So you’re looking to save money. Home maintenance services are one of the easiest ways you can head in that direction.
Seriously – it’s recommended to put away three percent of your home’s purchase price annually just for the cost of maintenance.
You’re smarter than that, and you don’t need a handyman.
Here are Nine Home Maintenance Issues You Can DIY and Save Money
#1. Fix a Plugged Garbage Disposal
Don’t call the squeaky home maintenance services guy yet. Your garbage disposal might be plugged, not broken.
First, unplug the garbage disposal. You don’t want to shred your hands while trying to fix the disposal. If you can’t locate the plug, flip the switch for the disposal on your circuit breaker.
You’ll also see a reset button, which you should push after cutting the power to the disposal.
From here, make friends with a flashlight and start looking around to make sure there’s nothing clogging the disposal.
#2. Stop a Running Toilet
A running toilet doesn’t necessarily indicate an emergency. However, the sooner you fix it, the better.
As with the garbage disposal, you need to turn off the water first. There’s a knob on the toilet for this purpose (Surprise! That’s what that random knob is for!).
Once the water is off, you can lift the top off the tank and take a look. Usually, the problem can be solved by lifting the arm and making sure the float drops into place.
#3. Fix Your Ceiling Fan
What good is it to have one of the best tool belts in the neighborhood if you can’t stop your wobbly fan from threatening to kill you in your sleep?
First, cut the power to the fan so you don’t electrocute yourself.
From here, test the fan’s sturdiness on its support bracket. If it moves easily, tighten it. Many problems can be solved with this simple solution.
But while you’re up there, you should also check the ball joint, all the screws and bolts, and, of course, the threatening fan blades.
#4. Spruce up Your Grout
What kind of home maintenance services are you if you can’t fix crummy grout? Besides, you were already working on your toilet anyway.
If you’re looking to replace your old grout, you can either dig it out by hand or use a grout-removal attachment on a rotary tool (buff arms versus having time to live your best life).
Once all the grout is gone, tidy up the mess you made and head to your friendly neighborhood hardware store for new grout. Make sure it works with the color of the tile (and make sure you know how to put in grout).
#5. Squeaky Doors Get the Oil
Like the squeaky wheel. Except they’re more stubborn. And vaguely haunted.
Ditch the ghost. Your grout-removing buddy the rotary tool has another attachment that works to fix squeaky doors (if the door is catching and needs to be shaved down).
If you need to remove the door, either to paint it, check the hinges, or other jobs, don’t drive yourself nuts unscrewing the door from the hinges. It’s overkill.
All you need to do is take out the hinge pins and you’re in business.
You can do this by tapping the bottom of the pin with a nail until the pin is about 1-2 inches clear, at which point you have to use your hands.
#6. Clean Your Gutters
Aren’t dirty gutters just gutterly annoying? Almost worse than bad puns.
Make your life easier. Use a long spray wand instead of a ladder.
To do this, take a 1/2-inch diameter PVC pipe and use PVC cement to join the two sections into a 90-degree angle.
From here, glue a solid endcap onto the short end, and drill three holes into it. On the opposite end, you’ll attach a threaded adaptor and a garden hose.
Et voila: high-pressure spray to rinse your gutter instead of challenging your fear of heights on a stepladder.
#7. Repair Light Switches
Preferably without getting electrocuted.
If you need to replace the switch, head to your friendly neighborhood hardware store to get one (pro tip: there’s more than one kind, so do a smidge of reading). The switch itself will be cheap enough – no more than $15.
What you do from here depends on what the problem is – what you do if the light is hot to the touch versus just not working is different.
Need more of a breakdown on replacing a light switch? Read this article.
#8. Prevent Freezing Pipes
Nobody wants to deal with replacing burst pipes in the winter. It’s expensive, it’s exhausting, and there’s usually tears of frustration involved.
There are several layers of defense here.
For starters, you need to check your outdoor plumbing. A frozen garden hose can actually burst an interior pipe.
You also need to check exposed pipes in unheated areas. Think garage, attics, crawlspaces – anywhere that cannot reasonably be defined as a cozy place to spend an hour. Often, all you need to fix this is pipe insulation.
And on the subject of insulation, make sure your walls are properly insulated. If pipes in exterior walls have frozen in the past, it’s a sign that your walls aren’t adequately insulated.
#9. Shorten Window Blinds
Few things are more irritating than awkward window blinds. It’s like a leaky faucet.
Lucky for you, you do your own home maintenance services.
As home repairs go, this one is fairly easy. Use a screwdriver to take the plugs out of the bottom rail, and cut the pull cords above the rail if they’re knotted.
From here, all you need to do is slide the rail out, cut the cords and slide the slats to the height you want. Then pull the cords back through the plugs, reinsert the plugs, and pat yourself on the back.
Save Money Beyond Home Maintenance Services
Saving money is an art. Let’s make it a masterpiece.
Check out our blog for all kinds of tips on how to make and save money like a boss. Start with this post on the top six ways to make money with a spare room.
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