Quick DIY Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself

Being a homeowner can be a blessing as well as a nightmare itself. Owning a nice decent home is only always half the job. The other half falls on how you care for and maintain the home. You must take care of all the bills and maintenance fees that follow. However, not all home repairs require you to hire a professional for the job. Some home repairs require little skill and few DIY video tutorials to have done. Thus, saving you a couple of dollars which you would have otherwise used to hire a professional.

Our team compiled a list of simple solutions to household headaches take a few minutes. These household repairs and solutions are simple and easy to handle. Plus, they don’t even require technical skills.

Here Are Some Quick DIY Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself

Lube A Sticking Vinyl Door or Window

Vinyl doors and windows that don’t operate smoothly can be a pain to most homeowners. This usually occurs when gunk builds up in the channels. There are also instances where clean doors and windows can sometimes bind. When this happens, you can try spraying the contact points with dry PTFE spray lubricant, then wipe it off with a rag. Do not use oil lubricants for this fix as these often attract dirt, which may only end up damaging the vinyl further.

Fix A Shutoff Valve

DIYing your sink or toilet repairs can sometimes go very wrong if the shutoff valve doesn’t shut off. Luckily, most shutoff valves are easy to replace. However, some aren’t. If yours isn’t easy to replace, there is a simple way around it. Simply turn off the main water valve. Then remove its packing nut, unscrew the stem, then take it to the store to find a better replacement washer. Pop the new washer after cleaning any grit in the valve body. If done right, your valve should work like new.

Bleach A Water Stain

Ceilings are prone to have water stains, especially if there is a leak in the roof. However, you don’t necessarily have to go through the trouble of repainting your ceiling. Simply spraying the stained spot using a bleach and water solution can do the trick. After spraying the spot, wait a day or two for the results. It the stain will have completely disappeared.

For the older stains, however, mold and mildew removers are a better option. Plus, it works on both textured and plain ceilings.

Fix A Wallpaper Seam

Over time, wallpaper seams can come apart or tear. The best remedy for this is to reactivate the paste around the seams using a rag soaked in water. When a seam forms, try to open it up a little more so that you have more room to apply the sealer. Squeeze the seam sealer into the gap then press that section of the wall using a roller. That does it with your wallpaper seam problem.

Unclog Your Toilet with A Dish Soap

There are times when even your toilet plunger doesn’t work as well. When that happens, try this solution before opting for the snake. Try squirting about ½ cup of liquid soap into the toilet and let it sit for a while. Liquid soap helps to reduce friction. Thus, allowing the stuck contents to slide through the toilet easily.

There you have it, five of the most common DIY home repairs that you can handle in under ten minutes or less. Try these solutions and see how well they work out for you.

Safety Tips For Using Electric Space Heaters

Electric space heaters work as convenient sources of heat when temperatures drop to uncomfortable levels. These appliances help to supplement the overall heat in your home, keeping you warm and cozy whenever you turn them on. But still, many homeowners have the phobia that using electric space heaters can be dangerous. Well, unless you have an old model or you use the one you have inappropriately, you shouldn’t have any issues. These appliances are a better economic option to air conditioners, especially if you don’t have the budget for an HVAC. That said, here are some brilliant tips and tricks to keep in mind to ensure that you’re using your electric space heater appropriately.

Things to Keep in Mind When Using Electric Space Heaters

Safety First

Studies show that space heaters cause for up to 1/3 of all home fires. It is, therefore, crucial that you heed all the instructions and precautions provided by the manufacturer of your model. Data collected by the National Fire Protection Association shows that four out of five electric home-home heating fire deaths result from space heaters. All, the more reason to ensure that you stick to the instructions provided by your model’s manufacturer.

Understand the Dangers

As aforementioned, space heaters can cause severe fire incidences if not used appropriately. Ensure, therefore, that the model you purchase has a seal or label as proof that it was testes in a reputable and recognized laboratory. Also, read and understand all the instructions and warning labels mentioned by the manufacturer. If you follow the instructions to the letter, then you shouldn’t have any issues using your electric space heater.

