When something breaks or goes wrong in your home, depending on the size and severity of the problem, it can cost a pretty penny to fix. To understand the scale of financial burden, picture this; most property experts recommend putting aside 1% of your home’s purchase every year in a savings account to deal with routine maintenance issues – so if your home cost £300,000 you should budget £3,000 per year for maintenance. That’s some serious money. And while it’s impossible to predict what might go wrong and the potential cost to fix it, learning some DIY skills can certainly lessen the damage. As the saying goes, if you want a job done well without breaking the bank, do it yourself. Not only will investing time in learning certain do-it-yourself skills save you money, but it can also give a real sense of empowerment and self-sufficiency. Practice makes perfect, so with this in mind, here are 5 IDEAL home repairs for DIY beginners.

YOUR KITCHEN SINK

Blocked drains, a leaky faucet and clogged sinks are an inevitable part of domestic life and something that happens to all of us at one time or another. While it may seem like a task best left to professional plumbers, you can do it yourself as this wiki guide shows. From unclogging your drain, fixing that leak, repairing your faucet, to even replacing the entire sink, you can repair it yourself with just a little knowhow. Just don’t let your friends know your newly learnt skills or you’ll be called in for favours with abandon.

MINOR GAPS IN BRICKWORK

Over time gaps in your home’s plaster and brickwork can occur, which means your house could be susceptible to draughts coming in through the cavity in the wall. For minor repairs, this can be solved quite easily with the application of a little industrial foam. This behaves a bit like hair mousse; it expands upon release and sets in the gap you’ve created. No fuss, no muss, no mess. If you’re worried about using this, then take a look at this guide on expanding fillers to put your mind at ease.

LAYING TILES

For an amateur DIY-er, tiling can seem a daunting task. It isn’t as hard as you might think, however, and can save the expense of having a tradesman come and do the task for you. That said, a successful job requires careful preparation and finesse. There’s a technique to it, and you’ll need a notched adhesive spreader, grouting and a tile spacer among other things to complete the job. Before your start the job, estimate how many tiles you’re going to need then add 10% onto that – some will get dropped, trust us. The key aspect here is to make sure your tiling is balanced and straight; your spirit level will be your best friend during this task.

CHANGING A LIGHT FIXTURE

How many readers does it take to change a lightbulb? Well, with no electrical experience whatsoever, it’s actually possible to change a whole lighting fixture. No punchline to be found here, we’re afraid. With a little guidance, of course, it’s a simple task once you’re familiar with the necessary steps. This handy DIY guide on how to replace a light fixture and fix the wires into the new terminals in the fitting reveals all you need to know. Just take your time and remember to turn off the power at the mains unit before beginning work on your light fitting, not just the light switch. If you don’t, a nasty surprise in the form of a shock awaits.

PLASTERING AND PAINTING

If you have a wall at home that has peeling paint or there’s evident imperfect plastering in your domestic space, learning how to fill the scratches and holes with putty, how to sand them down and paint them over is a definitely a skill worth knowing. The technique may look exacting and difficult, but even smaller cracks can be fixed with a very simple application of filler before sanding and painting.