DIY Home Repairs You Can Take Care of Yourself

DIY Home Repairs You Can Take Care of Yourself

As a homeowner there are some pretty common repairs that you will have to deal with, many of them you can handle yourself without calling in a repair person.  Here are some DIY home repairs you can take care of yourself pretty easily.  You don’t have to be a handyman to take care of most of them and they will save you a small fortune in future repairs.

Avoid a Leaky Basement

Even small leaks in your basement can cause thousands of dollars in damage and leave you with mold in your home.  More often than not the problem is completely preventable and there are steps you can take to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.  Water gets into your basement from outside your home and that’s where you need to eliminate it.  Start by adding extensions to your downspout so water drains away from your house rather than down the walls of your foundation.  Have your gutters cleaned regularly so they are effective.  Here is a guide on how to do that.

Find Your Shut Off Valve for Water

You absolutely need to know where the main shut off valve is and how to easily turn off the water.  If you ever get a leak or a burst pipe then knowing where the shut off valve is can save you thousands of dollars in damage.  You would be surprised at just how many homeowners don’t know where it is.  This one is a must!

How to Replace a Doorbell

How many times have you gone to someone’s home and the doorbell doesn’t work?  It’s really common and yet something that nobody bothers to fix.  If the idea of fixing your doorbell seems like too much work then replace it with a simple wireless model that runs on batteries.  You just mount it outside your door where you want it and put the bell somewhere inside your home and that’s it your done.

Re-Caulking the Bathroom and Kitchen

The caulking in your bathroom and kitchen gets dry and brittle over time and you will need to remove and replace it to avoid water damage.  You need to caulk around the toilet and tub and around sinks.  Removing the old caulking is probably the most time consuming part of the job.  You can take it off with a razor blade or a scraper, sometimes you can just peel it off.  Once you have the old caulk out then you need to clean the are to remove any dirt then wipe it with alcohol to remove any soap.

Always buy caulking that is meant for kitchens and baths so you keep the area waterproof.  You will need to pick up a caulking gun but that is relatively inexpensive at a hardware store.  After you apply the caulk wet your finger and run it across the caulk, it will push it into the crevices and give it a smooth finish.

These are just a couple of simple home maintenance tricks you can do yourself, there are plenty of others that are in your skill set.  Owning a home is a big responsibility and regular maintenance will save you a fortune in the long run.

Selling Your Home Without an Agent

Selling Your Home Without an Agent

When it comes time to sell your home one of the ways you can get more money from the transaction is to sell the property yourself.  Realtors can command anywhere between 3-6% of the selling price, if your home is priced at $200,000 then you will pay a realtor somewhere between $6,000 – $12,000.  That’s a lot of cash you could be putting somewhere else.  Before you dismiss the notion of using a realtor you need to know that selling your home on your own isn’t a cake walk.  Selling your home without an agent is a lot of extra work, but if you’re determined then here are some tips to get you started.

Setting the Price

Most people overestimate the value of their home but you need to pull your emotions out of the equation and look at the data.  You can start by plugging your home into Zillow to get a pricing estimate based on things like your neighborhood and the size of your house.  Trulia is another site you can go to to get pricing information on recently sold homes. You can also hire an appraiser to evaluate it for you.


Advertising is far easier now than it used to be and it can all be done from a laptop in your living room.  You need to get your home listed on some of the more popular sites home buyers go to.  Start with your local Craigslist and from there you want to list on both Trulia and Zillow.  There is also and if you’re willing to spend the money you can also list it yourself on

Writing the Ad Copy

Realtors do this for a living so they know how to put together a compelling listing, you may want to take some time to compose your listing.  You want to get some really flattering pictures of your home and you might want to consider a photographer.  You need to include the basic stuff like where, how old, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and whether you have done major work recently like a new bathroom.

Hurry Up and Wait

This is the hard part, houses don’t sell overnight.  That is the case in most markets, so don’t be surprised if your phone isn’t ringing off the hook.  If you have gone weeks without any interest then it is time to re-evaluate.  There could be two reasons that your home hasn’t sold, you need to fix your marketing or it’s the price.  You will have to change at least one of them.

Selling your house yourself is completely doable, but you will have to put in some effort.  Take your time and you will get it sold.