Whether in your home or garden, unfortunately you will always have things that will inevitably break or need maintenance. Sometimes professional intervention will be required, especially if the task directly interferes with gas or electricity. That being said, there are a lot of things you can and should do yourself, otherwise you will always find yourself paying a fortune. As well as saving money, you'll feel like you've accomplished something satisfying: the feeling of a job well done.
1. How to drill
Being able to use a drill will allow you to handle many kinds of DIY and renovation jobs; from setting up shelves to hanging pictures to building your own furniture! To get comfortable with a drill, get some scrap metal or drywall to practice. Gently pull the trigger and feel the reaction of the drill. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for changing bits and experiment with drilling through each - drilling holes and inserting screws. Make sure the bit is tight in the chuck.
Before drilling into walls or ceilings, always locate pipes and wires first to avoid them.
2. How to use a spirit level
This is a skill that you will definitely need for many DIY jobs. When setting up shelving, hanging a photo, tile, or paving, you'll need to make sure what you're doing is flat and level. Place a spirit level along the line or surface you want to check. Allow the bubble in the bottle to settle. If the bubble is in the middle it is level, if it is sideways you will need to adjust the surface accordingly and check the level again. If you have a little more experience, you can also use a belt sander which will allow you to better adjust your surfaces.
3. How to caulk
Being able to caulk with a caulking gun is useful for many vital DIY jobs, such as caulking around a tub or sink for a tight seal, caulking around windows and doors to improve insulation and the energy efficiency of your home, and filling the unsightly gaps behind baseboards.
The first step is to load the caulk tube into the gun. Do this by holding the pistol grip and pulling the rod back. Place the caulk tube, slide the nozzle through the open end on the front of the gun, then release the rod.
The next step is to cut off the end of the caulking nozzle with a utility knife. Cut to the width you want the bead of caulk to be. If you want to apply a thin strip of caulk, cut towards the tip of the nozzle. On the other hand, if you want a thicker bead, cut off the widest part of the nozzle. Cut at an angle so that the tip is flush with the surface during application.
Hold the gun at an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the area to be caulked and squeeze the trigger while moving the gun along the area. When the trigger is fully squeezed, release and start again.
4. How to shut off the water supply
If you do not know how to shut off the water supply, you will not be able to perform a certain number of DIY work, such as repairing a faucet for example, as this is an essential first step in any DIY job. You also run the risk of allowing a failing pipe to flood your home, so this is an important DIY skill to learn.
Each house has an internal and external shut-off valve, these are taps that control the flow of water into the house from the main supply. In densely populated areas such as housing estates, the external shut-off valve can be shared with other properties and should not be turned off except in an emergency. If a hose bursts in your garden, you will need to turn off the external shut-off valve using a special wrench, a wrench that is available at your local hardware store.
In most cases, you should turn off the water supply to your home at the internal shut-off valve. You will usually find this valve in the plumbing under the kitchen sink or in a downstairs bathroom. Turn the faucet clockwise using an internal faucet wrench, available at hardware stores.