Jobs where you can DIY… and the ones you really shouldn’t

Honing and expanding your DIY skills isn’t just a great way to save money during tough economic times, there’s also that lovely feeling of pride and satisfaction that comes from getting the job done well all by yourself. It’s empowering to feel that little bit more self-sufficient and gain confidence in your abilities too.

However, there are a few jobs that really are best left to the professionals! Let’s take a look at some of the more common household jobs that you can tackle on your own with just a little bit of know-how, and which ones it might be better (and even cheaper in the long run) to pay a trained professional to take care of for you.

Basic plumbing jobs

You might be surprised by how many plumbing jobs you can actually perform quite easily yourself, and we’re not just talking about whipping out your trusty plunger to unclog a toilet or drain. Here are just a few:

Fix a leaking faucet

A dripping tap is an insidious money waster, and often it’s actually quite simple to fix it yourself! If water is dripping from the base of the handle, it can be as simple as removing the handle and tightening the adjusting ring with a spanner. Have a look at some of the tutorial videos on YouTube and see if you can find one that features a setup similar to your own if you’ve never done it before.

If water is leaking from the end of the spout, you might need to replace the seats and springs. You’ll need to invest in the right plumbing tools – a handy kit that contains O-rings, seats, springs and the appropriate ball might be called for.

Fit a new showerhead

With modern plumbing systems, this job can sometimes be as simple as unscrewing the old shower attachment and screwing in the new one! If possible, take the old head along with you to the DIY store and ask for some advice from the staff there. Make sure to ask for a low flow head that will save you on water bills too.

Fix a toilet that keeps running

This is another repair that is often ridiculously easy to solve on your own, as many times the problem is simply that the ball and flapper are out of alignment. In this case, simply adjusting their position so that they cover the water inlet snugly, and voila, job done! Even if you find that you do need replacement parts, these are easily purchased from the local hardware store and fitted yourself too.

When not to do it yourself

Underground systems, pipes damaged by tree roots and major blockages are best left to the pros.

Household appliances

Before you call in a technician, scramble around trying to find warranties or pack your appliance up in the car to be dropped off at the appliance repairs shop, try a few of these simple fixes first.

The fridge

If your refrigerator is running constantly, the most common cause is dirty condenser coils, which you can easily clean yourself. One that is particularly noisy might mean that the evaporator fan needs to be replaced. An ice maker that isn’t working could mean that the water inlet valve needs to be replaced.

The stove or oven

Stove burners and sockets are relatively simple to replace yourself. An oven that isn’t getting up to the proper temperature might mean the heating element needs to be replaced, and depending on the model of your oven, this is often easy enough to do yourself.

The washing machine

Before you get a service tech out, make sure that a thumping and wobbling machine isn’t simply being caused by uneven legs!

The dishwasher

If your dishes are coming out half cleaned, try running the dishwasher empty for one cycle to eliminate that it isn’t just a bit clogged up. Also check that the water inlet valve isn’t blocked or simply needs to be replaced.

General tips

It should go without saying to make sure that any electronic device you try and work on should be unplugged before you begin – but it bears repeating! Always think twice before you touch anything that could make you part of a circuit.

When not to do it yourself

  • If your appliance is still under warranty, it really isn’t worth risking voiding that warranty by tampering with the appliance. Get it repaired or replaced for free by the experts.
  • If you’re uncomfortable working with electronics, then don’t risk it. Gas stoves are also not a good idea to mess around with.

We hope we’ve inspired you to tackle a few more repairs yourself. Remember that there are loads of free tutorials on YouTube and on manufacturer websites that can help you – so check them out before you spend money on repairs next time!

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