In an age of Youtube tutorials and cheap tools, no home improvement project is out of grasp for someone with a little time and patience. The first time isn’t always the cleanest or the quickest, but once you’ve finished a project, it gets easier and quicker every time. When we bought our home, I had to take help of one of my friends to learn the tricks of painting the walls. Now I am a master of the job and help out others.
Practicing by repairing the small issues around your home is a great way to prime yourself for bigger and more ambitious projects. If you’re just interested in adding value to your home, these small repairs will instantly provide perceived value for next to no investment.
Apart from making the yard beautiful, having all the repairs done before you put the home for sell, produces most value.
There’s no quicker indication that a property needs help like a good hole in the wall. It’s also one of the most likely repairs you’ll ever have to perform.
The good news is that once you see how easy it is to fix, you’ll never be troubled by them again.
Patch kits provide a pretty straightforward band-aid screen, but they tend to stick out just a little.
With an additional small piece of drywall, a drywall saw, some putty and paint, you’ll have a fresh, clean patch in no time.
Simply cut out a clean square around the hole and replace with a fresh cut piece of drywall.
Apply putty to the cracks and let it dry.
Larger holes might require some backing strip-like piece of 1×4 if no immediate stud is present behind the damage. Sand and paint to finish.
A good quality putty mix or drywall mix can do most repair jobs.
Small nail marks can be easily covered with a pinch of drywall mix. Remember to do all patching on the wall before you paint it.
If you’re not an artist, as most of us aren’t, there’s nothing keeping you from being a fine painter. Perhaps this is the easiest repair among the 4 we will discuss today.
The key is preparation and keeping your brushes clean. Painting a dirty wall is a recipe for disaster. A broom or light cloth can take the initial layer of dust off that would otherwise provide an uneven base.
Cleaning walls, trim, and baseboards first will always improve your finished product. It’s also a good time to do a little ‘cutting in’ or taping off trim and edges.
Taping the edges is recommended for beginners, as it can be adjusted and actually can even help a sloppy painter look clean.
Make sure to adequately mix, as paint tends to separate, and if it seems too thick, you might need to cut it with a little water or mineral spirits depending on the type of paint. But the paints with primers which HomeDepot, Lowes or Sherwin Williams sell, there’s no need to mix or add anything.
If you use the wrong thinning agent, it will destroy the paint. Adding water to enamel or glossier textured paints will ruin the entire paint container.
Start with just a little on the brush and remember to always go up and down in a smooth motion. Keep a little paint thinner or mineral spirits handy in case of spills.
Water Damage and Mold
Water damage and the resulting mold are some of the most destructive forces in residential construction.
Left untreated, structures can become completely uninhabitable, and once established can be nearly impossible to remove completely.
There can be subtle signs like a little discoloration around a window or a door frame, or swelling and new ridges in existing flooring.
Often these don’t signal trouble until it’s too late, and the effects of mold are often subtle and extremely varied. Recognizing drainage issues before they become a mold issue is the best way to ultimately combat it.
For example, a window AC unit that isn’t installed to drain properly could be a potential source of harmful moisture.
But even heavy rains can be the difference between a flooded threshold and an otherwise dry entryway.
Dehumidifiers can be rented or purchased for serious moisture issues, and are highly recommended for spaces that have repeat problems.
Old fashioned methods like mops and fans aren’t going to hurt, but the drying process could take days.
Bleach and borax based cleaners are highly recommended to prevent growth, but also invest in some heavy-duty mold killer that can penetrate surfaces.
Protective masks and gloves are a must for any moldy areas. Clean, dry, and repeat until no new mold growth can be detected.
I advise you to get expert opinion while trying to fix water damage. If it’s bigger, you can claim insurance money, if it was not caused by your negligence.
If it’s too late before you discovered the water leak, it is better to hire a water damage restoration contractor.
This one can get dirty fast, but again with a little preventative maintenance, you can take care of the problems long before they become a bigger issue.
Drains tend to clog over time through normal use. Oils, debris, and all sorts of other amazing things can build up in the lines. Tree roots can be another expensive culprit if they manage to creep into the drain lines.
If you notice particular fixtures starting to drain slower it might be time to take action.
Identifying the location of the clog can be difficult, and requires some knowledge of the way your home connects to the sewer or septic tank.
Starting with the properly shaped plunger, flat for sinks and bell-shaped for toilets, you can begin testing the strength of the clog.
Drain cleaners are generally not recommended for toilets, and they can wreak havoc on pipes if they fail to unclog the drain.
Boiling water and even a dash of vinegar and baking soda combination can be used to loosen the clogs.
If the plunger has no effect you might have to take more drastic steps.
Drain snakes can be rented relatively inexpensively, but if you’re not certain how to use one, it can cause major damage to your plumbing and fixtures.
There are shorter versions that attach to cordless drills but be advised since it’s going to get messy.
Do not attempt to fix electrical problems unless you’re trained to do such work. Simple light fitting, changing fans are fine but complex issues, such as making a power outlet work are best left for the contractor. As there’s always a danger of electrocution.
You can very well do weather shielding. Apply pads on the entry doors to keep the air from leaking outside.
You can also try your hands in fixing tiles or laminates when it comes to fix only a few of them. But if it’s a larger area you should better hire contractors.
I tried to change a couple of laminate boards and ended up making the area look worse. I know people who can do flooring work like a pro but that took them many years to develop the skills.
Readers, what are your views on the minor home repairs, are you comfortable doing them?