater says he’s keen about the small details because his years of experience in construction made him aware about the pain points of home or building owners. That’s why he found great joy in building the Skypod. “Our house was pretty straightforward,” he says. “We actually built it in record time—10 months. Ang isang bahay usually takes about two years. But I was here every day so lahat ng problems nakikita ko before they became big. Mabilis na naaayos.”
Slater says one of the main reasons he created a YouTube Channel is he wants to empower homeowners to handle home-related problems on their own. “Hindi naii-stress si Kryz pag may sira dito sa bahay, kasi she knows that I can fix it in an hour or two. Mabilis lang sya ayusin if you know how to do it,” he says. Putting shelves on a wall or hanging picture frames may seem hard to accomplish but he says these are pretty basic, and therefore easy, once one gets the idea around it.
“You can DIY anything and save a lot of money if you know what you’re doing. It gives homeowners that certain freedom. Pag may problema ang bubong mo, may leak, you don’t have to wait for someone to fix it, because you can actually do it in five minutes or so. Hindi mo kailangang maghintay at ma-stress,” he says.
He also put up his YouTube Channel to protect homeowners from getting scammed by contractors. He even has a vlog on what to look for when inspecting the construction development of your home.
Asked for his advice for people who are building or planning to build their dream house, he stresses on one basic tip: “Huwag nyo tipirin ang professionals.” He says some people choose to not hire architects, engineers, and official contractors in order to save cost. But in the long run, homeowners might end up spending more because there is no one to guide them about suppliers. “These people know their way around, kasi may experience na sila,” he says.