Never Leave the Space Heater Unattended

It’s easy to leave your space heater unattended in one room while you go to the next room or even leave it operating when going to sleep. But this is how fires can occur and end up causing more problems. Thus, always make sure that your space heater is turned off every time you’re leaving a room. Also, never let children or pets play too close to the heater to avoid unnecessary accidents occurring.

Plug Directly into An Outlet

Space heaters require a lot of electricity to operate. As such, plugging them to an extension cord or power strip is not the best way to go. They can quickly overheat and cause a fire. Thus, the need to always plug them directly into an outlet.

Keep A Distance

Make sure that your space heater is always at least 3 ft. away from anything in the room that can burn or easily catch fire. These include rugs, paper, and clothing. Better safe than sorry.

Use for Supplemental Heat Only

Remember, space heaters are manufactured solely for supplemental heat. These appliances are not meant to warm or cook food, dry clothing, or warm linens. As such, using them for purposes other than what they were intended can easily cause fire accidents and other related problems. Stick to what the manufacturer instructs you to use the space heater model to avoid unnecessary incidences.

Lastly, in as much as electric space heaters may not be as efficient, especially when looking to warm large rooms, they are an excellent option for smaller rooms. Most of these appliances are suitable for short-term fixes as opposed to long-term solutions. But even so, they can be an efficient heat source to get you through chilly nights.

Tips for Using Emergency Generators

Nothing can ruin a busy day like having your power go out, especially at night, and you have tons of work with deadlines to meet. Most of the time, power outages tend to occur at the most inopportune moments. This makes you wonder what better alternative energy source to have around as a backup. Well, emergency generators are an excellent option to consider. These machines can save the day should your power go out when you need it the most.

Our team aims to provide you with tips and tricks to consider when using emergency generators to ensure both safety and efficiency.

Here Are Our Tips for Using Emergency Generators

Keep the Generator Away from Your House

Generators, being an internal combustion engine, also produce a significant amount of carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas. So, in as much as having an emergency generator may be the best thing to have around, you should keep it as far away from your home as possible. When inhaled, carbon monoxide can cause you to blackout or die in some cases from carbon monoxide poisoning. This is, however, very easy to avoid. Don’t run the generator in your porch or garage. Try to keep it at least 10 feet away from your home.

Buy A Standby Generator If Possible

Standby generators, unlike the portable generators, are permanently connected to the electrical system. They, therefore, go on automatically power goes out. The only downside is that they fetch very high prices. They can run on natural gas or propane. So, there is no need always to monitor the fuel. Plus, they are relatively quieter compared to portable generators.

Propane Is Better Than Gas

Liquid propane beats gasoline by a mile when it comes to ease of use in portable generators. Gasoline is a handy fuel. However, it comes with its fair share of baggage which you can solve by using propane-powered portable generators.

First, you must get enough gasoline in storage to get you through the power outage times. Then you must find a safe place to store them and add stabilizer to it. You also need to replace gasoline gas after every few months to ensure that you only use good gasoline. Propane, however, never goes bad. Thus, you can use it indefinitely. Refueling propane is also safe and straightforward. You simply replace the depleted propane tank with another one. You also won’t need to worry about old gasoline gumming up the carburetor on your generator.

Shop for Generators That You Can Service Locally

In as much as there may be great deals to shop for online, it is vital that you only buy the ones that you can get serviced locally. Sometimes, spending a few extra bucks to purchase from a local dealer is the better option as parts will be available. Plus, the dealer is also familiar with the maintenance and repair procedures needed for your model. So, only go for the generators that you are sure someone nearby can help you find the parts for it and service it too when necessary.

