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.

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.

Woodworking Tips for The Home Handyman

Woodworking is one of the oldest and most rewarding skills to acquire. The plus side of this practice is that even an amateur can accomplish numerous practical things like making a garden bench or fixing a broken drawer. The secret to achieving success in woodworking is knowing the right project to work on. Plus, as with any other learning experience, it’s essential that you first master the simple skills before moving to the more complicated ones. Otherwise, the final product will turn out to be less satisfactory than you expected. Explore these home woodworking tips to get a handle on your own carpentry skills.

The Handyman’s Home Woodworking Tips

Read on and gain proven home woodworking tips to help make you an accomplished woodworker as you hone your skills further.

Always Have Protective Gear

Before engaging in any woodworking endeavors, it is crucial to have the appropriate protective gear. Protecting your eyes, ears, fingers, and other body parts should take priority over any projects you have. Even if you are only using the handy tools, splinters and wood shavings can sometimes catch your exposed eyes. In extreme cases, possibly damage your eyes and hinder your chances of becoming a talented woodworker.

Ensure to protect your eyes using eye protection goggles. A good pair of earmuffs are also great for protecting your ears from extreme noise that can damage your ears. Also, ensure that you protect your fingers as well using well-fitting leather gloves. Safety comes first.

Prepare A Simple Woodworking Setup

You do not need to have an expensive, fancy workshop to create a masterpiece. A temporary workshop table in the backyard will do provided you have all the right materials and tools. You can also create a simple workshop in the garage if you have one. This way, you won’t have to set it up and take it down every time.

Start Simple

Every professional woodworker had to have started from somewhere. Therefore, selecting the perfect first project is vital as it’s what makes or breaks you as a woodworker. You may end up being bogged down, especially in the details if you take on too ambitious projects. The result may also not be what you hoped, which may demoralize your woodworking ambitions.

Start small and simple, then gradually work your way up and add more difficult skills as you become more proficient.

Use the Essential Tools

Most woodworking endeavors involve the use of tools essential for making the making work easier and safer. Buying all the woodworking tools at once can be overwhelming and quite expensive. Then you also have to learn to use all of these tools which may not be as easy.

However, if you start by purchasing only the basic and most essential tools for your woodwork endeavors, you can start building in no time. Some of the essential woodwork tools include:

  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Hand saw
  • Hammer
  • Miter square
  • Screwdriver
  • Simple miter box

Fine-Tune a Few Basic Skills

After a few woodwork projects, you should have a pretty good feel and know how to use the tools on the wood. In the process, your confidence also improves as you learn to use more power tools with time. Over time, you will become a pro at using most of the woodworking tools available.

Final Thoughts on Home Woodworking

The secret to having a successful woodworking project is by starting simple. You can even make several similar projects and items provided it helps to hone your woodworking skills.

How to Maintain Your Lawn in a Drought

Are you in a drought and wondering if your plants will live through the summer? Whether it’s a drought, or water shortages due to water restrictions, they can really take a toll on your lawn. However, maintaining a healthy, green lawn doesn’t have to be very difficult, or very expensive. There are ways to develop a drought tolerant lawn. Here are some techniques you can use to maintain your lawn in a drought. 

Maintaining a Lawn in a Drought

The most important thing is to know your climate. What climate are you growing your lawn in? How much rain will you get? What sort of soil conditions do you have? Is your lawn in a completely sunny spot, or do you have part shade? When you understand your climate before planting, it can and will save you time and money, and also give you the results you wanted. 

Once you understand your climate, you’ll know the correct plants to choose for your lawn. There are hundreds of drought tolerant plants, that will survive with very little water.

Some drought tolerant plants are:

  • Succulents
  • Cactus
  • Hummingbird bush
  • Bougainvillea
  • Black Eyed Susans
  • Gerberas 
  • Blazing Stars Ajuga
  • Coneflower ‘Echinacea’

Your grass will also need to be drought tolerant. You can select grass seeds like:

  • Zoysia Grass
  • St. Augustine’s Grass
  • Common Bermuda Grass
  • Seashore Paspalum
  • Kentucky Bluegrass

These are just a few examples, there are many more grass seeds and plants you can choose, depending on your taste and how you want your lawn to look. 

Another option is to use native plants and flowers. Using native species preserve your region’s ecology, it is an inexpensive way to add color to your garden. But the best thing about using native species is that they will thrive with little attention, water, or care, as they have already adapted to the area’s climate and soil. 

