Professional labor is often one of the more expensive expenses in a homeowner’s maintenance and repair budget. Performing your home improvements and repairs gives you more control while saving you money. Common DIY favorites include repainting, changing electrical outlets, or installing plank flooring. There are other repair and remodel tasks that may not initially seem DIY friendly, but they are. Some tasks may be a little more demanding and outside your comfort zone, but you might actually appreciate the challenge and pick up new home repair and remodeling skills along the way. This read will look at some critical around the house repairs and remodeling you can do yourself.
Checking Your Septic System
Checking your septic system is one of the easiest around the house repairs and remodeling you can undertake. Septic tanks isolate floatable materials like grease, oil, and sediments from wastewater while also encouraging the digestion of organic matter. When a septic system is operating effectively, it discharges the liquid from the tank to a distribution box and into perforated pipes buried in chambers, a leach field, or other special units. The pipes then gradually release the sewage into the ground. Septic systems have been employed since the late 1800s. However, they didn’t become common until the 1960s. Before then, a cesspit or cesspool was the preferred method of waste removal.
Like caring for your automobile, regular maintenance of your septic system plays a significant role in how well it functions and how long it lasts. Before you can establish a regular pumping schedule, inspect your septic tanks for build-up every one to three years. Most septic tanks need to be pumped every three to five years. The frequency of septic inspection is determined by the size of the tank, the number of people living in the home, and the type and amount of solids that enter the tank. The good news is you can perform septic inspections yourself. The ‘stick test’ technique will walk you through the steps of calculating the tank’s operating capacity, measuring the quantity of scum and sludge within, and deciding if the tank needs to be pumped. A more comprehensive inspection will also involve the quality of the baffles and the pipe seals into and out of the tank.
Upgrading Your Furniture
Upgrading your furniture also falls under the category of around the house repairs and remodeling you can complete as a DIY project. Determining your budget should be the first step in upgrading your furniture. Knowing how much you’re willing to spend on an upgrade is important. The upgrade is the keyword here. Search for pieces that will serve you for many years. You may be tempted to go for the cheapest options available. Like with building supplies, however, this approach often translates to poor quality, and it doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune or go to pricey high-end stores.
The idea is to develop the mindset that exceptional quality often requires spending a bit more than you are accustomed to, but not too much. To avoid overspending, it’s crucial to establish how much you can and want to spend. It would be best if you also defined your aesthetic when upgrading your furniture. Some of the common style definitions are eclectic, traditional, rustic, industrial, midcentury modern, or French country. Once you have your aesthetic defined, start shopping for the best furniture manufacturing companies.
Getting New Shingles
There are several telltale signs of a worn-out roof that will likely spring leaks in the future. One of these is faulty shingles. The best course of action is to get new shingles. For seasoned roofers, installing shingles is a routine task. However, for those with no experience in roofing or home renovation, it can be intimidating. To start installing new shingles, make sure the aluminum drip edge aligns with the roof’s edge and, using a pencil, mark the top of your house on each end. Use a chalk line to sketch a line between the two markings to give it a straight edge. Let down the drip edge by at least a half-inch from the line to make room between the drip edge and the fascia board. Secure the drip edge using a hammer and one-fourteenth-inch galvanized nails for roofing. Follow the same process for gabled ends by putting the drip edge along the gable.
Next, take felt paper asphalt roofing weighing 30-lb. and spread and secure it with galvanized nails for roofing. When laying out the design of the shingles, start at the roof’s bottom and, to make sure the shingles hung over the drip edge, take a tape measure and position them one inch away from the roof’s edge. For the first course of shingles, mark the roof 12 inches up, and then mark every five inches throughout the rest of the roof. Do this on both sides. Use the chalk line to draw a straight line every five inches. You should also use it to draw a straight vertical line every six inches. You can install a starter course by removing the three tabs from a shingle and only leaving the top tar part. As you can see, installing new shingles isn’t complicated and can be categorized under around the house repairs and remodeling projects you can complete without professional help.
Revaluating Your Energy Consumption
The lights, TV, and refrigerator are just a few of the various appliances in a modern home. Today, we have PCs, tablets, charging phones, routers that are always on, entertainment systems, security systems, and surveillance cameras, as well as pet and baby monitors and Alexa, which is constantly listening. With all these appliances, it’s important to reevaluate your energy consumption. Even while a professional home energy assessment like solar due diligence is the best approach to finding out where your home is wasting energy and where you can make savings, you can perform your own straightforward but thorough walk-through and find numerous issues in any type of property.
Although a professional home energy evaluation is more comprehensive, the do-it-yourself approach can also flag up some of the simpler problems. Keep a note of the locations you’ve checked and the issues you’ve discovered as you walk through your house. You can use this list to prioritize your energy-efficiency improvements. Don’t just assume that there are no energy-saving opportunities because your home is new or recently built. Energy-saving technology has advanced quickly, outperforming the common training that most builders, including some of the most respected, have access to. Revaluating your energy consumption is also among the critical around the house repairs and remodeling projects you can do on your own.
