Is that honey-do list for your significant other getting longer than the first draft of War and Peace? If company is coming to town or you simply cannot listen to the squeaking door for one more day, take matters – and the screwdriver – into your own hands. There are a number of simple home repairs that require little more than a bit of time, some finesse and a steady hand. Better yet, these repairs cost pennies to complete and might even help avert the need for a costly call to the local handyman. This frees up some much-needed funds for that cute curio cabinet you’ve been eying.
Install new door hinges. Nothing dresses up the squeaking, painted over and unsightly doors than the nice, brushed nickel door hinges you bought together with their matching door knobs. Unfortunately, these hinges have been sitting in their boxes for the better part of six months even though the doorknobs are already installed. Rejuvenate your doors today with the attractive new hinges. Since you’ll be taking down a good-sized door, make sure you have a place to either lean it against the wall of lay it down flat on the floor. Next, take a good look at the hinge types and find out if they are loose pin hinges – the ones where you can tap the pin out from below – or fixed pin models that require removal with the door in place. Use a hammer and screwdriver to tap out the loose pin — or unscrew the door from the hinges — and lay the door down flat. Unscrew the hinges completely from door and frame. Reverse the process with the new hinges. Generously oil the hinges to ensure a squeak-free performance.
Paint a rusty spigot. You attach the garden hose to it and you initially planned on having the spigot blend into the background by painting it the same color as the house. Time got away from you and the rusty spigot and water line just never got that coat of paint. This weekend – assuming its above 50 degrees Fahrenheit but below 90 degrees — is your time to shine! Brush off the rust with a steel wool. Primer the area to prevent future rust buildup. Allow the primer to dry completely and apply a coat of paint to let the outdoor spigot blend in with the rest of the home. Add a second coat for good measure. Be careful not to paint the tap valve shut in the process!
Permanently un-stick a drawer. Every home has one or more pieces of furniture that have some sticking drawers. Frequently the case with hand-me-downs you just cannot bear to let go, these sticky drawers nevertheless mar the enjoyment and functionality of the pieces. Here is what you do: open up the drawer as far as possible. Empty it out completely. Heat the interior of the drawer (a heating pad works wonders!). This may sound like an odd bit of advice, but if you can get the wood to contract, removing the drawer completely is actually possible. Once the drawer is out, look for the places that are devoid of paint or stain. This is where the wood has been rubbing against the rails. Sand these spots as well as the rails. Go easy with the sanding and frequently try to fit the drawer into its opening; do not force it all the way in! You just want to find the sweet spot when sanding so that you do not get the drawer to be too loose. Brush on some paraffin wax – or some cheap soap – to act as a lubricant when re-inserting the drawer. Who knew that fixing a sticking drawer was this easy!
More from Sylvia Cochran:
DIY Refinishing Hardwood Floors? Read This FAQ First!
RV Home Improvements for the DIY Weekend Warrior
Building Plans for Outdoor Kitchens: Tips and Must-Have Gadgetry
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