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Basic DIY Skills Everybody Should Have

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Having a basic knowledge of DIY can save you a lot of time and money if you need to do basic repairs about the house. Nobody is expecting you to be an expert, and there are going to be some things that you’ll need to call a contractor in for. But a lot of the time, you should be able to do it yourself. If you think your skills are lacking a bit, familiarizing yourself with a few basic DIY  concepts can help you tackle most jobs around the house.


Painting is fairly easy so if it’s just a small job, there’s no need to pay somebody to do it. If you want the whole house doing then you might not have time, but any small touch-ups can be done yourself.

The key to good painting is preparation. Use some light sandpaper to remove any lumps or bumps that may be around the area that needs painting. If there are any holes, you will need to fill them. Make sure they are dust free and dry, before applying a small amount of filler and smoothing it over. Let it dry completely before sanding it flat.


Once you have smoothed the walls completely, wash them with a sugar soap solution to get rid of any dirt and grime. Let it dry again and you should be ready for painting.

The actual painting is the easy part. For larger areas, use a roller. Get an even amount on the roller and let any excess drip off. Apply in vertical lines, spreading far enough that there are no drips of paint anywhere on the wall. Use a brush for smaller areas and follow the same process.


Finishing Wood

Any tired looking furniture, or damaged doors, can easily be rectified if you refinish the wood. The first step is to get sandpaper and remove any existing paint or varnish. If you want to do it a bit more quickly, particularly if you have a dark stain, use a paint and varnish remover. Apply liberally and leave for around ten to fifteen minutes. You should then be able to scrape the old varnish off with ease, using a decorators knife.

After you’ve scraped off the bulk of the varnish, wipe the wood down with some white spirit and start sanding. Begin with a coarse sandpaper then move on to a finer one to give the wood a smooth finish.

Finally, choose the wood stain or paint that you are going to treat the wood with. Color stain vs clear finish for log homes and sheds is entirely up to you. Both will protect the wood as long as you make sure you have one that is designed for outside use. Anything inside can be covered with standard wood stain or gloss paint.


Leaking Taps

This is probably one of the most common household problems, and it’s a very annoying one. If you’ve got a dripping tap driving you crazy, you can fix it yourself in a matter of minutes.

The first and most important step are to turn the water off. You don’t want to end up getting soaked when you take the tap apart.


Next, open up the tap. If you have a traditional style of tap, simply take the cap off the handle and you will find a screw. Unscrew it and remove the handle, this should reveal the tap valve. The most common cause of a leaking tap is a worn out washer. You should be able to see the washer at this point, simply remove it and put a new one in and your leak should stop.

Some more modern taps have a ceramic cartridge inside, this is a bit more tricky as the whole thing needs replacing and you will probably have to order a replacement from the manufacturer.

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