8 Convenient DIY Home Repair Jobs
As fall turns into winter, we spend more of our time indoors. While this gets us out of the cold, it can also throw into sharp relief a few (or many) of the chores and tasks that we have neglected during the warmer months. With so much going on in our lives, it’s easy to forget household maintenance. But small projects, like fixing a creaky hinge or cleaning a laundry room, can make a big difference in our happiness during the thick of winter. To help you keep a sunny outlook despite the cold, we’ve compiled a list of 8 convenient DIY home repair jobs you can tackle this winter.
Though we provide 8 tasks here, there will likely be much more for you to handle around your home. We suggest taking an hour to walk around your home and make a checklist of all the small fixes you can make without the aid of a professional. Then, as you check off items on your list, your sense of accomplishment will grow. You can also keep a list of bigger home repair items that you want to discuss with a contractor.
All right, here we go.
- Squeaky Door Hinges. Since we mentioned them above, we thought we’d start here. Squeaky door hinges are a constant reminder that the doors in our home aren’t operating at their best. Fortunately, these are a quick fix. Grab a tube of powdered graphite or some WD-40 and add a little to the pin where the hinge turns. ‘Green’ homeowners can use olive oil instead – just be careful about drips.
- Loose Towel Racks & TP Holders. These tend to sag or wobble with continued use and will need to be tightened up over time. Simply remove the fixture and look for the problem. It’s likely your drywall anchor. If it is bent or not strong enough, replace it with a sturdier option. We suggest toggle bolts, though threaded anchors are effective as well.
- Creaky Floorboards. You walk, they creak and groan. But this is an easy DIY home repair. A small investment in an anti-squeak repair kit can solve your problems fast. An even cheaper option – though you’ll need to do this more often – is to apply some talcum powder (or the powdered graphite from #1) to the seam where the floorboards meet. This will quiet the noises by lubricated the movement.
- Remove Shutoff Valve Rust. Sinks and toilets are a pain when they don’t work properly, and being able to stop water to them is important. To make sure you can do this, check your shutoff valves under/behind your sinks and toilets. If they are rusted, they may not work. To ensure that they do, just apply some WD-40 and let it sit for a few minutes to an hour. Turn the valves a few times to work the oil into the threads.
- Repair Paint on Shower Ceilings. Heat and moisture do bad things to paint. You’ll likely see the unpleasant effects every day during your shower. To fix the paint on shower walls and ceilings, start by scraping off the old paint and sanding the wall behind it. Next, recoat with a high-quality, exterior-grade paint. To make the new paint last longer, ask your family to use the bathroom vent, and to keep shower heat reasonable.
- Tighten Loose Handles & Hinges. From kitchen cabinets to bathroom drawers, it’s likely that at least some of the handles and hinges in your home are loose. This quick fix just requires a screwdriver and a little patience. If you find that the screws spin, try replacing them with a larger screw for a tighter grip.
- Check & Replace Batteries. No one likes waking up to a blaring smoke or carbon monoxide detector signaling a low battery. To prevent this annoyance, and to make sure your family is safe, replace the batteries in these apparatuses regularly.
We’re almost there. Hopefully, these suggestions have you on the path to some serious DIY home repair. Our final project sounds a little more intensive, but it isn’t!
- Test GFCI Outlets. Your GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupters) should be checked once a month. But if you are like 99.99% of us, you don’t. However, if it has been a while, we suggest doing it – and winter is a great time to tackle this job. You’ll find GFCIs (the two little buttons (often red and white) between the plugs on your outlets) around potentially wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms. Make sure they trip and reset correctly. If there is an issue, you can replace it yourself. For the less DIY-inclined, an electrician can handle the job for about $100.
Since you’re on a DIY home repair roll, here’s one bonus job to tackle that will have your home running like new.
- Clean the Stove Exhaust Filter. Check your stove’s operating manual to find the filter. Remove it, wash it with a good de-greaser, and reinstall. You may want to replace it if the filter is in bad shape. This cleaning will improve the efficiency of the exhaust fan and, as a bonus, will help keep the flames of a stovetop fire from spreading.
There you go! 8 convenient DIY home repair jobs you can tackle this winter. Happy fixing!
At Morgan Contractors, we have more than 18 years of experience providing quality home improvement services, including home remodeling projects, to the Tristate area. So, if you are looking for a trusted, safety-compliant, and fully insured company for your next home improvement job, we are it!
For more information about how we can make your next home improvement project a success, to request an estimate, or for general questions, please contact us today or call 201-401-1800.