As with all advanced home improvement projects, whether you can install a sink or repair a faucet yourself depends on your comfort level with the materials and tools. Let's go through what it takes to get these jobs done to see if you can DIY or should assign the tasks to your professional handyman.
Choosing a Sink
First, you need the sink. A variety of materials exist:
Stainless Steel-The most popular on the market, stainless steel sinks typically cost the least but can scratch more easily than other materials. They also can be noisy during use for the lighter weights. Stainless steel sinks come in a variety of gauges, which affects the weight.
Cast Iron-These types of sinks feature a porcelain enamel finish. It proves durable, resisting most stains and scratches, but it can chip and expose the underlying cast iron to rust. Cast iron sinks are quite heavy.
Ceramic-These sinks also come coated in porcelain enamel. The porcelain enamel gets fused to the clay in a kiln. This makes it more durable than cast iron but also chip.
Granite/Imitation Stone-A real granite sink brings with it the beauty of the stone, while the imitation variety features a composite of granite, or quartz, and resin that resembles the real deal but actually requires less maintenance and offers more durability. Stainless steel sinks are still the most commonly installed, but composite has become a popular option for homeowners who prefer the look and appreciate the durability.
We mention the weight of certain sinks because the heavier ones may require additional supports and assistance during installation. Keep this in mind when deciding whether to install a new sink yourself or outsource the job.
Tools and Supplies Required for Sink Installation
If you regularly tackle more advanced home improvement projects, you may already have the tools and supplies on hand. If not, your shopping list may include tools such as a jigsaw with blade appropriate for countertop material, drill with spade bit, hacksaw, tubing cutter and other basics, including screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches and a utility knife. You also will need to pick up PVC primer and cement, plumber's putty and pipe-joint compound.
Factor the cost of the supplies, which you likely will not regularly use when weighing DIY vs. hiring a professional.
Common Faucet Issues and Required Tools
Leaks and slow water flow are common issues with faucets, and that require repair in order to keep your water bill in check with the former and your sanity with the latter. After turning off the water, you can disassemble the faucet to check for worn or clogged parts. Simply clean where you can to remove clogs and take worn parts to your local home improvement store to purchase replacements. Many sink manufacturers actually sell repair kits for their products, including those that address spout leaks, making the project easier for the DIYer. In terms of tools, for both faucet installation and repair, you likely will need an Allen wrench, slip-joint pliers and O-ring seals.
Deciding to DIY or Hire a Professional
As noted, sink repair qualifies as one of the easier tackled jobs by the home handyman. Sink and faucet installation, on the other hand, requires a comfort level with the tools and materials you might not have. If you are installing one of the heavier sinks and must cut into the existing countertop, your best bet is to hire a professional unless you have done it before. You would not want to breeze through the installation process only to find out soon after that your brand new cast iron sink proved too heavy for the existing supports.
Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service now online.