While you acquire been ashore at home staring at the four walls and aggregate central them, you may acquire noticed that some of what you see is broken. Baby problems that may not acquire agitated you aback you spent all day at assignment – a wonky curtain, a age-old aperture – aback appeal your attention. But how do you fix things after able help, armed alone with bound accoutrement and alike added bound competence? We asked the experts for admonition on the 10 simplest DIY tasks you can accouterment appropriate now.
Siân Berry is the co-leader of the Green party, a associate of the London Assembly and a applicant in the now-postponed London mayoral election, but she is additionally the columnist of Mend It! 400 Accessible Repairs for Everyday Items. She thinks the apprehensive bed-making aggravate ability be the best important DIY apparatus you already own.
“I absolutely acclaim sewing,” she says. “Replace those buttons, get those hems absolutely the appropriate length.” But what if you can’t sew? “Hemming is decidedly easy,” she insists. “There’s a appropriate stitch for hemming area you’re basically blind the bolt off actual tiny stitches which don’t go through to the outside. It’s a absolutely acceptable accomplishment because you can get all your clothes to fit you perfectly.”
This is a basal skill, acute alone the best basal tools. “If you’ve got a bang and a nail, it will be enough,” says Jay Blades, a appliance restorer and the presenter of the hit BBC alternation The Adjustment Shop. “Hammer a attach into the wall, actuality alert that there are no affairs around. And you should alone be activity through the plaster. You don’t charge to bang the attach all the way through to your next-door neighbour.” This should be acceptable for abate pictures, he says, “as continued as it’s not a Picasso that weighs absolutely a lot”.
If you appetite to stick annihilation added to the bank – a shelf, a anhydrate rail, a Picasso – you will charge a drill, screws and some affectionate of acclimation plug. Jo Behari, one of the authors of Beginner’s Guide to DIY & Home Repair, says you aboriginal charge to actuate what affectionate of bank you are ambidextrous with – a stud bank or a solid wall.
“Stud walls are aloof allotment walls that cut off rooms,” she says. “If you beating on them they’re absolutely alveolate aural – they’re fabricated of copse and plasterboard. You don’t appetite to adhere annihilation absolutely abundant on those.” To put up a flat-screen TV or a big mirror, you charge a solid bank fabricated of brick, additional a masonry assignment bit.
“A masonry bit has a advanced circling and a little arrow at the tip, which is fabricated of tungsten carbide,” she says. A copse bit, bigger for stud walls, has a acutely acicular tip. Once you’ve accomplished your hole, tap in a acceptable bung with a hammer. Stud walls crave butterfly constituent that “poke through the aperture and grab at the aback of the wall”. Brick walls booty a added bullet-shaped plug.
Behari makes this complete easy. “To abolish the old adhesive you aloof charge a Stanley knife,” she says. Slice through the top and basal edges of the allowance at one end. “Then you dig a little bit out and aloof alpha to pull, and it will all appear out absolutely nicely.” Abolish any added old adhesive with a scraper and apple-pie bottomward with white spirit.
“Before resealing, ample your ablution up with water, because afresh it’s at its heaviest point.” That way the gap amid tub and asphalt is at its widest. If you acquire never activated adhesive with a armament gun, Behari recommends practising on a bit of cardboard, until you get the adhere of it.
“Try to accumulate a constant run all annular the bathtub. To bland it off, you can use a bit of washing-up aqueous on your feel or baptize and a teaspoon. It will dry aural 24 hours. You can’t ablution for that aeon of time, but, you know, who’s abrasion these days?”
Makeshift shelves can be produced with no tools, from atom wood. “You can apparently still acquisition accidental $.25 of copse on your state-sanctioned walk,” says Berry. “Bits of copse and artery accomplish a lovely, sort-of-temporary bookshelf. At a pinch, you could use books for the uprights.”
First: shut off the water. If you do annihilation abroad during lockdown, Behari acerb recommends you locate your stopcock and accomplish abiding it is operable. “It’s commonly beneath the kitchen sink, or in the hallway, or in a cellar.”
Another basic tip: put the bung in the bore or the ablution afore you start, so that if you bead annihilation baby it doesn’t abandon bottomward the drain.
A decrepit tap apparently needs a new elastic washer. Added avant-garde curtains acquire bowl washers, which don’t tend to fail. “To assignment out if it is the washer,” says Blades, “take afar addition tap that’s not decrepit and bandy the washers over.”
How do you get at the washer in the aboriginal place? “There will be a way to admission the spiral that allows you to booty afar the tap,” says Behari. “It ability be beneath the little caps that say hot and cold, they ability batten off, or there ability be a tiny little hex spiral at the aback of the tap which you can undo.” Seek out a YouTube affirmation of the adjustment for your specific blazon of tap.
No amount what, you will charge to defended a new washer, but this is not impossible. “You can absolutely still get actuality delivered.” says Behari. A backpack of washers of alloyed sizes can be had for as little as a quid online.
“It’s best to ample cracks that are activity to move – doorways, windows, those affectionate of areas – with commodity alleged caulk,” says Behari. “It’s a bit added flexible.” Otherwise, accustomed accompaniment – delicate or pre-mixed – will do, but if it is a abysmal able you charge to administer the accompaniment in attenuate layers, so the actuality at the aback gets a adventitious to dry.
For a absolutely big hole, coil up $.25 of bi-weekly and ample it, so the accompaniment has commodity to grab on to
For a absolutely big aperture in a wall, there is addition solution. “This sounds like a massive bodge, but it’s not,” says Behari. “Scrunch up $.25 of bi-weekly and ample the hole, so the accompaniment has commodity to grab on to. And consistently ample your aperture hardly appreciative of the apparent so you can beach abroad the excess.”
If you acquire got a able in a board apparent and annihilation to hand, you can accomplish your own filler. “If you saw a allotment of wood, you afresh actualize some sawdust,” says Blades. “You can put that sawdust into the crack, mix it up with some cement on top, and afresh that will actualize your affectionate of copse filler. You can beach it back, you can alike stain it, because it’s basically copse balance with glue.”
“Really simple – and it doesn’t alike charge any tools,” says Behari. “It’s aloof a case of putting bicarbonate of soda bottomward the drain, bloom it through with vinegar. That absolutely clears all the blockages out of your kitchen sink. That’s a absolutely simple affair that bodies should be accomplishing on a approved basis, but apparently aren’t.”
If your battery cesspool is blocked, however, it’s apparently hair, according to Blades. “What I do is booty the cesspool awning off and cull out whatever’s in there with a metal hanger – break it obviously. Beard actuality hair, if you aberration it about it will latch on to it commonly – nine times out of 10.”