Unless you or your partner is a do-it-yourself enthusiast, dealing with all the things that can go wrong around the house can be a real chore. Most people can change a lightbulb, but for anything much more complicated than that, a friend who is skilled in practical tasks is required, or failing that, you have to call in a professional. Most of the time, you don’t know how to do these jobs because you’ve never been shown, not because you lack the ability. Getting to grips with how to manage some of the more common problems that can arise will give you a tremendous sense of satisfaction, as well as saving you money.
Finding out how to undertake simple fixes
YouTube is a godsend for practical advice, and there are very few tasks that haven’t been described and demonstrated on film. You need to make sure that the video has been posted by someone who knows what they’re talking about, so find out who they are and what their level of authority on the subject is. You’ll find lots of professional tradespeople post instructional videos, and these are obviously the most reliable source of information. You can also get some excellent DIY instruction books that show you step by step how to undertake most tasks that are suitable for homeowners. Make sure any printed publication is up to date, so that it reflects the best practises and current legislation that is relevant to the topic. Online instructions produced by experts can also be very helpful, for example you could find the answer to the question what is a water hammer arrestor? As well as all the information you want and need on how to fit one.
Tackling your first tasks
Don’t take on anything too ambitious for your first few jobs. You need to build up your confidence and get used to using the tools before trying anything more complicated. You can practise using your tools on test pieces before attempting the fix itself. For example, get a thick block of wood to try out your screwdrivers and hammers. Power tools take a great deal of the effort out of many jobs, but they can have a bit of a kick, so you need to become accustomed to the feel of them. You also need to make sure you wear the appropriate safety gear like googles, ear defenders and heavy-duty gloves, depending on the tool you’re using. When you buy tools, don’t go for the cheapest, as they will make the job more difficult than it needs to be, and are unlikely to last as well as better quality products. Make sure you have everything you need for a job to hand before you begin, which means checking for any extra products like cleaners, adhesives or other items you may not have in the house. Follow your instructions to the letter and don’t skip any steps to save time, or because you don’t think it looks important.
If you prepare properly, get the hang of using the tools, and approach the task in a calm and methodical manner, you’ll soon discover that you’re more than capable of dealing with DIY fixes around the home.
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