Your home is the probably the most expensive item you will ever own. Obviously, you’re going to want to maintain (and even improve) your investment. There are a lot of things that can break or wear out, but calling in a specialist to fix everything can get expensive fast, and you’ve already got a shiny new mortgage to take care of. Luckily, there are a huge number of things that any homeowner can do themselves. You’ll get problems repaired sooner and at much less cost!
The Noisy Toilet
The typical thing you notice is that when you flush the toilet, it continues to run and make noise. You’ll jiggle the handle and the toilet stops running. Eventually, the handle jiggle tactic fails and you’re stuck with a noisy toilet. The problem is usually a bad flapper valve in the tank.
This is very easy to replace. Since you’re in there anyway, go ahead and replace the entire flushing mechanism. You can replace the flapper by buying a relatively cheap new one. When you’re done, you’ll have a toilet that works like new for several more years. You’ll also save money since your toilet is no longer wasting water.
The Leaky Faucet
Dripping faucets are not only annoying because of the noise—they’re wasting water and money, too. Most leaking faucets are caused by a small round rubber bushing that is cracked or broken, allowing water to escape. Most homeowners can replace these themselves.
Take the faucet apart until you find the small rubber ring. Take this to the home supply store and ask for help finding a match. As you reassemble the faucet, wipe any mineral build up off of the parts. This will make them work better and last longer.
The Slow Running Drain
Most drains in the house will at some time start to run slowly and may even stop draining altogether. Before calling a plumber or using toxic chemicals to clear the drain, do it yourself!
Home supply stores will have a small clog remover that looks like a wire with a hook at the end. Following the instructions, you will feed the wire down into the drain and pull it back up with a twisting motion. Do this a few times, and you’ll pull the blockage out of the drain. Run some water through to clear it out completely and you now have a free-flowing drain!
Changing Light Fixtures
Create a new look in any room by changing those old light fixtures. It’s easy to do if you’ll keep a little safety in mind. Always turn off the power to the room before working on the light fixture. Find the breaker for that room in your electrical master panel and shut it off.
Take the old light fixture down, piece by piece if needed, until you only have two or three wires coming out of the wall. The wires should all be colored coded. If they’re not, use a piece of tape on each wire and write down where each wire went on the old fixture. Your new fixture will have two or three wires coming out of it that will match the wires in your wall. Follow the directions for connecting the wires. Attach the new fixture and, within an hour, you’ll have a brighter, newer-looking room!
Covering Up Those Holes
Walls in a house take a lot of abuse. They’re punctured so the owners can hang pictures, plants and lighting fixtures. Furniture scrapes up against them. And the occasional accident punches even more holes through them. A homeowner should know the basics of filling in these holes.
Your walls are made of drywall, which means holes can be easily filled with a drywall filler or spackle. Home supply stores carry this in a variety of sizes. It’s ready to use.
The spackle will look like a really thick paste. Using a wide flat tool you spread it on the wall over the hole. Let it dry. In some cases you’ll want to sand the spot a little bit to take the roughness out. Then you’ll paint over it with the same color as the wall, hopefully with leftovers from when the wall was last painted.
Save Time and Money
Learning how to do some simple things around the house will save you money and time. It’s also a great way to keep your home in top shape without having to shell out money for the pros. Plus, nothing boosts self-confidence like knowing how to fix your own toilet!