Put that phone down for just a sec…before you spend your hard earned money on outside sources to fix your little home repairs (or bugging your brother-in-law, again) there are a few tips you should know that will help you to become more self-sufficient and put money back into your pockets.
We have compiled some clever little tips and tricks that will go a long way in ensuring your household continues to run smoothly without turning into a money pit. Read on to our 33 Home Repair Tips I Wish I Knew Sooner to find out more.
#1 Fix a Leaky Faucet
Image source: popularmechanics.com
Issue: Leaky Faucet
What to do: First steps to fixing a leaky faucet are to turn the water supply off by turning off the valve under the sink. We will want to replace the washer. Take an old rag and put it into the sinks drain to prevent losing any small parts. Remove the handle by removing the screw cover and taking the screw out. Pull off handle.
Next, separate the stem with a wrench (do make sure to line up all the parts you are removing and keep them in order of how they go back together) and investigate for any signs of deterioration of the plastic cartridges or other rubber parts. Look for replacements, if needed, at the hardware store and replace the cracked parts and put them back together in the same order of removal.
#2 Drill Through Tile Without it Cracking
Image source: diynetwork.com
Issue: Drilling through the tile
What to do: Have carbide-tipped masonry drill bits on hand for this job as they are the best for drilling into the tile and you will need something that can handle rock-hard surfaces to get through the glazed outer surface and the hardened part without it cracking.
#3 How to Pick an Interior Lock
Issue: Interior door locked & no key
What to do: This next tip may seem like a “no-brainer”, but I’ve witnessed plenty of people caught in this predicament to no better than to assume. So here goes, most bathrooms and bedrooms are equipped with a privacy lock that comes with slim keys. The keys are equivalent to the matching sock that disappears. We can make a makeshift “key” using household supplies like paper clips, pin-head nail, or the lady of the houses bobby pins. Slip the “key” into the tiny slot and compress the spring inside and turn – wallah!
#4 How to Pick Up a Big Paint Spill on Carpet
Image source: thisoldhouse.com
Issue: Paint spill on the carpet.
What to do: Find an old box and cut two pieces of the cardboard out. Using the edges of the cardboard collect the horrific mess of paint. Transform the cardboard cutouts into a “scoop” and scoop up the paint back into its paint bucket without dripping spots along the way. Once the big areas are picked up, get two large buckets and fill one with fresh water while using the second to drain the dirty water.
Completely cover the paint stain with the water and quickly scrape the paint and empty into the empty bucket. Rinse and repeat.
Just remember not to let the carpet dry until a family member returns with a rental steam machine (unless you have one – highly recommended for carpet owners) so keep saturating the stain with water until the machine is ready to use.
#5 How to Pull Out a Nail Without Dinging the Trim Up
Image source: toolguyd.com
Issue: Nail stuck in the wood
What to do: Force the claw of the hammer into the shank of the nail and perform a rocking motion going sideways while using the claw’s edge as a pivot point. Keep repeating the process until the nail is pried out. By implementing this technique, we are ensuring that the pulling power is at its highest while giving little stress to the handle. Do lay the hammer on a block to protect the finished surface. To get a straight pull, size up the block so the pivot point gets as close to the nail as it can.
Take the claw of a cat’s paw and run it under the head of the nail and pry it out since a cat’s paw can grasp nail beads. Then hit finish nails all the way through with a pin punch or nail set without the need to pull them – working best on 5/8 inch thick finish trims. Lastly, seize the finished nail on the backside of nippers and pry out the nail allowing the head to pull through with as little wood breakage as possible.
#6 How to Deal with a Downed Power Line
Image source: nj1015.com
Issue: Downed power line
What to do: The only tip you will need for this is to call your electrical provider to turn off the downed line. Never assume a downed line is completely dead as the residential power lines carry a deadly 7,200 of volts. Stay far away and let the trained professionals take care of the job.
