Whenever something in the house needs fixing, fitting, or replacing, there is always a temptation to call in a professional, but many of these jobs are easy and quick to do, and you can save a lot of money by just doing them yourself. Here are five common tasks for the home that you can have a go at yourself.
1. Laying Wooden Flooring
It might be hard to make it look up to professional standards, but quality can be achieved by not cutting corners. It is a good idea to avoid trying to save on the materials as well as the installation costs; go with a decent quality laminate.
Make sure you have the following tools before you start the job: a good handsaw and a jigsaw for cutting and trimming materials, a hacksaw and spade drill bit for cutting out space for radiator pipes, a flat saw for cutting around door frames, and a laminate kit.
Be sure to prepare the subfloor well before starting to lay the flooring, and read any instructions that come with it.
Read this guide on Wickes for detailed instructions on how to put wooden flooring.
2. Bleeding the Radiators
If your radiator is feeling cold at the top and warm at the bottom when the heating is on you, probably need to bleed it. It will allow air that has become trapped in the radiator to escape and should improve its efficiency.
First of all, make sure that your central heating is turned off. Next, take a bleeding key (you can get one from most DIY shops if you don’t have one) and find the bleed valve on the radiator, which is usually at the top on the left-hand side. Turn the bleed key anti-clockwise until you hear the air escaping. When water starts to come out, turn the key clockwise to close the valve.
3. Replacing a Door Lock
People often turn to a locksmith when locks need replacing, and while it is one of the most complicated jobs on the list, there is no reason you can’t do it yourself. First, you need to identify which type of lock you have and make sure you buy the correct replacement. There is a handy guide to this on uPVC Door Locks. You will need either a flat head or Philips screwdriver to unscrew the lock and, if it is a wooden door, possibly a chisel and sandpaper to smooth down the wood.
Exactly how to replace the lock will depend on what type of lock it is the three primary types being a Night latch, a Mortice lock, and a Euro Lock cylinder. This guide from Homebase gives instructions on how to fit each type of lock.
4. Fitting Loft Insulation
You can make some big savings on energy costs in the home by installing insulation of your attic. Not only can you save some money, you will also save on your fuel costs in the long term by trapping in more of the heat produced in your home. It is a lengthy one, so it’s probably best to carefully follow this guide on Think Insulation.
If your loft is not entirely boarded, take care not to step in between the joists, only on the joists themselves and you can use pieces of wood to kneel on. You will need; safety goggles, a good quality pair of scissors to cut the insulation, a breathing mask, measuring tape, and it is a good idea to wear protective clothing such as gloves and overalls.
5. Unblocking Sinks
It may seem like one of those jobs where you need to call a plumber, but there are a couple of things you can try first that often clear the problem up. If you have tried the go-to fixes, such as using a plunger and putting cleaning products down the plughole, and have been unsuccessful, it is time to try unscrewing the u-bend to remove any blockages.
First put a bucket underneath the u-bend to catch any water, then unscrew the threads at the top and bottom of the U-bend threads and slowly and gently pull it free. You can now clean the u-bend using hot water, a brush, and a wire coat hanger to dislodge any blockages. Once the debris is out of the way, screw the u-bend back into place and run some water down the plug hole to see if the water drains away accurately. See an excellent guide to this on Plumbing Supply
Do some research, save some money, and get to work. Good luck with your home improvement endeavors.
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