5 DIY jobs you can (probably) do yourself

5 DIY jobs you can (probably) do yourself
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1. Fixing a leaking tap

Most taps drip because a rubber washer needs replacing. A new washer will only set you back around 20p and it's pretty easy to fit, if you have the right tools and remember a few simple rules. A screwdriver and an adjustable spanner should be all you need, and make sure you turn your water supply off at the stop cock before you get started.

Be confident with the tools you're using

Sam Chadwick, plumber from SC Plumbing & Heating in Manchester, says: "Fixing a leaky tap can be straightforward - just make sure you’re confident before you get going. There are loads of tips and videos out there on how to do it, just take your time and be methodical. You'd be amazed at how many people forget to turn their water off, or don't know where their stop cock is before starting! If you’re unsure about anything, it’s worth asking a professional to avoid any costly mistakes."

2. Painting a wall

A fresh coat of paint can give a room a whole new lease of life. Enough paint to decorate an average-sized living room, including the ceiling, shouldn't cost much more than £40, and you can get a good set of paint brushes for £10 to £15. Prepare your surfaces well and use good quality brushes for an expert finish.

3. Dealing with squeaky floorboards

A squeaky floorboard is annoying, but can be easy to fix. The squeak is generally caused by loose floorboards rubbing against each other. Sometimes just shaking some talcum powder through the cracks can solve the problem, but the boards may need screwing down more securely.

4. Resealing a bath

Over time, the seal around your bath can go mouldy and even start to leak. Scraping out the old seal and replacing it can be straightforward and cheap. A tube of bathroom sealant usually costs less than £10, add a £4 cartridge gun, a £2 utility knife, and you're ready to go. Not only will your bath look much more appealing, a proper seal means no danger of damaging leaks.

Sam says: "Be confident with the tools you're using - have a bit of a practice before you go live on the job. Poorly applied sealant can look messy, and if you're in the process of selling your house, it can give the impression that you’ve fitted your bathroom on the cheap, which is really off-putting to house hunters. You'll need a steady hand and a bit of patience. Aside from that, a good tip is to rub a bit of shower gel or washing up liquid on your finger before you smooth over the sealant - this stops it from sticking to your finger, and helps to keep everything looking smart."

5. Building flat-pack furniture

Flat-pack furniture comes with easy-to-follow instructions and all the fixings and Allen keys provided, but you might just need some basic tools like a hammer and a selection of screwdrivers to ensure it's tightened up and solid.

Thanks to Swinton

  • There are more money-saving tips in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.