Before Becoming a Do-It-Yourself Home Repairman


The ink is dry on the mortgage, the bride has been carried over the threshold and now is the time for “happily ever after”. Not so fast. Unless the new home you purchased has a long-term warranty or guarantee that includes repairs, the first time the hose on the washing machine has you standing in a foot of water, your home repair days have just begun. Maintain a home checklist for regular maintenance and for repairs. Even a newly built home can suddenly develop problems with a leaking pipe or loose doorknob. The trick with home ownership is to be able to judge which repairs you “can” do and which are better left to professionals.

Where To Begin With Doing Repairs Yourself
Few things around a home can be more annoying than leaking faucets. This is one that can be a result of a worn rubber gasket in the faucet head. It may be a good idea though to have your local water company check on your water pressure. If water pressure is too high, it can wear out these gaskets. It’s a good idea to check the hoses frequently on your washer, dishwasher and garbage disposal unit. Look for tiny fractures in the rubber material particularly around the joint area. This is a potential leak in the making.

Common Sense For Common Repairs
Two things probably don’t need mentioning but are often ignored: Before replacing any plumbing parts under sinks or appliances, turn off the water. The same is true of replacing electrical switch plates. Make sure before you change out these plates that the electrical outlet is cold. Most homes have electrical service boxes that supply the electric for the whole house. Shut off the electric that is supplied to the particular electrical line to the outlet or switch. Use common sense before attempting more complex plumbing or electrical repairs even if you have printed directions for the project. The old saying “Better be safe than sorry” applies to this.

Repairing Cracks Or Paint Spots
Spackling is not really as difficult as it may seem. With enough practice, it’s easy to become a spackling expert. You’ll need a spackling knife, a little masking tape, sanding paper and of course, spackle. For small cracks, this can be purchased in any hardware store fairly inexpensively. Once you get the hang of wall spackling, you can move ahead to grouting. To spackle a narrow crack, use a minimal amount of spackle applied to the spackling knife. You want to try to get as much of the spackle into the crack as possible. Then, use the spackling knife to smooth away excess spackle until the surface is flat. Allow it to dry completely. After a day or two, use the sand paper to smooth off the dried spackle so it can be repainted.

For spots on painted walls, first try to assess the kind of spot you need to remove. Crayon, lipstick and other oil-based products may require a neutralizer before repainting the area. For non-oily spots, try using a “duller” like a pale green paint or one that is slightly darker than the wall color before repainting. The light green paint absolves many sins when used as an undercoating whenever there are spots on painted walls. Be sure to check whether it is high gloss or matte so that it blends with the original type of paint.

Repairs Outdoors
The exteriors of homes inevitably need repair at one time or another. Keep a can of all-purpose oil handy for squeaky exterior doors. Weather usually has an effect on most doors no matter what materials they are built from. Windows should be checked frequently for possible deterioration as well. Generally, a little bit of window caulk can work wonders to keep drafty windows at bay. Use quick-dry cement for small cracks in cement sidewalks or foundation.

This post was written by

jasonjason – who has written posts on Home Tips Plus.
I'm a father of three, married and a home owner since 2006. I've worked in fixing up homes and rental properties.

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