The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.

NPI Marketing Team
NPI Marketing Team


How You Can DIY Common Fixes Around the Home

 April 18, 2019 |  DIY, Home Maintenance, Safety |  kitchen, bathroom, HVAC

By Bret Engle of the blog

Hiring a contractor for every small thing that happens around the home can quickly add up. Instead, it’s wise to know what you can do yourself and what truly needs a professional hand. Here are some tips and tricks to mastering basic DIY projects around your property.

When to Consider Professionals
Granted, going through video after video on YouTube isn't exactly a recipe for a fun evening or weekend. Furthermore, you may also be frustrated in your efforts to find a DIY solution relevant to your problem. If this proves to be the case, there are many professional avenues you have at your disposal. You can go online to find reputable contractors and be on your way to having your maintenance done.

Unclogging Drains
Clogged drains, whether in the kitchen or bathroom, can pose as many risks as they do inconveniences. Yet, dealing with it is accessible enough that it can be achieved with just a few household products, such as baking soda and vinegar. Using natural options is preferable to chemical cleaners, as these are harmful to the environment and can degrade your plumbing. An organic solution will displace any accumulated grime and debris through the reaction you get from mixing them together. Then, with boiling hot water poured down the drain, you will have clean plumbing that no longer works against you.

Looking After Your HVAC Unit
There’s nothing worse than a broken HVAC unit when the temperatures are rising during the summer. And while you shouldn’t attempt to fix a busted unit on your own, there are a few things you can do to keep it in working order. For starters, keep any yard debris (leaves, weeds, fallen branches, etc.) at least two feet away from the exterior unit to ensure that it has plenty of room to function properly. It’s also important to clean out any dirt or leaves that have become lodged in the unit itself (always shut off the power beforehand). However, one of the most important tasks you can do is to change the filter on a regular basis (every 90 days is a good rule of thumb). When swapping out the filters, make note of the size on the side of the filter, as the incorrect size could put unnecessary strain on your HVAC system.

Dealing with Running Toilets
This is not a glamorous project, but resolving a running toilet can save you money and avoid any serious escalations that may occur. If not dealt with in a timely fashion, you could experience expensive blockages or suffer flooding from the excess build-up of water. Going through each potential cause will be a process of elimination, but can be comfortably fixed. This may sound daunting, but there are instructional videos online that detail the mechanics of dealing with a defective flapper, fill valve, or water trapped in your float. Remember, there is a risk of flooding, so switch off the water supply when necessary.

Correcting Walls
Many of us have that one wall with an unsightly impression left by a doorknob. It may be tempting to call in a plasterer to fix the problem, but consider doing this one yourself. You could use a doorknob wall shield as a temporary measure, but fixing a hole is straightforward if you use a guide. All you will need is a drywall patch that you place over a wood insertion, and then some paint to blend your work with the wall. Trim molding is equally vulnerable to damage, especially as it is made out of materials that can be easily broken. Thankfully, this is a quick fix that requires only wood filler, a putty knife, and a few other items. If the damage is great, you may need an epoxy filler instead of wood putty, but the process is similar either way.

Fixing Furniture
Even the best furniture can suffer from disrepair, but we can easily restore our drawers and wardrobes. So, don't be discouraged when a handle breaks or simply pops off, as it is an inexpensive fix. Loose knobs may only need their screws tightened, but even gaps can be dealt with quickly by using filler and a putty knife. If a knob has suffered too much wear and tear, use this as an opportunity to freshen up furniture with new handles. They are easy enough to install, but remember to take measurements so that your choices fit perfectly.

Bret Engle created and co-authored the book How to DIY Damn Near Everything to help give others the courage and confidence to pursue their own DIY projects.

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