Household Fixes Every Homeowner Should Know

Written by Lew Amicone

When you own a home, you’ll find that maintenance is a never-ending task. Some household work is seasonal, such as preparing a home for winter or summer. Other repairs and projects will need to be taken care of as wear and tear inevitably happens to the structure of the home or to appliances in the home. You might not be ready to tackle your own construction and renovations, but most homeowners are able to manage simple maintenance work such as fixing leaky pipes and repairing a hole in the drywall. Being self-reliant and taking care of your own home maintenance can give you a strong sense of satisfaction. You’ll also save money when you handle household repairs at your own workbench instead of relying on the tools and expertise of others.

Leaky Pipes and Other Plumbing Problems

Plumbing issues are common for homeowners: With myriad pipes snaking through your house, it’s virtually guaranteed that you’re going to have a plumbing problem at some point. Of course, you could call a plumber for a dripping faucet, clogged drain, or leaky pipe. But the good news is that you can often fix these issues at a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional.

  • A running toilet may just need a replacement fill valve, which is not difficult to install.
  • A dripping faucet could just be a matter of cleaning out mineral deposits and replacing an old gasket.
  • A pipe that’s leaking at a joint can often be fixed by wrapping the threads at the joint with plumber’s tape and then adding pipe joint compound over the tape.
  • A clogged bathtub drain is usually filled with hair and soapy residue. Simply remove the stopper and stick a stiff wire down the drain to pull out the clog.

Fixing Walls and Ceilings

Wall and ceiling repairs can be costly if you hire a professional. Happily, many of these fixes are relatively simple for a homeowner to complete.

  • Replacing an entire wall of drywall can be a big job. Instead, place a sheet of wall liner over the problem spot in the drywall. It installs like wallpaper, and it’s ideal for fixing cracks and holes.
  • A drywall patch is the solution for larger holes. Special clips and tabs can enable you to attach the patch to the surrounding drywall.
  • Cracks in a popcorn ceiling can be covered with special patch compound designed for popcorn ceilings.
  • Cover ceiling stains with spray-on primer designed to be sprayed upward onto ceilings.

Electrical Repairs

Many electrical repairs are easy enough for homeowners to complete. In fact, you may even have all of the tools you need hanging over your workbench. If you have dated electrical wiring in your home or symptoms of a poor neutral connection (such as frequent blowing of light bulbs or flickering lights), call a licensed electrician.

  • Repair a flickering light fixture by turning off the power to the fixture and prying up the tab at the center of the bulb socket with a flat-head screwdriver. This will improve the electrical contact.
  • Replace an outlet cover by turning off the power to the outlet, removing the old cover, and screwing on a new outlet cover.
  • When a fuse blows, turn off everything in the part of the house without power. Turn off the main power switch to disconnect the fuse box, then locate the blown fuse. Remove the blown fuse, and replace it with a new one that is the same type, rating, amperage, and size. Turn the main power back on.

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