Homeowners take on almost 40 percent of home improvement projects themselves, usually lower-cost and simple home repairs that would be too costly to hire a professional to come to do it or you.
If a dripping kitchen faucet or squeaking office door is starting to drive you crazy, it might be time to set aside a weekend for some easy DIY home repairs. Rolling up your sleeves can save you money and get the work done on your schedule rather than that of the handyman or plumber.
Here are a few easy home repairs you can do yourself that will take just a small part of your weekend.
1. Squeaking Doors
Creaking and squeaking doors can be an annoyance, not to mention a huge issue if you’re waking up the baby every time you open a door. The squeak could be caused by a sticking door because there’s extra pressure being put on the hinges. But the hardware can also get noisy as it begins to oxidize over time.
Start with the easy fix by using a silicone spray or penetrating oil on the hinge. Add just a few drops, then open and close the door to work it into the hinge. If it’s still squeaking, try again as it might need a little more grease.
If oiling doesn’t help, you can try cleaning the hinge pins. Take the pins out, scour them with steel wool, and clean out the pinholes with a wire brush. Put everything back together, add a little oil again, and see if that fixes the issue.
Because sticking doors can cause a squeak, it’s a good idea to check whether you need to fix that issue as well. Interior doors can swell in humid weather, and that can loosen screws and hinges that might lead to the squeak. Tighten any loose screws to see if that helps the issue.
2. Plumbing Problems
According to the EPA, leaks in the average house waste almost 10,000 gallons of water each year — enough to fill a swimming pool!
Fortunately, dripping faucets and small leaks can be some of the easier things on your home repairs list. A leak from a drainpipe might just require tightening the slip nut near the p-trap under the sink. If water is coming from a small hole, a flexible coupling can cover the hole and stop the leak.
Leaks and drips from faucets are most often caused by deteriorating washers or a worn O-ring. If you have separate hot and cold water lines, you can shut them off one at a time to see which side is causing the drop. Once you’ve isolated it, remove the handle and inspect the washer, replacing it if necessary.
Low water pressure issues from a showerhead or faucet could be the result of hard-water deposits clogging the holes. Take the head off and soak it in vinegar to dissolve the clogging material. If you’ve always hated the showerhead, this might also be a chance to change out the head for a luxury or low-flow model that can improve bath time.
With a running toilet, the common culprit is a leaky rubber flapper, which opens to send water from the tank to the bowl when you flush. It’s a simple and inexpensive fix as it’s often solved by picking up a new flapper or toilet rebuild kit from places like this hardware company.
3. Lighting Upgrade
Electrical fixes can be easy home repairs, but it’s definitely an area where you need to make sure you’re taking appropriate safety precautions. Make sure you understand how to turn off the electricity to where you’re working.
Changing out a lighting fixture can improve the look of a room. Pay attention as you remove the old fixture so you can properly identify the various wires when it comes time to connect them to the new fixture.
One upgrade might be to install a ceiling fan, which will improve ventilation as well as lighting. This is slightly more challenging than a simple light fixture as you’ll need to connect an extra set of wires to power the fan and have to juggle the heavier fixture.
4. Flooring Fixes
One of the fastest fixes for your floor is to take a day to clean the carpets. You can easily rent or buy one, and it takes about a day to do an average-sized home. You’ll need about 24 hours total to account for drying time as well.
If you’ve been hiding scratches and gouges in your wood floors with area rugs, these are a quick fix. Wood markers can take care of any superficial damage, while wood putty can be used to fill in deeper gouges.
Prevent damage to your wood, laminate, or vinyl floor by adding felt pads to the feet of all your furniture. Get a pack with multiple sizes and even some big squares that can be cut down for any odd shapes or sizes.
5. Windows Worries
If you’re up to it, you can plan to install insert replacement windows to fix issues like broken window seals and fogging windows. Using an insert replacement allows you to keep the existing window frame and trim, which saves you time and makes it more of a DIY project.
For a smaller project, take a walk around the house to check the window screens. If they’re torn, rusting, or have holes, you can do some quick home repairs to get them back in working order.
Tiny tears can be repaired by using clear nail polish to bond the pieces of the screen together. With larger holes or tears, window screen repair tape makes it easy since you just cut it to size and stick it on over the hole or rip.
If you have too many holes or they’re too big, replace the screen in the existing frame with a kit. Any issues with the frame should mean replacing the entire frame.
Prepare For Your Weekend DIY Home Repairs
Owning a home means taking on a commitment to keeping your home safe and running smoothly, which means taking on the occasional repair. The DIY home repairs listed here should take just a small part of your weekend, but give you some peace of mind that they’re complete. Prepare yourself by reviewing the skills required and make sure you have all the tools and equipment you need to have on hand.
Interested in other projects for your home? Check out our other articles in the home improvement category for ideas and tips to make your home great.