Handyman (or Woman) Hints That’ll Make You a DIY Master
Handy home repair tips and tricks to help you around the house
Whether you’re looking to renovate, or just want to do some repairs around the house, our guide has got you covered.
Stay Organised & Save Time
If you’re going to be a handyman extraordinaire, you’re going to need to stay organised. Not convinced? Have you ever gone to start a new DIY project and couldn’t for the life of you remember where you last stored the electrical tape or the varnish or that one drill bit you need to get the job done? Have you ever promised your partner that you’d fix the so-and-so before they got home but couldn’t find that one tool or adhesive and spent the next 2 hours desperately searching before giving up and heading to Bunnings? Unless you’re a hyper organised neat freak, of course you have.
Organise your tool boxes and all your bits and bobs into containers or larger boxes related to each specific job. That way you’ll have a container for electrical work, plumbing, painting, etc. You might end up doubling some tools, but with the amount of time and stress that this trick will save you, believe me, you’ll never look back.
Removing a Stripped Screw
I’m going to assume that you’ve dealt with the insurmountable hassle of trying to remove a stripped screw that’s been drilled into something a little too enthusiastically. “Why, oh why was I so forceful with this poor little screw?”, you now ask with deep regret. Hey it’s ok, I’m here to help.
Find yourself a rubber band to place over the head of the screw and proceed to unscrew that little guy with a screwdriver. The rubber band adds that much needed traction and results in a very happy ending for both you and the screw.
Unstick a Stuck Lock
One time or another, everyone has had to deal with the bother of simply trying to unlock their front door after a hard day’s work or in the middle of a downpour, only to find the lock does not feel like cooperating and would prefer you stayed outside.
However if you’re unlucky enough to be stuck with a dodgy lock from day one and can’t be bothered calling a locksmith, listen up because we have the key to your stubborn lock problems.
Get yourself a good graphite lubricant and spray directly into the lock. Don’t have any? WD-40 should also do the trick. Just as long as you don’t use a powder graphite, you should be good to go. If however, this does not work, you might need to call that lock smith after all.
Fix a Wobbly Pipe or Loose Shower Head
Do you have a wobbly shower head or a loose pipe that you’d much prefer wasn’t? Perhaps you’ve just moved into a house that was subject to some poor DIY from the well intentioned owners that came before you. Well intentioned they may have been, but now you’re stuck with problematic fixtures. Ok, so eventually you’ll fix it up with meticulous workmanship but for now you need a quick fix.
Expanding foam! Depending on the size of the hole you need to fill, just squirt a small amount of expanding foam inside and your loosened shower head or wobbling pipe should lock into place perfectly. No more wobbles for you.
The Pressure is (not) on!
On the topic of showers, are you struggling to get enough water pressure in yours? If not, I’m assuming you may have just resigned yourself to the sad fact that you’re just one of those unlucky people who ended up in a house with little to no water pressure. If that’s the case, I have a secret for you… listen closely now, It’s not your water pressure. It’s your shower head! (most likely) EASY FIXED.
It’s time to upgrade to a new and improved shower head specifically designed to increase the water pressure. If you want to stay eco-friendly (which you should because we love the earth), then just make sure you find one that increases water pressure but not the amount of water used. Excited? I’ll bet. Now get out there find a shower head that will make your life worth living again.
Avoid Drips When Painting Ceilings or High Places
This one always sneaks up on you. No matter how careful you think you’re being, or how much plastic sheeting you use to cover the furniture, there’re always a good dollop or 3 of pesky run away paint that just loves to find its way onto all the things you don’t want it to. Here’s how to stop this happening for the remainder of your painting days.
Find yourself a plastic container lid large enough to cover a 10-15cm diameter. Cut out a narrow, rectangular, paintbrush sized hole in the middle of the lid. You might want to take a rough measurement so as not to make the slit too big. Slot your paintbrush into the hole (it should snuggly fit over the bristles and stop where they meet the metal casing), and voila! You’ve now got yourself a handy little paint catcher for all those drips just waiting to fall onto your face, clothes, and that beautifully white carpet installed just last week.
Does it seem as though your rugs have a mind of their own? One day they’re exactly where they should be, another day they’re on the other side of the room? Well firstly, you might want to call some paranormal investigators because it sounds like you might have a poltergeist and I can’t help you with that. If you’re totally ghost-free and it seems like your floor is just really slippery and your rugs are simply being nudged to and fro, day in and day out, then I may just have the solution for you.
Use velcro strips to keep your rugs from slipping. Easy peasy. Secure some velcro underneath the corners of your rug and stick them onto the floor and you’re done. Your life is now entirely free of rug-related issues… Unless there’s something you’re not telling me about.
Hole in the Ceiling?
This is a sneaky one. Did you have a party over the weekend and pop that champagne cork right through the ceiling? I thought as much. Well, if you’re having the boss over for dinner and don’t want them to think you’re some kind of delinquent who lives in a house full of holes, do I have a quick fix for you.
If you don’t have one lying around, go and buy a smoke alarm and stick it right over the problem area. This should perfectly cover up your hole-shaped shenanigans and is a great little trick because it keeps you from having to patch up and repaint your ceiling, which can be a pain when you’re short on time.
Silence a Squeaky Floor
Have you been trying to sneak to the kitchen for a midnight snack, only to get caught out by that squeaky floor in the hallway? Haven’t we all. Well if you want to go about your nocturnal activities unnoticed, there is a way.
If you’re dealing with floorboards, all you need to do is generously scatter the squeaky area with talcum powder, then lightly brush it into the cracks. Do this and you’ll never wake up your significant other again with your late night hunger pangs.
Removing Carpet Indentations
Sometimes we need a bit of a change. Maybe the Feng Shui feels a bit off or you just want to impress your new date by eliminating any resemblance of a bachelor/ette pad and revamping your home into what looks like a functional adult lives there.
You move the couch here, move the desk there, and suddenly there are indents all over the carpet. To ensure that your home is fully Zen or that you conceal all the evidence of your frantic interior redesign before your date arrives, follow these simple steps and not even you will be able to tell the difference.
Go to the freezer (yes, the freezer), take out the ice cubes, and line them up along the indentations on the carpet. Let them melt and soak into the fabric, then after a couple of hours come back and fluff up the indented areas with a fork. Your date will be none the wiser. How very, very cool…
Mike Heathcote is the founder of Building Masters Inspections and a veteran builder with decades of experience. Utilising his industry knowledge, Mike and his team of experienced Builders provide an Inspection Service offering expert opinion on the true condition of buildings, including estimated repair costs, helping home buyers find their perfect property, Melbourne wide.