Follow our advice about how to fix a leaky tap and you’ll soon by bitten by the DIY bug and by itching to take on bigger projects around the home.
Whether you live in a studio flat or a large house with multiple bedrooms, the majority of homeowners feel an irresistible urge to put their own stamp on their property.
This is all because your property is more than a home, it’s an expression of your personality. And the way you shape and craft its interior – or even outside space – is the clearest reflection of this.
When first-time buyers in particular view a property for sale in Hammersmith, for example, the chances are that even the most perfect choice has one or two things which you’re itching to alter or improve.
The question facing you then is one which many householders find themselves wrestling with – to DIY or not to DIY.
For many householders that will depend on how much they have spent on the property, and how much value they can add by making improvements.
To gain more idea of how much value can be added to a home in London – where prices jumped 9.6% in the year to October –click here to see a variety of properties in Battersea.
There are arguments to be had for avoiding DIY. It relies on skills you might not have, it takes time and effort and, if you don’t get it right, it can have fairly disastrous consequences.
That’s why so many people shun the lure of their own tool box and revert to GSI (get someone in). The appeal of bringing in a professional is obvious, but it does come with problems of its own.
In the first place, it’s much more expensive than getting your own hands dirty and there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to find a handyman capable of doing a good enough job. Just think back to episode six of The Apprentice – the one where both teams were faced with the task of setting up a handyman business.
Performing your own DIY will allow you to take a step back, admire your handiwork and feel the undeniable glow of pride that comes with putting your own imprint, forged through your own efforts, on the place where you live.
We’re not necessarily talking about fitting a kitchen or building an extension, either. There are a few DIY tasks which even the rankest of amateurs can perform by following a few simple instructions.
Fixing a leaky tap: The first thing to do when tackling dripping tap is to make sure you’ve turned off your water at the mains, using a stopcock which is usually located under the sink. If you don’t get this right you’ll end up flooding your own house. The next step is to remove the tap handle and body cover, which is usually attached via a visible screw. Having done this, you’ll be face to face with the headgear of the tap, held in place with a nut which you need to remove using an adjustable spanner. Underneath this you’ll find the culprit for most leaky taps – a damaged washer. Replace this washer with a new one, put the tap back together and you’ll have dealt with the leak.
Dealing with a creaking floorboard: This is a simple one. Lift the carpet covering the creak to clearly identify the creaking culprit. In many cases, the creaking sound is caused by friction between the board and the nails, and can be dealt with by sprinkling talcum powder around both. If this doesn’t work, it may be that the board has come loose from the joist supporting it, in which case you can reattach it by screwing 50-60mm screws immediately adjacent to the screws or nails already in place. By putting them right next the existing screws or nails, you’ll be avoiding the risk of screwing into a cable or pipe.
These are just two of the standard DIY tasks that 99% of homeowners should be able to tackle. Fixing a new toilet seat, replacing a broken bathroom tile and painting a window frame are all also easily within the reach of the determined amateur. And once you start mimicking Handy Andy around your home you’ll be well and truly bitten by the DIY bug.