Growing up, moving out of home and living independently for the first time is exciting and liberating but can also be a bit daunting. Do you want to keep calling your Dad every time a small issue crops up? You don’t want to call out a professional either for a job that you’re pretty sure you could fix yourself. Here are some common household issues that are possible to rectify by yourself and a handy toolbox.

  1. Unclog a blocked toilet

Before doing an internet search for an emergency plumber at midnight, there are a couple of things you should try first. You’ll need a toilet plunger (not a sink plunger). Try about 10 pushes of the plunger, making sure the plunger head is fully submerged. Most of the time this will clear the toilet nicely. If this doesn’t work, your next port of call is a drain unblocking tool or drain rods. Push the end of the unblocker into the toilet until it hits the clog and then blast or pull to dislodge the blockage. These can be picked up cheaply from a good online DIY store like

DIY Jobs You Can Tackle Yourself

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  1. Fix a leaking pipe

Most leaks happen in the kitchen or bathroom under sinks and tend to be the result of old, corroded washers. Make sure you turn the water off and then position a bucket under the pipe. Twist off the compression nuts, replace the washer that’s had its day and screw the pipes back together again.

  1. Bleed the radiators

Start by turning off the boiler or adjusting the pressure if it’s a combi boiler. Have a few old rags to hand for placing under the radiator just in case. Using a bleed or vent key, unscrew the radiator valve and you’ll hear air hissing as it gets released. When the air stops, and a little water comes out, close the valve and job done.

  1. Cleaning out the gutters

This is actually a simple that homeowners can do themselves but only if they’re comfortable climbing a ladder. You’ll need a leaf blower, some rubbish bags and a pair of gloves. Use the leaf blower to clear out any blockage, bag up the mess and you no longer have to worry about the damage that can arise from blocked guttering.

  1. Putting up a shelf

If you’ve never done it before, it can feel a little daunting but it’s really straightforward. First, make sure you are prepared and have all the tools you’ll need. You’ll need the correct type of drill for making the holes in the wall, screws and fixtures. Many stores offer complete shelf packs, so you’ll have everything you need aside from the drill.

DIY Jobs You Can Tackle Yourself2

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  1. Sealing gaps in the bathroom

Through constant use in damp conditions, sealing around sinks, baths, showers and toilets can weaken and gaps may appear. Caulking is the answer and for best results, wait for a warm, dry day, wipe down the area before starting, to clear any dust or debris, and fill those gaps!