#7 How to Hang Heavy Objects on Drywall
Image source: thisoldhouse.com
Issue: Hang heavy object on drywall
What to do: In order to hang heavy objects onto drywall, it is recommended that we use the correct hardware for both the frame and wall. If we are to hang a T.V mount, we will want to use lag bolts and at least two studs. Now, toggle bolts are small wing-typed metal bars that are used as fasteners. The winged bars open up after its inserted inside the wall to hold a heavy object. Toggle bolts come in two separate parts. One: The toggle that we insert in the wall. Two: The bolt that will screw into the toggle. We will need a hole drilled into the wall to be able to insert the toggle bolt.
Another option is to do as the picture shows – rip the plywood in the center with a 45-degree bevel for the length we need and then attach it.
#8 How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
Image source: americleaninc.com
Issue: Small kitchen fire
What to do: Just remember the four-letter acronym (P.A.S.S.) and the cardinal rule of fire extinguishers ( 8 seconds of life support with no time for errors so be READY to aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. Do not aim at the flames) and you’ll do just fine.
Squeeze the lever
Sweep the sprayer from side to side
#9 How to Spot Asbestos
Image source: howinforme.blogspot.com
Issue: Home built before the ’70s or vinyl flooring put in before 1986
What to do: If you’re living (or moving into) in a home that was built before the ’70s, it’s recommended that you get your house inspected for asbestos. Asbestos is a carcinogenic mineral fiber that can be found in metal that was used for furnaces, pipes, artificial ashes in gas fireplaces, ceiling tiles; vinyl floors (made before 1986), cement siding shingles, textured paint, painting compounds, and many kinds of other insulations. We know this is a post about DIY, but in this case calling a trained professional is important as the fibers can be dangerous to one’s family if it becomes airborne – eventually leading to cancer.
#10 How to Keep in Contact During a Blackout
Image source: remodelingexpense.com
What to do: We kind of miss the days of sitting by the wall twirling the phone cord for hours, but those days are gone. However, it is still important to have an old-fashioned phone in the home for emergencies like a blackout where a cell phone needs electricity; whereas the phone company will still provide phone use to a non-cordless phone. Also, make sure to have a list of contacts that don’t require an app to access.
#11 How to Fix a Hammer Mark on Trim
Image source: tipsnips.com
Issue: Miss the mark and dinged up the wood with a hammer
What to do: Dents in wood due to missing the mark with the hammer don’t have to be a permanent fixture as you can remove the ding on the wood trim easy peasy. We will first take a sharp needle to poke holes into the ding and pat it with a cloth that has been dampened. Moisture from the cloth will cause the wood to expand, and the surface begins to smooth out the ding on the wood. Next, dampen up the dinged area with a bit more water and lay iron on a metal bottle cap that sits over the hammer ding – bada bing the ding is gone.
#12 How to Deal with a Seized Lock
Image source: doityourself.com
Issue: Sticky door lock
What to do: If you have a sticky door that leaves you caught in the rain, it’s time to stop turning that key and begin fixing the problem. Having graphite lubricant or WD-40 (WD-40 should be your last resort) on hand will be the key (pun intended) to fixing the issue. Lube up the lock mechanism with either lubricant you have and if this tip doesn’t work then, you might have a broken tumbler or spring that needs a good locksmith. Make sure to give the new lock annual maintenance with a strong Teflon spray.
#13 How to Check for Termites
Image source: mauinow.com
Issue: Suspecting termites
What to do: Begin by throwing on some old clothes and crawl under the house to remove any piece of scrap to investigate for termites. You will want to be educated on what signs to look out for that will expose a termite issue. Check for embossed, branchlike tubes that will show yellowish/cream-colored insects.
Next, you will need to look at your siding for where the foundation and siding adjoin to see if there are speckled sized feces or masses of dirt that is the size of tiny pin-holes. Just one spotting of these feces warrants a quick phone call to a licensed and bonded exterminator because termites come in thousands so where there is one, there is bound to be termites everywhere.
#14 How to Unclog a Sink
Image source: uniquevanities.com
Issue: clogged sink
What to do: The first attempt at a clog should be using a plunger or plunger’s helper and if that doesn’t work then proceed to the more the next fix-it.