Cleaning Your Drains
You don’t always need a professional to clear your drains; there are instances where you can do it yourself. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a common household ingredient that can be used to clean a variety of items, including stinky or blocked drains, clothing, and appliances. Baking soda, a natural mineral compound, has the ability to dissolve organic compounds like grease and mineral deposits. It has a mild disinfecting effect which combats odor-causing fungi and bacteria. You can prevent the formation of clogs by regularly cleaning with baking soda. Try baking soda first to see if it works before using chemical drain cleaners or dismantling the drain trap. Cleaning your drains is perhaps one of the easiest around the house repairs and remodeling projects you can complete on your own.
Reinstalling New Insulation
Reinstalling new insulation is also one of the around the house repairs and remodeling you can do without professional help. With certain insulation materials, you can save money by not hiring a professional to install your insulation. For example, mineral wool and fiberglass insulation installation are easy DIY tasks. Some insulation types, like spray foam insulation, call for expert assistance from a reputable spray foam insulation company. When installing insulation yourself, there are a few factors you’ll need to take into consideration. Without air sealing, adding insulation won’t provide the advantages you seek. This entails ensuring an air barrier is in place.
Additionally, you want to check whether your insulation is considerably compressed. You can’t achieve the R-value level shown on the packaging with compressed insulation.
Large spaces and gaps should also be avoided. Paying attention to the details is more valuable than you may think. For instance, if 1% of a 1000-square-foot attic isn’t insulated, you may assume that your attic insulation is 99% effective. However, due to the way heat flows, this isn’t the case. You may be experiencing a significant loss in the efficiency of your insulation.
Remulching Your Yard
Remulching your yard is also among the around the house repairs and remodeling projects you can complete yourself. The health of your soil and, consequently, the vitality of your plants and landscape material can benefit from the thoughtful use of mulch. It can also save you money, time, water, and effort. Mulching is also a great way of reusing things you may have sitting around your yard that would otherwise go to waste. Cleaning out your beds is the first step in re-mulching your yard. Get rid of sticks, debris, dried-up leaves, and old mulch from previous seasons. You can also take this time to clean up the edging of your beds. Using a spade, create a clear, defined border between your bed and lawn. If your region hasn’t received rainfall recently, moisten dry beds. The mulch keeps the moisture in. To stop weed seeds from sprouting, consider applying a pre-emergent herbicide before watering your beds. This is the ideal time for this since it has to be watered to activate.
One of the primary advantages of mulching is that it inhibits weed development, thus getting rid of weeds gives you an advantage. Once you’re done with these steps, spread the mulch. Using a shovel, wheelbarrow, or bag, make little piles of mulch. Next, use your hands to evenly spread the mulch across your garden, especially when applying it near the base of your plants. Your mulch should be two to four inches thick. The reason for this is that weeds can break through the thin mulch, and if your mulch is too thick, water won’t be able to get to the soil. After mulching, give the area one more watering to help the mulch settle into place.
Cleaning Your Basement or Garage
While cleaning the attic, your basement, or garage may not seem necessary as these spaces are often concealed, doing so offers certain advantages. Cleaning away dust from your basement or garage can make your entire home cleaner and help with allergies and asthma symptoms. It also makes it easier to identify problems with pests, insulation, mold, and leaks. Finally, keeping your possessions clean can help them last longer, especially clothes and other materials, which can deteriorate in soiled and humid environments. Cleaning these areas a couple of times each year makes the job more manageable. Always be mindful of your safety. Wear a filtering face mask as you clean to protect your lungs from allergens because these rooms are frequently filthy and dusty. Wear gloves to shield your hands from grime and sharp pointy objects. To be extra cautious, always step on floor joists rather than in between them when in your attic. If there are things you need to throw away, consider professional junk removal services.
Repainting Your House
Repainting your home is one of the most common around the house repairs and remodeling projects which can be completed without professional help. As with most home projects, you can repaint your home as a DIY project. This approach offers a number of advantages. For instance, using your own labor can be cheaper overall compared to engaging professional exterior house painters. Theoretically, it is less expensive than hiring a professional painter. A painter paints for money; you paint for free, but, of course, your time is equally valuable. Therefore, when thinking about the costs, consider whether you can do it yourself and whether you have the time to complete it without delays. You also get more control over the project. It is typical for a professional to offer strong recommendations when painting a certain color scheme. When you DIY this home project, there’s no one to tell you what to do and what not to do. Sticking to your guns is much easier when only your opinion matters.
It might make sense sometimes to call for professional reinforcement when something goes wrong in your home, but it’s not always necessary. There are several common home repairs and remodeling projects you can handle yourself. You just need to know where to start.