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10 DIY Home Repair Hacks

February 24, 2022 9 min read

Helping you to fix the little things in your home

Are you the type of homeowner that knows their way around a toolbox? You’re not the type to call a repairman, because you can fix it yourself. All the while saving yourself money and gaining the pride of a job well done.

In this article we will discuss some perfect plumbing, electrical, drywall, HVAC, and other projects that a DIY homeowner, like you, can handle themselves. These are all things that you as a DIYer should be able to accomplish on your own, even if it takes a little research before you get started. Keep reading to find out what these things are, and how you can be prepared for them.

Do you have shower head problems?

One of the biggest problems that we all seem to face with shower heads is that they become clogged. After a long day you step into the shower expecting a strong hot stream of water just like you're used to, raining down on your body. However, you are met with some of the jets shooting streams of water at odd angles, and some jets not putting out water at all.

To solve this problem, we have a simple DIY trick. Take a Ziploc bag, fill it with vinegar and put it around your shower head so it is submersed in the vinegar. Make sure that it is covering all the jets on the shower head. Tie the opening of the bag to the pipe to hold it in place, this can be done with a rubber band, and then wait.

It is best to let it sit for a while; you can leave it like this overnight while you're asleep. In the morning remove the bag and vinegar and try out your freshly demineralized shower head. You should find that the vinegar has eaten away the built-up minerals affecting your shower head, leaving you with perfectly operating water jets once again.

Maybe you have tried to clean your shower head in one way or another, and it isn’t working. Or maybe you are just looking to get a new one to replace your old one.  Either way we have good news for you, replacing a shower head is a far easier project than you may think.

Begin by unscrewing the old shower head, they are usually hand tightened or only slightly tighter. Wrap the pipe threads on the pipe sticking out of the wall with some thread sealant tape. And lastly, screw the new shower head onto the pipe. Now you're ready to try it out and check for leaks. A perfect project for a DIYer that doesn’t want to call a professional plumber.

Is your toilet running constantly?

Toilets commonly develop leaks or constant running issues over time, but these can have simple fixes. To repair a constantly running toilet, you will need to inspect the inside of the tank, or in other words the back of the toilet where the water is stored. Remove the lid and check the rubber disk at the bottom of the tank. It should have a secure seal all the way around it, keeping the water from getting past it. If it isn’t, adjust it as needed, or replace it.

The other common problem that causes a running toilet could be the fill valve is continuing to run, putting water in the tank. This will be easy to notice because the water level in the tank will be too high. Above the rubber flap is a pipe coming up out of the water with an open top. If the water level is too high, it will run over the edge and into this pipe. Once a fill valve begins to have problems, it is best to replace it with a new one.

If you have any issues with these components, they are simple to replace, usually come with instructions, and can be found at most hardware or big box stores for an inexpensive price.

How to fix holes in your drywall?

If you have gotten water stains the fix might be as simple as using a stain blocking primer to prime the spot before repainting. Before doing any repair work you will want to be certain that you have fixed the cause of the leak before. Once you have primed the area with a stain blocking primer, you will be able to repaint the area.

Holes in drywall are all too common, from kids, to pets, to doorknobs, your drywall is in danger. Now you have a hole, and don’t know what to do about it. We are here to tell you that you can repair it yourself, without spending money on hiring a professional.

First you need to know that you have several options. If it is a small hole, you can buy a drywall patch kit, which comes with a patch, some drywall mud, and a putty knife.

Another option is to cut the hole into a square shape, find another new piece of drywall and cut it to the same size as the square you just cut in the wall. Cut a board that is longer than the hole. Feed it into the wall, hold it in place across the hole, and screw through the drywall into the board above and below the hole. Put your piece of drywall in place and screw it to the board. Now you can use drywall mud and tape to cover the seams. Sand it smooth, use a can of aerosol texture, and paint it to match your wall color.

The last option is commonly used by professionals. You will once again cut the hole in the wall to a square shape. Find a new piece of drywall approximately four to six inches bigger than the hole in the wall in both directions, and lay it face down, which will be the white side down and the brown side up. Mark a square the same size as the new hole in the wall in the center of the drywall piece on the floor. Score the shape of the square going all the way to the edges of the drywall. Peel all the pieces that are not the square you marked out of the white front of the drywall. Now your square will fit in the hole, while having a paper edge all the way around that you can mud into place. Smooth, sand, texture, and paint until it is unnoticeable that there was ever any damage.

How do you remove the dreaded wallpaper?

Most of us have had the experience at one time or another of trying to pull off old wallpaper, and if you have you know how horrible it can be. Here are a few tricks to make it a little easier for you.

