Whether you've just bought your first home or just haven't been called upon to do any DIY in the past, then you're forgiven for not knowing the basics. However, there are some things that you will need to be able to do in the future. Did you know you can actually devalue your house with poor DIY. Make sure you get up to scratch with the fundamentals:

1. Get Your Equipment Together

A bad workman blames his tools, as the old adage goes, but if you don't have the tools to begin with, you're even worse off! Older relatives will be absolutely delighted to advise you and might even give you some spares. You'll need: claw hammer, flathead and Phillips screwdrivers, tape measure, wrench, pliers, cordless drill and bits, crosscut saw and spirit level.

2. Preparation is Key

Even the professionals need to look up how to do certain jobs. Make sure that you have it clear in your head what it is you need to do and have the right tools for the job. Invest in a good DIY manual or take advantage of step by step videos on YouTube.

3. How to Take Measurements

Taking measurements is vital, but so easy to get wrong. The first thing to remember is to always write down each measurement. It might be easier to draw whatever it is you're measuring and to write the dimensions onto each part of the drawing. Remember: "Measure twice, cut once"

4. Flat Packed Furniture

If you can work out how to construct flat-packed furniture, you will soon learn to be able to make your own woodwork items, a shelf or cabinet for instance. It's all about reading the instructions on things properly; you'll soon learn the ways that items fit together.

5. Charge the Drill After Each Use

That's just one of the things you need to do in order to maintain your tools. Another great piece of advice is to put your paint brushes in to soak after you use them. This way each time you go to do some DIY you don't have to go out and buy all new tools or wait for them to charge.

6. Patch It Up

One of the most important skills to have at home is the ability to patch things up as you go. Even if you don't have the talent needed for a huge repair job, being able to fix a hole in the wall or floor will save some money until you are able to pay for proper repairs.

7. Stay Safe

The number of DIY-related accidents each year is astonishing. Always use goggles and masks (especially when using MDF as the dust produced is highly dangerous). Use the guards on power tools; use work gloves to guard against splinters and to get a good grip whilst moving stuff.

8. Dust Sheets

Whenever you start a DIY project, think "Dust Sheets" and that should remind you to protect the surrounding areas. You should use masking tape when painting to guard against drips. It's just good practice to clear up the area to the same or better standard as you found it.

9. Learn Your House

Knowing where the stopcock is in your house, or the fuse box, will save you time and money when something goes wrong. A leak in the house can be easily remedied by switching the water to the house off immediately, this will stem the water flow and help limit damage.

10. Leave it to the Professionals

There are some jobs that should be left to the professionals, and some that are legally required to be carried out by registered experts. You are allowed to do DIY electrical and plumbing work, but this may need to be certified, but when it comes to gas, it's strictly hands off unless you're Corgi-registered.