Basic home improvement skills everyone should know

While not everyone has the ‘handyman genes’, it’s not excuse to be totally incompetent when it comes to basic household tasks. Humans have defined themselves over the millennia by our development and use of tools, so you don’t look much evolved if you can’t even drive a nail to hang a painting.

While there’s a time and place to rely on a career handyperson, there’s plenty of job you should be able to do on your own. Let’s take a look at some basic home improvement skills you should be trained in.

Installing shelves

Installing shelves onto your drywall is an easy two-step process.

  1. Determine where the studs are
  2. Determine the size of anchors you will need

If you try to hang anything heavy against a drywall without anchors it will collapse on top of you and leave you pondering why you’re such a dimwit. Do yourself a favour and make sure you have anchors for your shelving.

Replacing old shower heads

All you will need for this is a new shower head, a wrench and some Teflon tape. Simply remove the old shower head, replace the Teflon, and then screw on the new shower head with your wrench. Easy as that!

Hanging a painting

Yes, we’re going to do this one. Make sure you start by marking 57 inches up your wall as that is where the centre of the picture should be on a normal wall.

Then measure the size of the frame and where the nail is going to end up. After that’s hanging a painting is as easy as it looks.

Putting flat pack furniture together

This one is actually so hard for some people that they hire handymen to build their Ikea furniture for them. While the wordless instructions might seem complicated, they’re actually designed to be minimalistic and simple.

Make sure you create a special box or area to put loose screws and bolts so that you don’t lose them under the couch. Follow the instructions carefully and make sure you have enough room to lay out each piece.

Mowing the lawn

Instead of throwing your cash at a landscaping service or some teenage neighbour, mow the lawn yourself and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well-done. Make it easier for yourself by doing it systematically and often enough so that the job isn’t enormous each time you do it.