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Skip The Handyman: 5 Simple DIY Repairs

Skip The Handyman: 5 Simple DIY Repairs

As a homeowner, household repairs can become increasingly costly, especially if you neglect to fix them in a timely manner. Learning how to make common repairs, and only calling the handyman for major crises, can save hundreds of dollars.

Skip the handyman by learning how to fix these five common household issues.

Clean Your Refrigerator Coils

Refrigerator Coils

    If your fridge isn’t cooling as well as you think it should, check the temperature dial and cooling coils before hollering for the professionals. Sometimes the dial gets bumped or otherwise accidentally changed, so you just have to move the temperature dial to a cooler setting. If that doesn’t do it, pull the unit out, grab a flashlight, and check out the cooling coils on the bottom or back of the unit.

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    The coils could easily be covered in pet hair and dust, which could cause the unit to act sluggish. To prevent this from happening in the future, make a conscious effort to clean this part of the refrigerator each month as part of a cleaning routine.

    Repair Drywall Holes

    Drywall Holes

      As sturdy as it is, drywall can only withstand so much abuse. Doors flung open with too much verve can easily leave a doorknob-shaped hole, for instance. Heavy artwork or mirrors can fall off the wall, taking a chunk of the wall with it, not to mention quite the sharp mess to carefully sweep up.

      The easiest way to tackle repairing these mishaps is to pick up a drywall repair kit at your local hardware store. If one of these isn’t available, all you’ll need is a scrap of drywall, a leftover piece of window screening, a container of joint compound, and a putty knife, and you’re in business. If you see issues like this while you’re looking into home buying, don’t let it deter you from the property; you’ll easily fix that in no time. On the other hand, of course, you could still use it for leverage in the negotiation process.

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      Fix a Faulty Faucet

      aerator on the faucet

        Before calling the handyman for this one, check the aerator on the faucet in question. The aerator is the round attachment at the end of the faucet that has a mesh filter. Over time, these things can get clogged with minerals and other gunk from the water, as well as debris that can break loose inside the piping.

        Remove the aerator by turning it counter-clockwise, using a set of pliers to grip it. Now you can clean it and any other parts of the faucet that could be causing a backup. Sometimes it’s better to simply replace it. Take it to the hardware store to make sure you choose the correct size, and screw the new one in place.

        Check the Pilot Light on a Water Heater

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        water heater

          If you’re noticing that your hot water isn’t so hot, don’t call the plumber just yet. Take off the metal cover on the water heater unit and check to see if the pilot light has gone out. If the flame isn’t there, follow the instructions on the user manual to re-light it.

          If you have a high-efficiency water heater, the pilot light won’t be lit all the time. If that’s the case, thoroughly read through the owner’s manual for FAQs or troubleshooting guidance before reaching for the phone and calling your resident handyman.

          Clean the Power Source on a Gas Stove

          gas stove

            Every now and then, gas stoves require certain maintenance measures, but it’s something you could potentially handle yourself. Before calling in reinforcements that can cost you a pretty penny, take a good look at the problem.

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            Can you hear or smell gas coming out of the burner when you turn it on? If so, it’s likely an issue with the lighter. Check to see if there’s been a power interruption (even gas stoves need electricity). Lastly, if you can tell that gas is coming out and the unit has power, clean the ignition near the burner and the ignition hole with a dry toothbrush.

            If you don’t hear or smell any gas coming out, check the gas supply to make sure there hasn’t been an interruption there.

            According to the home insurance map, some states can pay up to $1,500 for home insurance. This is great to protect your home if anything were to go wrong, however there will inevitably always be other expenses you’ll need to cover top keep your home safe. Knowing how to identify which ones are easily fixed and which ones need a professional’s touch will save you a lot of money. No matter your financial situation, knowing these basic tips will come in handy, whether you’re trying to avoid paying a handyman, or if it’s a holiday or weekend and they aren’t available. Next time you run into repair issues around your home, remember these simple tips.

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            Last Updated on November 20, 2018

            10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

            10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

            A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

            Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

            1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

            Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

            If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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            2. You put the cart before the horse.

            “Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

            3. You don’t believe in yourself.

            A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

            4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

            The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

            5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

            If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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            6. You don’t enjoy the process.

            Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

            The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

            7. You’re trying too hard.

            Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

            8. You don’t track your progress.

            Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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            9. You have no social support.

            It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

            10. You know your what but not your why.

            The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

            Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

            Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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            Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

            Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

            Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

            • The more specific you can make your goal,
            • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
            • The more encouraged you’ll be,
            • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

            I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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