You may not consider yourself a do-it-yourself guy or gal, but if you own a home for any length of time, you will probably find that you need to become one. The reality of home ownership is that most of us are not rich enough to hire a professional to do every repair. The key is to discover what jobs you can do yourself. Here are five of them easy enough for a beginner to do.
Your toilet has been running on for days and making burping noises, and you have just noticed that your water bill has begun to increase. Your toilet is slowly losing water. In many cases, this is a surprisingly easy fix that is inexpensive, too.
Open the water tank and look inside. Chances are you will see a rubber flapper at the bottom of the tank. When this flapper becomes old or covered with minerals, it will not close properly and the toilet will begin to lose tiny bits of water. Many toilet flappers are attached to a chain that is easy to remove in order to replace it with a new flapper. You can get a new one for a few bucks at the hardware. Just make sure you get the correct one for your model.
Replacing A Faucet Inlet Valve
You’ve heard the drip-drip-drip of one of your faucets. You may not need to replace any piping. Often the culprit is a leaking inlet valve, which is a length of nylon cord attached below your sink. Inlet valves don’t last forever, and they can be inexpensively replaced. Turn off the water supply from a valve under the sink and remove the faulty inlet valve by twisting it. Bring it to your hardware for the correct length on the new one. You may want to buy an extra one for the next time this happens.
Self-stick tiles are an easy way to enhance a small section of floor, and they are very easy to install, even for beginners. You may live in an old home with asphalt tiles that can’t be removed. Self-stick tiles can be placed over the old tiles.
Pay attention to the thickness of the tiles. Some very inexpensive self-sticks are very thin and can be easily damaged. You are better off going with a more durable self-stick tile, although it will be a little more difficult to cut.
Caulking Around The Home
Making sure that your home is properly caulked can help with weatherproofing and keeping insects out. Your local hardware has products that make it easy to caulk without using a caulking gun, which tends to be difficult for beginners to use. You can find caulk in plastic tubes that you just press to release the caulk, or you can buy rope caulk. Rope caulk is putty-like. You simply press it into place.
Clogs In Sinks Or Toilet
Clogs are never pleasant. The best way to repair them is to avoid them. Clean your kitchen sink once a week with a little vinegar and baking soda poured down the drain. Since hair is a major cause of shower drain clogs, put a trap over your shower drain to catch hair and debris before it goes down the drain. Replacing double ply toilet tissue with single ply can help to avoid toilet clogs. Keep separate sturdy plungers handy for any clogs that do occur.
The more you learn about doing small repairs around the home, the less you will have rely on others to help you. Doing so will make you more self-sufficient and less likely to encounter repair emergencies.