Jan. 18, 2021 | Gerald Vander Pyl
DIY for dummies: how even the least-handy homeowner can keep their property in tip-top shape
Even if you wouldn't describe yourself as handy, it's important for homeowners to have the skills and equipment to tackle routine maintenance and repairs. Thankfully, most of those tasks require nothing more than a few basic tools and a little elbow grease.
"Most small home repairs can be completed by any homeowner, no matter their level of expertise," said Jason Cunningham, tool rental merchant with Home Depot Canada. "With a little bit of confidence, along with the right tools, most projects can be completed with ease."
Cunningham says proper home maintenance can add value to your home and will mitigate the need for larger repairs down the road, saving you money. Among the small repairs or improvement projects that a homeowner might typically tackle, he lists unclogging a toilet, patching drywall, hanging a picture or painting a room.
With more experience, homeowners can graduate to slightly more complicated tasks, such as improving insulation, remodeling a bathroom or kitchen, or building a deck.
"Every homeowner should have a drill, hammer, Phillips and Robertson screwdrivers, level, tape measure and a ladder. With these tools you can tackle 90 per cent of any simple home repair." - Jason Cunningham, Home Depot Canada
Cunningham says the first step toward becoming a competent DIYer around the home is to assemble a basic set of tools.
"Every homeowner should have a drill, hammer, Phillips and Robertson screwdrivers, level, tape measure and a ladder," he said. "With these tools you can tackle 90 per cent of any simple home repair."
Later, a homeowner might decide to upgrade their arsenal for bigger projects – a good cordless power-tool kit with an impact driver, hammer drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw and work light will go a long way in that regard.
Cunningham says kits are available at various price points and adds there is also the option of renting tools from a hardware store if you are not ready to buy.
The next step for aspiring home DIYers is learning how to safely use their new tools and getting expert advice for their project.
"Safety is key, homeowners should always educate themselves around safety before tackling any project and take the proper precautions before starting," said Cunningham. "If you have questions about your project, I encourage you to do your research and seek out experts."
He says there are many resources available, including Home Depot's website, which offers advice and how-to guides for many DIY projects. "YouTube is another great resource you can review, as there are multiple videos on small projects that any homeowner can tackle," he added.
If the financial savings aren't appealing enough on their own, there is also a real sense of accomplishment that comes from being able to look after a home maintenance or improvement project yourself.
"Nothing feels better than completing something on your own and how you envisioned it," said Cunningham. "There's definitely a proud and satisfying moment when you finish a do-it-yourself project from start to finish."
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