Consider pollinator plants. They are a great way to maintain a healthy ecosystem in your garden. Plants that attract pollinators, invite some of nature’s hardest workers, who will give you a helping hand in maintaining your landscape. They also add some additional color. 



What is a lawn without water?

Part of knowing how to maintain healthy lawn is to learn to water wisely, especially when resources are strained. When watering, there are four main things to keep in mind:

  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast. If it’s going to rain, don’t water the lawn. Let the rain do the work, and save your water. 
  • Don’t over water. Wait until your grass begins to show signs of drought before you water. This way, the lawn is getting water only when needed. 
  • Water deep – this means you are watering less often, but more deeply. Really drench your lawn, so the water soaks in. 
  • Maintain a regular watering schedule. And always in the early morning before the sun rises. This way you prevent evaporation, and the water will have enough time to soak into the soil. 

These few techniques will make the best of your water usage, and you can do a lot more with limited resources. If watering on a schedule is not something you can manage, then you can install an irrigation system that runs on a timer. These are less expensive than you might think, and a great way to water without having to add to your daily chores.

How to Make Your Lawn Thicker and Greener

Does it seem like having top quality grass in your lawn is unachievable? Does your lawn keep up with the neighbors? We have a simple lawn care guide that will get you results that will make your neighbors green with envy. To keep the green, you wan to keep your lawn thicker and greener, preserving its natural beauty.

Tips on How to Make Your Lawn Thicker and Greener

The first mistake to avoid is cutting the grass too low.

You might think that it will grow better if you cut it very short, however that’s not the case. Longer grass lets the soil remain cooler for longer, by trapping in the moisture. Essentially, it acts as a living mulch. Don’t cut more than 1/3rd of the grass at one time. Cutting it too much can cause the grass to burn and turn brown. 

Before you start to cut, check your blade.

You want to be using a sharp blade. A dull blade will not only tear the grass, but will also allow pathogens to enter the grass, leading to disease. Check your blades regularly, and sharpen or replace as required. 

Over time, the soil in your yard becomes compacted. With heavy use, this process is sped up. Why is compacted soil bad? That’s because compacted soil leads to poor water retention, and shallow root. This means air, water, and nutrients are unable to penetrate the soil deep enough to allow the roots to develop. The soil needs to be aerated at least once a year. You can do this by using an aerator.

For a great lawn, you need to ‘scarify’. Also known as dethatching, it is the process of removing thatch, or dead debris, like leaves, old grass, etc., which builds up in yards. Scarifying should be done in the spring and over fall. For spring, only need some light dethatching, with a rake. In the fall however, you will need to do heavier dethatching, using a specific thatching rake or a motorized dethatcher. 

Get a Greener Lawn

Water is crucial for your lawn. A healthy lawn needs sufficient water. You know your lawn is thirsty if it looks dull, lacks color, and grows poorly. Depending on what kind of lawn you have, you need to water accordingly. A sandy or well drained soil needs about one inch of water. Clay or compacted soils need only about half an inch. The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning. And make sure you never cut your grass when it’s wet. It’s a common mistake that will lead to unevenly cut grass, and can also pave the way for diseases. 

Fertilizing can be an overlooked step in lawn care. However, fertilizing can really add some much needed luster to your lawn. Potassium rich fertilizers are good to use in the fall and winter, to promote cold resistant grass. In the spring, use fertilizers that are rich in nitrogen, as that will stimulate vegetative growth. 

No doubt, you have spent some amount of time wrestling with weeds. Once weeds have crept in, they are extremely difficult to get rid of. Keeping your lawn well cut on a regular basis will actually keep many weeds at bay. But you will need weedkiller or a weeding tool for the more stubborn ones. And make sure you pull them out by the roots if you’re weeding by hand, or they will be back. A good weed eater will help you keep the lawn looking beautiful.

 

Your lawn is a living plant, and its proper care depends on the type of soil, variety of grass, and the regional climate. Getting a lush, green lawn is not difficult, with a little bit of care.

Weatherize Your Home Against Floods

Natural disasters like floods are rare, and they don’t only occur out in the country side. Urban areas can have flooding too. Runoff from buildings, parking lots, or streets can overpower the city sewers. It can back up sewage into your basement. Fortunately, you can take steps to weatherize your home against floods. 

How to Weatherize Your Home Against Floods

Each area has a flood level, which you can check. FEMA’s website has a Flood Map Service, where you can type in your address, and it tells you whether you’re located in a flood zone. A little bit of research can prevent a lot of trouble later on. 

