Growing up I had a Dad who would rather fix things himself and take us out for ice cream with the money he saved. As far as I was concerned, there wasn't anything my Dad couldn't tackle, but there were a few very important lessons about the home I picked up along the way. Even if there's not a handy Dad in your family, these are still great ideas to impress upon your children early so they will have smooth sailing when they have their own home someday. My Father obviously taught me more than 5 things throughout my life. I'm leaving out good stuff like how to BBQ an entire pork shoulder (properly), play the harmonica, ride a bike, fix a flat tire, and rebuild an engine. Although great, they don't really relate to the house. Here are a few that do and are worth teaching your children:
1. Know How To Operate The Breaker Box & Find A Flashlight: Growing up we lived at the end of a heavily tree-lined street backed by a creek. Anytime the winds picked up there was a chance we'd lose power. Knowing where flashlights were was important, especially as I hit my tween years and was home alone. Before I could drive a car, I knew how to flip the main breaker back on to our house.
2. How To Turn Off The Water To The House: Although I'm still not a wizard at plumbing I did learn two very important things that have allowed me several times to save my floors and furnishings from flooding. My dad taught me how to turn off the water at the toilet and also how to turn it off to the whole house. It might sound silly, but the first time I lived on my own and things start overflowing, even if I didn't know how to fix the problem, I could still lessen the damage.
3. How To Level A Ladder: Many parts of the exterior of our home were quite difficult to reach without the help of an extension ladder. The ground wasn't always level as we had a driveway that wrapped around and down behind the house. My dad used this homemade contraption to keep himself in the air without any problems and I've used it later on in my own homes - brilliant!
4. How To Clean The Gutters: When I set out on my own and found myself renting a home where we were expected to do all the household maintenance, knowing how to clean my gutters came in quite handy. Although my father would never let me be the one on the ladder when I was younger, I still knew how the process worked and to this day have never spent money on a professional gutter guy.
5. How To Drywall, Paint & Trim Out Walls: When I was younger my parents put up walls in our basement to make a home office for my mother. It became oddly cathartic to sand the drywall mud smooth and eliminate all traces of the joints. Painting our own place was standard and we changed wall colors many times, but Dad also showed me how to use the miter saw to cut trim to finish off the look.
What did your Dad teach you? Has there been a moment that you were glad you knew how to do something when it came to your home to save you money or that you were embedded with quick thinking reflexes? Let us know below!
(Image: Flickr member 4merbx licensed for use by Creative Commons)