Top 5 Most Common Fixes for New Homeowners
Congratulations on moving into your new — or at least new to you — house. But now that you’ve settled in, you may have noticed some flaws that weren’t evident during the honeymoon period. Hallway floors that squeak in an annoying way, for example. Or pipes that clang, doors that stick or toilets that don’t flush the way they should. Fortunately, many of these problems can be fixed with a little elbow grease and do-it-yourself know-how, without the expense of calling in home-repair professionals. Here are 5 common problems that may be worth tackling on your own.
Doors that are reluctant to open or close can be the result of anything from loose hinge screws to excessive humidity. The potential repairs can vary accordingly. Sometimes, all that’s needed to make the door work better is to tighten the screws in the hinges. In other cases, the door frame may need to be adjusted, or the door itself must be sanded down to better fit the doorway.T he time and tools needed for the fix will vary depending on the degree of adjustment needed. It can take as long as several hours if the door must be sanded or cut.
Kits to replace the inner workings of a toilet tank are $20 to $30 at most hardware or home-improvement stores. The kit contains everything you need: a fill valve, flush valve, gaskets and mounting hardware, as well as detailed instructions. The only tools you’ll need are a large flat-head screwdriver, Channellock pliers and rags to mop up any spills. The whole job should take an hour or two.
A wobbly ceiling fan is noisy and annoying, and all that extra movement may cause the hardware holding it up to work loose. Luckily, fixing the wobble is an easy DIY job. Blade-balancing kits are available for only a few dollars at most hardware and home-improvement stores. Typically, the kits contain some self-adhesive weights and a clip. You simply attach the clip to the blade you think is wobbling and see if the additional weight reduces the wobble. Some trial and error will be required, but the whole process should take 30 minutes or so and require no tools other than masking tape.
Slow-draining sinks are a common problem and also an easy DIY fix. Solving a slow-draining sink typically involves removing hair and other gunk from the pipes in and above the P-trap under the sink. To fix the leak, you’ll need Channellock pliers to remove the section of pipe; make sure there’s a bucket or container underneath to catch the water inside. Then clear out the obstruction and put everything back together.
Hole in the Wall
Knocking a hole in your home’s drywall is distressingly easy to do. Luckily, even a medium-size hole is pretty easy to fix.You’ll need a piece of drywall slightly bigger than the hole, some mesh or paper tape, setting compound, 1.25-inch drywall screws and some scrap wood to use as a backer board. Use the saw to turn the round hole into a square and then cut a piece of drywall to fit. Use drywall screws to attach the backer board and then the drywall patch. Cover the patch with tape and then apply the setting compound. When it’s dry, you can sand it smooth, prime it and paint it.