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Home Repair and Upgrades that YOU CAN DO!

There comes a time when every home needs essential repairs or upgrades, and here are some of the things any DIY enthusiasts with the basic skills can do.

06/01/2020

Over time, there are essential repairs and upgrades that your home needs. If you are not looking to spend a fortune and would prefer to DIY these, we offer some improvements that you can do with basic DIY skills.

 

REPLACE THE FRONT DOOR

The exterior of any home takes a constant beating from the elements, and your front door requires constant maintenance to keep it in good condition. However, even regular maintenance sometimes can't keep up and you may need to replace the door. Removing and installing a new front door is not a difficult task and you can check out a variety of door styles at your local Builders Warehouse to find the perfect front door for your home.

The exterior of any home takes a constant beating from the elements, and your front door requires constant maintenance to keep it in good condition. However, even regular maintenance sometimes can't keep up and you may need to replace the door. Removing and installing a new front door is not a difficult task and you can check out a variety of door styles at your local Builders Warehouse to find the perfect front door for your home.

COST: Anywhere from R1000 upwards, depending on the style of door.

HOW TO: Take measurements of the door and take these along to your nearest Builders store. You may need to trim the door to fit and can use a jigsaw or circular saw to do this, or you can use a planer for minor adjustments.

 

 

 

 

 

YOU CAN ALSO: While replacing the door, you can also consider installing a door sweep / draught excluder to the bottom of the door to keep out draughts and insulate your home. And don't forget to buy all the supplies you need to seal, varnish or paint the door before hanging in place.

 

 

REPLACE DOOR HARDWARE

Where you don't need to remove and replace the entire door, but only change the door hardware itself, it isn't a difficult DIY project to do if you are going to use the same type of door hardware. Replacing damaged or broken door hardware is as simple as unscrewing the old system and screwing on the new.

It is recommended that you don't skimp on this item, as a cheaply manufactured door lock or hardware system will only need to be replaced earlier on.

COST: A basic cyclinder lock costs around R700 and increases in price depending on the style and finish you select.

HOW TO: To replace door hardware using the same type of system only requires that you need a drill / driver or screwdriver and takes about 10 minutes tops.

YOU CAN ALSO: If you are updating doors in a home, you might want to look at updating the door hardware as well.

PATCH UP HOLES AND CRACKS

The ground underneath a property is constantly on the move and every home has cracks that appear in walls. Patching up cracks and filling holes in walls is an easy repair that any DIY enthusiast can tackle themselves.

Cracks in walls are a fact of life for every homeowner, and many of us are guilty of knocking a nail into the wall to hang stuff. Filling and repairing cracks or holes in walls is an easy fix with the right tools and materials and all you need is some interior crack filler - or interior/exterior crack filler - and a chisel or large flathead screwdriver.

COST: Around R50 if you already have a chisel to chase out the crack.

HOW TO: For nail holes or other holes in walls, simply clean out the hole and apply crack filler according to the manufacturer's recommended guidelines. Before repairing cracks, consider the size of the crack and where it is occuring. Sometimes cracks are caused by more than just settling and vibration, so keep this in mind. You will find more information on repairing cracks in this article.

 

 

 

 

 

REPLACE BROKEN WINDOW

Accidents happen and windows can easily be cracked or broken. You can have glass cut to size at Builders or your nearest glass supplier and fit this yourself if you don't want to wait for a professional to do it for you if it is an emergency.

If you need to replace a small windowpane you can do-it-yourself far quicker than having to wait for a glassfitter. However, for larger windowpanes, or those that aren't easy to reach, you might want to take the easy way out and let someone else do it for you.

COST: Not expensive, but based on size of windowpane.

HOW TO: Measure up the size of the glass pane and take this to you local Builders or glass supplier. Carefully remove the broken pane by chipping away the putty around the outside edge or removing any wood trim. Clean out the opening and insert the new glass. Add new putty or wood trim around the edge to finish.

YOU CAN ALSO: Make any repairs to the window frame itself, such as using a sealer or caulk to fill gaps. 

CLEAR BLOCKED DRAINS

Fat, hair and other debris can cause drains to block, while foreign objects or waste buildup can create a blockage in a toilet. Both are easy to fit on your own and won't need the expense of a plumber to come out.

While blockages in the toilet don't occur that often, unless you have very young children! blockages in sink and basin drains do happen, especially the drain in the kitchen sink or shower. Both of these drains have a good reason for being blocked; fats and food poured down the drain, or buildup of hair in the case of a shower drain. Luckily, both of these are easily fixed without having to call out a plumber.

COST: It costs nothing if you use supplies you already have, such as vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, or a plunger.

HOW TO: Use white spirit vinegar or bicarb to flush the drain in conjunction with a plunger.

YOU CAN ALSO: Take action on a regular basis to prevent future blockages. A monthly treatment of vinegar and bicarb will reduce any fat buildup.

 

 

 

 

 

TIGHTEN LOOSE FIXTURES OR FITTINGS

Towel rails, curtain hooks, cabinet doors and drawers, and even handles - these are all fixtures and fittings that can come loose over time. Why bother to call out a handyman when it only takes 5 minutes to fix any of these yourself.

In most cases you can easily go round the house with a screwdriver to tighten any loose fittings or fixtures. There is always something coming loose that just needs a quick turn of the screw to tighten it up. I myself prefer to use a cordless screwdriver or my handy drill/driver to go around and tighten window latches and the like, so that I don't have to worry about these popping off.

COST: Costs you nothing if hardware doesn't need to be replaced.

HOW TO: If pays to invest in a decent set of screwdrivers, a cordless screwdriver or a drill/driver and a set of assorted screwdriver bits.

YOU CAN ALSO: Go around and check that handles and knobs are firmly fixed, that window latches aren't loose, and that cabinet doors are fixed in place.

KEEP APPLIANCES IN GOOD WORKING ORDER

Appliances don't come cheap these days, so you want to make sure that yours have as long a life as possible. That means keeping them clean - inside and out, changing filters, checking for damage, and so on.

family handyman

Doing your own maintenance on a regular basis will definitely extend the life of the product and also cut back on call outs for something as simple as a blocked lint filter in your tumble dryer, or no salt in your dishwasher. By paying attention to your appliances you can stay on top of what need to be done and save money on unnecessary repairs.

COST: Doing regular cleaning and maintenance won't cost you a cent.

HERE'S HOW: We have plenty of articles that offer advice on Home-Dzine. Simply use the Google Search function down the right-hand side of the page, and then scroll down to see our articles.

YOU CAN ALSO: All the appliances in a home need to be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. Check the filter on a vacuum cleaner, the back of a fridge or remove any ice buildup, check the door seal on your refrigerator, clean the back of your TV to remove excess dust, etc. And don't forget to READ THE INSTRUCTION MANUALS that came with your appliances.

 

 

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