Repairing home features on your own can save you thousands of dollars each year, as the average handyman charges as much as $65 per hour if he works independently, or up to $125 per hour if he works for a larger company. However, some professionals may charge a flat rate for their services, especially when completing a larger project.
To ease the burden of making home repairs as issues arise, experts recommend setting aside at least one percent of the home’s purchase price per year to cover the cost of repairing a home in an emergency. While you may not need to make major repairs every year, another year may require you to make multiple repairs to your home, especially as time goes on.
Depending on the purchase price of your home, setting $100 aside each month can help you to budget for these costly repairs as they arise. Additionally, using a drywall and toilet repair kit to fix common issues and learning how to make other easy repairs on your own can help you to reduce the cost of repairing your home in an emergency.
For example, you can use painter’s putty to easily fill in holes and cracks in a wall. If you were to hire a handyman to repair a small section of drywall, you would need to pay for two to three hours of labor.
To learn more about repairing a home and to explore the various projects that you may be able to complete on your own, review the information below.
How to Fix a Toilet Flush
Knowing how to fix toilet flush valve, flapper and handle issues are crucial skills for homeowners, as these are straightforward repairs that can easily be completed without hiring a professional.
If a toilet won’t flush, for instance, fixing the problem could be as simple as removing the lid from the tank and reattaching the chain to the flapper valve or flush lever bar. If the chain is rusted or broken, however, you can purchase a new chain at your local hardware store before replacing it on your own. If the toilet handle itself is corroded or broken, you can purchase a replacement toilet lever kit.
Alternatively, you may purchase a toilet repair kit if you need to replace multiple parts at once, including the flush valve, flapper, gasket and handle. These affordable kits include easy-to-follow instructions to simplify the process of installing these new parts without professional assistance. Top-rated toilet repair kits include the Fluidmaster 400CR and the Korky Universal Complete. Both products are available on Amazon for less than $25 each.
Fixing a Leak in the Roof
You may be able to fix a leak in roof without contacting a professional if you’re able to locate the source of the problem. When tracking down the source of the leak, start by looking in the attic before moving onto the rooftop, as leaks can sometimes come from inside of a home. Then, use a flashlight to inspect the underside of the roof for darker areas and holes, as these could be signs of a leak.
If you cannot find the leak from inside of your home, you will need the help of a friend before going up on the roof. Here’s how to locate and fix a leak on a roof:
- Go up onto the rooftop while a friend remains in the attic.
- Run a garden hose along the roof to see if your friend notices any signs of leakage in the attic. Allow the hose to run for several minutes in each area.
- Use a nail, toothpick, straw or duct tape to mark the area once you locate the source of the leak.
- Determine if you can fix the leak on your own or whether you need to hire a professional. If you plan to repair the issue on your own, you will typically need roofing sealant, a putty knife and a caulk gun. Other useful tools may include a drill, hammer, pry bar and tin snips.
In some cases, fixing a leak in a roof will require the help of a professional. If the leak is severe or you’re not comfortable working on a rooftop, it is important to contact a professional as soon as possible, as leaks will only get worse as time goes on.
With painters putty, also known as spackle, and a putty knife, you can easily fix holes in your walls without hiring a professional. Here’s how:
- Wipe down the surface of the wall you wish to patch.
- Use a putty knife to patch the hole with spackle.
- Allow the spackle to dry completely.
- Lightly sand the spackled area.
- Cover the patch with a coat of paint.
Moreover, you may use a drywall repair kit to patch larger holes in a wall, as these kits are an affordable alternative to hiring a professional to do the job.
How to Get Scratches Out of Wood Floors
You can easily use a plastic painters putty knife and premixed wood filler to mask scratches in your hardwood floors. Here’s how to complete this home repair on your own:
- Use fine steel wool to lightly rub along the grain of the scratched wood surface. For deeper scratches, you may use lightweight sandpaper.
- Use mineral spirits and a soft rag to remove fine dust from the sanded area.
- Use a plastic painter putty knife and wood filler to fill in the scratched wood.
- Wait for the wood filler to dry.
- Lightly sand away any excess wood filler and remove the dust.
- Use a natural bristle brush or lambswool applicator to refinish the area with varnish or polyurethane.
If you need to remove minor scratches from your wood floors, you may be able to skip the above steps by masking the scratch with a mixture of olive oil and apple cider vinegar. To complete this DIY home repair, simply dab the olive oil and apple cider vinegar mixture onto the scratch before letting it sit for up to 24 hours. Then, use a clean rag to wipe the area down and repeat the process if necessary.