5 Household Repairs You Can Do Yourself
There are several house repairs you can do yourself, with no specialist knowledge. Learning how to do your own home repairs can save you hundreds of dollars each year, giving you a sense of pride and satisfaction to boot. From a stiff drawer to a drafty window, there’s no need to “get someone in” with these five simple household repairs.
If you want to do some of your own repairs around the house, you’ll need a basic tool kit. Every home should have a:
- Measuring tape
- Claw hammer
- Utility knife
- Screwdriver set
- Heavy-duty adhesive
- Mastic gun
- Adjustable spanner
Repairing Stiff Chest Drawers
Fixing this pesky problem is far easier than you think, and you don’t need to call a local carpenter. Start by removing the drawer and checking the runners. Look for any protruding nails or loose chips of wood. Then rub a piece of sandpaper along the runner, concentrating on the section that makes contact with the drawer. To finish, get an old candle stub and run it along the same section, pressing down lightly as you go.
Fixing Loose Cabinet Doors
Cabinet drawers that no longer hang straight aren’t just annoying to use, they look bad too. If fact, just one wonky cabinet door will affect the aesthetic flow of an entire room. When the screws give way, it can cause the detacher hinge to come a little loose. All you need to do is screw them back in tightly. Sometimes, you will need to buy a replacement hinge or new screws, which you can get at any DIY store. You might need to place the new hinge above or below the original and make new screw holes.
Draft-Proofing Window Seals
You’ll know if you have windows that need draft-proofing because you’ll feel the cold air as you walk past them. Windows in older houses are far more likely to need draft-proofing than modern plastic ones. Simply measure up your windows and buy enough weatherstripping from your local DIY store. These adhesive foam strips are low in cost and easy to use.
Apply where needed internally, typically where any two surfaces meet. This may be where the window frame joins the wall, or the sash meets the frame. For gaps on the outside, use caulk, applying it neatly with a mastic gun and finishing with a wet sponge. Sometimes, when windows are beyond repair, it might be more efficient in the long run to upgrade rather than try to fix them.
Fixing a Leaky Faucet
There’s no sound more likely to drive you to distraction than a leaky faucet. This job is easier than you think, so you don’t need to call out a pricey plumber. You will need an adjustable spanner and screwdriver from your basic tool kit. If the leak is coming from the handle, you need a new o-ring. If it is dripping from the spout, you need a new washer. Now simply follow these steps to fix your leaky faucet.
Sort Out Grubby Grouting
You don’t need any specialist knowledge to address the grubby grouting between your beautiful tiles. Start this job by applying a thin layer of bleach and leaving it for one hour. Then, scrub the grouting lightly with an old toothbrush and rinse.
Once the area has dried, you can assess which parts are OK to leave, which parts need removing and replacing, and which parts just need brightening. Use a grout pen to brighten any areas that are fully intact but remain discolored. Use a grout rake to remove any rotten grout and apply ready-made grout using a grout spreader. If you’ve ever decorated a birthday cake, this will be a cinch. Wipe down the tiles afterwards for a clean finish.
Doing your own repairs is just one way you can save when you own a home. As well as saving money, it’s a brilliant way to learn lifelong DIY skills and create a more personal bond with the space around you. Make sure you have the basic tools at hand and the next time you hear that faucet dripping or notice some discolored grouting, you’ll know what to do.