You will need to get a perforating tool. These are inexpensive, and they will allow you to make small perforations in the wallpaper that will allow the solution we will talk about next to get behind the wallpaper. Next mix up a solution, ¼ fabric softener and ¾ hot water. Once you have the solution, and the wallpaper has been perforated, apply it to the wallpaper. You can use a small sprayer, or a sponge.

This solution will begin to get behind the wallpaper and will reactivate the adhesive on the back allowing you to peel it off the wall much easier than it would have been otherwise.

How do you caulk like a pro?

Professionals know all the tips and tricks of caulking. They make it look so easy and it comes out perfect almost every time. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have that knowledge. We still have some tricks up our sleeves though. One option is to use painter’s tape. You can put painters’ tape on either side of what you are about to apply caulking too, then you can be as messy as you like without worrying about it getting on the wall or trim. Peel the painters tape up, and you are left with perfectly caulked edges.

Another option is to apply the caulk as precisely as you can, then spray it with some soapy water. Just moisten the area, do not over soak it. Then you will be able to wipe the excess caulk away without it sticking to any of the wet areas or your tools.

Do you need an old outlet or light switch replaced?

The very first thing that you will want to do is turn the power off to the thing being replaced. Do not count on your breaker panel labelling being correct, make sure you have a way to assure the power is off. It is recommended that you use a touch tester or a multimeter to assure the power is off.

You will remove the exterior cover, and the two screws holding the outlet in place. You will then loosen the screws that are holding the wires in place. Be very aware of where each wire was located. Putting the wires back in the wrong places can result in damage. Replace the old fixture with a new one, reconnect the wires to the proper locations. Reinstall the mounting screws and cover. Turn the power back on and check your work. If you have a multimeter, you should check to make sure you have the correct voltage.

Can you replace your own ceiling fixture?

Ceiling fixtures can be a little trickier than an outlet, but it is still doable for an experienced DIYer. You will want to once again assure that power is off to the fixture. Find out how it is attached to the ceiling and remove it. Generally, the wires will be above it, disconnect those. Again, make sure that you are confident as to where each wire went.

If you're installing a ceiling fan, then you will need to read the directions on how exactly your ceiling fan will need to be installed. Each fan has unique points to their installs that will make it much easier if you read the instructions fully and follow them from the beginning.

Grab your new fixture, reconnect the wiring, and reattach the fixture to the ceiling. Turn the power back on and inspect your work to assure that it works properly.

Have you ever replaced an interior door?

Sometimes things happen to our doors, especially if you have children or animals. Maybe something has happened, or you just want a new door. No problem, interior doors can be easy to replace.

First you will need to measure your interior door width and be aware of which way it opens. They are described as left hand or right hand depending on which way the door swings open. These details will be important when purchasing your new door. Go to your local hardware store that sells doors and buy an unframed interior door the same width and orientation as yours.

Once you have it home, pull the pin out of the hinges of your old door. A small rod that both sides of the hinges pivot around. Unscrew the hinges off the old door, screw them onto the new door. Take your doorknob off the old door, install it onto the new door. Fit the door in place, insert the hinge pins and now you have a new door.

Will your deck ever look good again?

In case you didn’t know, decks are supposed to undergo yearly maintenance to maintain them. If you have neglected this maintenance like so many of us have, then you are not without hope.

First, you will need to repair the damaged section. This could vary from replacing an entire section of deck boards, or maybe just replacing a small section of one board.

Second, you will want to use a deck cleaner to wash the dirt and grime from your deck. If the boards are excessively dirty or sun baked, you can use a power washer to help clean the wood.

Next, you will want to apply the stain or sealer. Making your deck look wonderful for another year.

You will also want to examine any damage to your railing and see what kind of repairs you will need to do to it.

Can HVAC maintenance save me money?

Yes, maintaining your HVAC system will most definitely save you money. Air conditioners are not cheap and one of the last things that you want is to be stranded in your home with a non-working system.

The easiest thing you can do is change your air filter. Locate your air filter, which is normally behind what is called a filter grill somewhere in your home, or it is in the ductwork next to your unit. You should try and remember to change the filter every three months, or more so if you have pets or smoke.

The other thing that will help your HVAC unit tremendously is take a garden hose and spray out the coils of your outdoor unit. The coil looks like a car radiator and wraps around the outside of your outdoor unit. Dirt, grass, pollen, and animal hair can accumulate in and around the coil making it hard for your unit to get air through it. Taking a garden hose and spraying it out occasionally will help your air conditioner run more effectively and efficiently.

Final Thoughts

A Lot of home repairs are most definitely able to be done by a DIYer. Be sure to use the information you found here and continue to research the topic if you feel like you need more information before tackling the project. It’s your home, why not test your skill and try to save some money along the way. We encourage you to attempt to fix your own home, however you should always be aware of your safety and your limits. If you are putting yourself in danger or are risking damaging your home further call a professional.