Thank goodness for handy people who operate home repair companies. Sometimes, you run across a home repair problem you just can't handle yourself. Hiring a contractor is the best way to go. But other times, choosing the DIY option is better. You get the chance to do things yourself and you avoid having to pay a home repair company. What's not to love about that?
One of the things that motivates us to continue selling Sugru mouldable glue is our undying support for all things DIY and home repair. Fixing things is our passion. Taking the initiative to keep old things in service, by making minor fixes whenever necessary, is what excites us. We hope you feel the same way.
We also hope you know that Sugru is an innovative DIY tool everyone should keep in the toolbox along with a hammer, screwdrivers, etc. As a mouldable glue, it is easy enough to form it into just about any shape. Not only that, but it also sticks to nearly every surface. Sugru dries and sets up as a tough, durable, and long-lasting rubber material.
That's enough about Sugru for now. Let's move on and talk more about the DIY alternative to paying a home repair company. You really can save a lot of money by learning to do things yourself.
Basic Tasks Anyone Can Learn
If you are approaching the DIY concept as the beginner who has never done such things before, don't immediately jump into big projects that require advanced knowledge and expensive tools. Start with basic tasks that anyone can learn. Go slowly. Learn as you go. Mastering basic tasks sets you up to learn more advanced skills later on.
Here are some pretty basic tasks you can start with:
1. Replacing a Toilet Flush Valve
Your toilet has a flush valve that controls how much water flows into the cistern after you flush. Modern flush valves are a combination of plastic, rubber, and metal. Though they last for quite some time, no flush valve will last forever. You know it’s time to change the valve when your toilet doesn't stop running. In such a case, the problem is that the valve isn't shutting itself off when the tank is full. It just keeps allowing more water in.
Replacing this valve may seem complicated, but it's not. You don't even need a full set of hand tools. Most flush valves can be replaced with nothing more than a plumber's spanner. How do you do it? You start by turning off the water supply below the toilet. You disconnect the water line from the bottom of the valve, where it protrudes through the toilet. Finally, you loosen the nut that holds the valve in place and pull the valve out. Reverse the process to install your new valve.
2. Replacing a Faulty Light Switch
Another basic DIY task anyone can master is replacing a faulty light switch. In most cases, all you need is a screwdriver and the replacement switch – which you can buy at any DIY store. A replacement light switch shouldn't cost more than a few pounds.
Go to your fuse box and turn off the power before you begin. Next, remove the screws that hold the protective plate in place. You should now see a couple of screws that hold the actual light switch in place. Remove them. Note the placement of each wire before you disconnect it from the old switch. Now, use the same placement to reconnect the wires to the new switch.
All that's left is to screw the new switch in place, reattach the protective plate, and turn the power back on. Chances are you'll have this DIY job done in just a couple of minutes. Best of all, you will not pay to have a home repair company do the job for you.
3. Fix Leaking Gutters
Let's look at one more basic DIY task involving Sugru mouldable glue. Because the glue is both waterproof and temperature resistant, it's an ideal material for fixing leaky gutters. Note that these types of fixes depend on the gutter still being firmly affixed to the house. Any leaks resulting from gutters pulling away from the house will not be fixed by Sugru alone.
Fully secure gutters can still leak when caulking dries out and wears away. These types of leaks show up at the joints where two pieces of gutter come together. Sometimes you see them where down spouts join horizontal gutter sections. Sugru takes care of the problem by filling in the gaps and curing into a waterproof rubber material.
To fix a leaking gutter, work some Sugru in your fingers to shape it like a sausage. Next, press it firmly into the targeted seam, making sure to fill in all the space. Then just let it set up and dry. If you are worried about aesthetics, you can use your finger with some warm water to smooth out the glue before it cures. No worries. You will have plenty of time to pretty things up.
Learning More Advanced Skills
Most of your basic DIY jobs do not require a load of knowledge or a lengthy list of tools. Some common sense and a few basic hand tools are more than enough. But for some of us, learning more advanced skills is where it's at. If you are one such person, you'll be happy to know that there are plenty of skills to learn.
You can learn to handle your own plumbing repairs – above and beyond fixing a toilet flush valve or unclogging your sink. For example, you could learn to run a brand-new water line to accommodate that dishwasher you plan to buy. Running a new line is a bit more complicated then changing a flush valve, but it's not so difficult that you can't learn it.
You can learn to do things like:
- painting and wall papering
- laying down laminate flooring
- replacing kitchen countertops
- replacing broken windows
- repairing broken appliances
- repairing electronic gadgets
We could continue adding to this list, but you hopefully get the point. You can learn to do a lot of things at home rather than always calling a home repair company. Do not misunderstand, home repair companies offer valuable services you sometimes can't do without. They do work that requires advanced knowledge, specialised tools, and licensing. Use a home repair company when necessary. But when it comes to jobs you can do by yourself, do them.
The Right Tools for the Job
We always say that DIY success rests partially in having the right tools for the job. The first tool you are going to need as a DIY newbie is the internet. It’s an indispensable tool for learning how to do basic DIY tasks. You can find information online that isn't available in any library.
Let's go back to replacing the toilet flush valve. Guess what you'll find on the internet? Thousands of videos showing exactly how to do it. And if you're not into videos, there are plenty of written and illustrated guides to choose from. Everything is there with step-by-step instructions.
As for physical tools, we recommend starting with a basic set of hand tools. A good set includes hammer, screwdrivers, a utility knife, standard spanners, hex spanners, and pliers. And don't forget the Sugru.
With each job you decide to take on, make the time to learn about proper technique before you begin. Study up so that you know which tools to use and how to use them. The more information you have going in, the better the results are going to be.
Save Money and Be Independent
The modern mindset is one of paying home repair companies whenever something needs to be fixed. We have nothing against such companies. Again, they provide valuable services. But learning to do things yourself has its own intrinsic value. First, you save money on home fixes and improvement projects simply because your own labour is free to you.
Above and beyond financial savings is the ability to be an independent homeowner. Being independent means not always relying on someone else. For many of us, the sense of accomplishment that comes with being an independent homeowner is invaluable. There is satisfaction in knowing that you did it yourself; that you were able to fix something without any help from anyone else.
DIY When You Can
A good way to look at DIY is to recognise it as an alternative to paying a home repair company. Do it when you can. Handle those basic tasks you already know how to do. If there is a task that you are confident you can learn, take care of it too.
Leave all those other jobs you can't do for lack of knowledge, tools, or licensing to a home repair company. Let them come in and do what they do best. Between your DIY efforts and the home repair company's work, you can keep your home in tip-top shape!