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Owning a home comes with a unique set of challenges, responsibilities, and rewards. There are so many things that come into play when you own a home — maintenance, repairs, utilities… the list goes on. As a homeowner, it’s essential to have the right skills and know-how to keep your home in good condition for as long as possible. Thankfully, several DIY skills will help you tackle those repair projects around the house and save you money in the long run. Even if you don’t think you’re exceptionally skilled at anything just yet, learning these basic DIY skills is easy and rewarding.
What circuit breaker to switch off
This is one of the basic homeowner skills everyone should know, even if they’re renting. A circuit breaker acts as a safety switch. If there’s a power overload, the circuit breaker will trip to stop electricity flowing in that part of the house. If you’re working on an electrical project and you see the circuit breaker trip, you’ve overused the electricity in that area to the point that it’s overloaded. If a circuit breaker trips, turning it back on is essential. The rest of your electrical system could be at risk if you don’t. Make sure you’re familiar with the different circuit breakers in your home and what area each one controls.
Basic electrical repairs
You’ll likely have to make several electrical repairs in your home:
- Repairing a broken light switch, which is easy. All you’ll need is a screwdriver and a plate.
- Turn off all electrics to that outlet, remove the switch plate, and unscrew the old switch. Unscrew the wires from the old switch and place them on the new switch.
- Screw the new switch into the wall, put the switch plate back on, and test the switch to ensure it works.
Other tasks can include changing a light switch, replacing light fittings, changing a lightbulb, and replacing fuses.
If you use your heating system a lot during the winter months, you’re probably familiar with the sound of radiators gurgling and sputtering as they release excess air. This is a perfectly normal part of a radiator’s function. The sound comes from a process known as bleeding. Bleeding the radiator means allowing more water to travel through the system, releasing the air from the radiator. During this process, warm water travels through the system and pushes the excess air out of the radiator. This process will likely take a little longer when the radiator is first installed. You can bleed the radiator in one of two ways: using a bucket with a hole in the bottom or a pump. Using a bucket is much easier and less messy, but it will take a bit longer. Using a pump is more hands-on and is quicker.
A clogged sink is one of the most common household issues. This can be caused by food debris rinsed down the sink, grease, or a buildup of soap scum. To prevent a clogged sink, make sure to keep it clean. Before buying a commercial drain clearing product, try the following methods:
- First, pour baking soda down the drain, followed by boiling water. This will help to break up the clog.
- You can also try pouring vinegar down the drain. Vinegar will help to break down grease and soap scum, as well as neutralize odors.
You may want to call a professional plumber if you notice drain issues often, as this goes beyond basic homeowner skills.
Painting and Decorating
Painting and decorating are two of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to update your home. Painting is a quick and easy DIY project, whether you want to paint an accent wall or refresh your entire space. Likewise, decorating your home doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking — it can be as simple as adding new curtains or switching out your throw pillows to freshen up your space.