Five home improvement fixes you can do on your own
Being a homeowner means keeping a constant eye on your property, especially when it comes to maintenance.
Those little problems that arise due to damage, wear and tear, or even weather can cost you a good penny to fix. What many people don’t realise is that they can handle such issues without calling in a repair person and spending too much money.
Taking the bull by the horns, a smart person can do some repairs on their own. It takes a little know-how and elbow grease, and certain things – like electrical wiring and repair – you have to use a professional for. However, just about everything else you can learn how to do yourself, thus saving you a lot of money and getting just what you want, the way you want it.
You don’t even have to buy a ton of tools. Most times you can rent them or borrow from friends or family. It’s about learning what you can repair and how to do it in a professional way. Some plumbing, or roofing, is tricky, but can be done and done well.
Let’s take a look at five things you can repair yourself.
You can replace certain windows on your own with the right tools and time.
If it’s the glass, you need to know how to open the frames, replace the glass, seal them, and replace the frames. It’s a matter of epoxy and perhaps some small nails.
Tools are a hammer, flathead screwdriver, box cutter, and glue gun or applicator. Also pliers for pulling out any shards that have been broken off and still within the frame, and some paint. It won’t take long for each pane depending on how much damage has been done.
Wear safety glasses, apply some caution, and you’ll be done in no time.
As long as the plumbing problem isn’t out of reach, such as in floors or walls, you can fix it yourself with wrenches, sealant and the necessary parts.
To deal with easy-access pipes and drains, turn the water off, disassemble the sections that need replacing, replace, and tighten and/or seal. Even a new toilet or sink can be done in less than an hour. Shower heads, faucets – all easy-peasy.
Just check for leaks when done and handle accordingly.
Painting is probably the easiest do-it-yourself job. You just need paint, brushes, a paint kettle, and maybe a step ladder.
If you have to repair a surface, then that might call for plastering or sanding, but no biggie – you can borrow such tools.
Just remember that with painting, precision and trimming are part of the deal. Use a slim piece of cardboard or plastic for those areas where the paint meets the moulding and you’ll be okay. You can even make it a family fun endeavour. It’s that easy. Some areas will need more than two coats, but will last longer.
Whether it’s carpet, hardwood or linoleum, you can do a lot of flooring on your own. It calls for more tools sometimes, but planning will pay off.
Old carpet has to be removed and the underlying materials too. This can be tough, and you’ll need machines to clean up and make the new base ready for new materials.
Hardwood flooring might just need a repair here and there – some sanding, polishing with varnish, or other protective coating.
Linoleum, like carpet, means taking care of the underlying sealing material that protects against water damage. Peel that stuff up, clean the floor, put new sealant down and put in your tiles.
If you have areas where marble goes down, or even bricks, you’ll use a mortar (that you mix yourself) to help out.
You can do your roofing on your own, but due to the dangers, it might be wise to only do the small jobs like handling holes here and there.
Ladders and sure footing are essential, as well as whatever roofing materials you want to use. Underlying materials to protect against water, as well as for holding in insulation, call for extra equipment for safety, but overall you can do quite a bit of DIY for not too many pounds.
And the rest…
Now, with all that being said, there are dozens of other DIY home improvement jobs that you can do without calling in an expert. Small, but important and not to be overlooked.
The key is planning the smallest jobs to the largest. Then look at what tools you’ll need to get the job done. Think also in terms of which jobs won’t get in the way of another. Don’t make a new floor first if the ceiling above is damaged. Take care of the ceiling first, then the floor. Don’t paint yourself into a corner either. Planning is the winning strategy.
Buying or renting tools is a good option. For tools you’ll only use once – like floor sanders, steam cleaners, and the like – it’s best to rent them. They’re easy to operate and you don’t have to spend a good deal of money just to use them once.
Materials are easy to come by. Look for deals and discounts from the big hardware and home improvement stores as well as your local stores. Search their websites for special coupons and codes as well. Sometimes, people in your area will have leftover materials that are just sitting around gathering dust. They might be advertising in flyers, news classifieds or in online forums. You can often find an awesome bargain this way.
Labour can be had easily if you have family and friends who are familiar with doing remodelling. Instead of paying, you can trade with dinners, picks from excess goodies in your garage or attic, or equal labour to fix up their homes. This way both sides win in multiple ways as they’ll be visiting you, and you, they. It will be all good in a family sort of way.
Only let the kids in on the action if they’re old enough to read and follow instructions. Safety gear is essential, but they’ll learn some much valued responsibility and appreciate the final product as something they’ve taken part in.
Overall, do-it-yourself home improvement can be highly rewarding, highly profitable, and a great way to get ahead during tough times.