Which DIY Jobs Can You Do Yourself – And Which Ones Should Be Left to the Pros

If you like the idea of making your house a home and want to do as much of the work as you can yourself, you will be pleased to know that there are many DIY jobs that can easily be taken care of by complete beginners. Even if you have little DIY knowledge or no experience of doing such things, you can make some improvements to your home with the right tools and some basic instructions.

Painting the Walls

One of the first things that people do when moving into a new home is to paint the walls. But while painting may seem like an easy enough job, it can go wrong if you don’t take care. Inexperienced painters often just start painting a wall without preparing it first. For example, it is important to fill in any cracks or holes and sand them down before you start painting. As well as this, painter’s tape should be applied over light switches, door surrounds, and baseboards, and furniture and floors should be covered with dust sheets. You can use a roller to paint the main body of the wall, but a smaller brush should be used along baseboards,around the ceiling edge, and around door frames and light switches.

Fixing a Leaky Faucet

While most plumbing jobs should be left to the professionals, fixing a leaking faucet can be a relatively simple job, depending on the cause of the dripping. In most cases, the dripping will be caused by a faulty rubber washer or O-ring. To check the source of the dripping, you will need to turn off the water supply either at the isolation valve or stop cock. Once you have turned off the water supply, you will need to turn on the faucet until the water stops running. You can then unscrew the faucet. The screw will typically be located under the hot or cold cap. When you find the rubber washer and O-ring, check to see if there are any signs of wear and replace if necessary.

Bleeding Radiators

If your radiators are not heating up as they should, it could be that there is air trapped inside them. This is a common problem in early winter when radiators are first turned on having been out of action during the summer months. The good news is that you don’t need to call in the plumber to get your heating working properly again. Firstly, make sure the heating is switched off and that the system has been allowed to cool. Place old cloths or rags on the floor under the radiator as water is likely to escape during the bleeding process. You will find the bleed valve at the top of the radiator in a recessed hole. Inside this hole you will see either a square or linear shaped slot into which you can place a radiator key or flat-head screwdriver. The valve should be turned slowly in a counterclockwise direction. As you do this, the trapped air will be released, emitting a hissing sound. Once all the air has been released, water will begin to escape. When this happens, you need to close the valve again. This should fix the problem and allow your radiators to heat up properly again.

Jobs You Should Leave to the Professionals

Fixing a Gas Leak

It does not matter how handy you are around the house; you should never attempt to fix a gas leak yourself. Only fully trained gas engineers should try to fix the leak. If you smell gas and suspect a leak, you should leave the house at once and turn off the external valve. Call 911 and do not return to your home.

Fitting Bathroom Fixtures and Fittings

Trying to install bathroom fixtures and fittings yourself is never a good idea unless you have some plumbing experience. However, unless you hold a plumbing qualification, you should avoid any plumbing jobs that could result in you breaking local water regulations. It is best to leave such jobs to those who are qualified to do them and who know which fittings and fixtures adhere to regulations.

Installing a Solar Panel System

Solar energy company Vivint Solar say that although you can theoretically install your own solar panel system, it is best left to the professionals because you may end up spending more if you do it yourself.As well as this, it could be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. Furthermore, you will not have the same guarantee unless you let a professional installer take care of the job for you.

Plastering Walls

Plastering a wall might seem like something you could turn your hand to, but this is a job for trained professionals. Surfaces that require plaster will usually need to be prepped beforehand, and there is more to just putting plaster on the walls and allowing it to dry. It can take many years to master the perfect finish, and the likely scenario if you try to do this yourself is that you will end up with plaster on the floors, doors, and windows – and will end up with uneven walls too.

Rewiring Your House

Most electrical jobs in a home should be left to the professionals, and rewiring is definitely one of them. If you live in an old houseor have recently bought a house that requires renovation, you might be faced with out of date or faulty wiring that needs to be replaced. This is something you should never try yourself, no matter how competent you think you are. If your circuit breakers are regularly tripping or your lights are flickering, it may be a sign that the wiring needs to be looked at. Whatever the cost, this is a job for a fully qualified electrician. Besides the fact that electrical work is highly dangerous and carries the risk of fire and explosion as well as serious injury or even death, there may be specific permits required and local codes to adhere to that you will not be aware of.

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