In this day and age, you can hire someone for just about any odd jobs you have lying around the house. However, it might not be the best approach to tackle everything in your life. Not only does it become costly to throw money at every situation, but you also deny yourself the opportunity to develop various skills.
Just because you can hire someone for a job does not mean you always should. There are some tasks that you can handle yourself if you have the time, patience, and the willingness to learn. It would save you a boatload of money and also help you develop several character-building skills.
That being said, here are a few handyman skills that everyone should know to help out around the household.
In this post we'll cover:
- Handyman Skills That Everyone Should Know
- Operating the Main Water Supply
- Unclogging the Drain
- Cleaning Washers and Dryers
- Cleaning the Garbage Disposal
- Fixing Drawers
- Replacing the Light Fixtures
- Painting Rooms, Doors, and Houses
- Replacing the Toilet Seat
- Cleaning the Filters in an Air Conditioner
- Replacing a Doorknob
- Installing Screws on the Wall
- Replacing the Showerhead
- Replacing the Furnace Filters
- Final Thoughts
Handyman Skills That Everyone Should Know
When we are talking about general skills, you do not need to be worried about having to spend years trying to gather knowledge on electronics or plumbing maintenance. The tasks that we are talking about take little to none pre-earned expertise and can be mastered as you work on it.
These skills take little time to learn but take some practice to master. So, without further ado, let us dive into the handyman skills that everyone should know.
Operating the Main Water Supply
As someone living in a stable home, you should know how to turn on or off the main valve controls for water around your house. In case of emergencies, you can turn off the water in a jiffy, saving a lot of property damage. You cannot practically expect to find a handyman in a second if a pipe bursts in the water lines.
You can find the control for your water supply near the meter. It could be located in the garage, or the basement, or sometimes, even outside the house. Once you find it, there should be a valve that would let you control the flow of water in your house.
Unclogging the Drain
Most people stay away from this task because of understandable reasons. But an overflowing toilet or clogged drain can be fixed easily with a plunger in your hand. You do not need to hire an expert for taking care of your own bathroom if you are willing to get your hands dirty. Just make sure you do not use the plunger you use for your toilet in any other task.
Cleaning Washers and Dryers
If you use a washer to clean your clothes, you should remember to take proper care of it. Most people forget to maintain their washers and dryers until it is too late. Hiring people to clean your units will drain a hefty sum from your wallet, so it is usually a better idea to just do it yourself.
As for cleaning the washer, it is quite a simple task. All you need to do is pour two cups of vinegar and around a quarter cup of baking soda, and turn on the longest cleaning cycle and the hottest setting. Voila, your washer will take care of its own cleaning. You should clean your washer at least once a month for the best effects.
Cleaning the Garbage Disposal
If you let your garbage disposal in the sink get unchecked, you will often see a bad smell coming out of it. That is when you know that it needs some cleaning. Although you can hire people for this job, it is usually an easy fix, and you do not even need any additional tools.
You can pour half a cup of baking soda and another half vinegar down alternative sides of your sink. Once they go down the drain, they will start reacting, and you can see fizzes forming at the mouth of the pipe. After a few minutes, you can pour some hot water and flush it down, and no more bad smell will come out of it.
Sticky drawers are quite a common issue, even in new furniture. Sometimes pulling out the drawer is not smooth, and you need to apply a bit more force to yank it open. If you get tired of having to yank it a few times every time you want to access the drawers, you can fix it yourself without having to hire anyone.
You can start by rubbing a bit of paraffin wan on the edges of the drawer. In most cases, it should fix the issue. However, if the problem persists, you can use nylon tapes and tape of the sides of the drawer that feels tight or loose. You should now be free of sticky drawers.
Replacing the Light Fixtures
Light fixtures get old over time, and they may not work correctly. When that happens, you need to replace them, and for this purpose, most people opt to hire a handyman. However, it is quite a simple process that you can do yourself saving a lot of money on your part.
Firstly, you will need to disconnect the power source for the fixture. This job does not require any additional wiring knowledge. Instead, you just need to match the connections, and then you can secure the installation to the ceiling using nails and screws.
Painting Rooms, Doors, and Houses
One of the most common handyman services is painting a new house. And the best part is almost anyone can do it with minimal effort and experience. As a handyman, it is an essential skill that you must have in your resume. All you need is some basic knowledge on how to handle paint applicators such as brush, or sprayers.
