22 Repairs You May Not Know You Can Do Yourself
T. Lacoma Updated: Mar. 18, 2021
Before you make a call, consider fixing these often-intimidating problems around the house yourself—we'll show you how it's done!
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Don't let your toilet be a mysterious device in the corner of your bathroom: Toilets actually operate by very simple mechanisms that are easy to understand. The majority of toilet issues— clogs , continuous running water , loud noises, etc.—can be solved with the quick purchase of a replacement part and some tinkering in the tank. Don't be afraid to open it up and take a look.
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Don't automatically avoid a project just because it involves electricity: Replacing a standard light switch with a dimmer switch is a very doable DIY project, as is replacing a three-way switch .
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Before you go through the trouble of repainting a ceiling to get rid of a water stain , try this trick. Spray the spot with a bleach and water solution (10 percent bleach), and wait a day or two. If it’s an old stain, use a mold and mildew remover from the grocery store. You’d be surprised how often the stain disappears by the next day. It works on both flat and textured ceilings.
Wear safety goggles, and make sure you protect the walls and floors with plastic.
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A variety of problems can befall your home's doors, especially older doors that may start to sag, stick, develop drafts or experience other issues. Fixing or replacing a door is well within the capabilities of most homeowners, especially if you have a partner to help out. From installing new weather stripping to replacing the lock , you can handle it. Watch this video to see how simple it is to replace an interior door yourself.
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Achieving a lush lawn doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. And you don’t have to pay big bucks for a lawn service to douse your yard with chemicals, either . Growing healthy, green grass is mainly just a matter of knowing what to give your lawn, and when to give it. Follow this advice from a pro to get your lawn shipshape before summer.
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A leaky or malfunctioning faucet can be fixed or replaced by even a novice DIYer. You can take your faucet apart and clean it out , or if worse comes to worse, replace it entirely in the space of a couple of hours. Plus: Tips on choosing a faucet. Also, check out: How to repair a noisy outdoor faucet.
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To fix a squeaky floor under carpet, locate the floor joists with a stud finder, then drive in a trim head screw through the carpet, pad and subfloor, and right into the floor joist. Be sure the top inch of the screw doesn’t have threads or the subfloor won’t suck down tight to the joist. We like trim screws because screws with larger heads pull down and pucker the carpet. If that happens, back out the screw and drive it back down. Keep adding screws until the squeak stops. Try these other squeaky floor fixes.
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How to Unclog Clogged Drains
Most clogged drains are caused by hair or greasy grime and you can clear them out yourself. Skip the chemical drain cleaner and grab a plunger to clear the clog and save on a service call. Even more serious problems in the distant reaches of your plumbing can be fixed without a pro. Plus: How to prevent clogged drains.
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If you can see light creeping beneath exterior doors, air is also escaping. Grab a few packages of self-adhesive rubber foam weatherstripping and go to town, sealing any and all doors that lead outside. Weatherstripping already installed but you’re still suffering from a high gas bill? It might be time to replace the strips installed by the previous owners. Check out this handy tutorial on installing weatherstripping .
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Caulk and Grout
Missing caulk around the bathtub or broken grout between tiles is an invitation for serious moisture damage. Fortunately, you can recaulk a bathtub or shower and regrout your wall tile without calling in a pro. Plus: Tips for caulking. Also check out grouting tips and techniques .
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Annual maintenance wards off many HVAC problems. If you do have a failure, you can usually fix it yourself. If your AC unit is working but has become noisy, you can fix that , too! If it's your furnace that needs attention, you can perform routine maintenance , and handle simple repairs yourself. Plus: Learn how to choose furnace filters and how to replace furnace filters yourself.
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Garbage Disposal Repair
A garbage disposal is a bit scary when it's turned on and the blades are noisily chopping up kitchen waste. But, if your disposal gets stinky, fear not. It's easy to clean out the gunk and get rid of the smell. If the splash guard needs replacing, you can do that in 20 minutes ! If you need to replace the entire disposal you can replace it yourself.
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Drywall is everywhere and it is surprisingly easy to damage. The good news is that the average drywall ding or hole can be easily patched . Cracks in drywall are also easy to fix . Got popped drywall nails or screws? You can fix those , too!
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With a little help, most car owners can handle car tire maintenance themselves. You can measure the tread to determine if your tires need replacement, check tire pressure, fix a leaking tire stem valve and even change a flat tire.
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Window screens can get punctured or torn, but as long as the frame is in good shape repairs are easy and can be done in a few minutes. Click here for how to make your screen door or window look good as new.
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As long as you purchase the right replacements, you can replace spark plugs in your car or lawn mower . Plus: How to change auto light bulbs. And check out easy power window repair
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If you have a wallpaper seam that’s coming apart , reactivate the paste around the gap with a rag soaked in warm water. Hold the rag over the area for a minute or two, and then carefully open the gap a little larger so you’ll have more room for the sealer. Squeeze seam sealer (white glue works in a pinch) into the gap, and press the paper to the wall with a roller. Clean off the excess sealer with a sponge.
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Repair your gutters before overflowing water damages your home. If your home doesn't have gutters, you can install them yourself. Also, consider installing gutter guards .
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Many things can go wrong with a deck. Missing screws, warped boards, squeaky nails, wobbly railings, fortunately, many of these problems are well within the scope of the average DIYer. Inspect your deck for seven common deck problems and then repair whatever needs fixing . Plus: How to remove flaking deck stain.
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Do you have a piece of upholstered furniture that has worn or torn fabric? Don't worry! You can replace the fabric with a design of your own choice. In fact, you may be able to make it better than ever! Plus: Fix a wobbly chair. And how to remove stains from wood furniture .
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Obviously you can't glue broken glass back together. But, for windows that get stuck, let in drafts or have moisture issues, there are DIY solutions. Fix old windows, double-hung windows , window glass glazing and screens . You can also stop window drafts and learn how to avoid and remove window condensation . If you want to take on a larger task, you can even replace your windows !
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