Kids these days! With everyone relying heavily on technology, your teens may be capable of installing a new app, but not a new light bulb. What were once regarded as need-to-know skills have fallen by the wayside, with an overreliance on mom and dad is keeping this generation’s teens out of the tool shed and in the dark when it comes to DIY.
A study done by HomeServe revealed that among 18-24 year olds, one in six admitted to not being a able to change a light bulb and six out of 10 shudder at the thought of a blocked drain .
In light of these figures, HomeServe has released their top tips to pass down to the next generation:
1. How to change a light bulb
How many teenagers does it take to change a light bulb? According to HomeServe, you’d need half a dozen to be certain, as this is a skill that one in six young people don’t possess. But some gentle encouragement and a little imparted wisdom will undoubtedly brighten up the nation – in every sense of the word.
Useful Tip: One of the few difficulties is knowing which way to actually turn the bulb if it’s a screw-type fitting. A general rule of thumb is ‘Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey’. Turn the bulb right to screw it into the socket and left to release it.
2. How to unblock a drain
Teenagers are particularly good at putting food, hair and other unmentionables down plugholes, but less good at dealing with it themselves. After all, few jobs around the home make people as squeamish as a clogged drain, which is one reason why so many are unwilling to learn how to clear them.
Useful Tip: If a bathroom or kitchen sink or a bath is blocked, you can clear it with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Pour about three quarters of a cup of dry baking powder down the drain, followed by about half a cup of vinegar. Then cover the plughole with a damp cloth. The baking powder will react with vinegar and break down most blockages. Let the mixture fizz away for half an hour and then rinse clear with hot water.
3. How to strip wallpaper
Odds are, at some point throughout their teenage years, your son or daughter will demand that their room be redecorated – usually around the time they realize that Thomas the Tank Engine wallpaper is no longer socially acceptable.
But the fact that 48 percent of young people profess to have no idea how to strip and put up wallpaper is evidence that parents are missing the perfect opportunity to engage their child in a DIY crash course.
Useful Tip: Before decorating, you need to strip your walls, which can be as big a job as hanging new wallpaper. Fabric softener is an excellent tool in removing wallpaper and far cheaper than paint stripper. Mix with hot water, spray onto the walls and wait for the wallpaper and glue to soften before scraping off with a metal scraper. This will also leave the room smelling fresh.
Useful Tip: An amateur, no matter how keen to impress, is likely to have issues with bubbles appearing under the wallpaper surface. Simply take a pin, prick the bubble and apply a thin layer of paste to the affected area.