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Remodel Kitchen

Becoming The Handyman Of The House

For most homeowners even the simplest repair may seem daunting. They can be baffled by something as routine as changing a light bulb. Small wonder now that we are converting to fluorescent lamps from the old incandescent, in an effort to go “Green.” They don’t even follow the same rating system they we are all familiar with. The question becomes “where to begin?” But this article isn’t about light-bulbs, it’s about stepping back, taking a deep breath and putting your brains together with your muscle to tackle the basic home maintenance tasks that most of us must cope with routinely. With a little effort you’ll build the confidence to take on that leaky faucet or broken window.
Sizing up the job: Adding a garbage disposal, changing a ceiling fan or light switch, or replacing a window screen all involve the same process: selecting the proper tools and materials, and learning the necessary steps to completing the task at hand. So the first thing is to do a little research to find out the proper technique specific to the job.
Troubleshooting the problem: Developing good troubleshooting skills is vital and begins with acquiring knowledge of how things work. You cannot isolate a problem if you don’t understand how a particular system and it’s components are intended to function, whether were talking plumbing, electromechanical or structural systems. You can start by doing a little online research. You’ll find a number of useful sites for the rookie or the expert. Once you have a basic understanding of how “it” works you can begin the process of isolating the location of the defective part of other difficulty. Water leaks are often easy to spot.
Getting advice: Project clinics are offered at home improvement outlets like The Home Depot and Lowe’s. Check their schedules for upcoming events and plan accordingly. Community Colleges also offer useful adult education courses. Your public library can be a good source for reference material. This will provide you an opportunity to review texts that you may eventually want to add to your personal collection of how-to manuals. This could save you money by avoiding unnecessary purchases. If you are repairing a minor problem with one of your home’s appliances you can often refer to a technical support number for assistance.
Size matters: You’ll find that when it comes to nuts & bolts, plumbing & hardware parts or building materials, you name it there can be a variety of sizes and grades to meet the needs of every job. When it comes to replacing parts that you understand there may be an assortment and not all are interchangeable. Call ahead before going to the local hardware and builder’s supply to determine your specific needs. Take the old part along for matching purposes just to be sure. The fact that fasteners come in Metric and SAE standards as well as fine and coarse thread can necessitate a return trip that wastes time, gas and energy.
Selecting the proper materials: There are often different grades and quality of parts and materials. This is true of lumber, drywall, plumbing, electrical and most other types of construction materials. The pipe specified for your project will depend on whether repairing/replacing/installing a gas, water-line, or drain. There are many factors to consider. Develop a rapport with your local hardware store and you’ll find a wealth of knowledge at your disposal. Most businesses pride themselves on providing you with the basic knowledge in addition to quality customer service. Helping you get the job done right insures a happy customer and repeat business for the merchant.
Safety First When attempting to do any type of home repair you should always make safety a top priority. Following common sense rules such as – always using tools for their intended purpose – is the simplest way to prevent unnecessary injury. When you are working on plumbing or electrical circuits you will always want to shut off the power or water supply. Turning off power at the breaker box will insure against electrical shocks; simply turning off a wall switch before changing a ceiling lamp or fan does not properly interrupt the supply. When changing a faucet it may be possible to use a shut-off valve located below the sink. For other jobs it may be necessary to turn off the supply to the entire house.
Always consult the safety instructions when using power tools. Be sure to use the right tool for the job. This means selecting a durable tool with enough capacity for the job. A broken tool can result in injury or damage. A quality tool is worth the price and can provide years of faithful service if cared for properly. While using a ladder, it is best to follow standard rules of safety, and never exceed your ladder’s …