9 Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself

FT Contributor  | 

One of the most expensive aspects of homeownership is home repairs or improvements. If you’re not financially prepared for an emergency, hiring a professional to help with the repair may seem impossible. It’s important to create a budget that includes saving for unexpected home repairs, since anything can happen.

Placing your home and life maintenance tasks as top priority can help you avoid unexpected catastrophes. However, some home repairs are inevitable, no matter how meticulously you take care of your home. If you want to save money on your next home repair, see if it’s something you can fix yourself.

9 Basic Home Repairs

Not every home repair is complicated enough to warrant a qualified or licensed professional. By staying thrifty and doing some repairs yourself, you may be able to afford to also invest in the home improvements you’ve been hoping to complete.

If you’re willing to learn a little about how your home works, invest in some tools, and put in some hard work, you can complete these nine basic home repairs without hiring an expensive repair company.

1. How Do You Fix a Patchy Lawn?

If you give your lawn the attention it needs throughout every season, you’re more likely to keep it green. To fix a patchy lawn, you’ll need:

  • Grass seeds;
  • Fertilizer;
  • Broadcast spreader;
  • Hose;
  • Lawnmower.

Keep your grass short in the fall, right before winter comes. This ensures your lawn won’t experience snow mold. When spring rolls around, address any patches in your lawn by broadcast spreading additional grass seeds. Water them immediately and fertilize your entire lawn using the broadcast spreader.

2. How Do You Repair a Garbage Disposal?

If there’s a simple problem with your garbage disposal, such as a splash guard that needs to be replaced, you can easily do it yourself without hiring an expensive plumber.

The tools you’ll need for this job include the following:

  • A new splash guard;
  • A towel;
  • A screwdriver.
  • A stack of books or a box;
  • Wood shims.

First, switch off the circuit breaker and uninstall the drain line. To remove the disposal, stick a screwdriver into the locking ring and push it away from you. Allow the disposal to drop on your stack of books so it stays upright. Peel off the damaged rubber guard and replace it with the new one.

Place wood shims on your stack of books to prop the disposal up and line it up with the sink flange. Rotate the locking ring with your screwdriver to lock it in place. Reinstall the drain line and your disposal should be good as new.

3. How Do You Fix Clogged Drains?

Buildups of hair and grease can cause your drains to get clogged. Before you call the plumber, try to fix the clog yourself. To complete this repair, you’ll need:

  • A plunger;
  • A snake;
  • Rubber gloves.

Put on your rubber gloves and turn on the water. Use the plunger on your sink just as you could your toilet, allowing the gust of air to loosen the clog. If a ball of hair or other grime comes to the surface, grab it and clear it from the drain. If this doesn’t work, place the snake into the pipe and attempt to loosen the obstruction.

4. How Do You Fix a Small Leak?

If you catch a small leak, chances are you can fix it yourself without paying a plumber’s hefty hourly rate. If you can already tell your leak is due to a worn out washer or P-trap in the sink, it’s an easy replacement.

Get a bucket and a replacement P-trap or washer and turn off water to the sink. Place the bucket underneath and twist off the compression nuts. Replace the washer or P-trap as needed and screw everything back into place. Turn your water back on and the leak should be fixed.

5. How Do You Repair Damaged Drywall?

If you nicked your drywall or had to drill into it to hang home decor, you can easily fix it yourself without calling in the professionals. To make this repair, you’ll need:

  • A putty knife;
  • Spackle or joint compound;
  • Sandpaper.

Use the putty knife to press spackle into the hole. Let the area dry, then sandpaper it down so it’s flush with the wall. Once complete, you’ll need to paint to match the rest of the wall.

6. How Do You Fix or Replace a Door?

Replacing a door requires patience, strength, and a good set of tools, but you can certainly achieve it without professional help. To replace a door, you’ll need:

  • A replacement door;
  • New hardware and doorknob;
  • A saw or plane.

Measure your current door, then take it off the hinges. Purchase a door as close to the measurements as possible, along with new hardware. Mount the door and figure out where it doesn’t fit properly. Use the saw or plane to trim small bits from the side of the door that won’t fit. Once the door fits precisely, install the new doorknob.

7. How Do You Fix a Leaky Pipe?

If you notice a pipe under your sink is leaking, you can easily pull out your toolbox and fix it yourself. To successfully make this DIY fix, you’ll need:

  • A wrench;
  • Teflon joint compound.

First, you can simply try tightening the packing nut or compression nut. If that doesn’t do the trick, turn the water off and apply Teflon joint compound to the gasket. Turn the water back on and your leak should be fixed.

8. How Do You Fix a Leaky Faucet?

If your faucet won’t stop dripping, you may need to replace the cartridge. To do this, you’ll need:

  • A new faucet cartridge;
  • An allen key;
  • A flathead screwdriver.

First, turn off the water to the sink. Uninstall the faucet and take out the cartridge using the allen key. Replace it with your new cartridge and reinstall the faucet. Turn the water back on and make sure your faucet leak is gone.

9. How Do You Recaulk Your Bathtub or Shower?

Recaulking a tub or shower is an expensive endeavor. While it’s hard work to remove old caulk and replace it, you can certainly complete this task without a professional. You’ll need:

  • Caulk;
  • A caulking gun
  • Caulk remover;
  • Paint thinner.

Take your time to remove the old caulk in your bathtub first. Use caulk remover products from your local home improvement store. Use paint thinner for stubborn caulking. Once it’s removed, use the caulking gun to steadily glide the new caulk into the seams. Let it dry for at least 48 hours.

Once you’ve tackled these home repairs yourself, volunteer to help your neighbors with their projects as well. You can save money when you live a lifestyle that includes DIY repairs such as these easy fixes.


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