  • It may seem like the most obvious thing to do, but a lot of people don’t do this. Raise up your electrical and climate systems, to at least a foot above any expected flooding. Do the same with outdoor equipment. If you have air conditioning, or generators located outside, they should be anchored and raises as well. Leaving a generator on the ground during a flood means it will take in water and you will probably be left without electricity. 
  • Sewage washing into the basement is a real possibility in a flood. To prevent that from happening, you can have a sewage water backstop installed by a licensed plumber. If you are building a home, installing one is much cheaper than to do so in an existing structure, about $1,000 or more. However, don’t let the price deter you. Not having one will cost you much more in damages. 
  • Clean out your eavestroughs and downspouts in dry weather, at least twice a year. If  not, you might find that during a flood, or heavy rain, water will collect in your roof, downspouts, and eavestroughs can find its way into your home, due to clogging. You can also add extensions to your downspouts to carry water far enough away from your foundation. 
  • Look for holes and cracks. These could be in your foundation, and can be completely filled in with vinyl concrete patching. If there are holes and cracks in the eavestroughs, downspouts, or any extensions, these can be sealed with silicon caulk. Even a trickle can cause mold in your basement, over time. 
  • A sump pump is a convenient, and effective flood control method. How a sump pump works, is by digging a shallow pit in the basement, and by placing a small pump inside. As water starts to collect in the pit during storms, it is pumped out through tubing, outside the home. All sump pumps are not alike, and they have different capacities. Make sure you’re using the correct one for your home, and that it’s hooked up with plenty of power. 
  • Flood insurance is a must. Most people seem to think that their home insurance covers floods, but that is not a fact. After natural disasters, plenty of people affected are found not to have flood insurance, because they thought they already had it. Do the search to find out if you’re in a flood risk area, and if you are, get yourself some flood insurance. 

 

Ultimately, if you’re tired of the endless flooding, and constant damage to your home, consider relocating to a low flood risk area. In the long run, it might turn out to be the best option for you, and save you money, and keep your peace of mind, in the future. 

How to Clean Your Gutters

Have the beautiful leaves of fall clogged up your gutters? Does the prospect of cleaning out your gutters seem daunting? After all, no one really wants to crawl around the roof and get gunk out of gutters and pipes. There is a better way to clean your gutters. This is where power tools come in. 

Power Washer

Most people think about cleaning their gutters right after a storm has hit. If so, you’ll find that the leaves on the ground are sticky and wet, and quite difficult to get out of the gutters. A good tool to use in this case, is a power washer. A high pressure power washer has a lot of force behind it, so it is recommended to use a telescoping wand, so that you can clean the gutters from the ground level, and the water’s force will be directed, and not everywhere. Once you’re finished with the power washer, debris will litter the ground, and can be picked up with a rake, or swept away with a broom. Keep in mind that the debris may also be washed onto your siding and windows, and you’ll have to clean that too. It is a good idea to remove any patio furniture before you start cleaning. 

Leaf Blower

Another good power tool is a leaf blower. It eliminates any tedious raking. Using a leaf blower means you won’t have to clean your gutters by hand. A leaf blower is not the best tool if you’re dealing with wet leaves and debris. But if it’s dry weather, and there’s been no rain, then a leaf blower will do the job well. The easiest, and most straightforward method is to climb a ladder to your roof, and walk along the edge, carefully, and blow the leaves out of the gutter. A safer way to do this, is to use an extension kit, which will extend, as well as curve the leaf blower’s reach, so you don’t need to get up on the roof, and can get the gutters clean while standing on the ground. If this is your preferred method, make sure you wear safety goggles, as the leaves and debris will fall to the ground, probably directly on you. This method is effective, but messy. 

Wet and Dry Vacuum

Not so much for your gutters, but to clean the mess left on the ground once you have cleaned the gutters, a wet/dry vacuum will suck it all up. 

Take Precautions

Now that you know the best ways to get your gutters clean, a word of caution. Keep yourself safe by using an extension ladder if your rooftop is very high. Wear thick work gloves, and protective goggles. If you absolutely don’t have to walk on the roof, don’t do it. Before you clean the gutters, make sure all the debris on the roof itself is cleaned, otherwise your gutters will clog as soon as it rains. And don’t do it alone, if you can get a second person to help you, by holding the ladder. Be safe, and you’ll have your gutters clean in no time.

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