Before You Call a Pro: Common Home Maintenance Tasks You Can Handle Yourself
As a responsible homeowner, you know there are certain areas of your home you just don’t mess with unless you are a professional. This logic applies to things like plumbing, electrical, water/sewer, etc. The same could be said for any projects you’ve never done before. However, having never done it isn’t reason enough to not give it a try; in fact, there are several home maintenance tasks you can handle on your own. The following tips can help you get started!
Secure Outdoor Spaces
If you have any raised deck space, you want to make sure you add or secure handrails around it. This not only adds an extra layer of safety, but it’s first on the list for a lot of home appraisers. Whether or not you plan on selling your house soon, increasing your home value happens over time, so being aware of what appraisers look for can help you in the long run.
In addition, if any of your decks are on a second floor or higher, make sure you secure them with doors. You also need to make sure that all stairs and handrails there are sturdy and can carry a person’s weight without any issues.
Tackle Odors in Cleaning Appliances
What do dishwashers and washing machines have in common? They both take dirty, smelly things and make them fresh and clean again. However, as you’re unloading the dishwasher or a load of laundry, you may catch a whiff of something that makes your nose wrinkle.
For your dishwasher, the smell could be due to food residue in the filter and door gasket. Use hot water and soap to scrub the filters, walls, and gasket. For a final rinse, pour one cup of white vinegar in a bowl, set it on the top rack, and run a full cycle. The cleaning process is similar for your washing machine too.
Show Your HVAC System Some Love
Any serious HVAC issues require an HVAC technician, but if you notice that your unit seems to be working overtime or the air doesn’t feel right, the solution might be as simple as changing your filter. Take careful measurements and use an online tool to find the right size filter without having to embark on a local treasure hunt.
While you’re at it, consider giving your unit a good clean too. Shut off the power, gather the necessary tools (screwdriver, rag, shop vacuum, and coil cleaner), and follow along with this HVAC cleaning tutorial. If you think your HVAC system is having more serious issues, contact a local HVAC technician to assess and fix the problem.
Don’t Fret Over Scratches
Children, pets, and everyday use can leave your furniture looking awfully banged up. Fortunately, you can restore your hardwood using common household items. If you keep walnuts, pecans, or almonds on hand to munch on, grab one and rub it in the direction of the scratch. Your child’s crayon in the right shade can be used as well; plus, the wax can be easily removed if it doesn’t turn out how you’d like. Most hardware stores sell furniture touch-up markers for the specific purpose of touching up scratches.
If you want to give your furniture a complete refresh, staining is simple too. Dings and scratches on your walls are easy to repair as well. Clean the wall with a sponge and detergent, fill small holes or dents with spackling, smooth the surface, and prime it before bringing out the paint. If you don’t have any of the original paint left, don’t assume you’ll have to repaint the entire room. Most home improvement stores have color match technology to help you find the right shade.
These are just three of many home maintenance tasks and repairs you can do yourself. When something pops up, do your research on the estimated DIY cost, required materials, and degree of difficulty to decide whether you can truly handle this on your own. If you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to call a pro. Handle what you can and outsource the rest.
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