After a long day, everyone looks forward to getting home and putting their feet up, but sometimes our homes need attention as things tend to wear and tear over time. Do you have a constant “to-do” list of home repairs to keep on top of? If so, you’re not alone.
However, before you pick up the phone to call a repairperson, see if there’s anything in your home that you can fix yourself. You can save money by simply making a few repairs around your home, and you don’t need to be a professional do-it-yourselfer. With the average homeowner spending between 1 and 4% of their home’s value on repairing their home, this is more important than ever.
You can learn to fix things with a well-stocked toolbox and, on some occasions, a quick trip to your local hardware store for replacements. Just be careful when doing your home repairs so you don’t injure yourself along the way or create more work to do! Here are 10 things in your home that you can fix yourself to save money — no special experience required.
Getting Started with Simple Home Repairs
When carrying out minor repairs at home, the most difficult part lies in getting over the apprehension that you may not be able to do a good job. Remember that you can learn the basic skills to do minor repairs at home. In fact, you can turn to the Internet and the likes of YouTube to learn how to carry out simple repairs such as:
- Fix a blown fuse wire
- Repair a broken drain pipe
- Unblock a choked sink or basin
- Carry out minor paint jobs at home
- Fix broken tiles on the floor
- Fix a door knob or handle
- Stop a running toilet
- Install a light fixture
- Repair drywall
- Clean gutters
These tasks are very easy and can be done yourself, saving money from hiring professional help. However, it’s important to note that you should always call a professional if you’re not sure you can do any of these safely. Whenever handling electricity or other dangerous equipment, consult with an expert to make sure it’s safe. With that in mind, let’s see what you can DIY!
1. Fix a Blown Fuse Wire
This is something that happens a lot whenever there is a large fluctuation in voltage. Sometimes there is a power surge that may cause the main fuse wire in your home to blow out. The fuse box is often directly connected to the main electrical supply, and it is a protective electrical device meant to protect your electrical and electronic equipment from damage due to high voltage.
In such a situation, you might be tempted to call in an electrician to repair the blown fuse. The fuse wire costs very little, but paying for the services of an electrician can set you back considerably. All you need is some fuse wire which you can purchase at most hardware or electrical fixtures stores. It’s that simple to replace this wire in your own home!
2. Repair a Broken Drain Pipe
Broken drain pipes can be very messy, but you can fix it yourself. A professional plumber is going to charge you hundreds of dollars for just a few minutes of his time. That’s money you could put towards your emergency fund or even a holiday.
You can easily learn how to do this yourself and if you’re unsure where to start, check out some videos online that can offer you a step by step guide on how to fix a drainpipe. You might need to just swap out some equipment or apply a small patch. Either way, a few minutes of troubleshooting should help you find your solution.
3. Unblock a Choked Sink or Basin
Over time, drains and sinks in the kitchen tend to get clogged. Often, plastic waste that should not be thrown down a drain or sink is allowed to go through and over time, it will clog up. It is tempting to call in a professional to unblock these drain pipes but this is something that you can do quite easily.
All you need to do is buy some drain unclogging chemicals available at hardware or grocery stores, then use a large stick to push down anything that is choking up the drain pipes. Simple! Just be sure to wear some gloves because this can be messy. In the future, invest in an inexpensive drain-blocking device to keep the clog from happening again. It’s also worth learning what is and isn’t safe for your home’s drains.
4. Refreshing Paint Jobs
Once in a while, your home may need a fresh coat of paint. You may have noticed that a corner of your kitchen has paint peeling off from one section of the wall and it looks dirty and damp. It’s time for a paint refresh, and this is one of the easiest DIY jobs to accomplish in your home.
Purchase some paint and a few cheap brushes. Don’t forget a drop cloth or other coverings to protect your floors. You will need to scrape away the underlying paint first before repainting. You can do all of this yourself without having to pay for a professional painter, but it might take some time.
