Most of us want to feel ‘handy’ and useful around the house. Unfortunately, for some, this always means making things worse than they already are after we have done the job.
Be that as it may, if you want to reduce house maintenance costs, it’s good to do some DIY. Here are common home repair and maintenance jobs that don’t require any sort of ‘workmanship skills’ or lessons in carpentry to undertake. We are talking about the regular problems such as changing a blown light bulb and retro-fitting the kid’s room with a few shelves for the books they never read.
As you can see, it doesn’t always have to be repair jobs. You might have a wife like mine who wants to make changes to the house on each and every whim. If you are not useful or know your way around a toolbox, you may end up spending more on improvements and upgrades than you did on buying the whole house.
For your own financial security, you had better learn a few tricks when it comes to making common repairs around the house. Here are the three most basic repairs that you will most likely encounter at some point in your stay.
Fixing or replacing that broken toilet lever
If you have kids, especially teenagers, there is a good chance that you are going to be making a lot of changes around the bathroom area. One of the most common problems here is when the toilet lever breaks. When pulling it doesn’t result in the automatic flush action, it could be a problem as simple as a detached chain. In which case, all you need to do is open up the tank and re-attach the chain.
Sometimes, however, it could be that the handle is corroded or that any one of the pieces that form the working mechanism (handle, metal rod, chain and nut) are broken. You can take a quick look at the situation inside the tank and decide the best course of action. These pieces are easily replaceable and re-attachable.
Unclog the toilet drain or clear a jammed up garbage disposal
In my house, these two issues are almost an everyday affair. For the clogged toilet, you have two options:
– Use the right plunger and give it about 10 good downward thrusts to clear up whatever mess is clogging it up. Make sure that the plunger is fully submerged in water when doing this to get that proper suction action.
– Use a toilet auger if the plunger doesn’t work. Simply run the auger into the toilet until it reaches the clog and then twist and turn until it is cleared.
The garbage disposal, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated than this, but it is not that difficult to handle. You will first need to make sure that you have cut the power leading to the disposal machine. Once that is done (double check to make sure that it is done), take an Allen wrench and reach for the flywheel through the centre hole at the bottom of the unit.
You will not actually see the flywheel by simply turning it using you wrench will release any food particles clogging it up. Then use a wooden dowel to reach for any foods further up. And that is it.
Replace your broken light switch
Most of us do not like tampering with anything that has anything to do with electricity. And with good reason, electric shocks are no laughing matter. But, when done carefully, and with just a little knowledge in how live, neutral and earthing wires work, we can sort these things out. It is true that most electrical repairs in the home should only be done by a professional, but a broken light switch is one of the simplest issues to replace.
Start by making sure that you have turned off the electricity in the house by switching off the main circuit breaker. Use your respective screwdrivers to remove the faceplate (most require flathead screwdrivers). Once that is done, use a Philips head to take the switch off the wall slowly. You will see two wires attached to a couple of screws therein. Use a tester to make sure the wires are not live, remember which one goes to which screw, unscrew the screws and then re-attach the wires to the respective screws on the new switch.
Other common repairs include unclogging the kitchen sink, repairing holes in your drywall and fixing leaky pipes. As mentioned, earlier these are common repair jobs that you can easily undertake at home. But if you feel that something is a little beyond your capabilities, especially when it has to do with electricity, always call a professional.