The 7 Most-Needed Repair Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

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

Is the sound of running water in your toilet driving you crazy? Chances are you need a new flapper. If that does not fix it, here is an instructional video of how to find where the leak is coming from.

 

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

 

 

 

This is video #1 of a 3-part series. PATCH Overview: A pumpkin patch, in most opinions, is the best patch that can be used when repairing drywall.

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.

Related: Another Clever Way to Fix Drywall — with Makeup Sponges!

 

 

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.

 

How to open a stuck window - How to fix a window jam When a window won't budge, a solution may only be as far away as the kitchen.

 

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

There are many kinds of faucets, but chances are your leaky fixture is a compression faucet -- and it's a snap to fix. Step 1: Tighten the nut Remove the faucet handle by unscrewing the screw that attaches it, which is often covered by a decorative cap you'll need to carefully pry off.

 

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

Turning off a main water supply requires finding the shutoff valve, which is typically in the garage area, and turning on a faucet to let any excess water come out after it's been turned off. Locate the main water shutoff valve in a home with advice from a home repair specialist and remodeling contractor in this free video on home improvement.

 

Don’t wait until water gushes into your house to search for the main water line. When things are calm and dry, locate and practice turning it on and off.

Topic Improve, Organize & Maintain, Home Maintenance Tips, Low Maintenance

 

 

 


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.