When it comes to do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvements, there are some tasks that don’t require any special skills, but many that do.
These are often necessary to keep people safe and injury-free, as well as to prevent their houses from being damaged.
Before starting any DIY project, it’s important to check whether a permit from the council is necessary or not and to understand how the project may affect any home insurance. (1)
There are skills that can be learned through trial and error, and others whose training should be supervised by a professional, such as using power tools.
However, all skills can be learned and mastered eventually, as long as there’s a strong foundation in the basics.
Some skills that may be necessary for DIY home improvements are:
How to Use Power Tools?
One area of DIY home improvement in which you’ll definitely need special skills is using power tools. If used incorrectly, they can result in serious injury or damage.
In Australia, between 2006 and 2014, 7% of people hospitalized for injuries were there as a result of an accident with power tools.
A study looking into injuries caused by power tools found that out of 594 cases, 261 of them were in the hand and upper extremities.
If you need to use a power tool to complete your DIY project, it’s crucial for your safety and that of anyone around you to understand how to use it properly. (2) (3)
Some power tools you may need special skills to use are:
A 70 Amp Arc Welder
This is a tool that looks like a large stick and can join metal to metal using electricity. It’s useful for major construction, connecting sheets of metal and connecting metal pipes together.
To know more about arc welding, read this helpful article. It’s essential that you wear a welding helmet, welding gloves, safety goggles, and sleeves to ensure that you don’t injure yourself. (4)
These are electric drills that can create holes in a range of materials. They are one of the most useful and popular power tools and can be used in many ways, including for simple home improvements.
The type of drill can also be changed to suit the specific requirements for the project.
There are multiple kinds of an electric saw, and they can be used for a wide range of tasks. They’re great for cutting wood into different shapes and sizes.
If wood needs to be cut into a unique shape, then a jigsaw may do a stellar job; it’s an all-rounder, and all control is completely in the user’s power.
Before using electric saws for the first time, it’s important to learn how to do so properly and safely. Otherwise, there’s a chance that a serious injury could occur.
Some of the safety precautions that should be taken are wearing goggles or a face shield and keeping any electric cords out of the way. (5)
How To Hang Shelves Yourself?
Everyone needs to have shelves in their house for books, ornaments, or pictures. They also need to know how to hang them so that they’re level, and things placed on them won’t fall off.
It’s important to know how to do this without damaging the wall, and ensuring that they’re strong enough to hold whatever it is that’s intended for them.
Understanding weight distribution will help with knowing where to place the screws, and what size the shelves should be.
For example, if someone wants to hang shelves to showcase their classic book collection, they should consider how much the books weigh and how much space they’ll take up.
They can either buy a shelving kit to remove all doubt or build it from scratch. This may include measuring a plank of wood, painting it, and attaching it to the wall using screws and brackets; the special skill involved is in determining how best to go about measuring and dispersing weight.
How to Skillfully Patch and Paint A Hole in the Wall
Patching a hole is one of the most useful home improvement skills to have. Accidentally making a hole in a wall is easy to do, whether it’s from moving furniture or something falling over and hitting it.
Knowing how to patch a hole is useful, and knowing how to paint it so that it looks professional may have it looking even better than before.
Depending on the material that the wall is made from, the process of patching it will be different. It’s important to consider the size of the hole.
If it’s small, then using some putty or wall filler may do the trick. If it’s bigger, it may take some special skills to ensure that it’s done correctly.
The area around the hole might even need to be altered slightly, to make it look smoother and less noticeable.
To make the painting look like it’s been done by a professional, you’ll need the right equipment. This may include things like a paint roller, a paint stirrer, small paintbrushes, and a paint tray.
It’s essential to wash the walls properly and to apply a base coat to ensure that the color goes on smoothly. Painting in straight vertical lines will help to keep it even and streak-free. This way, even if there are any streaks, they’ll all be in the same direction.
How to Have A Thriving Garden
Having a lush and well-looked-after garden can add a great deal of value to a property, and make it more visually appealing.
This is often achieved by having healthy plants that are positioned in an inviting way. Different plants grow in different climates, so it’s important to understand what your plants need to be able to do well.
There’s also the decision of whether to have native or introduced plants. Native plants often won’t need as much attention and care as introduced ones.
Therefore, having introduced plants may require more gardening skills. When choosing plants, it’s important to consider elements such as the soil, the sun exposure, and how often it rains.
Selecting plants that suit the climate will likely mean less maintenance and more growth.
