Continuing on from our last blog article, where we looked at skills like knowing how to remove a stripped screw, here are some more basic handyman skills each of us should ideally possess…

  • Find a Stud. Finding a stud behind a wall is crucial of you need to anchor anything heavy to said wall. What is a stud? It’s simply the vertical wooden beam that supports the wall, and they provide support to wall-mounted mirrors, artwork, television screens, and heavy furniture like bookcases and shelves. There will be a stud either side of a window as well as beside electrical boxes, switches and outlets. They are usually set at intervals of sixteen or twenty four inches around a room.

To locate a stud, simply tap on the wall. Most of the wall will sound hollow; the sound will be denser over a stud.

  • Spackle a Hole in a Wall. Eliminate holes and bumps on a wall from hanging wall art. You need a putty knife, spackle, and paint. Clear loose material from the hole in the wall and spread some spackle using the putty knife, making a smooth and thin layer by pressing hard. Note that it’s fine to use a bit extra over the hole, as spackle will shrink as it dries. Apply a second layer if required after it has dried for a few hours, then smooth the dried spackle with fine-sandpaper. You want the spackle to be flush with the wall. Touch up paint over the spackle for a perfect finish.
  • Fix a Leaking Faucet. You need to replace the faulty, worn washer, stem or O-ring. Any damaged part you replace must be exact in size with its predecessor.

Switch off water at the mains as well as at the faucet. Remove the knob handle with a flat head screwdriver and the nut with a wrench. Remove the stem and inspect it for damage; do the same with the washer and O-ring. Replace the damaged parts and reassemble the faucet in exactly the reverse order as you dissembled it. I.e. washer, O-ring, stem, nut, screw, handle. Turn the water back on at the mains and check the faucet. If it still leaks, call a professional plumber.

Do you have these skills yet? What are you waiting for? Grab some screw extraction pliers and other basic essential tools and have a go!