6 home repairs that you can do yourself
Every home requires some repairs from time to time. If you call a professional for every single thing, you can quickly rack up considerable repair expenses. Therefore, you have two good options. One is to read top rated home warranty reviews and purchase a good home warranty, and the other is to learn to do some repairs on your own. Even if you do end up DIY’ing a lot, a home warranty can still save you quite a bit of money over the long term. It all depends on the number and complexity of the repairs, of course, but a home warranty provides you with that safety buffer you would not otherwise have. In this article, we will present you with a couple of home repairs that you can do yourself, as well as explain why it is beneficial to go the DIY route.
Six home repairs that you can do yourself
There are many small repairs around the house that you do on a regular basis. Replacing a broken toilet lever, for example. Or unclogging the toilet drain. Depending on your budget for home improvements and repairs, you might want to extend DIY repairs a bit further. Here are some of the projects that all but “beg” for you to DIY.
- Hanging drywall sheets
- Patching holes in a drywall
- Remodeling a small bathroom
- Repairing gutters and downspouts
- Building sections of the fence
- Replacing light switches
All of these projects feature a small degree of complexity. While some may require specific tools and knowledge (bathroom remodeling), most you can do without much prior DIY experience. You may even want to include some of these repairs in your spring home maintenance checklist. And the best part is that by doing these repairs on your own, you will get the necessary experience and confidence to tackle more difficult challenges in the future. Once you see how easy it is to DIY some things, you may find that you prefer to repair things on your own instead of calling for a professional. Your wallet is going to thank you, too.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what you may need for these projects and why it is advisable that you DIY them. Most home repairs that you can do yourself are quite simple and will not take much of your time, with a few exceptions.
DYI’ing drywall sheets
For this project, you are going to need a drill of some sort, a cordless drill is recommended. You may also utilize a hammer but it is much more convenient to hang drywall sheets if you have a drill. You will also need a DIY partner, as this is a two-person job. Hanging the wallboards is quite straightforward, the only difficult part is mudding and sanding the drywall. But even that is not all that difficult if you take some time to learn the process.
Even if you do end up calling a professional to sand your drywall, the very fact that you hang it on your own will save you quite a lot of money. Depending on the number of drywall sheets, this is a project that can take up quite a bit of your time or almost none at all. And if you did take the time to learn how to sand the drywall, your expenses are going to be minimal.
Patching drywall holes
Most of the time, though, you will not need to replace the drywall entirely. Instead, you may need to patch a hole here and there. Holes in the drywall are an everyday occurrence, after all, and you might as well learn how to patch them. As far as home repairs that you can do yourself go, patching drywall holes is almost a must to learn how to DIY.
You are going to need some tools, first. Depending on the hole size, you are going to need some or all of the following:
- Drywall tape
- Wood screws
- Joint compound
- Sandpaper (80-120 grit works best)
- A putty knife
- A drill (cordless for maximum convenience)
- Wooden board (1×1 inch)
The first order of business is to figure out what kind of damage you will be dealing with. The smaller the hole, the easier it is to patch it, after all. For nail/screw holes, you will first want to clean the surrounding area and then wipe down the wall. After that, use the putty knife to press some of the joint compounds into the hole before leaving it to dry. Once the wall is dry, all that is left is to smooth it over by applying sandpaper.
Larger holes will require a bit more work but are still doable. Basically, you will need to cut a bit off the surrounding drywall before replacing it with a new section. If you are unsure of how to do it, you may want to watch a youtube video on the topic. Simply google “How to patch a drywall hole” and go with the content creators that you like. There are quite a few ways of patching a drywall hole and you may want to watch a few videos to see which one works the best for you.
How to remodel a small bathroom on your own
Alright, before you start saying that bathroom remodeling is what most people call professionals for, we would like to mention that small renovations are not that complicated. Yes, they will require you to learn some remodeling skills but they will not require you to master them. Installing a ceramic floor tile, for example, is quite easy on a small scale and very difficult on a large scale.
A small bathroom DIY project will not last you more than a couple of days. You can install a bathroom vanity and hook up the plumbing in two days, tops. But the main “draw” of DIYing a small bathroom is the fact that you are going to pick up skills that are going to be useful all around the house. Installing a GFCI outlet is very simple, practically anyone can do it. Of course, before you start doing anything on your own, it is advisable that you watch professionals at work. In fact, it is always advisable to watch the process “in action”, whether it is cleaning and maintaining kitchen appliances, dealing with plumbing, or anything else. Basically, you want to know in advance what you will be up against.
One of the home repairs that you can do yourself – Gutters & Downspouts
One of the easiest DIY projects is repairing your gutters and downspouts. However, there’s a small catch to it: You need to be comfortable around a ladder. The repair procedure could not be easier, as you will simply replace pieces of gutters and downspouts, all of which are “plug-and-play”. The most difficult part is driving to your local home center and picking up the pieces and accessories that you need. Note that these repair pieces can set you back anywhere between $100 and $200, depending on the amount that you need to buy.
However, some homes might have hard-to-reach gutters and downspouts. If you have a home such as that, you might need a home warranty plan. Gutters and downspouts require frequent maintenance after all, lest you risk foundation damage which is much much more expensive to repair.
You can DIY fence sections
Building a privacy fence on your own is a lot easier than it sounds. The most difficult part of fence building is the fact that you will need to dig the holes for the fence posts. But you can “go around” this part by renting a motorized hole digger from your local home center. Not all home centers supply them, of course, but most do.
Once the posts are in place, the rest of the project becomes quite easy. All you need to do is pour concrete around the post, add in some water, and let it harden on its own. After that, all you need to do is fit the pre-build fence panels between the fence posts. Of course, all of this applies to a small fence with three or four panels at most. Building a large fence is still a project that you want to hire professionals for. But fixing a section of the fence is definitely one of the home repairs that you can do yourself.
You don’t need to call a pro to replace your light switches for you
While you do not want to “fiddle” with electricity too much, replacing a broken light switch is rather easy. All you are going to need are a flathead screwdriver, a Phillips head screwdriver, and a replacement switch.
You start by turning off the circuit breaker that controls the section where your light switch is located. After that, you will unscrew the faceplate using the appropriate screwdriver and disconnect the wires. Make sure to remember where each wire goes (taking a picture is best) before you connect them to the new switch. Lastly, simply replace the plate. Replacing light switches is one of the home repairs that you can do yourself and one that you should learn how to do. It will save you quite a bit of money throughout the years.
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