5 Skills All Homeowners Should Have Under Their Belt
Homeownership definitely requires upkeep and maintenance, so the more you can do yourself to keep costs down, the better. Of course, you want to familiarize yourself with the basic skills that every homeowner should master so you don't have to call someone for help every time a routine maintenance task presents itself. Here are five of the most basic, but totally necessary, skills any and every homeowner should know how to do on the spot. From here, you can build your skills and expand your expertise. Do you know how to do all of these?
1. Cleaning out the gutters.
Gutters should be cleaned each fall and spring, but it's not uncommon for homeowners to neglect this task. Removing dirt, debris and leaves from gutters prevents water from getting trapped in there and potentially leaking into your house or running over the sides of the gutters instead of following the proper direction of flow. It doesn't take much more than a ladder, some gloves, a few tools, and little bit of cleanup afterward. To make the task even easier, you can purchase tools designed for this particular job such as the Gutter Getter.
2. Unclogging the drains.
A clogged sink, drain or bath can be a hassle you don't want to deal with—but has to be. But before you spend the money calling in the plumber, it's worth trying to fix the problem yourself. While chemical solutions like Drano can help, it's also a good idea to keep a drain snake handy for times such as these. The drain snake can be wound down through the drain to mechanically remove what's causing the blockage. Prevention is also key to keeping drains from being clogged in the first place, so be proactive about keeping particles that could cause problems free and clear from the drain.
3. Changing an HVAC filter.
HVAC systems use filters to trap dust and pollen and prevent the furnace or AC compressor from spreading debris throughout the house. Each system has a different filtration system, but most require cleaning or replacing filters monthly or quarterly, an easy task that keeps your system running smoothly and efficiently. The hardest part is remembering when it’s time to clean or change the filters. Today, there are actually bluetooth sensor-enhanced filters that work in combination with an app to let you know the exact status of your air quality and when it's time to change the filter for the same price as a regular filter.
4. Resetting a circuit breaker.
In homes built after 1960, the electrical panel is typically filled with circuit breakers, which supply power to appliances and lighting in every room. When a circuit becomes overloaded, the designated breaker “trips,” shutting off electricity to that area. When this happens, you'll need to reset the breaker. To do that, you first have to know where your electrical panel is located. It can be inside or outside your home. From there it's just a matter of opening the panel cover and looking for the breaker that’s been tripped and is now sitting in the “off” position. Push it back to the “on” position. If you can’t find the errant breaker, you’ll have to turn each breaker off, then on.
5. Shutting off the main water supply.
There are times when you’ll have to shut off the water supply to the house, so it’s a good idea to locate the main water valve as soon as you move in. The shut-off valve mostly likely is located in your basement or crawl space where the water enters the house. When you find it, tag it so you won’t lose it again. There is another valve located at the beginning of your water main, at the boundary line of your property and the street or sidewalk. Find the ground-level metal or plastic utility box trap door located at ground level. Call the water company's 24-hour emergency contact line. Staff may direct you to shut off the valve by yourself or to wait for help.
You can read more maintenance skills every homeowner should master right here. We hope that you've found this information helpful and that you're building up your home improvement skill set. It's most certainly an asset!
What skills do you think every homeowner should master?
Let us know in the comments!