Keeping a roof over your head can be quite a commitment when you consider some of the things that can go wrong with a property and when you are presented with a hefty repair bill it can really put a strain on your finances.
It is sometimes highly advisable to use a professional for home repairs that are a bit more complex or demanding, such as foundation repairs, but there are also some common problems that you might be able to fix yourself.
Here is a look at some of the regular issues that homeowners have to contend with and a few pointers on how to fix them without breaking the bank.
Don’t panic when your toilet is blocked
The sight of a backed-up toilet can quickly send you into a panic as you fear that it might overflow and create even more problems in no time at all.
That nightmare scenario might tempt you to get hold of a plumber as soon as possible rather than risk tackling the job yourself.
Unblocking a toilet is not as difficult as you might think and it is much cheaper to try a few things yourself before you resort to calling the plumber, which is going to cost you.
Invest in a toilet plunger and a few decent thrusts with that can often do the trick and clear the problem.
The toilet handle is broken
Another problem that you can easily fix by yourself in the bathroom is when the toilet won’t flush because the lever is broken.
There are a couple of reasons why it might be broken. It might be that the chain has become detached or it is possible that the handle might have corroded, whichever it is, both are easy to fix with an adjustable wrench in your hand and a replacement toilet lever kit, which costs very little to buy.
A leaky pipe problem
A common household problem you will face at some point is a leaky drain in either the bathroom or the kitchen.
This is often another easy problem to fix, even if you don’t think you have much in the way of DIY skills. All you need is a bucket to collect some water and maybe a replacement P-trap, which is a cheap plumbing supply to buy and readily available in any hardware store.
Make sure you turn the water supply off to the sink before you start and if you want to get an idea as to how it’s done, watch an online video so that you can follow some step-by-step instructions.
What about electrical work?
The sensible and safe answer to this question is that you should leave most electrical repairs in your home to a professional as there is a high risk that you could cause damage and suffer an injury if you don’t know what you are doing.
There are some minor repairs that you might be able to tackle yourself as long as you take precautions to ensure the electricity supply is off before you start.
Changing a simple light switch could be manageable if you have some DIY knowledge and have good safety awareness but anything more complicated should be left to someone qualified.
When the garbage disposal stops working
It is perfectly understandable that you might be a bit wary of trying to fix your garbage disposal machine when you consider that it has lots of sharp blades inside the mechanism.
If your machine is clogged you will need to turn off the power to the unit so that you don’t have to contend with an unfortunate blade-related incident.
Once you are happy that there is no power going to the unit you can then use an Allen wrench to rotate the flywheel and see if that clears the jam. You can also reach into the top of the unit to remove anything that has got stuck using a wooden dowel and not your fingers to do this.
Cracks and holes
Fixing cracks and holes in your walls is something you can do yourself provided the holes are not too big or the cracks are not an indication of something more serious going on.
Filling a nail or screw hole or a bit of minor damage is easy enough to do with a bit of compound and a putty knife. However, larger holes can be more challenging and you will know the limit of your DIY skills, especially as a local handyman probably won’t be too expensive.
If you notice cracks developing in your foundation wall it needs to be investigated as it could be a warning sign that something more serious is happening. Not all cracks are an indication that your foundation is failing but it is best to get someone to take a look rather than cover it over and forget about it.
Protect your siding to help it last longer
It should be noted that some house repairs could be avoided altogether with a bit of preventative maintenance and being proactive could save you from racking up a hefty bill further down the line.
For example, painting your exterior and siding when it starts to fade and peel will protect it from the weather. Spending a small amount to maintain your siding should be considered far more preferable than spending big on replacing it when it has gone beyond economical repair.
Look after your HVAC
Another easy maintenance task that is well worth doing would be to check and replace your air filters in the HVAC system a couple of times a year.
Dirty filters clog the system and could cause a breakdown as well as making it less efficient.
An easy way to avoid an expensing plumbing bill
Last but not least, sewage problems are a common problem for homeowners and repairs can be hugely expensive when things go wrong.
The simple trick of pouring some sewer cleaner down your drain every change of season should keep things flowing and help prevent clogs from happening.
These common household problems mentioned can often be sorted with an inexpensive fix but you should also know your limits and understand when it is best to get some professional help.