Worse comes to worst, if you make a mistake that you can’t undo, you can call in the professionals. So you may as well try it yourself first since it’s a very low-risk activity. You’d be surprised what a fresh coat of paint can do to a space! Whether you’re painting it the same color or something completely new, this is the easiest way to see big results.
5. Fix Broken Floor Tiles
Broken tiles on the floor can be a real nuisance and can even become a safety hazard if they aren’t fixed promptly. You certainly do not want people stumbling over a broken tile in the kitchen or bathroom and injuring themselves. At first, this may appear to be a job strictly for a trained professional, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
You will need some gypsum, cement, and a few basic tools to cut away the broken tile and prepare space for the new tile. You will also need to buy a tile of the required size and design so that it blends in perfectly. Again, there are so many resources online to guide you through, and your local hardware store can help you pick the right things for your project.
6. Fix a Broken Doorknob or Handle
A broken doorknob or a door handle needs to be fixed pretty quickly (you don’t want to find yourself on the wrong side of the door). All it requires is a set of screws and a screwdriver and possibly an electric drill (which you can purchase at a hardware store or borrow from a neighbour) to make a few extra holes in the door.
If you need to replace the door handle, you can also get one of these at any hardware store. Installing it is as simple as following the instructions that come with the door or following an online guide.
7. Stop a Running Toilet
Having a toilet that won’t stop running in your home is incredibly annoying, but it’s also usually an easy fix. Hiring a professional is costly, so it’s worth trying to DIY the fix first.
Unless you have a specialty toilet, you can pick up a toilet rebuild kit from a hardware store or even a big box store. From there, just follow the straightforward instructions. This usually does the trick!
8. Install a Light Fixture
If there’s an area of your house that needs a new light, you don’t need to call an electrician just yet. Start by researching your home’s electrical system. As long as you’re installing a low-voltage project, this is something you can safely do yourself without causing any harm to your home.
However, if you plan to install something over 50 volts, call a professional. It can be risky if you make a mistake, so always put your safety first.
9. Patching a Hole in Drywall
Whether you have a hole in your drywall from hanging a picture frame or you had an accident, fixing the hole can instantly renovate your space. You don’t need any fancy equipment to do this. All you’ll need is a spackle knife and wall putty. You can pick this up just about anywhere, and it comes in different colors to match your wall.
Just apply the putty to the hole, use the spackle, and sand down the spot until it’s smooth. If needed, go over the spot with a fresh coat of paint.
10. Cleaning Your Gutters
When gutters get clogged, they cause water around your home to pool and make a mess. This could lead to leaks, mold, and other problems if you’re not careful. Taking care of your gutters regularly is an important way to keep your costs and repairs down as a homeowner. However, this is hardly a fun task.
If you’re comfortable on a ladder (and getting your hands dirty), you can DIY this project yourself to save money. It’s always a good idea to have someone there who can help and hold the ladder while you’re doing the cleaning. Work slowly to clear all the debris from your gutters, making sure they’re ready for the next storm.
Become a DIY Expert to Save Money
There is nothing that you can’t fix at home all by yourself. All you need is some training, a set of tools, and the willingness to give things a go. The money that you save in labour charges can be immense. Just think about what you can do with the money that you can save and the knowledge you have gained by being your own handyman!
Let’s face it—home repairs aren’t cheap. Learning to do things yourself will go a long way when it comes to your savings. This is money that can go towards your rainy-day fund, and it’ll pay off in the long run.
If your home repairs are going to cost more than you have in savings, there are still options. You can arrange smaller and more affordable renovations or repairs and pay for them within your means. If there is equity in your home, you could explore mortgage refinancing as a way to pay for your renovations and even consolidate some debts. Be mindful that you will be paying off your debts over a longer period of time and potentially paying more interest as a result.
For more information about your options, we’re here to help you. Speak with us today by calling 1300 368 322, chatting online, or submitting your details in the online enquiry form. Our licensed mortgage brokers are accredited with the major banks as well as second chance lenders. We have the experience and know-how to get the best result for you.