Did you know that it was National DIY Day last Saturday? How many of you took this opportunity to hone your DIY skills...? It just so happens that this date coincides with April Fool’s Day, and there’s plenty of us who have been left feeling like a fool with our DIY attempts around the home. When it comes to general tasks around the home, there are some cases when it’s okay to lift the phone and get in the professionals. There are also simple DIY tasks that every homeowner should be able to carry out. If you can’t do any of these, we suggest you find out where to begin.

7 DIY tasks everyone should be able to do

1. Painting

While there are occasions where you’ll need to call upon the services of professional painters, when it comes to touching up your home or adding a fresh lick of paint to your living room, bedroom or kitchen, this is something everyone should be able to do. Doing your own painting can help save you money and it’s also something you’ll find rewarding. Just be sure not to go overboard when applying paint to your wall, and remember, preparation is key.

2. Hang Shelves

This can be the making of many a DIYer, but hanging shelves shouldn’t be a daunting task. As with painting, it’s all about preparation and ensuring you have everything you need. From the right type of drill to place holes in the wall, to screws and fixtures, just make sure you have everything you need when hanging shelves. The ability to drill and piece things together is important here, and you can even get adventurous by reusing old furniture to make new shelving.

3. Hanging mirrors and photo frames

If you’ve mastered hanging shelves then this should be a walk in the park. Whether you’re using screws, nails or hooks, be sure that your choice of hanger can hold the weight of your photo or mirror. The last thing you want is to hang a mirror and for it to come crashing down around you. Take time to plan where you are going to hang your mirror or photo frame, and get to work. Always be aware of the type of wall you are drilling to and have an idea where any electrical lines are and where the stud is in your wall as this will help you choose where to hang and where to avoid.

4. Cleaning your gutters and facia boards

This is a problem that many of you have likely experienced over the past number of months, and it’s something that everyone can fix. You should aim to clean your gutters at least once a year to avoid them clogging up and getting damaged, while it’s always good to clean your facia board at least once a year.

All you need to clear your gutters is a sturdy ladder, rubber gloves (and a scooper) and some water. Scoop out the rubbish and put in a wheelbarrow, and then finish the clean-up by running water from your hose along the gutter and down the spouts. This will also help you highlight any leaks. When it comes to cleaning your guttering and facia board, a little bit of water and fairy liquid can go a long way. Wipe clean with a sponge and that’s you free for another year. As you can see, cleaning the guttering is a case of rolling up the sleeves and getting stuck in.

5. Filling any gaps in your bathroom

Over time, the sealing around your toilet, bath, sink and shower may start to get damaged and gaps could appear. Don’t just sit by and let the gaps get bigger, get some caulk and start to fill in the gaps. If you’re not familiar with caulking, it’s best to wait for a warm, dry day, and ensure you remove any loose debris before starting.

6. Unblocking a toilet

There are a number of ways in which a toilet can become blocked, and while we won’t go into the detail here, it’s something everyone should be able to unblock and return to normal with little fuss. When unblocking a toilet, you need to ensure you have enough water to try and generate suction for the plunger (be sure you’re using a toilet plunger; if you don’t have one, invest in one).

Give 6 – 10 downward thrusts with the plunger, and if the clog is something minor, your toilet should clear fairly easily. If you don’t have a plunger, a mop can do a similar job to minor clogs (just be sure to use a plastic bag to cover the mop head).

Some blockages can be trickier than others though, and it may require more than a plunger to get the job done. Toilet augers will help you get rid of trickier blocks, so you may need to grab one from your local hardware shop to get the job done.

7. Fix a dripping tap

Fixing a dripping tap is one of the most common DIY tasks that many homeowners will be faced with, so rather than call for a plumber, why not look at it yourself. Be sure to turn off the water (you should hopefully be aware of where the main tap for your water supply is) and turn on the tap that is dripping to drain any water still in the pipes. The problem will most likely lie under the sink with the washer on the pipe. Screw this off and replace with a new washer and tighten, and your tap should be back to normal.

Good luck DIYers!