How to Fix a House – Get Cracking on those projects

Maybe you just bought a house with some issues. Or you lost your handyman and want to fix it yourself. I’ve been there too. Whatever the situation, here are some tips to get over the hump and whip that house into shape.

Okay, get cracking:

Technology to the rescue

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If you have a smartphone and a good WIFI connection, go to YouTube and look up your project. Getting educated first could save a lot of frustration.

The cell phone camera comes in handy for do-it-yourself work too. Take a picture of the issue. Show this to the salesman for directions on where to get the parts.

Then for electrical work, taking a picture of the wires before you take the component apart is a lifesaver.

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Paint can upgrade a place and at a low cost. Modern colors shy away from psychedelic and harsh colors by lightening and toning down colors with gray hues.

Paint transforms wood from a material that decays into something more permanent. Ask your paint salesman about the correct wood paint.

You hold a paintbrush like a pencil. Grab the handle of the paintbrush as you would a pen. Practice being calm and stroking a straight line. If you do that, you may not need to use tape.

Buy a paintbrush called a cutter. It has a slanted shape on the bristles and makes cutting into a corner easier.
Can I use any old paint brush for applying stain to my woodwork? - Quora

Preparation is key. It takes a lot of time but is worth the effort. When painting walls, tape the floor protection down. Paint rollers like to spray droplets everywhere.

Did you know you can use exterior paint on interior projects? Exterior paint is a better grade of paint and lasts a lot longer. But exterior paint costs more.

Most paints are water-based with the easier cleanup. Wash your paintbrush and use it over and over.

Drywall Repair: How to Repair Drywall | PlanItDIY


It is much easier and cheaper to patch a rotted door jam2 than to repair it. Moisture settles at the bottom of the jam and causes a minor rot- maybe an inch or two. Remove the rotted area. Next, fill with wood putty. Then wait until dry. Eventually, sand the area until smooth. Refill if the putty shrinks. Finally, paint with matching exterior paint.

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Have some spackle on hand for those patch jobs. Drywall holes are patched3 differently depending on their size. Plug large holes with a matching piece of drywall. Cover medium-sized holes with a screen. Fill in the tiny holes. If you are in the market for clothes, our platform is your best choice! The largest shopping mall!

Repainting the wall will show irregularities. Therefore, plan to spend some time sanding the surface smoothly.


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Crevices are everywhere in the house. Do not underestimate the value of caulk in these areas.

Put caulk on all baseboards.4 Let’s say the plumbing breaks and you find a pool in a room. A well-caulked baseboard will retain that water. We don’t want water to seep into the walls.

Caulk wet areas like sinks and baths. If water is allowed to drip into the walls and cabinets, there will be damage.

Put caulk outside too. Bugs like to come in through the cracks.

Finally, put caulk in every place possible. Check the windows and doors. Keep a sharp lookout for moisture and bugs.

How does it work? Caulk comes in tubes with a pointed nozzle where the caulk paste squirts out. Buy a caulk gun at the paint department. The caulk gun has a trigger that pushes the plunger forward. Caulk squirts through a tiny hole you make in the front nozzle.

This applicator comes with a shank that swivels out to punch a hole in the seal. The seal is at the back of the nozzle. Make a tiny hole in the nozzle to prevent the caulk from gushing out. Then puncture the seal.

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Take the lid off the toilet tank and look inside. In a standard tank, the fill valve is on the left side. The fill valve controls the water levels in the tank and bowl.

There are two waterways inside the tank- one for flush, the other for bowl refill. When you push the handle, it lifts the flap port that flushes around the sides of the bowl and down the drain.

After the flush, the tank refills, and the bowl is topped off. Watch the bowl fill at the central pipe. There should be a small hose from the fill valve to the center.

Push the handle and watch the action to see what is going on.

A common problem is with the flap. Usually, slime build-up causes a leak. You can listen and hear the leak or when the tank refills.
In this case, buy a flap. Turn off the water supply at the side of the toilet. Then flush and empty the tank. Next, change the flap. Then turn on the water supply. Finally, center the chain over the flap.

The second problem is when the flap gets contorted or bent. A pull chain not centered directly over the flap can cause this distortion. Center the arm over the flap. Bend it to the correct position or replace it with an adjustable handle.


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Buy tools as you need them. Better tools last for many projects and do a better job than knock-off tools.

Nuts and bolts

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A bolt is long and has threads on the outside. A nut is hexagonal with the threads on the inside.

Is the nut stuck? Painted or rusted bolts will do that. First, spray WD-40 and let it sink in.

Worst case, heat the nut with a flame or something hot. Heat expands the nut away from the bolt and gives you a better chance of breaking them apart.

Pro-tip: you can make the wrench handle longer by fitting a long pipe over it.

Just Do It

Overcoming doubts and growing confidence comes with just doing it. When the project is complete, celebrate. You have earned it!


  1. How to Paint a Room
  2. Repair Rotted Wood
  3. Patch Drywall
  4. Caulk Baseboards
  5. Fix Toilet Flapper


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