With the recent lockdowns turning hordes of homeowners into DIY masterminds and try-it-yourself-ers, we decided to investigate some of the most asked questions on Google and set about sharing our own answers, solutions, tips and tricks.
But as you will soon find out, the majority of the most frequently asked questions related to DIY were not too complicated at all and typically wouldn’t require the expert advice of a construction company!
How do you change a lightbulb?
Believe it or not, this was ranked as one of the most frequently asked questions during lockdown in particular, with homeowners unable to invite a friend or family member over to help them.
Changing a lightbulb is simple once you know what you’re doing, however it can be dangerous working with electricity and so we recommend reading this short guide or watching a Youtube video the first time you attempt the change. The most important thing to do is to make sure the lightbulb is switched off before you change it. You will need to ensure you get a replacement bulb with the same kind of fitting (screw or push) and be gentle as you remove the old and replace it with the new bulb (as the glass is fragile).
How do you bleed a radiator?
Similarly, to the lightbulb question, this is one which we rarely think about until it needs doing – and if that time comes when you are unable to find someone to help, it can be really useful to understand what you’re doing for yourself.
When a radiator needs bleeding, it means there are air bubbles trapped in the system which result in cold spots on the radiator and an annoying gurgling sound. To get rid of this, you need to place the radiator key into the valve and carefully twist it – listening out for the sound of gas being released. When this stops or water starts to drip, close the valve again.
How do you measure curtains accurately?
There is genuinely nothing worse than finding and buying the perfect curtains, only to discover that they are a little too short for your window or that when closed the material leaves a gap down the centre. With so many curtains now available to order online or purchase in store, knowing your measurements is crucial to ensuring you get the right curtains for your window – and that means measuring accurately in line with your intended use of the curtains.
Some of our tips for accurate measurement include:
- Know how your curtains will be mounted before purchasing. If they’re going to sit outside of the window frame, they will need to be slightly longer to reach the bottom of the window.
- Overestimate how much width you will need if you intend on closing the curtains regularly. For example, pleated curtains should measure around 2x the width of the window itself.
- Consider a longer finish for a more formal look.
How do you hang a door?
DIY lovers rejoice – we’ve got a few handy hints for those of you looking to hang your own internal doors safely and effectively (and if that’s too much for you, why not decorate your existing doors instead and give them a new lease of life?)
If new doors are what you’re after, you will first need to make sure the new door is the perfect size for the frame and that the new hinges fit in place of the old ones. If everything measures up nicely, you can attach the hinges to the door frame and mark on the door itself exactly where these hinges need to sit. Use wedges to hold the door in place and screw one top and one bottom screw in to check the fit, before you attach the rest of the screws in place.
How do you read a gas meter?
When you get an email from your gas provider asking for a reading, you might wonder what you need to do (or even where exactly the meter is!)
Our advice is to check the website of your gas provider for a breakdown of what they need, or else get in touch with them to discuss the options available to you.
How do you unblock a sink?
When the sink gets backed up and water won’t drain, what do you do? There are a few different stages of fixes – ranging from using a plunger to pouring a special drain unblocking solution down your sink and letting it work its way through any blockages.
For more specific help, get in touch with a plumber or try the weird and wonderful solutions shared by other homeowners in forums and videos online.