If you have been in doubt which house projects you can do on your own, here is a list of 5 perfectly doable things around your home or rental property. Actually, more and more Aussies are deciding on tackling the house renovation tasks themselves. When faced with buying a new home or redecorating the existing one, they usually opt for the latter. With a bit of effort, anyone can contribute to the home’s appeal without breaking the bank.
Therefore, here are 5 simple things anyone can fix without too much hassle.
Fix cracked walls for good
By this, we mean fixing those cracks that are a consequence of the inevitable settling of a house. Though in essence cracked walls can be nothing more than an eyesore, there is also a possibility some of them is an indicator of structural problems. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is inspect them. Horizontal cracks or stair cracks are typical red flags, as well as the doors and windows sticking for no obvious reason. As for the common cracks, here is what you can do.
If it’s a drywall you need to fix, that’s the easiest of them all. First, take a utility knife and cut out a V-notch along the crack (1/8 to ¼ inch). Remove the loose material with a vacuum cleaner. Use a joint compound and paper tape to cover the crack. A thin layer of the compound should cover about 2 inches of the tape. Upon drying, add another layer of joint compound, feathered about 6 to 7 inches. When it’s all good and dry the next day, just sand it a bit, and it’s ready for painting.
Fix a leaky pipe
This can happen in your bathroom or your kitchen, but there’s no need to call a plumber when you can do it by yourself.
First things first, turn off the water (the shut-off valve is either next to the sink, or sometimes in the basement). Then, put the bucket under the pipe, and unscrew the compression nuts (those big white pieces that are the only thing to unscrew). Replace the washer, or the P-trap altogether, screw it back in place, and turn the water on. Of course, check for any leaks before calling it a day.
Stop a tap from leaking
It is a truth universally acknowledged that you can waste up to 20,000 litres of water annually, which is 3 litres per day if you have a leaking faucet in your home. For this reason, it’s essential you took care of this.
As with the previous, first, you have to turn off the water at the shut-off valve. By the way, make sure all the valves in your home are top quality. A lot of similar water-related DIY projects and serious problems can be avoided if your home has proper valves. Unscrew the tap handle and remove the packing nut. To get to the washer, unscrew the valve stem and take it out. Replace the washer with another one of the same sizes, and re-assemble the tap.
Replace a light switch
Naturally, this one requires extra caution, so follow these steps. Even after turning off the power at the main circuit, you should use a voltage tester to check if the wires definitely have no electricity in them. If they still do, it’s best to call in a professional to resolve the issues. So, once you turn off the power, take off the faceplate and unscrew the switch. Loosen all the wires and check for electricity. Match the wires in the same colour and connect them to the new switch. Screw everything back, and it’s a wrap.
Prevent heat loss
There are plenty of ways around this, and we’ll just name a few. The draft takes away a lot of heat in winter time, and it also affects your AC bills in the summer. Reduce your expenses by simple caulking and weatherstripping around your windows. In addition, use some weatherstripping on doors, too, especially the ones leading to the attic or the garage.
As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do around your home which will not only add to its overall appeal but reduce your utility bills as well.
By Susan Josh