20 Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey

Some home improvement projects require the help of a professional. In some cases, the project is just too big for one person. In others, the project involves dangerous circumstances that require a licensed individual. Or maybe you just don’t have the expensive machinery necessary to perform the job.

While some tasks are best left to professionals, there are many other home improvement projects you can do yourself. If you are eager to get your hands dirty and learn how to fix things, keep reading.

We have compiled a list of 20 common home repairs that you should try doing yourself, rather than calling in a professional.

20 Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself

Fix A Running Toilet

There are several reasons why your toilet is running nonstop. Luckily, you can easily troubleshoot and investigate most of these issues. Whether it is an issue with the tank lever, valve chain, flange, flapper or otherwise, the fix is usually fairly simple and inexpensive.

You might just need to take a trip to your local hardware store and ask a question or two before you check out with the right replacement item.

Patch A Hole In Your Wall

Whether you are repairing a giant hole or tiny ones left by old nails or screws, covering up holes is a fairly straightforward DIY project. The project will vary depending on the size of the hole, type of wall and what type of finish you have on the wall.

You need to seal the hole, sand and smooth it and then patch the surface with either paint, wallpaper or whatever material you are working with. The project is manageable, straight forward and won’t require any expensive tools.

Unclog Drains

Even if you are pretty cautious with what you pour down your drains, clogs may eventually occur. Whether it is the slow build-up of grime or substances that were accidentally poured down the drain, you will need to unclog a drain at some point. In most cases this can be done yourself.

You can often use a plunger and a variety of liquid drain cleaners (from organic to highly powerful chemical cleaners). If you have frequent clogs, you can even consider purchasing a drain snake, which is a highly effective tool for clogs that is fairly easy to use.

Paint Interior Walls

Professional paint jobs might save you time, but they sure are expensive. As long as you do some proper planning and purchase the right materials, you can successfully paint your walls. The most important thing to remember when painting walls yourself is to not take shortcuts.

Make sure you sand and clean surfaces, use a quality primer and paint during ideal conditions. It can save you tons of money, and it does not take a DIY expert to succeed in this task.

Fix Your Fence

Installing a fence often requires the help of a professional, but maintaining one does not. In most cases, you should be able to perform basic fence repair. You can swap out rotted posts, sand and seal the wood, and even re-secure a chain link fence.

Fence repair should be addressed quickly though, as minor issues have a tendency to spread along the fence due to gravity.

Gutter Maintenance And Repair

Gutters sometimes get neglected before there is a major issue. Don’t let this happen to you. Create and stick to a regular gutter cleaning and maintenance schedule. Cleaning and inspecting your gutters regularly should greatly increase their longevity.

If you notice small issues that require attention, like minor sagging or small holes, you can DIY. This helps delay any need for expensive new gutters.

Do Your Own Caulking

A light and inexpensive caulking gun will be your best friend when it comes to sealing up little cracks and vulnerabilities in your home. Caulking might seem intimidating, since it isn’t something people do every day, but it is fairly simple. You just need to do your research.

Most importantly, make sure you are using the right type of caulk for the right situation. Don’t skip the prep work, and allow ample drying time.

Replace Shower Head

Replacing a shower head with a new and improved one can often completely transform your shower experience. Unfortunately, some people have the impression that swapping out an old busted shower head for a new one is a daunting task. It is not in the least.

If your shower head is giving you some problems, do not hesitate to find a new and improved one, and follow the instructions on the box to replace it. The hardest part is often loosening the old shower head and taking it off. Nothing a good wrench can’t handle.

Lawn Repair

If your lawn has been taken over by weeds or is very patchy and uneven, you might think you need to hire a landscape company to fix the issue. Lucky for your bank account, in most cases you can repair your lawn on your own. The important part is understanding the underlying issue, which might take a little diagnosing. But in most cases there is an insect killer, fertilizer or combination that will help you bring your lawn back to its luscious glory.

Stop Dripping Faucets

Dripping faucets aren’t always an emergency issue, but they waste your water and can run up the water bill. Most of all, they are incredibly annoying. Don’t neglect this issue or hire a pro to do this job, at least not at first. In most cases you have either a worn out washer or gasket. Or maybe you have an out of place O-ring. Either way, the fix is something you can do on your own.

Repair Window Screens

Window screens are great at keeping pesky biting insects out of your home while still allowing you to enjoy fresh air. That is, of course, until you have holes and rips in the screens. Swapping out these screens can be pricey, especially if you have custom windows and require professional help.

But you can easily repair window screens yourself. There are kits to either patch the holes or to replace the screen entirely. Best of all, these kits usually come with all the tools required to do the job.

Clean And Re-Seal Driveway

Your driveway might not be on the top of your list of things you need to maintain, but it should be. New driveways are a major project with a big price tag. But washing, patching and re-sealing your driveway are all things you can do, and they can significantly increase your driveway’s lifespan.

You might need to borrow or buy a power washer, but the other materials are fairly inexpensive, especially compared to a new driveway.

Deck Sealing And Repairs

It is crucial you repair your deck promptly, and maintain it often, especially if it is made of wood. Decks are out in the harsh natural elements 24 hours a day. If you have a board that is rotting, you can replace it yourself by measuring the board and getting a new one.

Power washing, sanding and sealing are also things you should do yourself. This will keep the deck looking great, and it will keep it safe for years to come.

Remove And Replace Wallpaper

Removing your wallpaper can be a big job, but it is definitely something you can do on your own. This is especially true if you have a bit of help from another family member. When it comes to removing wallpaper, moisture and patience are both key.

Change Your Own HVAC Filters

Maintaining and fixing your HVAC airflow issues is easier that it sounds. Whether you rent or own your home, you should educate yourself on how your HVAC system works, and where everything is located.

You should have no issue checking and changing your air filters. Regularly changing these filters improves air quality, puts less pressure on the system and can even lower your electric bill.

Floorboard Repair

Squeaky floorboards are irritating. Loose floorboards can be altogether dangerous. Believe it or not, many of these pesky floorboard issues have easy fixes that you can perform yourself. Sometimes you just need to seal or hammer the floorboard in place. Either way, it is best to try a DIY method before seeking a professional.

Fix Leaking Pipes

Some pipe leaks are major, and require the help of a plumber. But for simple and common pipe leaks underneath your kitchen or bathroom sink, the odds are you and a wrench can solve the issue.

Find the source of the problem, and tighten and seal accordingly. A bit of research, a pipe wrench and sealant might do the trick.

Reinvigorate Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors can be a showstopper. They can also be tired and unsightly. Hiring a professional to refinish or recoat your hardwood floors can cost you thousands. You can do the work yourself. It might take more time, but it is possible to do it yourself. Start with a small room and see how you feel after it’s done.

Re-Grout Bathroom Tile

Bathroom tile needs re-grouting from time to time. It is not the most glamorous job, but it’s also not too terribly difficult. The most challenging part of this project is grinding away the old grout. It just takes the right tools and some elbow grease.

Repair Your Garbage Disposal

A lot of people are afraid of their garbage disposal. So, when something goes wrong with it, the first instinct might be to call a professional to fix it.

Before you get your check book ready for the professional, do some research. Many garbage disposal issues just require looking under the sink and using a wrench to investigate further.

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Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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