However, remember to prep the room before you start applying paint. Check for any blemishes or holes in the finish of the wall, so that when you are done, you end up with an even coating of paint. Also, ensure that you have covered surfaces that you do not want to paint with tape so that you can work freely.
Replacing the Toilet Seat
Laugh if you must, but you would be surprised as to how many toilet seats break down due to rough handling. However, this easy an easy fix if you know how to do it. With the proper knowledge, you would find that it is much more efficient to fix it yourself than hiring a handyman.
To replace the toilet seat, you need to open the bolt cap first. It is located under the toilet seat towards the backend. You can use an adjustable wrench to grip it and unscrew the two bolts. Then simply lift off the old seat and replace it with the new one. To secure the new one, anchor it with the bolts using your hands or the wrench.
Cleaning the Filters in an Air Conditioner
The filters in an air conditioner can get dirty over time, and when it happens, it cannot lower the room temperature as efficiently. You could hire someone to take a look under the hood and get full maintenance done. However, with some basic legwork, you can clean the air filter to delay the need for full maintenance.
All you need to do is first take off the front cover of your unit. There you will find the air filter like a transparent plastic cover with tiny pores. Gently take it out of its slot. Use a damp cloth to clean it thoroughly without tearing it. When it is done, let it dry. Once dried, you can simply put it back in and enjoy the cool temperature.
Replacing a Doorknob
Replacing a doorknob that is non-functional, is quite easy and just about anyone with a couple of basic tools can take care of it. First, you need to get rid of the old one. Start by unscrewing the screws located in the faceplate, knob plate, and strike plate of the knob. Then it is just a matter of pulling it out piece by piece.
After that, you can install the new knob by pushing the pawl mechanism of the new knob and the faceplate into the front side of the door. Screw the faceplate into its place and insert the handles. After that screw everything into place and voila, you are done with installing the new doorknob.
Installing Screws on the Wall
There really is no point in hiring a professional every time you want to hang a new painting on the wall. If you have a basic set of drill drivers and would like to spend some elbow grease, you can deal with it yourself in just five minutes. On top of that, you will have the added satisfaction of knowing that you could handle it.
All you need to do is go out and buy a set of anchors, depending on where you want to place it. For plaster walls, metal anchors would be the better choice, and for drywall, you would want to stick with plastic. Then just drill it into the wall with your drill driver and hammer, and you are good to go. However, if you are planning on hanging heavy objects from the wall, you would be better off hiring a professional.
Replacing the Showerhead
For many reasons, a showerhead may stop working correctly. The water flow might slow down, or even get clogged because of mineral accumulating inside it. When that happens, it needs to be replaced. Thankfully, the task is pretty simple, and if you want, you can do it yourself.
First, get rid of the old one by loosening it from the notch using an adjustable wrench. Then you can simply screw it off when it is loose enough. At this point, you could even try soaking the showerhead in vinegar to see if that solves your issue. However, if you have a replacement unit, it is better to use the new one.
In the exposed pipe, wrap a few rounds of Teflon tape and smooth it out. Then lace the new shower head and tighten it by rotating it clockwise with your hand. Check if the water flow is good and if there are any leaks. If you find leakage, try tightening it further. Once everything is set, get rid of the old showerhead.
Replacing the Furnace Filters
Ideally, you want to replace the filters in the furnace every three months. It is even more important if you have pets in the house, or you are a heavy smoker. Hiring a handyman every three months and paying out good money does not seem like a very efficient way to maintain the furnace. Especially when with some basic knowledge, you can do it yourself.
The hardest part about this job is figuring out where the vent cover is. It could be a large grate located in the wall or ceiling, or even the furnace itself. Depending on the model of the furnace, the position may be different. You could consult the manual to help you with this step.
When you find it, simply remove the vent cover. Then pull out the old filter and dispose of it without getting dust everywhere. Finally, slide the new filter in position and replace the cover in its original place.
We are in no way trying to look down on the work that a handyman does. There are many jobs for which you should hire professional help such as electrical rewiring, roofing, or making modifications to your house. However, you can handle a lot of the more common tasks, by investing some time to learn.
All the tasks mentioned in our list require preliminary knowledge and effort. It just does not make sense to pay good money for things that you could do yourself without any hassle. We hope you found our guide on the handyman skills that everyone should know helpful. With this guide, you should have a grasp of the basic skills that will be helpful to your household in the long run.
I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.