Don’t Use Old Fuel on Generators

Old, stale fuel is your worst enemy and is the primary cause of most generators starting problems. Most manufacturers advise that you add fuel stabilizer to your gas to minimize fuel breakdown and gum buildup. But this also isn’t a guarantee against problems. If possible, try always to empty the fuel tank and carburetor after the engine has cooled. Always use fresh, stabilized fuel in your generator for it to function efficiently.

Lock It Down

What’s worse than having a loud generator keep you up at night is having someone steal it in the middle of the night. You must, therefore, ensure that you provide enough electrical safety and security for your generator. If possible, secure it in a space underground that you can lock and secure with chains as well.

Generally, if used properly, a good generator can serve you for many years illuminating your house every time you have power outages.

Tips for Mounting Decor On the Wall

It is the simple things we do in our homes that tell the true story of who we are. If, for example, you prefer to leave your walls blank, it will feel more like you’re living in a hotel than a home. But if you have the right photos, art, and wall décor and have a wonderful sense of personality and culture, you can make even the emptiest spaces look like a home. That’s why we’ve prepared these tips for mounting decor on the wall of your home.

Generally, different people have varied ideas about wall décor tips and designs to use in their homes. It depends on how wild your imagination is, and what you can do with the space you have and décor available. This article aims to provide and guide you with some brilliant wall décor ideas that should help you get started in a jiffy.

Tips On How to Mount Décor On the Wall

Hang Art Centered at Eye Level

For whatever reason, most people tend to hang art and décor too high. However, after thorough research, we found that there’s a lot more to the height that you use to hang your décor. First, the room that you plan to hang your art or décor is a critical factor to consider. Take the kitchen space, for example. Most of the time, you will be standing when cooking or even when walking past the hallway. Thus, the need to place the pictures at a slightly higher level from the flow. The family room and dining room, however, would require that you have the décor at a sitting eye level.

Space the Décor Right

The spacing that you use when hanging pictures and other forms of artwork on your walls is another significant factor. You don’t want to have your décor too close to the point that they look too cramped or disorganized. At the same time, you also don’t want to have them too widely spaced that they look like you ran out of ideas for your walls. Eventually, everyone has their own preferences when it comes to spacing décor.

Light Them Up

It is also essential that you have the right amount of light on your décor on the walls. Too much light on your wall art can create glare and wash-out. For better enjoyment of your wall décor, try illuminating them using the least light as possible. Also, LED lights are a better option to use compared to fluorescent lights, which can damage artwork.

Don’t Hand in Direct Sunlight

Prolonged exposure of artwork in direct sunlight can fade its images in the long run. So, avoid hanging them in direct sunlight, even if they have protective UV-blocking glass.

Use the Right Hangers

When hanging pictures that exceed 8×10 inches, you should use two hooks for better stability. You don’t want to have too few hangers, especially when the wall art and décor are bulky or too large as it may end up putting too much pressure on the hangers.

Generally, there are many cool ideas of mounting wall art and décor on the walls that you can use. You can also be creative enough and come up with better ideas that we could borrow from you and share with the rest of the world. So, feel free to share with the team.

Home Improvement Tips for Insulating Walls

One of the best ways of increasing energy efficiency in your homes is installing insulation in your walls. This saves you money that you would have otherwise used on heating and cooling the walls. Proper wall insulation also helps to buffer sound, which is a bonus too. The best part about insulating walls is that you can easily DIY the whole process. It takes just a couple of steps and techniques and the right set of tools and equipment to insulate your walls. Our team compiled a collection of tips and tricks that you can use to DIY your wall insulation.

Try These Home Improvement Tips for Insulating Walls

Cut Fiberglass to Precise Widths

Insulating walls using fiberglass insulation is a relatively straightforward process. However, the job requires that you pay attention to detail for the best results. As such, each gap or compressed batt enables heat or cold to escape.

It is, therefore, essential that you cut your fiberglass butt to exact widths that precisely fit. It is best to leave about ¼ in. To your measurement to ensure you get a snug fit. Remember, you don’t want any heat or cold to escape. So, ensure that the fiberglass butt covers every space.

