If you're renting or looking to buy, you need to know how to take care of the residence you live in.
And with landlords often slow responses to getting things fixed around the house, it's essential that everyone has a few handy DIY skills up their (rolled up) sleeves.
From unclogging toilets to rewiring a plug, here are the bare minimum DIY requirements to get you through adulthood:
How to unclog a blocked sink
Sooner or later, your kitchen sink will probably get clogged up. Luckily, all it takes is a bit of upper body strength to fix.
First of all, make sure you block up the sink over flow drain with a wet cloth. if you have a double sink, do the same with the sink drain you're not going to plunge.
Next, fill the sink so that the water level is just above the rim of your plunger to create a vaccine.
Now, get plunging. Using strong strokes plunge the sink quickly about 10 times, before quickly breaking the vacuum and seeing if the water drains away (meaning it is no longer clogged). Repeat until the clog is cleared.
How to bleed radiators
If you find that your radiators are no longer heating up properly, they may need to be bled.
Get yourself a radiator key, and locate the radiator valve, a small hole usually located on the top left or right of the radiator on the side facing the wall.
Use the key to open the valve, and allow the air to exit via the valve.
You may want to put a towel down, as some water may emerge. When water begins to emerge, close up the valve. Repeat for all of your radiators until they have been completely drained of air.
Before you do any of this, make sure the heating is turned off and has been off for at least an hour to avoid burning yourself with hot water.
How to change a light bulb… and replace a plug fuse
This one is pretty obvious – just make sure you have turned off the electricity supply to the home at the fuse box before removing your spent light bulb and twisting in your new one.
However, things are slightly more complicated when swapping out a blown fuse. Rather than replacing 'broken' small appliances, you should first check within the plug to see if you could simply replace the fuse rather than the entire appliance.
Using a screwdriver, remove the back of the plug and read the fuse number located on it.
Lift out the broken fuse from inside the plug and replace it with a new one of the same fuse number as it says on the plug.
Securely re-screw the plug together tightly , and voila, your appliance is fixed. You can purchase various types of fuse from any hardware store.
How to manually flush the loo (sounds gross, actually isn't)
Look, it happens to the best of us – we use the loo and it simply wont flush. Or worse, your flushing valve decides to break just as just a you need it to flush most.
If your tank is broken but the plumber can't call for a day or so, there is a way to manually flush the toilet, but it involves getting your hands wet.
Open up the cistern tank and have a look inside. You see that plastic rectangular looking thing? Reach your hand down the back of the rectangular thing – prepare for a shock, the water is beyond freezing cold – and feel around for a kind of trap door you can push. Once you find it push it in with all your might, and the toilet should flush.
This method is totally dependant on the type of loo you have but one thing goes for all toilets – do NOT push down that floating ball-on-a-stick thing. My plumber was giving me these directions on the phone one January afternoon, and when I suggested doing something with that floating ball, he said 'no' with such urgency I nearly dropped the phone into the tank.
How to sew
Whether it's fixing a button on your ride or die ASOS coat or closing up the rip in your handy canvas tote bag, knowing a few basic stitches can save you a heck of a lot of cash.
Repairing rather than replacing is an essential part of frugal living, and you can use the skill around the house too.
Accidentally rip the couch cushion? Sew it up before you flip it over to make sure you don't loose cushion volume. You can even sew up ripped shower curtains using fish wire while you're waiting for your land lord to arrive with a replacement.