Take a bucket and lay it under the P-trap beneath the sink and loosen the nuts up and remove the P-trap and look inside to see if you can see what has been causing the clog. If the clog is remaining head out to the local hardware store and purchase a hand snake (or wire coat hanger) and begin the dislodging attempt by fishing the hand snake through the clog.
#15 How to Remove a Stripped Screw
Image source: viralnova.com
Issue: Stripped screw
What to do: Overestimating how far down the screw needed to go can result in a stripped screw and not the perfect flush look we wanted. Using a rubber-band can be your helping friend in this scenario – plus needle nose pliers!
You will want to wiggle the pliers around the head just enough to not break other parts while being able to wrap the pliers around the head. A manual screwdriver will also be good for this as a power drill delivers too much pressure for the screw.
#16 How to Install Weatherstripping
Image source: truevalueprojects.com
Issue: Weatherstripping windows
What to do: Trying to heat up a large home can become costly, especially if windows are allowing the heat being emitted to escape; working the heaters a lot harder. To combat that add some weatherstripping adhesive to windows that will remain shut for the duration of the cold season. Do use weatherstripping that is easily peelable.
#17 How to Stop the Squeaks
Image source: thisoldhouse.com
Issue: Squeaky floor (hall monitor)
What to do: Sneaky off to the kitchen has never been tougher when you have a wooden hall monitor ratting you out. Combat that snitch with some talcum powder (baby powder) and sprinkle onto the noisy area with a generous amount then sweep gently into the cracks.
#18 How to Fix Squeaky Door Hinge
Image source: bobvilla.com
Issue: Squeaky door
What to do: Squeaky doors are just as bad as a squeaky floor because they cause every move you make to be some sort of announcement to the whole household “Yes! I am now entering the kitchen!” allowing no privacy to roam about in the home freely. We have a solution. Using pliers pull out the hinge pin and apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly (vaseline) then reinsert the hinge pin and test out the door.
#19 How to Fluff Out Carpet
Image source: macgyverisms.wonderhowto.com
Issue: Carpet indents caused by furniture
What to do: Once in a while, we all have those moments of wanting to move the furniture around to give that new look and discover our furniture has left indentations. Not a problem if you have some ice tools chilling in the freezer. Yes! Ice can remove these unsightly indentations in a quick step. Line up a bunch of ice cubes along the indents and allow the carpet to soak up the cubes for a few hours until they melt then fluff the carpet fibers with a spoon or fork.
#20 How to Foam a Loose Showerhead
Image source: familyhandyman.com
Issue: Wiggling showerhead
What to do: If you have yourself a wiggling showerhead, you will need some expansion foam. Insert this foam into the shower pipe to allow it to encase the pipe preventing the wiggles from happening by locking the pipe into place.
#21 How to Free a Rusted Nut
Image source: gearheaddiva.com
Issue: Rusted nut
What you need to do: You’ve discovered a rusted nut. No need to worry as it is not as complicated to remove. Begin with these four methods.
- Tightening up the screw will bring the rusted nut to life and help loosen it up.
- Then tapping the nut with a hammer can help separate the bond the nut and bolt have formed – a nail set will help direct the hammer to its target.
- Hot hair dryer over the rusted nut as the heat will expand the metal – test to see if the nut will remove.
- Remove excess rust with a wire brush then add lube to the threads of the wrench you will be using.
#22 How to Fix a Popped Floor Nail
Image source: snapguide.com
Issue: Popped floor nail
What to do: A popped nail can be dangerous if exposed to bare feet and little children. Here is what you’ll need to do. Grab some vise-grips and begin a rocking motion moving back and forth against a block of wood to keep the nail from damaging the floor’s wood. Replace the nail with a trim screw and fill the area with a wood filler.
#23 How to Remove Pet Hair from Carpet
Image source: londoncleanprof.co.uk
Issue: Pet hair on the carpet
What to do: We love our four-legged family members a lot, but with that love comes hair everywhere. To combat this hairy situation is quite easy. All you will need to do is run a squeegee across the carpeting and watch the hairs clump together in a ball of, well, hair.