Avoid Stuffing

Do not stuff full-width batts into very narrow spaces as crumpling the batts to fit can end up creating uninsulated air pockets in the wall. Plus, excessively packed insulation tends to have a lower R-value.

Seal Narrow Gaps with Foam

Expanding spray foam is excellent for filling tiny gaps in the walls. It is efficient when sealing gaps around windows and door jambs. Foam works perfectly to prevent air infiltration. If, however, there is still space around the gap after using the foam, then lightly stuff the remaining gap using strips of fiberglass insulation.

Don’t Stuff Fiberglass Behind Cables and Pipes

Most cables and pipes expand and contract in hot and cold environments. Thus, tucking full-thickness batts behind these appliances isn’t really a good idea as they can end up compressing the fiberglass. This eventually decreases the insulating value of the fiberglass batts. Thus, creating voids between the drywall and the insulation.

Buy Friction-Fit Batts

Unfaced friction-fit batts are excellent for sealing walls and gaps using a 4-millimeter poly vapor retarder. These batts can seal gaps between the bottom plate of your wall and the floor using acoustical caulk or sealant. You can then tape the seams in the poly using sheathing tape for better insulation.

Wear Protective Equipment

It is always crucial to have protective gear on when working with fiberglass. Ensure that you protect your eyes, skin, and lungs. If you are insulating a large area, then you should also consider putting on a disposable overall. Most of these protective gears are inexpensive, and you can find them at the home center and paint stores. Ensure, therefore, that you have gloves, goggles, a dust mask, long-sleeved coverings, and a cap to protect yourself from fiberglass irritation.

These are a few of the critical steps that you can follow to ensure proper wall insulation. If there are other fantastic ideas about insulating walls that you know about, feel free to share with us.

How to Paint A Room Fast

Painting a wall can be a daunting task, especially if you opt to DIY the project. It gets even harder if you need to paint a room fast. Generally, painting a wall fast seems to always be at odds with having great results. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you must always sacrifice quality when painting fast. Using the tips shown here can help you to improve your fast painting prowess significantly and still get great results.
Having a professional-looking paint job, especially when done fast, can sometimes force you to neglect the painting advice you’re used to hearing. But eventually, these tips and tricks help you produce the best possible results. Let’s learn how to paint a room fast.

Tips on How to Paint a Room Fast

Clean Fast Using TSP

Before painting, it is advisable that you, first, clean the surface that you intend to paint. This enables the paint to stick on previously painted walls or woodwork. You can use a sponge and trisodium phosphate cleaner to clean the walls of a good TSP substitute tow ash off any dirt, soot, and grime on the walls.

TSP is a better option as it cleans fast and doesn’t need a lot of scrubbing compared to other options. A 16-oz. box of TSP concentrate costs about $5 at hardware stores and home centers. This solution slightly etches the old paint. Thus, helping the new paint to form a better bond.

Strain Out Goobers

Paint naturally solidifies from the time you open its lid. Even this paint tends to have small strands or chunks of hard paint in it. You don’t want to have these chunks ending up on your walls as you’ll then have to pick them out before rerolling the area.

Instead, buy a good paint strainer to strain the paint. The strainer traps and debris that’s in the paint leaving you with only good paint that’s ready to use.

Use Extenders

The longer the paint stays wet on your walls or woodwork, the fewer runs and lap marks you’ll have to deal with. These are the dark, ugly lines that form when painting over already dry areas. Thus, if you can keep the paint on the walls wet longer, you don’t have to worry about them.

The best way of preventing lap marks on your walls is by using paint extenders or conditioners. Thoroughly mix and stir the paint extender with the paint to help level out paint runs and brush marks.

Clean Up Your Mistakes

It is always advisable that you have a can of paint remover around just in case you get paint over something you didn’t intend to have painted. No matter how careful you are, you are bound to spill or splash paint onto something you didn’t mean to. Here’s where the paint remover comes into play. A good paint remover can remove dried latex paint from countertops, door hinges, vinyl floors or any other place you spill it on accidentally.

