DIY Home Repairs

Completing your own home repair may save you a large amount of money over the course of a year. If the repair you need is commonplace, it may be worth your time to simply do it yourself.

However, certain broken appliances and damaged parts of a house will need professional help, but you may be able to fix other problems yourself without much hassle. Hiring a plumber, for instance, may cost you between $175 and $450 depending on the job. 

Likewise, if you may be eligible for housing grants to help with repair costs. If you are wondering how to fix a hole in the wall or change the paint on your walls on your own, these tips may help. 

Fixing a Hole in the Wall

Want to know how to fix a hole in drywall? There are different solutions depending on the size of the hole and where the hole is located. 

If you have holes smaller than the size of a nickel, for instance, you may use a fast-drying spackle or even toothpaste. Before using either substance, make sure you remove loose drywall around the hole with a scraping tool. 

If you are using spackle, spread the spackle over the hole and smooth it so that it is level with the rest of the wall. Then, let it dry for at least 24 hours before running over it with a sanding tool.

If you are fixing a hole in the wall with toothpaste, squeeze a small amount of white toothpaste into the hole and wipe away excess. As the toothpaste dries, you may need to add more in case it shrinks. Note that this method works best with very small dents or holes.

You may need to purchase a drywall repair kit if you have a hole that is larger than a quarter. Repair kits are usually inexpensive and come with a small tub of spackling, a fiber patch or self-adhesive mesh patch, a putty knife and sandpaper. Some spackling is pink or blue when its wet, and then dries white. 

For holes that are three inches long or more, you may need to purchase a small piece of drywall. Cut the drywall into a square that is two inches taller and wider than the hole. Then, cut around the hole in the exact size of your drywall piece and insert the piece into the newly cut hole. 

The drywall repair cost may increase for larger holes, because you will need to attach a drywall insert using furring strips and screws. In addition, you will need to watch out for electrical wires behind the wall. 

Staining Wood Furniture

You may want to know how to stain wood if you have old furniture that needs an update. Wood staining is considered a beginner’s DIY task, which means you can easily learn to apply wood stains to your own furniture. 

To begin, you will need to sand the surface of the wood with an electric wood sander or sanding block. The goal is to get the wood rough so that it will absorb more stain and darken more quickly. On wooden tables or furniture that has already been finished, it is recommended that you use 120-grit sandpaper.

Once you completely sand the surface, remove the dust and sand again with 180-grit sandpaper. Then, wipe the wood with a wet cloth to raise the grain, which allows the wood fibers to swell so they will absorb more of the stain. 

You may also use a wood conditioner if necessary, before applying the wood stain. 

If you are learning how to stain cabinets, you may want to use sandpapers of different grit, such as 120 grit for the initial sanding and then 220 grit for the second sanding. Once you sand, apply a wood conditioner and then an oil-based stain. 

Once you have finished staining the wood, be sure to remove excess stain with some sort of wipe. An old rag or t-shirt will work well.

Painting a Wall

Painting a room can easily give your home a dramatic change without the expensive cost of a renovation. When choosing between places to live, think about adding a fresh coat of paint to your new place to make if feel more like home.

To begin, you need to remove everything from the walls and look for cracks, holes or dents. Repair any imperfections with lightweight spackle. Remember to sand the spackle once it has dried to make it even with the rest of the wall.

Next, wipe down the walls with a damp rag or sponge. Once the walls have dried, line the moldings, window frames and door frames with painter’s tape and press the tape down flat. 

If you are painting a wall white or another color, you must first cut in, or outline the edges of the walls, windows and door frames with a primer. After outlining, use the primer on the entire surface of the walls. 

This is an essential step when DIY painting your walls, as it will help prevent mold and it will especially help transform a room from a dark color to a light one. Make sure to lightly sand the primer after it has dried, re-wipe the wall and let it dry once more before finally applying your paint color.

Fixing a Toilet Flush

Wondering how to fix a toilet flush? A running toilet is one of many common toilet problems that you can fix on your own. 

If the toilet will not flush, you may have a clogged toilet, or the flush handle needs to be adjusted. To fix a clogged toilet, turn off the water supply valve and get a plunger. Cover the drain hole with the plunger and push the plunger up and down.

Once you have plunged the toilet for 15 to 30 second, check to see if the water started draining properly. If not, try plunging again. Turn the supply valve back on once you have finished.

If the toilet will not stop running, you may need to purchase toilet repair parts, though it will depend on whether the water level in the tank is dropping or rising. If the water level is going down, you may need to replace the flapper or even the flush valve assembly. If the water level is high, you may need a new valve. 

These parts may be purchased at any home repair or hardware store.