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Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself

Lisa Sitwell

Posted on February 04 2020

Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself

While owning a home is a dream for many people, the reality is that homeownership will definitely involve various stuff breaking or breaking down over time. Sure, you can call someone in to paint a room or replace a door lock, but you'll be surprised how easy many tasks can be. Here are some projects that you can undertake to save some money and take satisfaction in having done it yourself. Get out your toolbox and let's begin!

Fix a Leaky Faucet

A constantly dripping faucet not only wastes money but is annoying to boot. Fortunately, it's pretty simple to fix most of the time. Most faucet repairs require only a wrench, a screwdriver, a lubricant such as WD-40, and some washers and O-rings. Replacing the washer and O-ring in the faucet is a quick process, and as long as you keep track of the parts you remove, putting everything back together is easy too.

Interior Painting

Painting a room is one of the most common projects for DIYers, and it can also be a fun family activity, particularly if the room to be painted belongs to a child. Kids will delight in being able to pick their colors and helping to prep the room with tape and drop cloths. For smaller children, painting trim is the best job for them, as it won't really matter if they get a little paint on the walls since splatters will be covered later on. Older kids can wield rollers and do cleanup work, and everyone will be proud of the finished product.

Concrete Driveway Repair

If you have a concrete driveway, sooner or later it will develop cracks from weather and wear. Luckily, you don't need to call in a contractor to fix them. Concrete mix is readily available at home improvement stores, and you can mix concrete by hand if you don’t have access to a mixer. After that, it's a matter of cleaning out loose material with a chisel, applying the concrete, and smoothing and feathering the wet concrete with a trowel and allowing it to dry. To make the concrete stronger, make sure the base is properly prepped with rebar, and add a shovel full of straight cement or fly ash to each wheelbarrow load. For minor cracks, you may only need to apply epoxy or a similar substance.

Patching Drywall

Holes in drywall are not only unsightly but can lead to further damage if not repaired. Patching drywall is somewhat more exact than the typical DIY project, but once you've done it, you can be confident in your ability to fix walls anywhere in your home. You'll need to have a new piece of drywall, some joint compound mix, screws, a drywall taping knife, a drill, a tape measure, and a stud locator to find studs where the new drywall can be firmly attached. Again, turn to the internet to find lots of helpful instructional videos that will guide you through the process of patching drywall.

Replace a Door Lock

Whether you're increasing your home's security or just redecorating, replacing existing doorknobs and deadbolts requires only a few tools and not much time. Most door hardware has clear instructions for installation; the only work you may have to do other than unscrewing the old hardware and fastening the new is to deepen holes in the door jamb so that the latches or bolts will fully fit into them. Even if you need to do that, you'll find that the whole replacement process takes less than an hour—even if it's your first time doing it.

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal unit is great to have, but no matter how careful you are, sometimes it will develop a clog. Sometimes you can just remove what's causing the clog by reaching into the drain with pliers or handle of a long wooden spoon—make sure the power is off before you do and never reach into it with your hand! Many disposal models come with a hex wrench that helps move the grinders to remove impediments. Once the clog is dislodged, give the disposal's motor a few minutes to cool and press the reset button found on the bottom of the unit to give it the all-clear.

Repairing a Running Toilet

Contrary to popular belief, toilets aren't complicated devices. If it runs constantly or on and off between flushes, the problem is usually the flapper (the rubber piece that's the seal between the tank and the bowl) or the fill valve. Replacements for both parts are widely found at home improvement stores and come with clear instructions for installation. Plumbers can be costly, so you can save a lot of money with a little elbow grease and patience.

Replacing Caulk

Caulk is a rubber-based mixture used to seal tubs, shower enclosures, and toilets to floors and/or walls. With time, caulk will break down, increasing the possibility of mold or other water damage. You'll need to remove the old caulk before installing the new, but that's not as hard as it was in the past thanks to solvents specifically created to soften the old caulk. Once clean and dry, the new caulk, which comes in squeeze bottles, can be applied. Take it slow, steady, and straight, and you'll be done in no time.

Installing a Smart Light Switch

Many homeowners are cautious of handling anything that involves electricity, but replacing a light switch is actually quite easy. If you want to update to smart switches, all you'll need is a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, and a voltage detector, which you can buy for less than fifteen dollars and will use to test an outlet's circuit to make sure that the power is completely off before you begin. Many manufacturers provide their own video tutorials to guide you through installation.

Don't hesitate to call in professionals for big jobs or if you feel you're getting in over your head. But fixing a leaking faucet, interior painting, concrete driveway repair, patching drywall, and replacing a door lock are just a few simple home repairs you can do yourself. However, don't be surprised if after taking a few small tasks you want to take on something bigger!

Has fixing that leaky faucet inspired you to make some upgrades? Don’t forget to decorate when you’re finished!

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