You don’t need to be a DIY expert when owning your own home, but having a few simple DIY skills can help keep costs down and save a bit of time. They’ll also stop problems from getting worse before a professional has chance to look. We’ve compiled a list of handy DIY tips that are cheap and easy to carry out yourself.
Find your stopcock
While this isn’t directly DIY, you’re going to need to know where this is for any water-related DIY works. The stopcock is a tap that controls your main water supply – you can turn it off and on here. They may not be in the most obvious places, so don’t wait until a pipe bursts to try and find it.
Bleed your radiators
If your radiator isn’t heating up properly, it may be a sign that it needs bleeding. This allows trapped air bubbles to release. Make sure to turn your central heating off so you don’t scold yourself and then find the bleed screw. Place a bowl directly underneath to catch any water and then place the key in the screw. Cover this with a cloth and turn the key anti-clockwise for half a turn. You should hear a hissing sound and when that finishes, you can tighten the screw again.
Fix your tap
A leaking tap can be an issue with the washer, which is relatively easy to fix. Turn off your water supply at the stopcock (which you found earlier) and run the tap to get rid of the remaining water. Make sure to put your plug in so if anything falls out it won’t go down the drain. Take off the tap handle and unscrew the valve underneath with a spanner. This will allow you to get to the old washer to take out and replace with a new one before putting it back in the same order as you took it out. Search some tutorials online if you’re unsure and if you still can’t fix the problem, call in a plumber.
Unblock your drain
Your first thought might be to buy a drain unblocker but you might not need one. A plunger may do the trick – just cover the plughole with it and pump up and down. This should remove the blockage, however if it won’t budge a solution of baking soda and white vinegar can help. You can help move things along with a wire.
Fix your creaky floors
Creaky floorboards can be very annoying but you don’t need to replace the floor to get rid of it. A bottle of talcum is something you’ve probably already got in your bathroom cupboard and can fix the problem instantly. Sprinkle it over your floor and spread it into all the nooks and crannies – it’s that simple! You may need to repeat this every so often but it’s a quick and cheap way to keep the problem at bay.
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