Homeownership is a point of pride for many, but it also comes with a long list of responsibilities. Among them, perhaps the most daunting is home repair. If you’re not careful, minor issues can escalate into major problems, leading to costly fixes. Fortunately, being proactive can tackle these challenges head-on, saving yourself time, money, and a lot of stress. While some tasks, like major electrical work, may require the expertise of a professional, there are many home repair projects you can handle yourself, provided you have the right tools and know-how.
In 2020, Americans allocated $363 billion to home upgrades, overhauls, and fixes. The subsequent year saw this figure climb to $406 billion, marking a significant surge of 11.8% from the previous year. This growth rate was nearly triple the typical yearly increase of 4.4%. By the time 2022 rolled around, expenditures by homeowners on these fronts had ascended to a whopping $472 billion.
This article will walk you through some must-know home repair ideas, from the simple to the complex, that can help keep your residence in top shape. So, let’s dive in and explore the home repair tasks you should prioritize, whether you’re a DIY novice or a seasoned home repair veteran.
1. Siding Replacement
Siding replacement is one of the most overlooked yet crucial aspects of home maintenance. Old, damaged, or deteriorating siding detracts from your home’s curb appeal and can lead to moisture infiltration, resulting in costly internal damage. Replacing your siding is an excellent way to enhance your home’s exterior and protect it from the elements. Depending on the material—whether it’s vinyl, wood, or fiber-cement—you’ll need different tools and techniques for replacement. If you’re dealing with vinyl siding, use a zip tool to disconnect the damaged piece from the ones above and below.
Slide in the new piece and lock it into place. For wood siding, carefully remove the damaged boards and replace them with new ones, making sure to nail them securely. Regardless of the type, always remember to check for signs of rot or water damage underneath the old siding and address those issues before installing new siding. In Seattle, new vinyl siding ranges from $4,105 to $15,343. Your final cost depends on factors such as the quantity of siding required, its variety, and whether you want repairs or a full replacement.
The expense to mend siding on the house ranges from $352 to $1,422, with the median cost landing at $869. Factors such as the exterior’s dimensions, siding material, severity, and nature of the damage, among other considerations, play a substantial role in the cost variations. There’s an additional charge for intricate designs and patterns, increasing material and installation fees by roughly 5% to 14%. It’s worth noting that vintage siding may contain asbestos.
Removing this substance can escalate costs, sometimes reaching as high as $10,000, which contributes significantly to the upper end of the estimated price range. It might be beneficial to consult with a seasoned expert like a Seattle Siding Company to assess the damage and provide a detailed estimate, ensuring that no underlying issues go unnoticed.
2. Patching Up Holes in Drywall
Holes in your drywall can happen for various reasons: moving furniture, kids playing, or even accidental bumps and knocks. Fortunately, patching up these holes is relatively straightforward and doesn’t require specialized skills. All you need are some basic materials like a drywall patch, joint compound, and sandpaper. First, clean the area around the hole and attach the patch. Then, apply the joint compound over it, smoothing it out with a putty knife. Once it dries, sand the area until it blends seamlessly with the rest of the wall. Finally, paint over it to match your wall, and you’re ready!
3. Unclogging Drains the Right Way
A clogged drain is more than just an inconvenience; it can lead to bigger issues like leaks and water damage if not addressed promptly. While chemical drain cleaners are readily available, they often contain harsh substances that can corrode your pipes over time. A better approach is using a plumbing snake or even a homemade baking soda and vinegar solution.
First, remove any visible obstruction from the drain opening. Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 15 minutes, and then run hot water. For tougher clogs, use a plumbing snake to dislodge the blockage manually.
4. Refreshing Grout Lines
Over time, grout can become discolored and dirty, affecting the overall appearance of your tiles. You can clean grout using a mixture of water and baking soda, applied with a toothbrush. For more stubborn stains, consider using a specialized grout cleaner. You might need to re-grout the tiles if the grout is crumbling or missing in some areas. Remove the old grout using a grout saw or utility knife, apply new grout, and then seal it to protect against future discoloration and wear.
5. Regular Roof Checkups
The roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements, and neglecting it can lead to severe problems like leaks and structural damage. Conduct regular roof inspections to look for signs of wear and tear, such as missing shingles, cracked caulking, or rust spots on flashing. Small issues can be addressed using roof sealant or by replacing individual shingles. However, it might be wise to consult a professional for more extensive damage.
6. Replacing Old or Faulty Wiring
If you live in an older home, there’s a good chance the electrical wiring might be outdated or not up to current safety codes. Flickering lights, frequent blown fuses, and a burning smell are all red flags that shouldn’t be ignored. While dealing with electrical issues isn’t a typical DIY task, identifying problems can save you from potential hazards like fires or electrical shocks. If you suspect wiring issues, it’s essential to call a certified electrician. They can replace old wiring, install new outlets, and ensure your electrical system is safe and efficient.
Maintaining a home is an ongoing process involving various tasks, from the very simple to the more complex. By knowing how to handle issues like clogged drains, worn-out siding, and roof damage, you set yourself up for fewer problems in the long run. Adding in the importance of gutter maintenance, proper insulation, and safe electrical wiring, you improve the quality of your living space and potentially save yourself a lot of money and stress.
Home repairs might seem daunting, but with a little knowledge and proactive effort, you can keep your home in excellent condition for years to come.