When things go wrong in the house or DIY jobs need doing calling the professionals isn’t always the answer, or even possible, particularly for smaller jobs. Yet homeowners have become less and less confident in their abilities to fix problems around the home themselves. Attending to simple DIY jobs does not have to be intimidating or require a professional traders qualification to do so. Here are some easy DIY home skills that anyone can learn – and importantly, use.
Fixing minor leaks
Not all leaks will be able to be fixed by the homeowner and of course, there will be times where a plumber is the best person for the job. That said, there are plenty of instances where leaks do not require professional input and you could save considerably by fixing them yourself.
A particularly common and easy to fix a leak is a leaking shed or outbuilding. Sheds are often roofed with felt and this weathers and wears over time. By buying new felt and replacing the old felt you can fix your shed in a matter of hours. Another top tip is to buy bitumen paint. Bitumen paint creates a waterproof and weather-resistant shield and can be used on a range of surfaces from wood to metal to asphalt. This can be a great way to protect sheds and outbuildings from the weather and prevent leaks.
Leaking taps are another popular culprit that homeowners rush to call in the pros to fix. A leaking tap can be fixed with a few basic tools (a wrench) and by following a few very simple steps. There are hundreds of straightforward video tutorials online and step by step guides to help you do this, just don’t forget to turn your water off first.
Using a drill
A drill is one of the most popular tools in the home yet so many people do not know how to use one. While there are some great alternatives on the market such as No More Nails and hanging strips there will be times where only a drill will do. Start by considering the size and power of the drill you need. If you are not confident with drilling or have not done so before a good place to start is a 12volt cordless drill. This drill will be compact enough to be stored in a draw but powerful enough for your basic home DIY needs, just don’t forget to charge it. Drills will come with a few different components so make sure you read the instruction manual carefully as to how to assemble your drill and for information on how to each component.
One of the best tips for practising and building your confidence when using a drill is to drill pilot holes and drive screws into a piece of wood. It will give you an idea of the pressure you need to apply and how to hold the drill. You can also familiarise yourself with the drill and its functions, such as the trigger and reverse switch. Importantly, don’t panic or overcomplicate it. It is easier than you think.
Painting a wall
It might seem simple, and it is, but you would be surprised at how many people do not have the confidence to paint a wall themselves when decorating their home. To help you paint with confidence be sure to use quality materials. Don’t skimp on the brushes and the paint you use. Good quality brushes and rollers will help provide a good quality finish. Good quality paint will prevent you from having to apply multiple coats.
It is also a good idea to prep the wall before you start. Give it a wash with soap and water and allow it to dry thoroughly. Sand down any coarse edges and ensure all bits of blue-tac, stickers, and nails are removed. Once you are satisfied you have a blank canvas consider whether you need to use an undercoat. If you are covering a particularly dark or uneven wall then spending a bit of time priming the wall with an undercoat will pay dividends. When you start painting start by cutting in first. This means using a small brush to paint a border around the edges of the wall. Walls that adjoin with other walls, doors, ceilings and skirting boards. Then simply work the roller from one painted edge to the other. If you are painting a large wall then using a roller over a brush will be more time-efficient and will avoid noticeable brush strokes.
Be sure to only use rollers and brushes that are completely dry as otherwise this will add water to the paint and application will be hampered. You may see small bubbles developing in the paint as you apply it to the wall. Always make sure you thoroughly wash your brushes and rollers after use. They will last a lot longer if you do. Finally, if applying multiple coats never paint over a coat that is not completely dry.