How to Skillfully Clean Windows
Having clean windows allows people to easily see through them, and makes a home feel instantly more put together. The skill is in knowing the right way to clean for a streak-free view.
The best day to clean windows is one on which the weather is a little overcast so that the sun won’t dry them too quickly.
Removing any dirt before adding water will make the process a lot easier, as well as using the correct spray to clean with and drying with a microfiber cloth; this will help to eliminate streaks and leave the windows looking flawless.
How to Perform Basic Plumbing?
Knowing how to fix easy plumbing jobs can save a lot of money because you won’t have to call in a professional.
Even knowing the basics can save you time, and lead to a more functional kitchen, bathroom, and laundry. Some of the most common plumbing issues are:
Slow Draining Sinks
This is often caused by a blockage and can be resolved using specific chemicals that may be bought from the supermarket. It’s important not to get any of these on your skin, and to follow the instructions on the label very carefully.
Low Water Pressure
This often occurs in older houses and can be caused by leaking pipes, or if it’s the shower, then by a buildup of sediment and mineral deposits. These can be fixed by either mending the leaking pipes or cleaning the shower head properly.
This is one of the most common issues, and one of the handiest things to be able to fix. Usually all that’s needed is for the washer to be replaced.
This is because—over time—they become stiff, worn, and dislodged. It’s as easy as turning off the water supply, disassembling the faucet, and replacing the washer.
This often happens when pipes join, because a gap has formed due to a seal being broken. There are some temporary fixes, such as using tape and fillers, but to fix the issue properly, more extensive work may be needed.
This could involve replacing all of the pipes, or just parts of them. Leaks are more likely to occur in the winter because the water can freeze and expand, which may lead to pipes bursting.
It’s often better to try to prevent leaks from occurring rather than calling the plumber. One way you can do this is by running some hot water semi-regularly to stop it from freezing.
Similar to a slow-draining sink, clogged drains are often caused by blockages. If this occurs in the bath or shower, it’s most likely from hair and soap buildup.
These can be fixed by removing as much of the hair and soap from the drain as possible and then using a chemical liquid bought from the supermarket to clear the rest.
Trying not to let any hair be washed away in the first place may prevent the clogging from occurring.
How to Clean Gutters
Having clean gutters is one way to prevent leaks and other water damage. It’s easy to do, as long as safety is taken into account.
A sturdy ladder is essential to avoid falling and injuring oneself and to be able to easily access the gutter. The actual cleaning of the gutter is fairly straightforward; once the debris has been removed, it’s a good idea to hose it down to remove anything stubborn.
When gutters are clean, it’s easier to check whether there’s any damage that may be causing other issues. These could include the metal sagging, or needing to be rejoined.
Gutters should be cleaned roughly every six months. When clogged, they can lead to damage, and if the house is somewhere prone to wildfires, they can increase the chances of your home catching fire. (6)
How to Perform Basic Electrical Improvements?
Gaining the skills to perform simple and useful electrical repairs and upgrades may save money and give a sense of achievement.
For any major electrical work, it’s best to call in a professional electrician. However, for smaller things that can easily be fixed or upgraded, it makes more sense to learn how to do it yourself.
Working with electricity is dangerous, and it’s important to remember to always wear the appropriate safety equipment—such as gloves.
It’s essential to know how the fuse box works, and where it’s located. Sometimes the power goes out because a fuse has blown, and understanding how to turn it back on can save everyone much frustration.
Some do-it-yourself improvements that may contain electricity include installing lights and surround-sound systems.
For example, installing a light dimmer switch isn’t an overly complicated improvement to make to a home, but it does require the person to understand how light switches work.
It’s also crucial that they understand how to install them properly, to avoid any issues. Being able to dim the lights can be useful for children who don’t want to sleep in the dark, or when a certain light is too bright.
Switching a regular light switch out for one that can dim isn’t too difficult, as long as the person doing it follows the instructions.
The installation may take the whole day, and it’s important to use the right tools to ensure that every step is completed to satisfaction. Remember to check for hot wires, and that all of the wires are connected correctly.
Special skills are needed for some DIY projects around the home. This is often because the tasks may result in serious injury to the person or damage to the house.
To avoid these, it’s best to have training in the essential skills, such as using power tools or performing basic plumbing.
There are other tasks that may not be as high-risk if done incorrectly, but can still cause frustration and waste time. Remember that it’s important to always use the correct safety equipment, to ensure that no one is injured.