The 7 Most-Needed Repair Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

Woman fixing a leaking sink
Image: Elaine Gingery

Relax. Here’s how to make short work of every common repair annoyance.

These are the 7 most-needed repair tips every homeowner should know.

1. Fix a Leaky Toilet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTD_ZqxBX4U

Running toilets not only rob sleep, they waste water and jack up your bill. Here’s how to change a flapper -- the usual suspect -- and solve other likely problems.

Related: How to Fix a Sweaty Toilet

2. Repair Drywall Holes

HomeownerSeries

The hardest part of drywall repair is making the patch flush with the existing wall. A “pumpkin patch” is an easy repair that cuts down on sanding.

Related: Another Clever Way to Fix Drywall -- with Makeup Sponges!

3. Adjust Cabinet Doors

Gregory Maurer

Changes in humidity can make cabinet doors rub, refuse to close, or just look cockeyed. Adjusting them is easy and generally requires only a screwdriver.

4. Open a Stuck Window

Howdini

Windows stick when paint, dust, or moisture builds. Use a utility knife (or a pizza cutter) to remove old paint. Be careful not to gouge the wood sash. If high humidity is making windows hard to move, run a humidifier that sucks moisture out of air.

Related: Save Money with Window Repair Tips

5. Stop a Leaking Faucet

Howcast

A dripping faucet can waste 5 gallons of water per day. If you can’t replace the faulty part immediately, tie a string around the faucet and let it fall into the drain: Dripping water will silently flow down the string.

6. Silence Door Squeaks

Take the squeak out of doors by lubricating top and bottom hinges with a little WD-40 or white lithium grease. If you don’t have any on hand, olive oil is a quick but temporary fix.

7. Turn Off the Main Water Line

expertvillage

Don’t wait until water gushes into your house to search for the main water line. When things are calm and dry, locate and practice turning it on and off.

Housing And Real Estate Expert Lisa Kaplan-Gordon

Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Lisa Kaplan Gordon is an award-winning, Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer who contributes to real estate and home improvement sites. In her spare time (yeah, right!), she gardens, manages three dogs, and plots to get her 21-year-old out of her basement.