6 DIY Home Maintenance Repairs

Dated: 08/10/2019

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6 DIY Home Maintenance Repairs

If you own your home, chances are you’ve realized it comes with certain responsibilities. One of the primary responsibilities is making sure your home stays safe and continues to meet your needs, which means tending to repair issues quickly. Hiring professionals for every task can add up! Learning these 6 DIY home maintenance repairs will help keep your home running smoothly while also saving you some serious dough. These repairs are also good if you're getting ready to sell your home. You'll want your home in top shape so buyers won't have to wonder what issues may be waiting around the corner before making an offer.

1. Frozen Air Conditioner

The first of the 6 DIY home maintenance repairs can get you out of a hot spot! When it comes to appliances, your air conditioner is among the most important for making sure your home is safe and comfortable. A broken A/C can make you and your family uncomfortable at the least, turning into an emergency on the hottest of days. Oftentimes, it’s an easy fix:

Replace Your Air Filter

When filters get too dirty, it can cause the coils in your A/C to freeze. A frozen air conditioner can sometimes be repaired by simply swapping out a dirty filter for a clean one. If that doesn't fix the problem, check your evaporator coil to make sure it's clean as well. The evaporator coil is located inside or near the air handler next to the blower fan. Check out these detailed instructions. DIY How to Clean Your AC Coils. The next thing to check is your air flow through your ducts. Check for large obstructions (even furniture placed near return vents) or collapsed duct work. Be careful! Edges can be sharp. However, if you put in a new filter in, clean your coils and check your ducts and the problem persists, you’ll need to bring in a professional.

2. Stripped-Out Drawer Handles

If you have a loose drawer handle and have tried to screw it back in to no avail, the screw holes in the wood are probably stripped. This is a relatively easy fix for stripped-out drawer handles done with toothpicks, wood glue, sandpaper, and a screwdriver:

  • Unscrew and remove the handle
  • Sand the wood around the holes smooth
  • Apply wood glue to the holes
  • Fill the hole with as many toothpicks as it takes
  • Cut or break off any exposed parts of the toothpicks
  • Put the handle back in place and screw in it

3. Door Knob Holes in Drywall

Another common repair is fixing door knob holes in drywall. Protecting the door from hitting the wall with a baseboard door bumper is a good idea to save your walls from future damage. But you'll need to fix the holes first. If the hole is 4-inches wide or smaller, start by placing a drywall patch over the hole. Then, apply compound with a putty knife, allow it to dry, and smooth the surface with sandpaper. Repeat this step as many times as it takes to get the damaged area flush with the surrounding wall area. Then, you’re ready to blend in the area with paint. If your hole is larger than 4 inches, you may want to use a piece of drywall to fix it.

4. Fix Stainless Steel Scratches

If you have stainless steel appliances that aren't coated with fingerprint resistant film or aren't the simulated stainless steel look, you may have large or small scratches in your surface. These can be buffed out with a fine-grit sandpaper (400 to 600 grit) and rubbing compound. Start with the rubbing compound paste with a soft rag first. Find the grain of the stainless steel and rub with the grain (never against the grain). Wipe off the compound and check the scratch. If the scratch isn't buffed out, use the finest grit sandpaper and lightly rub with the grain again. Move to the next coarsest grain until you see the scratch disappear. You may have to blend in around the area to hide edges of the polished areas. Hint: Keep Mr. Clean Miracle Magic Eraser sponges in your home. These sponges are like extremely fine-grit sandpaper. (Use gloves when using these sponges - they can irritate your skin)

5. Missing Caulk


Caulk is used to fill gaps and cracks around windows, doors, and plumbing, as well as in cracked siding and molding. Due to climate and time, caulking is one of those things that needs to be redone periodically. Make sure to get the right kind of caulk for the job. To replace missing caulk, clean the surface by removing any old caulk, paint, dirt, or other debris. Buy a 5-in-1 Painter's Tool to help you with the task. They're cheap and handy for many uses around your home. Cut a 45° angle on the tip of the caulk gun, apply caulk to the desired area, and follow with your finger to smooth out the line. Then, wipe any excess from the surrounding area with a damp cloth or paper towel. Allow the caulk to dry, and repeat the steps as many times as necessary. Check out this article from Lowe’s for more detailed instructions.

6. Squeaky Hinges

Are you tired of your bedroom door creaking when you get up in the middle of the night? This is one of the most common and easiest fixes. Any door with squeaky hinges can be fixed by simply spraying a lubricant like WD-40 onto the hinges. Once you spray each hinge, open and close the door multiple times and clean up any residue with a paper towel. Your doors will be silent as the night! Maintenance is part and parcel of being a homeowner. Why not learn to do some of the easier jobs yourself and save your calls to the professionals for the more major projects? While these tips are a good place to start, do your research to further your knowledge. Becoming a DIYer can open up endless opportunities to learn new skills and save you money in the process.

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Jennifer Goodier

Asheville REALTORĀ®

Asheville REALTORĀ®, Jennifer Goodier has spent her summers vacationing in Mills River, NC (near the Asheville Airport) at her family farm since 1968. Her family gathered ....

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