DIY Quiz: Can you really fix it?

Does the thought of picking up a screwdriver fill you with horror? Do you half-heartedly try to fix little problems or are you gung-ho with every power tool, despite having no expertise to balance your enthusiasm? Take home improvement expert Becky Clarke’s DIY quiz to find out whether you should attempt to fix those nagging problems or leave it to the professionals.

Photograph: Alamy

DIY looks easy, and some of it really is, but there are a few jobs around the home that could be troublesome if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. If you’ve been taught basic skills then you can fix little problems, but if you haven’t you could turn a small problem into a big situation that could cause injury or damage to your property. Take our fun quiz to discover whether you’re a home-improvement hero or a DIY debacle.

 One of the lovely stripped floorboards in your hall is creaking. Do you:

A. Hammer some good long nails in randomly until it stops wobbling.
B. Try brushing talc between the offending boards and if that doesn’t work, carefully lift the board to check what’s underneath then remove loose nails and replace with countersunk screws to secure the board.
C. Put a rug over it then you’ll hardly hear the squeaking.

 There’s a crack in the wall and you know you should do something to it before you decorate. Do you:

A. Decide not to bother – you can hang a picture over it, right?
B. Remove any loose plaster then carefully fill the crack with interior filler that you sand flat when it’s dry and ready to paint over.
C. Fill the crack with toothpaste – you’re sure you read that somewhere a while back.

 The basin tap in the bathroom is dripping and the noise is driving you crazy. Do you:

A. Hit it with a hammer and see if it stops.
B. Turn off the water supply, drain the pipe then unscrew the top of the tap to replace the perished washer.
C. Leave a flannel in the sink to muffle the sound of the drip, drip, drip…

 You’d like to put a shelf up in your bedroom. Do you:

A. Whack a couple of nails in the wall. That’s sure to be ok.
B. Check for hidden pipes and cables then drill holes at the marks you’ve carefully prepared with a tape measure and spirit level.
C. Think better of it and put the unopened shelf in the understairs cupboard for another time.

Your cutlery drawer’s always getting stuck. Do you:

A. Push it as hard as you have to – it’ll shut eventually.
B. Take everything out then remove the drawer to tighten the screws, clean the runners and check the drawer itself isn’t coming apart.
C. Take the front of the drawer off and use the space as a shelf to store rolls of cling film and foil.

 Your kitchen door squeaks every time you shut it. Do you:

A. Slam the door hard – the shock should fix it.
B. Get some oil and work it into the hinges.
C. Leave it open all the time so it doesn’t bother you.

Paint tin and brush on well-used step ladder ready to start some DIY home improvement. Image shot 2007. Exact date unknown.

Photograph: Alamy

How did you do?

Count up your answers and see which category you have scored most in.

Mostly As: Put down the screwdriver

Your slapdash, carefree attitude to DIY could do some terrible damage to your house, or land you in A&E. Step away from the drill and call a professional before there’s an accident!

Mostly Bs: The toolbox master

Your DIY knowledge means you know how to approach tasks around the home to get the best results. You take your time and are careful so the job gets done properly. Well done!

Mostly Cs: Stick to changing lightbulbs

With the best will in the world, DIY’s not really your thing, but at least you realise this and don’t attempt things you don’t know how to do. Even if the shelf doesn’t get put up the moment you buy it, at least nothing gets broken or damaged!

Becky Clarke is an interior designer and home improvement journalist, she’s written about DIY for magazines such as Your Home, House Beautiful and Ideal Home


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