50 Key Home Improvement Skills to Make Simple Repairs at Home

We contacted some professionals to find out what are the key home improvement skills that can help you make simple repairs at home. From fixing a leaky kitchen or bathroom pipe to painting the outside of your house, there are many tasks that you can do yourself with the right knowledge. Not all homes require repairs, but all homes need occasional maintenance and upkeep. With these 50 key home improvement skills under your belt, you'll be able to handle those jobs like a pro.

Replacing a shower head is a small project with a big impact. To do this, first remove the existing shower head and then tape the base of the shower arm before screwing on the new part. If you want, you can also change the shower arm while you're standing in the tub and have a screwdriver in your hand (usually sold separately). Building a planter is the perfect project for a beginning carpenter.

Cut the planter to the inside width of the window frame, plus 1½ inches. Fit the pieces together with a simple butt joint and screw the boards together. Don't forget to drill drain holes in the bottom and attach the planter to the window frame with screws or sturdy brackets. Using a caulking gun is an easy way to fill in gaps inside or waterproofing outside surfaces.

To use a sealant gun, pull back the plunger and insert the sealant tube. Cut the plastic applicator at a 45-degree angle to reduce putty flow and use a softer touch on the trigger for better control of the sealant. Sealing your driveway can extend its lifespan and improve its curb appeal. Make sure that the weather forecast is dry before starting this project, then repair any cracks and wash the driveway, letting it dry overnight.

Apply roadway sealant in small patches and stay out of the driveway for 24 hours so it can set properly. Mulching garden beds is an easy way to give your garden an instant facelift. Spread mulch evenly, 2 to 4 inches thick, and leave space around trees and shrubs for good air flow. An adjustable wrench will come in handy when you need to turn off your gas meter; there will be a pipe that runs from the ground to the meter, with a shutoff valve approximately 6 to 8 inches from the ground.

When gas is turned on, this valve runs parallel to the pipe; use a wrench to turn it 90 degrees in any direction. Don't forget to call your gas company afterwards so they can turn it back on safely. Regularly dedicating some time to home maintenance and repairs may not be your favorite hobby, but knowing how to make some simple corrections will lower your costs and help you get things done on your own schedule instead of relying on contractors. Mosquito nets are an important part of your home's defense against insects, so when they get caught, repair them.

Judy Laubach
Judy Laubach

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