Have you ever wanted to be better at DIY repairs? Most people do. It’s nice to feel self-sufficient with these kinds of things, and that’s to say nothing of how it can save you money. Plus, completing a project often just feels good.
If any of that sounds appealing, and you’re not sure where to start, these five tips are for you.
1. Do Your Research
Do you know who the best car mechanic in the world is? Trick question. The answer is YouTube. It’s also the best drywall expert. And carpenter. You get the idea.
It’s not just YouTube either. Instagram, TikTok, and anything else with video can teach you exactly how to do almost any repair. Just Google your question as specifically as possible, and the answers will come out.
As an example, if you need to fix a door lock where the key gets stuck, you can Google that exact phrase and get a good answer (which is graphite, by the way).
Is this cheating?
Yes. And that’s exactly why you should do it.
2. Use the Correct Tools for the Job
A large piece of doing your research in trick #1 above is paying attention to the tools being used for the repair.
If you do not have a specific type of tool, this is a great time to round out your home toolbox or see if you can borrow a tool from a friend or family member (and remember to return it).
3. Take Safety Precautions
There are a few golden safety rules that will do you a lot of good:
- Use the right tool for the job (yes, it’s a safety issue too).
- Turn it off before you start (water to the house, electricity at the breaker, etc.).
- Wear the right clothes (good shoes, long pants, gloves when necessary).
- Don’t work alone (they don’t have to help, just be present in case there’s an emergency).
- Take safety advice seriously (especially when watching DIY videos).
4. Jump Into the Deep End
This is where everyone tells you to start small. They’re wrong.
Jump right into the deep end. It will be frustrating. You will run into dead ends. But, you’ll learn a lot this way, and your confidence will grow rapidly.
Naturally, this works best when you have a safety net below you. If you know someone who can help if you get in over your head, it’s a lot safer to learn this way. Or, if you can afford it, you can call a pro to bail you out if things get tricky.
One quick disclaimer. If the work requires legal certification (work that involves electricity, fuel lines, or air conditioning refrigerant), then scrap this advice. Such repairs are often dangerous, and even when they aren’t, the fines for doing unqualified work are a lot steeper than the cost of a professional repair.
5. Ask for Help
Do it yourself doesn’t have to mean do it alone. As you’ve seen, it’s ok to do what you can and then hire a professional. You can ask friends or family members when they can help. You can even take community classes that teach you more about repairs. And, you should have someone at least nearby in case there’s an accident.