I was lucky growing up. My dad always knew how to fix everything. He changed the oil in our cars. He fixed leaky pipes. My dad was so handy that my parents purchased a two-story home with the upstairs unfinished and he finished building it himself.
He also built a detached two-car garage, the deck on the back of our house, and eventually a covered screened porch on top of that deck.
Of course, I was his helper in many of these projects, but somehow it just seemed like he always knew how to get stuff done around the house. Unfortunately, most of those skills were not passed down to me.
However, I have learned in my approximately seven years of being a homeowner that being handy around the house is often more about interest, need and frugality than it is about skill.
Handymen (and women) and contractors are great, don’t get me wrong. But all too often we are quick to hire someone to do a job we can do ourselves. So with that, here are seven tips on how to be handy around the house.
1. Learn to fix a leaky faucet.One of the first home improvement projects I ever completed after my wife and I moved in together was replacing the kitchen faucet. Up to that point, the handiest things I’d done around the house were hanging a few pictures, sanding and staining an old desk, and pitching in on clean up duty. But I found aYouTube video, crawled under the sink on my back, and the rest as they say is history. That’s when I knew I could be a handyman around the house.
2. Caulk your showers and tubs.Something as simple as caulking the seams in your tub and shower can prevent leaks in other parts of your house. I learned this in our second home when a water stain showed up on the ceiling beneath our tub. Once I fixed the leaky situation, I hired someone to repair the drywall in my kitchen ceiling.
3. Change your air filters.Depending on your heating and air system, you may have a single high efficiency whole house filter to change in the attic once every six months, or you may have the 1-inch thick filters you change every two or three months. Know your system and perform the proper maintenance.
4. Take care of your lawn.Unless you have health issues or have a massive yard, you can mow your own lawn. That also requires taking care of your equipment. You can always take your lawn mower to the local hardware store for annual service, but in 15 minutes you can change the oil, change the spark plug and install sharp new blades on your own. Don’t know how?YouTube it.
5. Clean your dryer vent annually.Disconnect the dryer hose and clean from the hose to the dryer, as well as the dryer duct from the laundry room to the vent outside of your house. A clogged dryer vent is a fire hazard.
6. Clean your BBQ grill to avoid a fire.Speaking of fires, as I’m writing this article, my wife and I are FaceTiming with her handy Uncle Rob in Long Island. A volunteer fireman, he nearly burned his own house down recently when his grill shot 15 foot flames of black smoke into the air. If you are a frequent griller, clean it regularly before the grease builds up.
7. Clean the gutters.If you don’t mind getting up on a ladder, cleaning your own gutters will save you anywhere from $150-$200. Clogged gutters can actually cause roof leaks which are much more expensive than paying someone to clean them.
Bonus Tip:Use common sense and know your limits. There is something admirable about being self-reliant, especially when it comes to taking care of your home, but know your limits. Sometimes the best way to be handy around the house is to swallow your pride and call a professional who knows what he or she is doing.
Author:Mark Hendel - Broker In Charge Phone: 704-909-8688 Dated: September 24th 2018 Views: 103 About Mark: Mark Hendel
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