Hiring a professional contractor to work on your house can be quite expensive.
Not to mention, most things you can do yourself if you have the right instruction. This article is intended to show some examples of how easy it can be to fix up your home.
There are plenty of home repair projects that you can do in an afternoon. Whether you want to stay indoors or spend some time out in the sunshine, a home DIY project is a great way to spend some time. Here are seven quick and easy tips to fix up your house this spring/summer.
1. Window Screen Repair
Naturally, we're going to kick things off with our specialty, window screen repair. Nasty weather or bad luck can lead to tears in your window screens. You don’t have to go out and buy a whole new screen, though. Instead, you can keep the screen and just replace the screen itself.
Replacing a screen is no sweat. All you need is a replacement screen, replacement spline, a screen roller, a screwdriver, and a weight.
First, remove the old screen from the frame. A flathead screwdriver will help you pry out the old spline. Then measure the new screen material, so it’s several inches wider than your new frame. Starting from a corner, roll the new spline into the frame divot, so it holds the screen to the frame. Use a weight to keep the frame and the screen still. Once you’ve secured all sides of the screen, you’re done!
2. Unjam Windows
Rising temperatures and humidity levels are pleasant for people, but hard on old homes. If you have wood-framed windows, you might find that they’re jammed shut just when you want to open them up.
The biggest cause of jammed wooden windows is excess humidity. The extra water in the air causes the wood to swell and stick in the frame. Your first step should be to run a dehumidifier in the room with the stuck window for 12 to 24 hours. Then test the window again to see if it’s easier to move. If so, you’ve found the problem.
Another common problem is the windows getting painted shut. Especially in old homes, wood windows may have had their frames painted closed. If you don’t see an obvious seam between the window and the frame, your window is trapped by its own paint. You can take a putty knife and gently tap around the edge of the frame to free the window to move again.
3. Replace Weatherstripping
Heating and cooling are some of the most expensive bills for some homes. It’s also one of the simplest bills to lower with a few quick repairs. By replacing your old weatherstripping, you can keep your bills from skyrocketing when the weather warms up.
Replacing weatherstripping is a quick and easy repair. The first step is to choose the kind of weatherstripping you want to use to replace the old material. Once you have the new material, cut it to size. Measure the width of the interior of the door, so you make sure you have the right dimensions.
Remove the old weatherstripping and clean the doorframe. Then position the new weather stripping, so it’s flush against the door. Use half-inch finishing nails to secure the new weatherstripping to the door frame.
To check the new seal, turn off the lights inside and check for any light leaks around the door. A light leak shows where air can leak.
4. Repair Siding
If winter or kids have been tough on your vinyl siding, don’t worry. You can replace cracked or damaged pieces of siding in fifteen minutes. For this repair, you need a utility knife, a zip tool, a pry bar, siding caulk in the color of your home, and a piece of replacement siding.
Use the utility knife to cut out the section of siding that’s damaged. Then use the zip tool to unlock the damaged siding at the top and bottom. Pop-out the damaged siding with the pry bar and discard it.
Take your replacement siding and trim it to be an inch or two longer than the piece you removed. Slide the replacement piece up behind the siding strip above the hole until the bottom edge clicks into place. Nail it carefully into place, leaving a little wiggle room so it can flex with temperature changes. Then use the zipper tool to secure the top into place. Finally, use the siding caulk to seal the edges of the repair.
5. Silence Squeaky Carpeted Floors
Squeaky floors can drive you up the wall if they’re bad enough. When they’re under the carpet, it can feel even worse, because you can’t get to the squeaky floorboard. Luckily, it’s easy to silence the squeak in five minutes.
First, figure out exactly where the squeak is coming from. You want to make sure you secure the right place on your floor.
Once you’ve figured out where the floor is loudest, get out a self-driving screw. Ideally, your screw will have a very small head and not have any threads for the top inch of the run. Squeaky floors are caused by floor joists and the subfloor rubbing together. This special screw will pull the two into firm contact and silence the squeak.
Place the screw at the squeakiest point of the floor, then drive it until it’s as tight as it will get. Yes, you’re driving it through the carpet. Once it’s driven all the way down, it should be almost impossible to notice in most carpet. Even better, your squeak is now gone.
6. Touch Up Drywall
Dings in your drywall are no problem. A single hole can be filled with a small amount of patching compound. For example, if you’re filling a screw hole, it’s a two-minute fix.
First, soften the edges of the screw hole. You can use the handle of your putty knife to make a softer hole where you want to fill. This helps the patch blend into the wall more smoothly.
Fill the hole with your patching compound, then smooth it to the wall with your putty knife. You’ll end up will a several-inch area of the wall that needs to be painted, but this helps the patch blend. Wait until the patch is really dry, then paint it, so it blends with your wall. Now it looks like the hole was never there at all.
7. Re-Caulk your Bathroom
Sometimes old caulk will crack and harbor mold and mildew. You can refresh your bathroom’s caulk in an afternoon with a putty knife, some white vinegar and paper towels, a caulk gun and caulk, painters tape, and patience.
Use the putty knife to scrape out the old caulk. Use the white vinegar and paper towels to wipe down the seam as thoroughly as you can, then let it air dry.
Once you’ve made sure everything is as dry as can be, carefully tape off the edges of the seams. You want to protect the places you don’t want to be caulked. Then reapply fresh caulk to the seams. Use paper towels to wipe away extra caulk and even out your caulk line.
Once the caulk has started to dry, remove the painter's tape. If you notice any blemishes, smooth them out before the caulk dries the rest of the way. Then just let the caulk dry completely for 24 hours before you get it wet.
Home DIY projects are a great way to use your free time. You save money, you improve your home, and you learn a new skill. There’s no better way to spend long afternoons at home than making your place shine a little brighter.