Learning how to be a handyman can take some hard work. It's easy to bang a few nails with a rusty hammer here and there, but what if you need to fix the washing machine, unclog a drain when even the best of drain cleaners are not working, or realize what a good deck you could have when you look at your backyard.
Some of us may have had a helping hand when it came to learning, others might have had to learn in a more difficult way, some never at all. Happened to you? Don’t worry, down below you can read how to become a first-time handyman with these 10 tips.
10 Save Your Money
Sometimes it can be hard to not want to fix every little thing that is wrong around the house when you’re starting out. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Floor fans are just as consistent as ceiling fans for the first few months.
Things like ladders, shovels, hedge trimmers, and garden supplies should be one of the first things you buy, especially if you are a first-time homeowner. As you live in your home you will learn which tools are the most useful and which ones you need to purchase eventually. Renting some of your tools maybe your best option, because you may not use them frequently enough.
9 Do Some Research
You have a lot of resources available to you when you’re starting out. Black & Decker is a hardware company that produces books filled with descriptive examples and photos on many topics you might be stressed out about at first.
There are also plenty of other publishers that provide ‘How To’ books. YouTube has channel after channel of companies going over even the smallest fix. You can learn how to fix your dishwasher, fix that leaky pipe so you don’t have to call a plumber, or even do some home-remodeling on your own. Seek out people with the same interest or project ideas as you. You can learn together.
8 Put Your Skills To Work
Habitat for Humanity has chapters in many cities, and chances are you can put your skills to the test and learn new ones with the help of other volunteers and traders. You don’t really need any skills to volunteer. You can help put up sheetrock one minute, and learn how to do some basic wiring the next.
Don’t be afraid to try things out. It’s how a handyman works, routinely expanding their skills and always continuing their research. Do a small project first, such as changing your door sets, or building some furniture if you have minimum experience. Applying yourself builds confidence.
7 Keep A Realistic Mind-Set
You won’t build that deck within a week, not if you’re doing the job right, and you most likely won’t be able to replace that wall in the house that for whatever reason has been bothering you. Not yet. So keep making short, realistic goals that will prevent you from getting stressed out. Enjoying the process is extremely important.
It prevents you from feeling burnt out and the feeling of finishing a project you’ve been working on for a while is extremely rewarding. You’re in this because you want to learn a life-long skill. Not to get frustrated and quit your first project.
6 Take Your Time
This goes along well with the research and mindset points. It takes a lot of time to master a skill. Practice makes perfect, remember. You may spend more time on that faucet than you think you should on your first time. But your seventh or eight? You probably have it down to a professional level by now.
You’re brand new, so everything should be about the right methods and the right tools for the job. There will eventually be a point where books and videos become obsolete for you. Organizational skills, as well as your general know-how, will come in handy daily.
5 Work With A Tradesman
This is one of, if not the best ways to gain hands-on experience quickly. After all, you’re learning from someone who has made this their career. Multiple skills will be bundled up throughout your day, ensuring that when you leave, you have more than enough knowledge to carry yourself through whatever project you happen to take on.
They can also be a great resource of advice and may even be able to help when you need help getting certain things done. If you aren’t able to find someone in person, then DIY forums would be the best place to start gaining knowledge from others.
4 Take Some Classes
Many schools offer training and certification in plumbing, heating, and air (HVAC), and electrical. So if you’re looking to start a specific trade, you may want to enroll in a technical or vocational school in your area. This gives you the opportunity to go from a low-level handyman to a genuine tradesman that has become a master of their craft.
Now you really won’t have to call anyone to help you around the house. You can go back at any time and learn something new to add to your resume and extend your expertise in another field. The formal training you will receive will take you far.
3 Grow Your Tool-Kit
Tackle this slowly. You will spend more time looking for the right set of tools than you will be using them. At first! Don’t blow $200 on a chainsaw you’re going to use a few times out of the year. Buy your small essentials, and grow from there.
Like your knowledge of the subject, your toolkit will slowly build-up, and it will show off your far-reaching professionalism. Every job is going to require a certain set of tools, so be prepared for potential fixes in your future when ordering or renting your tools. Always grow your toolkit slowly! Your bank account will thank you.
2 Keep A Good Work Ethic
Jobs won’t be finished overnight, so it’s okay if you get frustrated after a time. Just keep at it, and remember why you started in the first place. Your name is going to be on that job, figuratively and literally.
Doing a good job on your project will make you want to continue pushing forward. People will be impressed with your work ethic, and the quality of the jobs you are able to do. Learning isn’t possible without the ability to fail and learn from it. Keep at it, and it will get easier. A job well done is often its own reward.
1 Get Outside Of Your Comfort Zone
Think your home repairs are going to stop at chairs that wiggle too much when you sit down? Anticipate future projects. You’re going to need to tackle problems as they come up, and that means you may be working in conditions that are far from ideal. Things like plumbing usually require getting on the floor and under a sink.
Branch out to harder projects after you finish your first. Take some time to see if what you’ve learned so far can be applied, and use the former points on the list as a reference on how to properly fix the situation. Ask for help when possible!