While the idea of DIY may be as appealing as pulling your own teeth, the satisfaction you get from fixing that leaking tap is second to none and you can save yourself money in the long run.
1. Get the basic tools. There is no need to rush out and spend a fortune on top-of-the-range tools but every home should have a few essential pieces of hardware. A basic toolkit should include:
- claw hammer – medium sized will be a good one to start with and make sure it’s not too heavy to lift
- interchangeable screwdriver – no need to keep several screwdrivers – just one which you can change the head when need be
- pliers – useful for pulling out old nails
- allen keys – these often come with flat-packed furniture so make sure not to throw them away
- electric drill – ok, this is possibly the most expensive tool you will buy but it’s worth its weight in gold – try to get a cordless drill with a selection of drill bits
- spanner set, or at the very least an adjustable spanner
- a good plunger – blocked toilets are not pleasant but can usually be easily cleared.
2. Pop a few moth balls in your tool box to absorb any moisture and stop your tools from rusting.
3. When trying to unscrew a screw that just won’t budge, drip a little vinegar on the head of the screw. This will penetrate to the threads of the screw and it will be easier to remove.
4. Warm cork tiles gently in an oven before laying. This will make them more flexible and prevent them from cracking.
5. If plunging doesn’t unblock a toilet, try poking a straightened wire coat hanger around the bend before calling a plumber.
6. Rub the edge of a saw with soap to make it glide through the wood more easily.
7. When drilling a screw or hammering a nail into plaster, cover the area with a piece of plaster tape to prevent slipping or cracking of plaster.
8. When trying to unscrew a screw that is covered in paint, place a red hot poker on the head to melt the paint.
9. When filling cracks in cement or re-grouting small areas, use a small plastic bag with the corner cut out to direct the cement or grout where you want it to go.
10. If your sink is slow to drain water, boil a kettle and pour the boiling water down the plug hole. This should disperse any solid matter clinging to the drain pipe.
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