by Lisa Kaplan Gordon
Relax. Here’s how to make short work of every common repair annoyance.
These are the 7 most-needed repair tips every homeowner should know.
1. Fix a Leaky Toilet
Running toilets not only rob sleep, they waste water and jack up your bill. Here’s how to change a flapper — the usual suspect — and solve other likely problems.
Related: How to Fix a Sweaty Toilet
2. Repair Drywall Holes
The hardest part of drywall repair is making the patch flush with the existing wall. A “pumpkin patch” is an easy repair that cuts down on sanding.
3. Adjust Cabinet Doors
Changes in humidity can make cabinet doors rub, refuse to close, or just look cockeyed. Adjusting them is easy and generally requires only a screwdriver.
4. Open a Stuck Window
Windows stick when paint, dust, or moisture builds. Use a utility knife (or a pizza cutter) to remove old paint. Be careful not to gouge the wood sash. If high humidity is making windows hard to move, run a humidifier that sucks moisture out of air.
Related: Save Money with Window Repair Tips
5. Stop a Leaking Faucet
A dripping faucet can waste 5 gallons of water per day. If you can’t replace the faulty part immediately, tie a string around the faucet and let it fall into the drain: Dripping water will silently flow down the string.
6. Silence Door Squeaks
Take the squeak out of doors by lubricating top and bottom hinges with a little WD-40 or white lithium grease. If you don’t have any on hand, olive oil is a quick but temporary fix.
7. Turn Off the Main Water Line
Lisa Kaplan Gordon is an avid gardener, a member of the Fairfax County Master Gardeners Association, and a builder of luxury homes in McLean, Va. She’s been a Homes editor for Gannett News Service and has reviewed home improvement products for AOL.