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Robert M. Bradbury
REALTOR®, Member NAR, Member NYSAR
(518) 506-6675 Primary
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
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Articles and Advice

6 Easy DIY Home Fixes Just About Anyone Can Handle

Doesn't it seem like something always needs to be fixed around the house? The cost of labor for even minor repairs can be expensive.

Before you "call a guy," consider making some of these repairs yourself. Here are six DIY fixes to save you some cash and keep your home in tip-top shape.

  1. Leaky Faucet
    A dripping faucet can waste more than eight gallons of water per day. If your faucet is leaking, it most likely means that you're dealing with a worn washer or O-ring. If there are two handles for hot and cold water, shut off the water to them one at a time to determine which one is causing the drip. Once you figure it out, shut off the water underneath the sink and disassemble the faulty handle and replace the washer and O-ring. If the faucet is really old, consider replacing it with a new model.

  2. Running Toilet
    The rubber flapper in your toilet tank allows water to flow from the tank to the bowl when you flush. If your toilet won't stop running, it may be time for a new flapper. The way to test it is this: drop some food coloring into the tank and wait a few minutes. If food coloring is bleeding into the bowl, head to the hardware store to buy a new flapper. Make sure it's the right size and type for your toilet before buying.

  3. Filling Picture Holes in Walls
    Hide holes left in the wall from hanging pictures by filling them with premixed spackling compound applied with a putty knife. Don't overfill the hole, just use enough to fill it and wipe away the excess with your finger or a paper towel.

    After the spackling dries, smooth the spot with sandpaper and paint. Use a small paintbrush and dab it over the area. You can also put some paint on a paper towel and "feather" the paint out around the hole. That way, it will blend into the wall a bit better. If you no longer have the original paint used, a hardware or paint store can match the color if you bring in a sample.

  4. Squeaky Doors
    The grating sound of a squeaky door can be a major annoyance. While you may think grabbing the WD-40 to squelch this bothersome problem is the best way to go, think again. While WD-40 works well for cleaning metal parts and protecting against rust, silicone spray is the best solution for a squeaky door. It's just as easy to use, and the odor isn't quite as strong. Another plus: the squeak won't return as quickly as it might with other lubricating products.

  5. Sticky Locks
    Again, ditch the WD-40 and opt for powdered graphite to fix a sticky lock. It comes in a little tube with a small nozzle so you can squeeze it into tight spaces like keyholes. Put a little on the latch to keep it working smoothly.

  6. Torn Window Screens
    Does your kitty like scratching on the screens? Not to worry — repairing window screens is easy. For a tiny tear, apply clear nail polish to the spot to fill and connect pieces of the screen together. For larger holes and tears, you can purchase window screen repair tape or a repair patch. If the mesh is beyond repair, you can still fix it yourself. Grab a screen repair kit from the hardware store and replace the screen in the existing frame by following package instructions.

Tackle these tasks yourself, and you'll save money and become more confident and making small repairs around your home.

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