12 Things Every Homeowner Should Know How to Do Every homeowner has been in that situation. You know, the one where you wish you knew how to fix a leaky pipe or repair a piece of drywall. When you know how to do some basic home maintenance projects and how to keep your home in top condition, you can actually save lots of frustration and money. Handy homeowners can quickly fix a problem, or enhance their home, over the weekend and without having to hire a professional. But, where do you start? If you don’t consider yourself a do-it-yourself guru, this list can help. Every homeowner should know how to tackle these projects.
Shut Off the Water Supply One of the most important things you can know is how to shut off the water supply in your home. Know where the shut off valve is, label it and know how to use it. This is especially important during an emergency, when you need to stop water from flooding into your home. However, you’ll also need to know how to shut off the water supply when you make repairs or perform maintenance on your plumbing system.
Change a Furnace Filter It’s recommended that you change your furnace filter every few months, but even more often than that if you have pets. Furnace filters trap dirt, dust, pollen and debris before it can enter your home through the vents, so replacing them often is important. Replacing your filter is a matter of knowing where it is and how to remove the old filter and insert a new one. Doing this regularly can also make your furnace more efficient, which can save you money on your utility bills.
Repair Drywall Knowing how to repair drywall will come in handy if your home sustains water damage or you dent your walls when moving furniture or doing another project. To repair a small hole or dent, you can use patching materials. Replacing large sections of drywall entails removing the damaged portion, replacing it, using drywall tape and then finishing the section to match the rest of the wall.
Fix a Leaking Pipe or Faucet In many cases, you can repair small leaks yourself without having to hire a plumber. If the leak is small, you can use a plumbing patch and repair kit to fix the section. You can also use epoxy or plumbing tape to fix minor leaks. A leaky faucet may just need a new washer, which you can install yourself. You’ll need to carefully remove the faucet, replace the damaged washer and then reinstall the faucet.
Maintain a Healthy Garden Home care doesn’t stop inside. Knowing how to maintain a healthy garden will make your home look beautiful and welcoming. Learn how to operate things like your lawn mower, chippers, chainsaws, hedge trimmers, pruners, tillers and aerators so you can keep your lawn and garden looking lush. Also learn what kinds of plants thrive in you area and what kind of care they need. Then, learn how to properly water, prune and care for the plants in your garden.
Clean the Rain Gutters Clogged rain gutters don’t allow for proper drainage and can actually damage your roof or siding. Cleaning them out is a matter of knowing how to safely access them and then remove the leaves, twigs and other debris that finds its way inside the rain gutters.
Do a Professional Paint Job You may not think there is much to learning how to paint, but there are actually some secrets to achieving a pro paint job. First, make any repairs to the walls, ridding them of dents, scratches or other imperfections and then apply primer. Then, don’t put too much or too little paint on your roller, and apply it smoothly to your wall in long strokes that form a “W” shape. Keep going with this process until the entire wall is covered in paint. This technique helps you avoid uneven finishes and visible brush strokes. Also learn how to use painter’s tape to block off crown moulding, baseboards, light fixtures and other sections of the wall so you will have a clean, crisp edge where the paint stops.
Maintain the Water Softener and Flush the Water Heater If you have a water softener, you will need to add salt to it on a regular basis so it will work the way it should. You can have your softener serviced, but it is something you can actually do yourself. Some water heaters need to be flushed on a regular basis. Read the manual that came with your unit and learn how to flush it to keep it clean and working well.
Use the Circuit Breaker or Fuse Box If you overload your power system or blow a fuse, you’ll need to know how to use your circuit breaker or fuse box. If you have a circuit breaker, know where it is and keep a flashlight handy. When you lose power to an area of your home, find the circuit that is flipped and switch it back into place. Blown fuses can be easily identified because they will be dark and discoloured. Learn how to remove the blown fuse and replace it with a new one.
Unclog a Toilet Chances are you will have to clear a clogged toilet at some point. Keep a plunger handy and learn how to use it the right way. Other simple toilet maintenance projects you should know how to do include fixing a leaking toilet, tightening a seat and repairing a running toilet.
Clean the Dryer Vent Your dryer vent, which leads to the outside of your home, needs to be cleaned periodically. Learn how to unscrew the vent tubing, remove it and then clean it out. There will probably be dust and lint in the tubing, around the vent in the dryer and around the vent in the wall, so clean all of these spaces well.
Relight a Pilot Light Knowing how to relight a pilot light can save you a lot of trouble when your furnace stops working just because the light went out. Keep a long lighter handy, read the furnace’s manual and learn how to safely relight the pilot light. These 12 projects aren’t hard to do, but they do require some knowledge and understanding of how your home and its systems work. When you learn how to perform these tasks, you’ll be able to keep your home in top condition and can avoid the hassle of having to hire a professional for minor issues. To browse HSS Hire's extensive collection of tools please visit our website: www.hss.com