Do you have a growing list of DIY jobs that you’ve been meaning to get round to but never have the time? Here’s 8 quick and simple home improvements that only take a quarter of an hour so you can do them when you’re waiting for your dinner to cook!
1. Put up a curtain rail
The most time-consuming part of putting up a curtain rail is the measuring - but make sure you double check, and you'll get it spot-on, first time. You'll need:
- Tape measure
- Curtain rail
- Wire and pipe detector
- Suitable screws and rawl plugs
- Step ladder
- Spirit level
Measure the points at which you need to attach curtain rail brackets to your wall, and mark them with a pencil. Before you start to drill, make sure the brackets are evenly spaced, as well as checking there's nothing beneath the wall that'll cause damage, such as wires or pipes, with the detector. It's also important to check that the brackets will be level, otherwise your rail won't hang straight.
Once you're ready, drill your holes and fit your rawl plugs. You can now attach the curtain rail brackets before adding the rail - simple!
2. Hanging a picture
Liven-up your décor by hanging a few pictures around your home. You'll need:
- Spirit level
- Picture hook and nail
- Wire and pipe detector
Mark in pencil where you're going to put the nail to hang your picture, before using a wire and pipe detector to make sure you're not going to damage anything in the wall (or yourself!) with it.
Gently tap in the nail with the picture hook attached. Hang the picture, use the spirit level to make sure it's straight and you're good to go.
3. Cleaning the windows
Giving your windows a spruce can bring in a fair bit more light – so why not try mixing your own cleaning solution? For this you'll need:
- Half a pint of water
- About 80mls white vinegar
- A drop of washing up liquid
- Paper towels
4. Sort a squeaky door
A creaky internal door can be a real cause of irritation. To get it sorted in less than fifteen minutes, you'll need:
- Kitchen roll
Spray on a little WD-40 the door's hinges, using the kitchen roll to make sure it doesn't drip down onto the carpet. As you spray, slowly keep the door moving so it covers all of the hinge - simple! Be sure to only use this technique on internal doors, as the finish of uPVC external doors can be susceptible to damage from the spray.
5. Fit a simple bathroom lock
Fitting a door bolt is all about measuring, so make sure you double check your handiwork before attaching any fittings. You'll need:
- Door bolt
Place the door bolt against the door, drawing round the perimeter as well as where the screws need to go. Make sure it's level and then drill a set of pilot holes where the screws will sit. Screw the bolt part to the door using the holes you've just made (if they're straight, that is!).
Now you can line up the part of the bolt that sits on the door frame, drill your pilot holes as before and attach.
6. Painting a ceiling
Of course the time this takes depends on the size of your ceiling, but generally once the prep is done, the actual painting is a quick task. You'll need:
- Long-handled paint roller
- Decorating cloths
Make sure you cover everything that can't be removed from the room in decorating cloths, and paint away. If you're decorating the whole room, make the ceiling the first thing you paint in the room to avoid drips ruining your newly-painted walls.
7. Bleeding the radiators
Now and again, air can get into your central heating system, making it less effective. One way to counter this is to bleed your radiators from time to time, and to do this you'll need:
- Radiator bleeding key
Find the bolt at the top corner of your radiator and use the key to gently unscrew it by a fraction of a turn. If there's air in there, you'll hear it come out, and if not, you'll notice water coming out instead, so make sure you have the towel wrapped around the radiator to catch any spills.
If you're struggling, follow our step-by-step guide.
8. Filling old picture holes
Small holes and dents in the wall can be unsightly, so spend ten minutes filling them in for a smooth finish next time you decorate. You'll need:
- An appropriate wall-filling product
- Sand paper
Apply a small amount of product to the spatula and carefully press it into the hole. Do this several times until it's filled, before smoothing it over with the tool at hand. Use your cloth to clean the implement between uses. Once it's dried, gently sand over the patch to ensure it's smooth against the wall.