Do It Yourself projects and advice are everywhere. If you have just purchased your first home, rolling up your sleeves and donning overalls can not only help save some money in getting your home perfect, it also adds ownership and satisfaction.
If you have never done any home maintenance or repair work before, DIY might seem out of your league. The trick is choosing the right sized project for beginners, and gaining know-how and confidence to ease you towards bigger projects.
We share with you three jobs for easing into DIY projects that you will ace, even as a rookie, each for under $20.00. So head to the hardware store and let’s get improving your skills, as well as your home.
A KITCHEN RAIL
A kitchen rail is used to hang your most used kitchen utensils.
Ever wondered why your wooden spoons and ladles have a hole at the top of the handle? It’s so you can hang them from a wall-mounted rail. It looks a little like a shower screen railing (hooks included) and can be attached above your kitchen bench or on a wall.
There are a number of styles to chose from to help create a fashionable and seamless look to your kitchen, be it modern or rustic. It’s also a great way to show off any utensils or kitchen items you’re most proud of.
Use your kitchen rail to hang utensils, pots, pans, oven mitts, chopping boards, potted herbs, paper towel roll, spice racks, recipe book stands, canisters, salt & pepper shakers, sugar and tea.
Your Kitchen Rail shopping list
- Kitchen rail and matching hooks
- Screws (2 – one for each end – check your kitchen rail to see if the certain number or size of screw is recommended.)
Borrow from a friend
- Spirit level
How to hang a kitchen rail
- Select your kitchen rail’s location, making sure you have enough space below to hang the items you want.
- Use the stud-finder to locate the closest joist at each end. This is the strongest part of your wall and will be the point where you attach the screws, making your rail strong and sturdy. At the stud point, mark the places for the two screws (one at each end).
- Use the spirit level to be sure they are even and the rail will be placed exactly straight. It’s important that the marks are exactly in line with each other.
- Use the drill to press each screw into the wall at the set points. Make sure you leave enough space for the rail backings. You need to leave the screw hanging out enough for the rail to fix onto.
- Attach the rail and the matching hooks.
Your kitchen rail is done and you are now ready to hang your most used and most loved kitchen items ready for your next kitchen cook-up.
FIX A WALL CRACK
Cracks in the wall or blemishes left from old nails and picture hooks are really distracting. Even if you are not consciously aware of the marks, you’ll certainly notice the change when they are gone, leaving you with a smooth, clean and seamless wall. It’s a small and easy fix that makes a staggering difference. It’s also essential to do if you are planning on putting new paint on the walls, or you will find that the cracks will show and pockets will be exposed under your new paint job, undoing that great newly painted fresh look.
Your Wall Sealing shopping list
- Plaster joining tape
- Fine sandpaper
- Plaster compound
Borrow from a friend
- Paint scraper
How to patch up marks, holes, cracks and chips in your walls.
- Use the fine sandpaper to smooth off rough edges. Wipe away any dust with a clean lint-free cloth.
- Cover the crack with joining tape. The joining tape will prevent the crack from appearing again if the plaster moves or shrinks when it dries. It also provides more surface space for the plaster compound to adhere to. If you have quite prominent cracks you might like to add a second layer of tape. If you are working with old nail holes or picture hook chips or hairline cracks you can press the plaster compound in more firmly and miss the tape application.
- Use the paint scraper to smoothly and firmly apply the plaster compound.
- Apply a second layer of plaster compound and allow it to completely dry.
The wall is now ready to paint.
Tip. If you take a large sample of existing paint to your hardware or paint shop they can colour match for you.
There are small and easy ways you can help make your home more energy efficient and be environmentally responsible. One of these ways is by attaching a draft stopper to your doors to prevent cold or hot air from outside entering in, making your heating and cooling technology work harder.
Sealing your doors and windows correctly makes all the difference to maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home.
Your Draft Stop shopping list
Borrow from a friend
- Hacksaw with fine blade
- Tape measure
How to fix a draft-stopper to your door.
- Use a tape measure to measure the door along its base.
- Carefully cut the draught stopper’s metal strip to size using the fine blade hacksaw. Go slowly and keep the blade straight.
- On the door mark the place where each of the screws will go in making sure you are right at the bottom of the door edge. You need to ensure that the hanging strip fills the gap from the bottom of your door to the ground exactly. Too high and you will still get a draft, too low and you will catch the rubber on the floor when the door swings open and closed.
- If you have a thick wooden door made of hard material then start by drilling pilot holes (small, thin shallow holes that guide the screw in easily).
- Make sure the screws you are using are long enough to fit through the metal draft stop strip and still have enough to go about 3mm into the door.
- Attach the strip.
After you have tried these jobs for easing into DIY projects, pour a drink, put your feet your and admire your handy work! You are now ready to take the next step in your DIY journey.
Peta Stewart – Certified Practicing Conveyancer