7 Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself

Before you reach for the phone to call an expert, take a minute to assess the situation. Perhaps the "problem" can be solved by learning how to do it yourself instead of paying someone else to do it. Here are some repairs you can do yourself:

  • Unclogging drain: You can usually unclog your own drains without the help of a plumber. Try this natural drain cleaner you can make yourself. And if that doesn't work, you can probably reach into the sink with your hands to try and pull that gunk out. If that still doesn't work, use the plunger, although you may have to use one that's specific to sinks and showers. If the blockage is still there, perhaps you need to clear the sink trap, which you can easily do by following these steps. If the trap is clear and it's still clogged, you might want to opt for using a drain snake, which is a long device that will go around the corners of the pipe as you push it down the drain. Use it to break up the debris.
  • Unclogging toilet: If your toilet is clogged, add hot water and dishwashing liquid into the bowl before plunging to better break up the clog. If the toilet doesn't clear, you might want to invest in a toilet auger.
  • Dripping faucet: If you have a leaky faucet, all you need to do is to remove and replace the washer, O-ring, or seal. Get the parts from a hardware store, and make sure it's fitted tightly. Here are some tutorials that will teach you how to fix a dripping faucet with a single handle and a two handle design.
  • Caulking: If the caulking is looking worn, it may be time to redo it. Instead of calling in a professional, you can do it yourself as this is one of the more simple home repairs. Remove the old caulk and completely clean the surface of any residue, then add masking tape on both sides of where you want to caulk to keep the caulking clean and even. There should be 1/8 of an inch between the tape. Use a caulk gun, and squeeze with consistent pressure without stopping to keep the caulking even. Smooth out the caulk so it looks more concave and molds against the surface. Remove the tape before the caulk skins over. For more clarity, check out this caulking tutorial that comes with photos.
  • Wall holes: You can fix small to medium holes in the wall without calling in an expert by applying patches over them and applying compound to cover them up. You then sand it down and paint over it. Tiny holes can be covered up with caulk and spackle.
  • Squeaky door: Has your door been making one too many complaints? Nip the whining in the bud by spraying an aerosol lubricating oil on the hinges. If that doesn't work, remove the hinge pin, and rub it down with wire wool to remove any rust or dirt that may be causing the squeak. Lubricate the pin with oil to reduce squeaks before placing it back in the hinge.
  • Peeling wallpaper: Pull the paper back to the point where it's firmly stuck on the wall, then coat the paperless part of the wall with wallpaper adhesive. Press the wallpaper back on, and smooth it out with a roller or damp sponge.