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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 July 10, 2020

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

            We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

            So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

            Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

            What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

            Boundaries are limits

            —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

            Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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            Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

            Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

            Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

            How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

            Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

            1. Self-Awareness Comes First

            Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

            You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

            To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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            You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

            • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
            • When do you feel disrespected?
            • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
            • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
            • When do you want to be alone?
            • How much space do you need?

            You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

            2. Clear Communication Is Essential

            Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

            Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

            3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

            Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

            That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

            Sample language:

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            • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
            • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
            • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
            • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
            • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
            • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
            • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

            Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

            4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

            Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

            Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

            Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

            We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

            It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

            It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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            Final Thoughts

            Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

            Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

            Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

            The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

            Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

            Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

            They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

            Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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