Buying a home is a huge milestone in one’s life, and it cultivates a sense of responsibility and accomplishment. But one of the chores associated with home ownership is repairing problems yourself instead of relying on a landlord.
Prepare yourself for most home repairs before they happen by filling up your tool shed and learning how to fix various things around the house. The following tips should help you get started.
Fill your toolbox
There are certain tools every homeowner should own, and there are tools for more advanced projects. You’ll want to start out with the basics first and work your way up to advanced tools after you gain more experience completing projects around the house. Here’s what you should have in your beginner’s toolkit:
· Hammer and nails
· Measuring tape
· Putty knife
· Screwdrivers (flat-head, Phillips, etc.)
· Adjustable wrench
You can perform a lot of basic repairs with these tools. More specialized tools — like drills, saws, sanders, multi-function tools and more — may be useful if you’re planning to build something, but you may otherwise be able to get by without them.
You probably shouldn’t jump right in and attempt electrical work or roofing repairs, but you can start by fixing small problems that are relatively hassle-free.
Fill holes in the walls
Most homeowners try to patch up nail holes before selling a house, but it’s possible for them to miss a few. But patching small holes is an easy fix — use your putty knife to spread a little spackling paste over the hole until it’s smooth. Try to repair any holes before you paint the walls, and don’t forget to prime before painting, so the color turns out evenly.
Hang pictures and decorations
While this isn’t necessarily a repair project, it is something you’ll want to do to make your house feel like home. You’ll need your hammer, nails and a stud finder so your pictures will hang securely, though you probably won’t need to find studs if you’re hanging smaller frames.
Move up to more difficult projects
Once you get the hang of using different tools on a regular basis, you’ll probably feel more comfortable tackling harder home repairs, like these.
Repair a cracked sidewalk
A cracked sidewalk not only looks unattractive, it can also pose a tripping hazard. A small crack can be fixed with some concrete crack filler and a putty knife. Larger cracks may require the use of a hammer, chisel, patching compound and concrete tools to widen the crack so the new compound sticks in place.
Replace kitchen cabinet hardware
If your kitchen cabinets are fairly old, the knobs are probably worn down, faulty or just plain ugly. You can replace them fairly easily with a cordless drill, a few basic tools you already own, the new hardware you want to install and — to make the job easier — a drawer template. Just unscrew the old knobs and drill holes using the drawer template, and attach the new hardware with the screws they came with.
No matter how unskilled you are with the most basic tool, you can improve! Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a friend, and do plenty of research before you start a project. With enough practice, you’ll be able to do anything from fixing a leak to installing flooring.