Some house repairs should be better left to professionals, including plumbing repairs, electrical works, septic tank issues, and roofing repairs. However, you don’t have to hire a professional to fix everything in your house, including the small repairs.
If you hire professionals to do even the simplest handyman stuff, you’ll end up spending the cash you would have saved for other things. So, you need to learn some handyman skills to help you with the less complicated repairs. Keep reading to learn the skills.
Handyman Skills you Need to Learn
You’ll be lucky to live in a home that requires little to no repairs, like the Innisfil new homes. However, you still need to learn a few handyman skills to solve issues that might arise. Here are the handyman skills every homeowner must learn.
1. Fixing a Leaky Faucet
Ideally, you shouldn’t call a pro to fix a leaking faucet if you have a toolbox around. As a common problem in many households, you should learn how to fix it. Or else, you’ll end up wasting around 3,000 gallons of water yearly. So, how can you fix a leaky faucet?
- Start by turning off the feed water supply to the leaky faucet using the shutoff valve usually located under the sink
- Remove the faucet’s knob handle using a flat-head screwdriver. If the screw is too tight, lubricate it using a penetrating oil
- Identify and remove the packing nut using a wrench or pliers. You’ll spot the valve stem, which you should also remove to check for damages
- Remove the washer and O-ring to also check for damages. If any of these parts are damaged, replace them with new ones, and return the components in the same order you removed them.
Turn on the shutoff valve to restore the water supply. If the faucet is still leaky, you can now call a plumber to inspect it. The problem might be more than what you repaired.
2. Applying Caulk on the Sink, Tub, or Shower
Caulk is the rubbery stuff found between the wall and your tub, sink, or shower. You’ll also find it between the floor and the toilet’s outer rim. So, if you notice some leakage around the shower, bathtub, or the sink, it might be time to replace the caulk. The caulking usually loses its effectiveness after a few years. To apply new caulking, you must remove the residue left, which is generally the hardest task. Scrape off the old calk using a plastic putty knife and clean the surface using alcohol. Apply a masking tape below and above the spot you plan to apply caulk. Load a caulk tube in a caulking gun and apply the caulk along the cleaned seam. You’ll get a clean and even line. Let the caulking dry for at least one day before exposing it to water.
3. Unclogging a Drain
An unclogged drain is one of the simplest problems to fix in a house. If your sink’s drain pipe blocks water from flowing, you first need to assess the extent of clogging. But how can you achieve that? Start by mixing hot water, vinegar, and baking soda. Once you’ve prepared the mixture, glug it into the drain to remove soft blockages such as grease. If that doesn’t work, you need to try a sink plunger. Fill the sink with water and move the plunger in the drain forth and back to break up and loosen the clog.
If the drain is still clogged, check the drain trap – the curved pipe connecting the sink to the vertical line. Position a bucket under the sink and gently unscrew the trap using a pipe wrench or your hands. Drain all the water and remove clogs from the drain pipe. Once you’ve cleared the clogs in your drain, screw the trap back to its original position and run some water through the drain to test if it’s unclogged.
4. Fixing a Loose Tile
Nothing is more disgusting than walking on a loosely-tiled floor. Besides, the tiles can break and even cost you more to buy new ones. If your tiles keep wobbling as you walk, you need to solve the problem before it exacerbates. So, how can you fix it? Warm the loose tile with a preheated iron to loosen the adhesive that might still hold the tile. Lift the loose tile using a putty knife and set it aside. Clean the area underneath using alcohol and, with the putty knife, scrape off all the adhesive. Apply a new layer of adhesive on the cleaned surface and carefully return the tile in position. Press it using a rolling pin to remove any bubble trapped underneath. Wipe off the excess adhesive around the tile and weigh it down with a flat-base heavy object.
5. Changing a Light Switch
If your light switch fails to work, you don’t need to call an electrician to fix it. You can quickly replace the switch provided you have a screwdriver and a new switch. Start by turning off the power supply at the circuit breaker. Test if the power is completely off. Using a screwdriver, remove the switch’s plate cover and unscrew its mounting screws from the switch box. Pull out the switch while still attached to the wires. You’ll find two or three wires with the following colors.
- Incoming hot wire: Black
- Return wire: Any color except green
- Grounding wire: Green
Unscrew the wires from the damaged switch and strip off the insulation near the ends. Connect the cables to a new switch, ensuring they are at the right terminals. Tighten the terminals and screw back the switch on its box. Finally, return the plate cover.
Now that you know some of the essential handyman skills, you don’t need to hire a pro to do the tasks. Save your money! However, you should learn other handyman skills, such as painting, changing a furnace filter, and changing a doorknob. You can also learn how to replace the toilet seats, change a showerhead, and clean the gutters.