6 Around-the-House Skills and Tools Every Homeowner Needs to Have

Recent major changes in the world has meant more and more poeple are relying on DIY hacks to get things done. So whether it's changing a light bulb or switching a car tyre, there are certain house tasks we’d deem as essential. Here's our list...

Maintaining the radiators

Radiators warm up the home, so it goes without saying it’s important to know what to do if something doesn’t seem to be working correctly. Especially in the winter months. Check out EDF’s radiator troubleshooting guide for step-by-step instructions on things like diagnosing an issue, bleeding a radiator and changing a dodgy valve.

Putting furniture together

From IKEA flatpacks (not always as simple as they look) to wooden pallet transformations a la Lockdown 1.0, it’s helpful to bear some things in mind when it comes to furniture building. You should have a basic set of tools, first off (more on this below), and always, always read the instructions from start to finish before getting started. If things are as clear as mud inside, know where to turn – YouTube video tutorials will serve you well for most things, as will Pinterest.

Putting shelves up

Did you know that different types of shelf walls need to be approached differently? If not, you do now. It’s all about finding the right fixing. If it’s a plasterboard wall, for instance, look for the correct plasterboard fixings. Brick walls will often require drilling so you can add and secure brackets. Be very careful not to drill above or below a power socket or light fitting, though, or you risk hitting cables.

Changing a lightbulb

The subject of too many jokes to mention, the humble lightbulb change is one of the simplest house chores there is. Just switch off the electrics, wait for the original bulb to cool down, unscrew it and screw in the new bulb. Voila! You may need a stepladder.

Winter car checks

Car breakdowns are much more likely in the winter, and a quick check before the temperature dips could save you some real hassle later down the line. Check your tyre pressure and anti-freeze levels, plus top up oil and water. It’s a good time to stick some essential items in the car in case of roadside trouble, too, such as a torch, extra jacket, scarf and gloves.

Changing a car tyre

While we’re on the subject of breakdowns, let’s talk car tyres. Disclaimer – you should only change a car tyre if you’re feeling calm and you’re somewhere safe to do so. You’ll need your car handbook so always keep this somewhere handy Here’s what else you’ll need…

  • Spare tire – whatever type, the method for changing is the same
  • Jack – for lifting the car into the air
  • Wheel chock – to stop the car from rolling when it’s jacked up
  • Wrench – for removing the wheel nuts
  • Wheel nut key – you’ll need this if you have locking nuts fitted

 

Things to keep in a DIY toolbox

We’ve talked theory, now let’s talk kit. Here are the key items you’ll need for basic DIY…

  • Allen key
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Nails
  • Protective clothing, like gloves and safety goggles
  • Sander
  • Saw
  • Screwdriver set
  • Stanley knife
  • Tape measure

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