Top 8 Home Repair Skills Every Homeowner Should Have

Top 8 Home Repair Skills Every Homeowner Should Have

Know how to shut off your utilities in an emergency
Read Time: 5 minutes
Nov 14, 2022

When you own your own home instead of renting, every repair is your responsibility. This is because you’re the one building equity in the home and who will benefit in the long run from any improvement that you make. You could pay a professional to do every repair in your home, but that could cost a lot of money. Ideally, the homeowner should take on the smaller jobs and then save hiring a professional for the bigger, more complicated ones.

The following are the top home repair skills that every homeowner should learn.

Skill #1

How to Shut off the Water in Your Home

a person’s hand turning off the main water valve in a home

If there’s a leak in your home, you’ll need to be able to shut off the water to your entire home in a hurry. This may also be needed for certain plumbing repairs. Knowing where the main water valve is in your house could help to save a lot of money on water damage. This valve will be located at the place in your home where the water comes in from the outside. It may be in the basement, the garage, or even in a crawl space.

Shutting off the Water to Appliances

There’s usually more than one valve. The others go to individual appliances or parts of the house. If you’re performing a plumbing repair, then you’ll need to know where these valves are.

Skill #2

How to Shut off the Gas in Your Home

a gas valve on a wall next to a hot water heater

If your home uses gas for anything, whether it’s for the stove or the water heater, you’ll need to know how to turn it off. This is because a gas leak could be dangerous or even fatal to the people living in your home. Just like your water valve, the gas valve is located near where the gas enters the home.

Finding the Gas Valve

If you’re not sure where your gas valve is, go outside and find your gas meter. That’s where the gas enters the house on the exterior. The gas valve will be on the interior side of that same section of the wall.

Skill #3

How to Replace Your HVAC Filters

a homeowner replacing the filter on an HVAC unit in their home

Any air conditioning and heating unit is going to have filters that will need to be replaced eventually. You’ll not only need to know where to replace the filters, but how to get them out and what kind of filter you’ll need to buy as a replacement.

How Often Air Filters Need to Be Replaced

Air filters can have a major impact on the quality of the air within your home. On top of that, they can help reduce your energy bills. Make sure to change them at least every 90 days to maximize these benefits.

Skill #4

How to Clean Your Gutters

an older woman standing on a ladder and cleaning out her gutters

Gutters need to be cleaned out at least twice a year, maybe more if you have trees very close to your home that drop leaves onto your roof. If you let your gutters get clogged, they could overflow and water could end up leaking into your home.

When to Clean Your Gutters

It’s usually recommended to clean your gutters in the spring and fall.

Skill #5

How to Reset Your Circuit Breaker

a woman resetting the circuit breaker in her home

If you use too much electricity at once, your home should automatically shut off the power to that section of the building. This is a safety feature to prevent you from overheating your wiring or causing an electrical fire. However, to get the power to turn back on, you’ll need to reset the circuit breaker, which is usually in the basement, a closet, or the garage.

How to Reset the Breaker

To reset the breaker, just flip the switch off and then on again.

Skill #6

How to Fix a Toilet That’s Running

A homeowner using a wrench to fix something in the toilet tank

Many toilet problems are easily fixed by a homeowner. If you can hear the water in your toilet continually running, take the back off the toilet tank. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with all of the different pieces inside and how they work together to flush your toilet. One of the parts may be loose or broken and you might need to replace it.

Where to Buy Replacement Toilet Tank Parts

Most hardware or home improvement stores will have the parts you’d need to repair a running toilet.

Skill #7

How to Maintain Your Hot Water Heater

Sediment can build up in the bottom of your hot water heater. This can decrease the lifespan of your water heater over time if you don’t clean it out. It’s also a good idea to know how what temperature you prefer for your water. The manufacturer’s setting might be higher than you actually need and turning it down could help you save some money.

How to Clean out Sediment

At least once a year, drain the water out of your hot water heater’s tank to clean out any sediment that has built up in it.

Skill #8

How to Unclog a Drain

a woman using a plunger to unclog a sink drain

Another skill that homeowners should have is unclogging a drain. This includes sink, toilet, and tub or shower drains. Any of these can get clogged and most small clogs are easily fixed by a homeowner. You can start with a plunger, but you may need to use a snake if the plunger doesn’t fix the problem.

When to Call a Professional

If you’ve tried to unclog a drain yourself, but it’s proving to be stubborn, don’t feel bad about calling a professional. Some clogs are difficult enough to require a more experienced hand.

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