Automation seems to be the buzz word that is gaining currency in today’s world. Many jobs which hitherto have been done by humans are now being done by robots. This is generally truer in factories but it is being extended to homes of those who can afford it now.
Of course, your pet dog could be trained to fetch the newspaper, pick up milk and small groceries from the neighbourhood shops; but these are trivial when compared to what robotics can do.
What I am talking about is the many domestic chores done by robots which normally are done by the male or female domestic help. We have heard of robots in the kitchen, getting the bath ready, switching the air conditioner on to keep the room cool by the time you arrive, taking stock of the stuff in the refrigerator and ordering or reminding you to order replenishment, washing the car and many other jobs. Driverless cars are the latest.
This level of progress or automation is finding its feet in India. But the common person is still dependent on many of the skilled and semi-skilled repairs guy: carpenter, painter, electrician, plumber or even a gardener.
There are many odd jobs that would need to be done in a home: fixing a leaking pipe or tap, changing a light bulb or attending to a loose electrical connection, fixing the broken handle of a utensil, hammering a nail into the wall for a wall hanging, tightening the screws on a chair or table or the knobs on the wardrobe, etc.
You cannot do any of these if you do not have the tools. You need not be a professional to engage in these odd jobs. Anyone with some acumen and a genuine interest can do these. All you need is patience, some understanding of the job at hand and the necessary tools to handle such jobs. The internet is a great place to learn the DIY (do-it-yourself) jobs.
So let’s have a look at the basic tools that would be required to do these handyman jobs.
Screw Driver and Tester: Screwdrivers to tighten or loosen screws in furniture. Some are with slotted heads while others have star-shaped heads. Testers are also screw drivers but they come with an insulated handle and have a tiny bulb which glows when it comes in contact with a live electrical line. This will warn you that if you touch the live wire you will get a shock.
Spanners: These are tools to tighten or loosen nuts (not the edible variety but part of metal fasteners).
Hammer: A tool used for securing nails into woodwork or walls.
A variety of fasteners (nails, screws, and nuts and bolts): These come in handy when you are attempting minor repairs at home and can be easily procured from any hardware shop.
Drill / wall punch: Drills are mechanical devices to bore holes into wood, metal or concrete and cement surfaces. A wall punch is sometimes used when a drill machine is not available.
Cutting Pliers: These are generally used to grip or turn wires and other metal objects. It also has a cutting edge and can be used as a wire cutter.
Pipe wrench: This tool is used especially when changing taps and for other plumbing work.
Extension Cord (electrical): As the name suggests, it is a coiled cord that can be extended, especially when the cord length of an electrical appliance is not enough to reach plug points.
Step ladder: This is a multi-utility item which every household needs. You need not pull a table or chair or place a stool upon table to reach the ceiling height just to clean the fan blades or change a light bulb.
Insulation tape: Mainly used to cover open electrical wire ends for shock protection.
Sealant (M-seal, Fevikwik): M-seal can be used to temporarily stop minor water leakages while Fevikwik is an instant adhesive bonding that helps to fix anything except broken hearts: seals and joins broken parts of various materials like ceramic, plastic, fibre glass, and wood.
Measuring Tape: This should be a part of the tools that you must have at home.
It is highly recommended that you invest in a repairs tool box with all the tools mentioned above and learn to use them correctly. You can pick these up at any hardware shops and they are not expensive. Do some reading on this and watch videos on the internet for guidance and instructions on how to work smartly and safely. You can be a handyman at home; trust me you will enjoy it and also save some money.
Stanley Varghese for IndiaProperty.com