From changing a light bulb to replacing a car tire, there are so many things a wannabe handyman should know how to turn their hand to. We’ve put together a list of 10 essential tasks. See how many you’re a pro at and which ones you need to brush up on…
Carry out maintenance on your radiators
Crucially, radiators warm the home, so it’s important that a handyman knows what to do if something doesn’t seem to be working properly – especially in the freezing cold winter months. If only certain radiators in the house seem to be heating up, you could try balancing the rads – this helps to circulate the heat properly from the boiler. Noticing cold spots in individual rads? You’ll need to bleed the radiator, which means letting out air that’s trapped inside the system. And finally, knowing how to change a radiator valve will serve you well – whether it’s faulty or just needs updating. Visit this website for more information.
Change a lightbulb
It’s the butt of a thousand jokes, and it’s one thing that any budding handyman needs in his DIY repertoire. One of the simplest tasks of the house, you’ll want to switch off the electrics, wait for the old bulb to cool, and then unscrew and screw in the new bulb. You may need a step-ladder to hand, too.
Run the barbecue
Men have been sourcing and cooking meat for thousands of years, so it’s no wonder there’s an innate ownership that seems to come forward once summer rolls around and the barbecue comes out of the garage. Cooking the meat is actually the second act, though. Getting the thing lit comes first, and it’s no mean feat. If it’s a charcoal barbecue, you’ll need to be patient. Once you’ve lit the coals, it’ll take up to 30 minutes for them to turn white – the go-ahead sign for your burgers and sausages.
We all know the lawnmower is a man’s best friend, but what about other gardening chores? Weeding, revitalizing soil, and planting new plants and shrubs – it’s all sweaty work and there’s a knack to it all. You’ll also need to think about the different seasons and what jobs will be needed at which times of the year. Do your homework and you could be the next Alan Titchmarsh in no time!
Put furniture together
Whether it’s an IKEA table and chairs flatpack (these can be a lot trickier than they look), or you’re getting creative with wooden pallets (hello Lockdown garden sofa projects) any handyman needs to know what they’re doing when it comes to putting furniture together. If you don’t have an instruction booklet to follow – and let’s face it, sometimes they’re more of a hindrance than a help – look to YouTube tutorials or Pinterest for help.
Painting and decorating
Forget the professionals – you could save hundreds of pounds if you know how to decorate your home yourself. You’ll need to invest in some proper tools like paintbrushes, white spirits, and a steamer, but these will last you for quite some time if you look for quality products. You will need to read up on what you need to do beforehand, but it’s amazing how easy it is to strip a wall, for example, or paint a wall and skirting beautifully neatly with the help of masking tape.
Hang a painting on the wall
When it comes to hanging a painting, photograph, or wall mirror, it’s not as simple as banging a nail in with a hammer and chucking it up. You’ll need to use a tape measure or level and a pencil to ensure it’s straight once it’s hung.
Put a shelf up
Different shelf types may require a slightly different approach. The key thing is that you find the right fixing for the wall you’re putting the shelf upon. For example, for a shelf on a plasterboard wall, you’ll need to use the right plasterboard fixings. For brick, you’ll often need to use a drill to get through before you can secure any brackets in place. Check the instructions and make sure you’ve got the right tools beforehand. And, whatever you do, don’t drill above or below a power socket or light fitting as this is where the cables are likely to be.
Conduct seasonal car hygiene checks
This is really important in the colder seasons when car trouble is much more likely. Popping out for 10 minutes to do some must-do checks isn’t a big deal and could save you from some real hassle later on. Things like topping up your oil and water, checking your anti-freeze levels, and your tire pressure – all will put your mind at ease and flag any potential issues. This is also a good time to ensure insurance details are to hand somewhere sensible, like the glove box, and you’ve got water, a torch, extra clothing, and a shovel in the car in case you get stuck in the snow! It pays to be prepared.
Change a car tire
On that note, changing a car tire is another key skill for a handyman. You’ll need the following tools to do it, and it’s of paramount importance that you’re in a safe place and feeling calm before you attempt it. Grab your car handbook and you’ll need a kit containing these things…
- Spare tire – whatever type, the method for changing is the same
- Wrench – for removing the wheel nuts
- Jack – for lifting the car up into the air
- Wheel chock – this will stop the car from rolling when jacked up
- Wheel nut key – this is needed if locking nuts are fitted
So exactly what should a handyman have in his toolbox?
Before you get down and dirty with the DIY, you need to have the right kit. No matter the task you’re attempting, there are some must-haves that will see you through most things. Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of essentials for your toolbox…
- Allen key
- Screwdriver set
- Stanley knife
- Tape measure
- Safety goggles
- Protective clothing, such as gloves