Keep A Garbage Bag Close

Painting jobs, especially the ones that are done fast, create a lot of trash that you can’t leave lying anywhere in the house. You don’t want to have tape or wads of plastic covered in wet paint lying around in a room. That’s why it is essential to have garbage bags that you can dispose of any paint materials that you no longer need.

All these tricks help to paint a room fast while not sacrificing the overall quality of your painting. Try them out and see how they work out during your next painting projects.

13 Home Improvement Skills a Handyman Must Know

Being a homeowner comes with its fair share of baggage that you must be prepared to tackle. Failure of which you may end up with much bigger problems on your hands. Most of the time, homeowners opt to hire professionals for these simple tasks, which costs a pretty penny. However, with a little skill and few DIY video tutorials, you realize that most of these problems are quite simple and easy to fix. Our team compiled a list of simple home improvement skills that you can DIY hiring professional help.

13 Home Improvement Skills a Handyman Must Know

1. Painting A Room

Typically, it’s not as simple as you might think. There are steps that you should take before you give your space a new color. But with a little guidance, you should have all the information and tools needed to give your new space the exact color that complements other home accessories.

2. Replace Your Furnace Filter

It may not be top on your list of priorities, but it is always essential to check your furnace filters monthly. You should change any dirty filters immediately to provide better heating, especially during winter, and conditioning during summer seasons.

3. Hanging Shelves On Drywall

With the right tools and skillset, you can easily hang shelves on your wall freely without worrying about drilling holes in your wall. Proper tools for the job can ensure that you hang your shelves perfectly without compromising the integrity and beauty of your walls.

4. Replacing Moldy Caulk

There are also relatively easy ways of removing caulk from bathtubs, provided you have the tools for the job. You don’t necessarily need to hire a professional for the job if you know the simple steps and procedures to follow.

5. Organize Your Home

There is always the chance of your home being filled with clutter and a lot of disorganized items when moving. However, with good organization, you can create more space in your home and make it look more appealing, beautiful, and safe for children.

6. Fix or Replace Your Door

After some time, your doors are also bound to stick or sag from wear and tear. But provided you know how to tighten and fix any loose hinges and have the right tools, you should be well ahead of this quick fix.

7. Patching A Hole in Your Wall

Nothing can be as big a turnoff in a home as having to stare at a hole or crack in the wall. But even that is an easy fix with a screw gun, dust musk, drywall sander, paintbrush, drywall tape, etc. You can have your wall looking brand new, like nothing ever happened to it.

8. Fixing the Toilet

Toilet problems are among the easiest DIY fixes in a home. In most situations, fixing a clogged toilet, for example, only takes a toilet pump or snake, and sometimes even liquid washing soap to have it running smoothly again. You don’t necessarily need to call the plumber.

9. Set Up Ant Bait Stations

This is the easiest, most effective step to rid your home of ants for good. Simply squishing one or two that you spot won’t do, as there are probably millions more living in or around your home.

10. Know How to Use Pocket Screws

If you plan on DIYing most home repairs, then you should start learning how to use pocket screws. Using a pocket screw to tighten or fix cabinets and other appliances on the wall is simple and relatively easy, but only if you know what to do.

11. Using Ladder Bumpers

Ladder bumpers are an excellent accessory that prevents the edges of your ladder from scratching up the sides of your walls. Old pairs of sneakers strapped on the ladder’s edges using duct tape is a simple DIY process.

12. Eliminate Drain Odor

Pouring a quart of fresh water with a tablespoon of cooking oil can significantly eliminate the smell from the drains by sealing it and holding the drain water in a trap.

13. Unclogging A Sink

Grease and garbage buildup in the sinks can easily clog them. But sometimes very hot water does the trick by liquifying oils that solidify in the pipes. You can also use bacteria that eat away at the garbage or acid to corrode the materials blocking the sink.

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