It’s safe to say that the housing market is showing signs of growth these days.
Even if Millennials are popularly referred to as the generation of renters, people are still very much interested in owning properties.
Moving into your own place is a huge accomplishment, but ownership comes with responsibility. You’re the one to make sure that the house is in good shape during your occupancy.
But don’t worry, you won’t need any training to take proper care of your home.
Here are 8 practical DIY skills every homeowner should have.
- Unclogging blocked drains
Clogged drains in sinks and showers are something every homeowner has to deal with eventually.
Depending on the drain and the type of clog, you’ll need to resort to anything from unscrewing your p-trap to chemical drain cleaners.
The latter will do the trick most of the time. But if you don’t want to use chemicals, just buy a drain snake and use it to mechanically unclog your drain when it’s blocked.
- Changing filters in HVAC systems
Your HVAC systems need proper filters to trap dust or pollen – they also prevent the furnace from spreading debris throughout your house.
Most systems require cleaning or replacing filters on a regular basis – be it monthly or quarterly. It’s a simple maintenance task that will keep your system running and reduce your energy bills.
- Cutting off the water supply
If something goes wrong with a home repair or one of your pipes bursts, you need to cut off your water supply immediately. To do that, you should know where it is and how to turn it off.
If you fail to address the problem, you’ll end up with heaps of water in places you’d rather keep dry.
Most individual fixtures are equipped with their own valves and they’re usually located near where they connect to the wall. But the main shut off valve might not be that easy to find. Depending on the house, you’ll find it inside or outside. It should be located where the water pipe enters the house.
- Dealing with electricity
If you plug in too many electronics at the same time, you might overload a circuit. That’s where your circuit breaker comes in and cuts off the electricity to prevent damage to your circuit system.
When that happens, your first step is to unplug all devices that aren’t essential. Then head over to your electrical panel and look for the switch that was tripped and is now in the off position. Flip it to on and your job is done.
- Hanging frames and pictures
Even if it seems easy, hanging things straight on your walls can be tricky. Fortunately, there’s an app for everything these days.
Download an app that will transform your smartphone to a level. That’s how you determine whether the picture is crooked.
It’s best to hang your picture on wood studs rather than drywall. To locate them, buy a stud finder or just tap your wall until you hear a deeper thud.
- Getting new locks
Once the movers leave your place, you’ll need to change your locks and get new sets of keys. It’s a sensible thing to do – you never know who else might have copies of the keys.
Knowing how deal with locks is a valuable skill. Do your research before you try anything – locks are tricky business and better be treated carefully.
- Fixing dings in walls
Not many people know that, but walls deteriorate over time. Furniture might cause dents, nails might pop and before you know it, you might end up with a banged up wall that looks nothing like before.
But you can easily repair the drywall on your own. Just get some putty and a spackling knife to work.
How to make sure that water doesn’t seep between walls and your tub or tiles? There’s only one answer: caulking.
To make sure that you squeeze the right amount of caulk from a tube, cut its tip at the end. That’s how you’ll get a perfectly sized bead to spread and smooth over the area.
- Cleaning the gutters
Ą recent survey revealed that 24% of homeowners never clean their gutters.
That’s a huge mistake. If you’ve got trees growing close to your house, you need to clean your gutters every year. Otherwise you might end up with clogged gutters that don’t drain properly and pose risk to your roof.
These 8 skills will make you an amazing homeowner who knows who to take proper care of their property and only adds to its value.
The following was a guest post by Elizabeth Lee. Elizabeth is a traveler, a passionate blogger and a writer supporting PACK & SEND, removalists and transportation experts.