22 Repairs You May Not Know You Can Do Yourself
Before you make a call, consider fixing these often-intimidating problems around the house yourself—we’ll show you how it’s done!
Before you go through the trouble of repainting a ceiling to get rid of a water stain, try this trick. Spray the spot with a bleach and water solution (10 percent bleach), and wait a day or two. If it’s an old stain, use a mold and mildew remover from the grocery store. You’d be surprised how often the stain disappears by the next day. It works on both flat and textured ceilings.
Wear safety goggles, and make sure you protect the walls and floors with plastic.
Achieving a lush lawn doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. And you don’t have to pay big bucks for a lawn service to douse your yard with chemicals, either. Growing healthy, green grass is mainly just a matter of knowing what to give your lawn, and when to give it. Follow this advice from a pro to get your lawn shipshape before summer.
To fix a squeaky floor under carpet, locate the floor joists with a stud finder, then drive in a trim head screw through the carpet, pad and subfloor, and right into the floor joist. Be sure the top inch of the screw doesn’t have threads or the subfloor won’t suck down tight to the joist. We like trim screws because screws with larger heads pull down and pucker the carpet. If that happens, back out the screw and drive it back down. Keep adding screws until the squeak stops. Try these other squeaky floor fixes.
If you can see light creeping beneath exterior doors, air is also escaping. Grab a few packages of self-adhesive rubber foam weatherstripping and go to town, sealing any and all doors that lead outside. Weatherstripping already installed but you’re still suffering from a high gas bill? It might be time to replace the strips installed by the previous owners. Check out this handy tutorial on installing weatherstripping.
Caulk and Grout
If it’s your furnace that needs attention, you can perform routine maintenance, and handle simple repairs yourself. Plus: Learn how to choose furnace filters and how to replace furnace filters yourself.
Window screens can get punctured or torn, but as long as the frame is in good shape repairs are easy and can be done in a few minutes. Click here for how to make your screen door or window look good as new.
If you have a wallpaper seam that’s coming apart, reactivate the paste around the gap with a rag soaked in warm water. Hold the rag over the area for a minute or two, and then carefully open the gap a little larger so you’ll have more room for the sealer. Squeeze seam sealer (white glue works in a pinch) into the gap, and press the paper to the wall with a roller. Clean off the excess sealer with a sponge.
If you want to take on a larger task, you can even replace your windows!
Nail holes in aluminum and vinyl siding are tough to repair without replacing the entire piece, but a squirt of color-matched caulk from a siding supplier will solve the problem for a lot less money and aggravation.