This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Learn more

10 DIY skills all great men know

From rewiring a plug to putting up a shelf

10 DIY skills all great men know

You're going to put that shelf up this weekend, right?

The one that's been sitting in a plastic wrapper in the hall for the last few months? You stubbed your toe on it last Friday? Your other half has been passive aggressively stacking books next to it for a while now. Yes, that shelf.

It's okay - we're not about to insist that your lack of DIY skills are a detriment to your claim on masculinity. We just want to help. According to a recent survey by Jacamo, fewer than 50 per cent of men know how to rewire a plug, despite YouTube having a bunch of decent tutorials. 

To help you 'do it yourself', Handy’s DIY pro Matt Philips has shared a round up of the 10 skills he believes every man really should know. Grab a hammer. 

How to break down a door

"Hopefully this isn’t something you'll have to ever do, but it is something every man should know (should your other half ever find themselves locked in the bathroom for example). We’re not suggesting you break your shoulder, though. Instead, loosen the frame by unscrewing the hinges before you take a running leap at it. This way, both the door and your bones should remain largely in tact." 

How to hammer a nail correctly

"Some tools are understandably harder to handle, but every man should be able to skilfully use a hammer. Rather than just whacking the nail as hard as possible, which will just result in a poor job and tire you out, learn how to do it efficiently. First, hold the hammer firmly as if in a handshake. For precision, hold it closer to the hammer head, and for power hold it at the end."

How to bleed a radiator

"When air gets trapped in radiators, they don’t function properly. To fix this, it needs to be bled. Turn your central heating off then locate the bleeding valve. Place a small bowl or cloth underneath it (the guy in the picture is a fool), and be careful as leaking water will be hot. Finally place the radiator key in the valve and turn anticlockwise until you hear the hissing sound of the escaping air. As soon as water starts to escape, turn the valve back as all of the air is now out. Lost the radiator key? Use a flat-headed screwdriver instead!"

How to wire a plug

"Every man should know how to wire a plug, and to do this, you just need to know what each wire colour represents and where they should go. Blue is ‘neutral’, brown is ‘live’ and yellow/green striped is ‘earth’. To connect them to the correct terminal just remember blue goes left, brown goes right, striped goes to the top. Simple!"

How to fix a broken toilet seat

"Because we have yet to come to a unanimous decision about whether the seat should be up or down, all the two-ing and fro-ing means that the screws can quite easily become loose, and nobody should have to suffer the precarious experience of a wobbly toilet seat. Most of us leave it until it gives in completely and breaks, but it’s really easy to prevent this using a simple screwdriver. All you need to do is tighten the two screws connecting the seat by holding the seat in place and turning clockwise."

How to clear blocked pipes

"All that beard maintenance can wreak havoc on your drains. If you notice that your plugs aren’t draining as quickly, there may be a build-up of hair causing a blockage. You really don’t want to call out a plumber if it’s something you can easily fix yourself. The first thing to do is try to manually remove anything obstructing the pipe by using a pipe cleaner to pull hair balls through the plughole. If that doesn’t work, try boiling a kettle and gradually pouring down the drain to push away minor blockages."

How to paint a wall

"Every man should know how to paint a wall without it looking like a toddler has been let loose with their watercolours. You'll need paint, a roller, a small paint brush and a paint tray. Use the brush to paint around the edges of your surface area for a cleaner line, before moving onto the roller to do the rest. Most importantly, make sure your roller is fully coated but not dripping, this is the best way of ensuring an even finish. Roll off excess paint in your tray and roll onto the wall in an upward and downward motion until finished. Leave to dry and repeat if another coat is needed. Job done."

How to fix a dripping tap

"The constant drip of a leaky tap is one of the most common reasons people call in a tradesman, but most of the time there is no need to get the plumber in. You probably just need to tighten or change the washer. Firstly, turn off the water supply to the tap, either underneath the sink or at the mains using the stopcock (stop sniggering), then remove the tap’s cover to reveal a nut or screw. It probably just needs tightening, but unscrew it and take a look at the washer. If it looks worn and like it needs replacing, just pick a new one up at your local hardware store – most are just standard size but take the old one with you to be on the safe side."

How to put up a shelf

"The art of putting up a shelf truly separates the men from the boys. To accomplish this feat, you will need rawl plugs, screws and a spirit level. First, hold the shelf against the wall where you want it and, after checking it is level, mark with a pencil the place where the screws will go. Now for the drilling. Once you’ve drilled out your holes, put in the rawl plugs and then screw in your brackets before mounting the shelf. Always check whether your wall is load bearing or just a partition wall so you can use the appropriate drill bit, and make sure it’s not concealing any electrical wires before you drill away."

How many inches are in a foot

"The answer being, 12. First and foremost before you attempt to do any DIY you NEED to know your measurements. Stick to either metric or imperial and remember, this is the time to be accurate not generous…"