#24 How to Stop a Slipping Rug
Image source: happygoluckyblog.com
Issue: Slipping rug
What to do: It is quite annoying to have a floor rug then just moves freely across the floor, but more importantly dangerously if you have kids that are running around the house even after being told to stop. Just apply lines of acrylic-latex caulking to the bottom of the rug and this should prevent any more slipping.
#25 How To Clean Between Oven Glass The Easy Way
Issue: Cleaning in between Oven Glass
What to do: Watch Video & get one of these: Hyde Tools 13050 Delta Heavy Duty Glass Scraper with 5 Blades. If you don’t have one, you can get one here on Amazon real cheap.
#26 How to Fix Scuffed Flooring
Image source: todayshomeowner.com
Issue: Scuff marks
What to do: Scuff marks are one of those household nuisances that are hard to control, but there are quick fixes. Take the stick of a broomstick and attach it to a tennis ball with a hole made into it and begin removing the scuff marks. An alternative method to this is using a clean sneaker – not the dirty one that caused the scuff mark in the first place.
#27 How to Remove Popcorn Ceiling Neatly
Issue: Outdated popcorn (cottage cheese) ceiling mess
What to do: Watch the video. Get yourself a spackle knife that is 6″ inch and attach it to a shop vac by using duct tape creating an extra extension. Clean up the falling popcorn plus dust particles for when you scrape the blade along with the ceiling.
#28 How to Fix a Leaky Toilet
Image source: savingwater.org
Issue: Leaking toilet
Before you begin the leaky toilet repairs check to make sure it is a leak you’re experiencing. Add some food color to the toilet’s tank then give it an hour or two to see if the food coloring makes its way to the bowl – then yes your toilet is leaking.
What to do: You will need to change out the flapper to the toilet. Begin by turning off the water valve located behind the toilet. Lift up the tank lid and start flushing the toilet to get rid of all the water and soak up any excess with a towel or sponge. Find the flush chain lever and take it off by sliding it off then sliding on the new flapper in its place from the overflow tube and connect the chain. Turn the water valve back on and repeat the food coloring test to see if the leak is gone.
#29 How to Unclog a Drain
Image source: jezebel.com
Issue: Clogged drain
What to do: Alka-seltzer is used for indigestion and heartburn, but it can work terrific on a clogged sink. Pop three Alka-seltzer tablets into the drain with some vinegar. Wait about fifteen minutes then add some boiling water to the mix and the clog will begin to unlodge itself.
#30 How to Clean Dryer Ducts
Image source: koopmanblog.com
Issue: Lint build up in dryer duct
What to do: Reducing the lint built up will help the lifespan of your dryer and lower your utility bill because it won’t have to work as hard to dry clothes. However, most importantly freeing the dryer duct of build up can help reduce the risks of household fire. Pull the dryer from the wall and insert a vacuum hose extension to the duct to remove excess lint.
#31 How Dislodge a Cabinet Screw
Image source: msn.com
Issue: Dislodged screw
What to do: If you’ve noticed that your cabinet door looks a bit crooked, chances are you have dislodged screw that isn’t gripping to the wood, anymore. Take out some chopsticks and insert the stick into the hole that is stripped then cut off the excess wood to make it flush. Create a new hole for the screw and put the cabinet door back on its hinge.
#32 How to Lube a Sticking Vinyl Window or Door
Image source: thefamilyhandyman.com
Issue: Sticky windows & doors
What to do: Build up can easily happen over time causing your windows and doors to get bonded up and begin to stick. A dry lubricant will work well on this problem but don’t use the oily kind as that will collect dirt debris or the oil will become harmful to vinyl. Spray the dry lubricant onto the contact points and get rid of any excess with an old rag.
#33 How to Keep Cabinet Door Closed
Image source: pinterest.com
Issue: Cabinet door will not shut
What to do: Got a cabinet door that doesn’t shut all the way? All you need to do is get a magnetic door catcher and install it to the cabinet and watch your door close – plus you could use those magnetic roller catchers.