Even the least-handy person in the neighborhood can take care of a few things around the house – they just might not know it. Homeownership doesn’t require the kinds of feats you see on HGTV. You don’t need to be a part-time remodeler, woodworker, and plumber to add value to your home and ensure its health and longevity. On the other hand, there are those of us who think we can do everything – even the jobs that are meant for a professional. There needs to be more information in the home repair community about jobs you should let someone else handle. For every one of us who is beginning to understand that you don’t have to be an HGTV star, there is another homeowner out there who’s hoping to become the next home-repair influencer. However, trying your own stunts at home – such as highly technical air conditioner repairs – is not recommended.
A smart homeowner is the one who strikes a balance between the “I’m not handy” type and the “I can do anything” weekend warrior. Instead of avoiding your responsibilities as a homeowner because you’re “not handy,” try the following jobs that we know anyone can handle with a little extra know-how. And, if you’re tempted to take that extra step into repairs that should be left to professionals, also make note of the list of jobs below you should definitely avoid, including messing with your residential HVAC system.
Easy Home Repairs that Anyone Can Make
This list is divided into exterior and interior repairs. It’s important to break up your home repair schedule to take on jobs manageably. Otherwise, you may end up like one of those types who tries to do it as fast as possible, and you’ll end up making costly mistakes along the way.
Fix a Dripping or Leaky Faucet: Typically, a leaky faucet is caused by corrosion, weak gaskets or washers, a worn-out cartridge on the sink handles, and other very common conditions that sinks experience from time to time. In fact, you can buy a repair kit that contains everything you need for a variety of repairs, so you can completely refresh your sink’s components when needed. Simply turn off the water valve under the sink and follow what is typically a three-step process found on the kit you purchase. You can also watch one of the many videos online that outline this very easy procedure. You’ll feel like a pro when you’re done.
Fixing a Running Toilet: Like the leaky faucet, fixing a running toilet is also as easy as buying a kit at the store. You can typically buy everything you need in one bundle. If not, everything you need can be found in the plumping section of the hardware store. A kit will typically include a flapper and chain, as well as a fill valve. Again, follow simple instructions online or in your kit – and be sure to turn your water off first with the valve that’s low to the floor and on the wall behind your toilet.
Foundation cracks: If you notice small cracks in the concrete around your home, you can fill these yourself with an epoxy that’s the same color as your concrete. Find some at your local hardware store. You don’t have to worry about having a caulking gun either, because these products are typically sold in a tube that you can also use as an applicator. If the cracks are larger, leave these to an expert.
Basic gutter repairs: From time to time your gutters will sag after they’ve been full of debris and rainwater. This happens whether you’re diligent about cleaning your gutters or you’ve let them go. Why? Because trees pollinate and shed their leaves in phases, leaving several opportunities for your gutter to fill up. When the gutters sag, the screws or nails that secure them to the food frame of your roof can come loose. On a tall ladder – and preferably with a spotter – you can re-secure your gutter yourself, so it’s flush against your home and ready to take on another season.
Avoiding These 5 Challenging Fixes
If you knock out the above interior and exterior repairs in a weekend, you’ll feel like you’ve really accomplished something. In fact, many homeowners are known to walk around with their head a little higher after taking care of exterior and interior jobs that don’t require much technical expertise. However, you don’t want to get so proud that you try to repair something you shouldn’t. Home repair can also be hazardous if you attempt a repair that’s better left to the professionals. For example, other than changing your filter, you shouldn’t mess too much with your HVAC system. There is likely at least one superior HVAC company in your area that can knock out the job affordably and effectively.
Repairs that you should avoid include:
- Most electrical repairs
- Appliance repair (including your HVAC system)
- Foundation repairs
- Most major plumbing issues
Take Pride In Your Home – And Know Your Limits
Avoiding certain repairs is a way of taking care of your home, too. When you make the smart decision to leave jobs to a technician, you’ll feel like you’re making a strategic move, much like when you knock out one of the four easy jobs above. For example, with an HVAC system, you could potentially make issues worse or hurt yourself in the process. Taking care of your home is all about having a sense of pride – and part of taking pride and having confidence in your work is knowing what you can handle and what’s better left to the pros. Doing good work isn’t about doing everything right – it’s about careful, patient, and effective care for the work that’s within your control. Good luck!