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18 Easy Home Repairs That Save Big Money

If you like saving money, being a DIYer is a good place to start. Check out these 18 home repairs that you can easily do yourself.

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remove water stains with bleachFamily Handyman

Bleach Away a Water Stain

Before you go through the trouble of repainting a ceiling to get rid of a water stain, try this easy home fix. 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.

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coins to shim a toilet shimsFamily Handyman

Use Coins for Toilet Shims

When leveling a toilet, I often use coins or washers as toilet shims. Coins or washers provide a firm seat and come in different thicknesses. Simply slide as many coins as necessary under the toilet until it’s completely level. Then caulk along the floor as you normally would to hide the coin toilet shims. — Les Zell

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A Quick Coat of PaintFamily Handyman

A Quick Coat of Paint

Almost nothing is quicker, easier or refreshes a room more than a new coat of paint. Even switching up a bright white for a trendy, bright grey can change your whole perspective and give you a starting point for new colors and decoration. Gallons of paint range from $30-$50, and with primer/paint combinations, you will likely only need a gallon or less to finish an average sized room. Add another $10, and you'll be set with rollers, paint brushes, and painter's tape. This DIY repair could potentially save you thousands over the cost of a professional painter. Short on time? Click here to learn how to paint a room fast.

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Painted Carpet HHFamily Handyman

Spilled paint on your carpet? Don’t panic, do this:

I used to think dropping a loaded paintbrush on the carpet meant replacing the carpet, until a former foreman told me this little tip. Pour some denatured alcohol onto a rag and scrub away the paint. Use a rag that is as close in color to the carpet, as the alcohol can transfer some of the rag’s color to the carpet. – Tom Gerdowsky

Need some denatured alcohol? Buy it from Amazon here

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Repair Any HolesFamily Handyman

Repair Any Holes

So a door knob slammed through the wall after one too many times slamming the door. No need to call your handy contractor. You can easily fix a few holes in your drywall by injecting a setting compound (for smaller holes) or by cutting out the damaged sections and replacing them with new drywall (for larger ones). Check out this handy tutorial for more on repairing holes.

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Remove Crayon Marks From Wall HHFamily Handyman

Remove Crayon Marks From Walls

Have your walls been redecorated with some original crayon masterpieces? Don’t lose your cool. Just grab a rag, dip it in some baking soda and lightly scrub the marks. They will come off with a minimal amount of effort and give your young Picasso a fresh, new canvas.

Here’s how to get rid of those tough vinyl stains too!

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fix a wobbly chairFamily Handyman

Fix a Wobbly Chair

This easy home fix is one you’ll definitely want to keep handy! Trying to keep a rickety old chair together without going through the trouble of taking it apart and regluing it? The simple home fix is to just drill pilot holes and drive trim-head screws through the bottom of the rungs and into the legs. Here’s another way to fix a wobbly chair.

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Insulation is KeyDavid Papazian/Shutterstock

Insulation is Key

Though it can seem intimidating, installing your own batting installation can be easy, and take just a few hours if you isolate the need to a few key spaces. Have a drafty attic? Start there. Concerned about a freezing crawl space? Throw on your work jeans and get to work. These insulating spaces will instantly feel warmer and you'll notice the savings on your next heating bill. Read how to install insulation here.

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squirt gun toilet drainer

Squirt Gun Toilet Drainer

When you’re repairing or replacing a toilet, you need to remove all the water. Simply shutting off the water supply and flushing won’t do it. A sponge works, but it’s kind of slow. So I use an old squirt gun to suck the water out and squirt it into a bucket, leaving just the last few drops to sponge out. — Dale Conklin

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Weatherstripping is EasyFamily Handyman

Weatherstripping is Easy

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.

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silence squeaky floorsFamily Handyman

Silence a Squeaky Floor

Another easy home fix to keep in your files: 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.

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How to Restore Your DeckFamily Handyman

How to Restore Your Deck

After a few years, your deck is sure to show some wear and tear and make you feel like you have an ugly deck. Don't rush to replace boards that are otherwise in good condition. With a deck restoration coating and a few days in the sunshine, your deck will look as good as new. Get the full how-to here. See the lighting options you need to add to your deck to make it shine at night.

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Repair and Reglaze Windows Family Handyman

Repair and Reglaze Windows

Instead of forking over $5,000-10,000 to replace all of your old windows with brand new ones, consider repairing old windows yourself. With a few hundred dollars in supplies (sand paper, paint, window glaze, etc.), you'll be prepared to reglaze every window in your house. Though it can be a tad time consuming, you can prioritize the project by room, removing windows one by one to paint, reglaze, and, if necessary, replace any cracked glass. Get started glazing your windows here.

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Feed the LawnFamily Handyman

Feed the Lawn

If your yard is mostly grass with just a few weeds, forgo the expensive landscaper. With one trip to your local hardware store or plant nursery, you can purchase $25-$50 worth of supplies, spend just a few hours on your lawn, and simply wait for the grass to grow. Check out this easy guide on fertilizers and seed spreaders.

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You Can Refinish Your Own HardwoodFamily Handyman

You Can Refinish Your Own Hardwood

Intimidated by this seemingly daunting project? Don't be. If you have the will and a whole day (or two) to yourself, you can refinish the hardwood floors in the major areas of your home. You don't necessarily need to sand, but if the floor is damaged enough to warrant buffing, check out your local hardware store and rent the equipment for anywhere from 4-48 hours. Here's how to refinish your hardwood floors.

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Get Rid of Your Laminate FloorFamily Handyman

Get Rid of Your Laminate Floor

Sick of staring at old, curling and peeling laminate flooring? If you're working with a small space, you can remove the existing flooring and replace it with tile in just one day. Intimidated by the thought of laying your own tile? Choose larger tiles, and you'll only have to lay a few. After the first is in place, the rest are a snap. Never tiled before? Read these helpful tips to get started.

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Ditch the Wood PanelingFamily Handyman

Ditch the Wood Paneling

This is a fun one. Composite wood paneling may have been all the rage in the 60s and 70s, but unless it's still in perfect condition and painted white, it's probably an eyesore. Popping off this decorative paneling can take minutes, and is seriously satisfying. Just be ready: you never know what condition the wall is in underneath. Be prepared to do a little plaster repair and, of course, repaint. Click here to learn how to prepare a wall for painting.

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Caulk it!Family Handyman

Caulk it!

It's fun, it's easy, it's caulking. Dirt or mold creeping underneath the clear caulk in your tub? Cut it out and re-caulk. Gaps in old moulding got you down? Add white caulk for a smooth finish. Cheap and easy, there's no reason you shouldn't be doing this yourself.