If you own a home, or even if you rent, you’re bound to run into some problems every now and then that need fixing. The issues you’ll face can range from holes in the drywall to clogged toilets and leaky roofs. Having a few handyman tricks up your sleeve can save the day and save a lot of money. It’s easy to do most of these fixes. All you need is a decent set of tools and a bit of knowledge, and you’ll be known as Mr. or Mrs. Fix-It by all your friends and family.
Know Your Drywall
Drywall, plaster, and sheetrock; people call it different things in different parts of the country. There’s also different ways to spray-finish it, too, with splatter-knockdown, orange peel and flat coatings being popular applications. Drywall is something that can easily get damaged by kids, doors and a myriad of other causes. However, knowing a quick patch technique can save you money and headaches.
- Mark and Score – Let’s take a small, fist-sized hole as an example. Get a carpenter’s square or any straight edge and mark with a pencil a square around the hole. Be sure to make the outline larger than the hole and give yourself an inch or two of unbroken drywall. With a razor knife, score the drywall along the pencil line.
- Knock Out the Old Drywall – Now, with a chisel and hammer, bust the damaged drywall out of the hole and clean up the edges.
- Cut and Attach Wood Strips – Behind the two horizontal sides of the drywall square, attach two strips of two inch by one inch wood backing to the inside of the drywall with at least three, two inch wood screws. A drill will come in handy for this application.
- Apply the Patch – Take tight measurements of the hole, and cut out a new piece of drywall. Place the square piece within the hole and attach with a few wood screws. Grab some drywall tape and mud and cover the joints. If the patch is lower than the existing wall-plane, fill it up with mud and sand it flush once it dries.
- Spray Your Finish Coat – You can find several different kinds of spray textures in the can at your local hardware store.
Maintain Your Roof
A major problem area, especially on older homes, is the roof and gutter system. Clogs in valleys can lead to leaks and damage. This is because rain water cannot properly drain and backs-up under the metal flashing and shingles, leaking into your home. Keeping your gutters free and clear will prevent most problems. It’s a good idea to regularly clean out your gutters and make sure your downspouts are clear, especially in the fall when a lot of leaves and debris builds-up.
Maintenance is simple. Grab a ladder or gain access to your roof and move down the gutter line removing any clutter. Heavily clogged downspouts can be sprayed out with a pressure washer or use a toilet snake. Following a good maintenance plan will ensure you avoid costly repairs in the future.
It’s good to know a thing or two about fixing the stuff in your home. Most the time solid maintenance will keep everything in working order.