We’re not all handymen. While some of us have spent plenty of time with our hands down the drain, lugging the lid off the toilet or beneath the hood of an old car, the rest of us need some help from time to time. The thing is, home repairs are generally pretty simple once you get some experience under your belt. Here are five tips to get you started on handyman home repairs.
Some of the easiest home repairs are simple tricks that can solve a problem in a matter of seconds. For instance, if your toilet won’t stop running, pull off the tank lid and poke around inside. If your sliding door keeps coming off its hinges, get in close and check the runners. Taking the first small step into home repair will convince you it isn’t all smoke and mirrors. Leave the more complicated issues to the mechanics and handymen, but experiment with some of the simpler issues around your house.
While the handyman lifestyle is usually portrayed as a rugged savant knowing exactly what is wrong, or being able to figure it out by hitting it with a large wrench, the internet has made these skills much more accessible. Specialists and amateurs alike run channels for home repair and projects that offer clear and simple instructions for us laymen. Many of them provide in-depth explanations of how specific machinery works, which will help you fix it by yourself the next time around.
Of course, there’s a tremendous amount of old-school literature on making repairs, as it has been a matter of importance for hundreds of years. From homes to machines to cars, these books will get you out of your chosen jam with detailed blueprints and explanations.
Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
After you’ve cleared the basics, jumping into substantial repairs and projects can save you a ton of money. Of course, dangerous and costly mistakes are things you should avoid at all costs. For some repairs, doing the parts you know can help lower the price and teach you how to complete the full restoration in the future. Don’t repair the entire garage door, but learn how to measure the springs so you know how to order them. Then get a pro to do the tricky stuff.
Observe the Repairmen
Don’t feel like you’re lurking when you watch the people repair your house. Instead, consider it field research and ask plenty of questions, assuming you’re not getting in the way or being overly irritating. Most repairmen enjoy what they do and love the chance to explain the concepts behind their work. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn by just asking what’s happening with your pipes or electrical connections.
Take Pride in Your Stuff
Many of us don’t properly value the small conveniences that make our lives comfortable. Without many of the machines and mechanisms surrounding us, we would still be spending most of our time trying to survive the winter or find food. By recognizing the importance of these modern conveniences, you suddenly become much more invested in their maintenance and continued operation. Keeping this perspective and imagining a world without refrigerators or doors can be exactly the motivation you need to learn how your stuff works, why it’s stopped working and what you can do to fix it.
With these tips and tricks, you can start shifting toward a greater handyman role in and around the house. Keeping perspective and not fearing the unknown can take you a long way.
Photo provided by the author.