Home ownership requires a commitment to keeping your private oasis in tip-top shape. Although hiring a contractor may be required for certain repairs and renovations, some DIY projects are actually within your reach.
From weatherstripping drafty doors to staining your deck, these easy DIY hacks will help you save money and keep your house looking its best.
The popularity of home renovation shows has fueled the fervor for DIY-ing everything from painting to plumbing. With step-by-step guides and how-to video tutorials online, even the most daunting projects seem approachable to novice homeowners.
Air leaks around doors and windows can cost you money and reduce the comfort of your home or office. But sealing these drafts is simple with weather stripping.
A quick test is to hold a dollar bill up against your door, if the bill slides easily in and out of the gap, it’s time for new weather stripping. A door sweep or door shoe also eliminates gaps along the bottom of the door, denying insects and pests entry into your garage or storage space.
2. Repairing Nail Holes
Whether you are a recent renter with nail holes or a homeowner, filling those little imperfections is one of the easiest DIY home repairs. You just need a container of spackling compound or lightweight wall filler, a putty knife, some fine-grit sandpaper and a damp utility rag to wipe away any dust after you are done.
This is not a permanent fix, but it can help you cover those small holes up before your landlord comes by to check in or before you need to remove any wall decorations for staging a home sale. It is also quick and cheap.
With a slew of home renovation TV shows enthralling viewers with impressive transformations, many people are eager to take matters into their own hands. Taking on DIY projects is fun, rewarding and often cheaper than hiring a pro.
But it’s important to consider the level of skill needed to complete the project and if there are any safety concerns involved. There are also some repairs that are better left to professionals, including plumbing or electrical work. Depending on the project, it may save more money and effort in the long run to hire a professional.
4. Fixing Wobbly Furniture
Whether it’s a wobbly table or chair that just won’t stay upright, fixing furniture
problems can save you from having to shell out for new pieces. And learning how to fix them can also be a great DIY project that you’re sure to enjoy.
One of the most common reasons that furniture starts to wobble is because it wasn’t built properly when it was made. As temperatures fluctuate in our homes, wood naturally expands and contracts, and if the builder didn’t construct the legs with this in mind, they could loosen over time.
5. Fixing a Squeaky Door
A squeaky door is one of those niggling problems that almost every homeowner encounters. While it’s unlikely to cause injury or structural damage, the shrill noise is annoying and distracting.
Luckily, this is an easy fix. Start by removing any dust, grime or rust from the hinge, then spray it with lubricant (WD-40 works well). Next, remove the pin and sand off any uneven sections of wood to eliminate the squeak. Then wipe it down with a damp cloth and replace the pin. Finally, re-assemble the door and test it to make sure that the squeaking has stopped.
6. Fixing Creaking Floorboards
Creaking floorboards is a common problem, but fixing them is also one of the easiest DIY home repairs and works. You can silence them by using shims and construction adhesive. If the squeak is caused by a warped or twisted joist, nail a piece of timber alongside the joist to fix it. Make sure you weigh the area from above with a few barbell weights, bags of salt or heavy books to keep it compressed while you work.
For squeaks caused by friction between boards, try adding a dry lubricant like talcum powder. Sprinkle it over the boards and walk over them to work the powder into the cracks, which should reduce the squeak.
7. Staining a Deck
Stain protects deck wood from rot and helps it resist the sun’s harmful UV rays. A stain also allows the natural beauty of wood to show through.
Before you apply stain, sweep the deck to remove leaves, twigs and debris from between boards. Wash the surface with a deck cleaner, and let it dry completely before you start working.
Set up a stain station and put down a plastic tarp to protect the surrounding landscape from drips. Prepare a paint brush for crevices and corners, as well as a roller for the floorboards. Work with the grain and pause often to avoid blobs and streaks.
Some of these repairs are easier to do on your own than harder ones like a whirlpool dishwasher not working. When it comes to more difficult work around the house, it is recommended to call a professional.