I learned from my mother that being a girl doesn’t mean you can’t fix something on your own. I watched her repair things around the house that most people would have called a repairman for. She’s an amazing woman. I have one advantage over her today; I have access to the Internet. This is a fantastic source of information. With this in mind, here are 7 steps on learning how to fix things around the house on your own.
7. Decide if You Can Fix It on Your Own
Photo Credit: GoodMolecules (here and there....)
There are some things around the house that I never mess with and one of these is electrical work. I’m not a licensed electrician and don’t feel like I could safely make repairs in this area. Sometimes you have to know your limits and what you are capable of. For example, if something requires heavy lifting and you have a bad back, then it would be better to hire the help needed and not risk injury to yourself.
6. Take an Inventory of Tools
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Most jobs can be accomplished with basic tools; hammer, Phillips or regular screwdriver, pliers, crescent wrench, and a small socket wrench set. I’ve found that each of these tools will usually aid in fixing whatever is in need of repair around the house. I have a coffee can in the laundry room where I keep my tools. This is one place that I know they won’t stray from and each time I need a specific tool I can easily locate it.
5. Know What the Problem is
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If the problem isn’t completely obvious, then you might need to investigate a bit further. This is common with appliances or even water leaks. You first need to identify the source of the problem before it can be fixed. For instance, my washing machine started leaking water all over the floor. I knew there was a leak, but not exactly where. I unscrewed the front of the washer to locate the source of the leak. This is how I found the drippy water pump at the base of the washer.
4. Scan the Web
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When I have a problem with an appliance, I always find the answer on the web. My husband once told a neighbor that chances are someone else has had a similar problem, so there has to be an answer. He’s right. I searched the net when the water pump was leaking, just to confirm my suspicion and to find the instructions on how to replace the pump. I also located directions for replacing our non-functioning toilet that were extremely simple. Both sets of instructions had pictures which helped tremendously, since I wasn’t familiar with a lot of the technical jargon on the washer or toilet.
3. Print off Instructions
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Having a set of instructions in hand will save you the hassle of running back and forth to the computer. I tried this the first time I had to use directions from the internet. Talk about wasting time and increasing the amount of frustration I already felt! It’s much easier to have a set of papers in-hand and right next to your workspace. Make sure they are easy to understand before you print them off. I’ve come across directions that must have been written by a repairman who was familiar with all the terminology. It was Greek to me, so I searched until I found a site that offered a simpler explanation.
2. Call for Assistance
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Sometimes even printed directions can be confusing. I’ve called my dad many times and asked for his advice on repairs. I’ve found that he’s usually made a similar repair and has great insight on what roadblocks I might come across. He also tends to know the easiest way to go about doing such repairs and can give me simple instructions on what to do.
1. Carry out Your Project
Photo Credit: Mr Bultitude
Gathering the necessary tools and directions tends to be the most tedious part of fixing things on your own. I know I spent about an hour locating instructions I could actually comprehend when I was learning how to fix my dysfunctional washing machine. The repairs themselves only took about 20 minutes. Once I completed the repairs, it felt amazing when the machine actually worked!
You don’t have to be mechanically inclined or a pro at swinging a hammer. Most of the repairs I’ve made have been spur-of-the-moment and I learned as I went. I try not to depend on someone else to fix things, which is why I’m sharing my 7 steps on learning how to fix things around the house on your own. Have you ever had something that needed repaired and didn’t want to wait for someone else to fix it? If you made the repairs on your own, how did you know what to do?
Top Photo Credit: bitzcelt