It’s embarrassing to have guests jiggle the toilet handles, have to work to open a door or shove to close it, or put up with squeaking hinges. Relatives and in-laws look at you as if you don’t know anything, and treat you as if you’re living in a hovel instead of a home.
With these quick and inexpensive DIY repairs, your home will shine. Now, what kind of shape are their homes in?
1. Resurface your concrete walkway. If there are no cracks completely through the concrete, and only pits and minor cracks are evident, a resurface job you can do yourself will make your walkway look like new.
Follow this link to resurface your walkway in four easy steps. You don’t have to tell the in-laws or relatives you only resurfaced.
2. Fix the doorbell. If it sounds funny, it could be anything from a worn button to a broken transformer. Follow this link to find out how to repair your doorbell. Of course, if the doorbell can’t be fixed in time for guests, battery operated wireless models are available for less than $20.00.
3. Install a security light. Many thieves target multiple cars parked in dark driveways. Solar powered motion detector lights are less than $50, and install in minutes with screws. No elaborate electrical wiring needed.
4. Self-opening or non-closing bedroom doors aren’t just annoying, they can scare little ones in the middle of the night, waking the whole house. Follow this link to make fast and easy repairs.
5. Re-caulk the bathtub so it looks new. Over time, grout can become cracked and dingy. No matter how expensive the bathroom is, bad grout makes it look poor. Follow this link to re-caulk your tub, a process that takes only a few hours.
6. Fix the toilet in just minutes. No one ever need jiggle the handle or listen to your toilet running all night long ever again. And your water bill will go down, too. Follow this link to fix your toilet- most repairs cost less than $10.00.
7. Fix a floor tile. During the year, anything heavy dropped on the floor has the potential to crack or break floor tiles. Follow this link to learn how to fix a floor tile so the repair looks flawless.
8. Next to a running toilet, a dripping faucet drives people crazy and the water bill up. Even without guests, this repair is fast and easy, most of the time under $5.00 for new rubber washers or O-rings. Follow this link to learn more.
9. Nothing puts a damper on a party cleanup like the disposal breaking down. For the cost of a disposal wrench (around $5), most disposals can be restored to working order in minutes. Follow this link to learn how.
10. If your strip wood floor has a few damaged spots, follow this link to learn a fast repair. There is no need to have the entire floor redone by professionals.
11. Replace broken sliding closet doors with modern bi-fold doors. With an afternoon and a helper, this link will give all the instructions necessary to make the bedroom look like a million bucks.
12. Fix window and door drafts. Window and door drafts will make your guests wonder about you, and your heating bills will soar. Stop both by applying weather stripping to doors and windows. Your local DIY store associates are more than happy to help you choose the right product for your needs. If you have an old-fashioned sash window with weights, follow this link for weather stripping advice.
13. Squeaking stairs are annoying. Silence them quickly by using Squeak no more screws from your DIY store. Drive the screws through the treads into the stringers or floorboards into the joists. The heads snap off level with the floor, the carpet covers the rest. Wood filler fixes the tiny hole in wood floors.
14. Scratched wood stands out. Use pigmented wood filler sticks, available at any paint or DIY store to fill in the scratches and make the wood look new.
15. Over time wood floors shift, and can make toilets rock. Tighten the side bolts to see if that corrects the problem. If not, purchase plastic shims from the plumbing department of your local DIY store and fill in the space between the toilet and the floor.
16. Fix a clogged showerhead instead of buying a new one. An overnight soak in vinegar or CLR, a product that dissolves mineral deposits (wear gloves), replace the head, rinse well and it will perform like new. It also works wonders on sink faucets and buildup around shower handles.
17. Fix a dark walkway with inexpensive solar walkway lights. Widely available in a plethora of styles, colors and price ranges, no one need walk on your flowers to get to your front door.
18. Don’t rush out to replace the oven- it may just need recalibration. Using an oven thermometer and your owner’s manual, recalibrate it. If you don’t have the manual, follow this link to obtain a copy for your particular make and model.
19. Take care of a foul-smelling garbage disposal. From time to time, gunk builds up in any disposal unit and stinks. Run clear water and the turn the disposal on to clear any food bits. Turn disposal off, and put the sink stopper in. Fill the sink halfway with warm water and a quarter to half cup baking soda. Remove the stopper and turn the disposal on. While water is running, throw in orange peels or lemon peels to sweeten things up.
20. Fix wobbly ceiling fan blades. They not only make noise, but can shorten the life of the fan motor. Follow this link to learn how to perform this fast and inexpensive repair.
These repairs don’t have to be done all at once. Tackling one at a time, as money permits will keep your home in tip-top shape. Your relatives and in-laws will think you meticulously (you don’t have to tell them) maintain your home. They may even ask you for advice.
Source: Tabitha Sukhai, “Quick Fixes to do Before Holiday Guests Arrive,” This Old House Magazine Website, no date given
Source: Josh Garzkof, “23 Quick Fixes,”, This Old House Magazine Website, no date given