Don't forget that if you take a moment out of your schedule you've got to put it back in. If you communicate about such things beforehand, you can do the job with each other to make your living and studying situation easier for you both.
Megan Sommerville and Matt Ensner of furniture and lighting company Materia Designs fled Brooklyn a while back and bought a dilapidated bungalow up north. Here& their story (top three do-it-yourself tips included). Love the railing ideas.