Fix It Yourself and Save
When things around the house break, it might seem easiest to call a professional.
But if you have a little faith in your own handy abilities, having someone fix it for you probably isn't necessary.
READ: Quick Home Repairs to Do Before Holiday Guests Arrive
Our friends over at Real Simple share five projects you can do around the house for just a fraction of what a pro might cost.
Repair a Small Crack in Drywall
Time: 30 minutes of active work, plus 25 minutes of drying time.
What you need: Spackle ($3.50, homedepot.com), a putty knife ($6, homedepot.com), a fan or hair dryer, fine-grit sandpaper, interior-latex primer, a small paintbrush or roller, and paint (ideally left over from when you painted the room).
Step 1. Scoop enough spackle on the putty knife to cover the crack. Spread it over the flaw completely. Do not scrape away the excess.Step 2. Aim a fan at the spot or blast it with a hair dryer set on low for 10 to 15 minutes to expedite drying.Step 3. Once it’s dry, sand the surface lightly with sandpaper until the patch is smooth and flush with the wall.Step 4. To disguise your handiwork, apply a thin coat of primer using a small brush or roller. Run the fan or hair dryer for three minutes to promote faster drying.Step 5. Apply two coats of matching wall paint. Use the fan or dryer for two to three minutes after each coat.
A pro charges: $75
DIY cost: $0, after the initial $9.50 for supplies
Fix a Faucet That Spits
Time: Five minutes.
What you need: Two rags, an adjustable wrench or pliers, painter’s or masking tape, dish detergent, a sponge, and a wire brush.
How-to: Chances are you have a dirty aerator―the mesh piece located inside the tip of the faucet. All you have to do is take it out and clean it. (If it’s beyond repair, buy a replacement at a hardware store.) Before you start, place one rag over the drain to catch any falling parts and spread another on the counter so you can lay the pieces on it. Cover the jaws of the wrench or pliers with tape to avoid scratches. Unscrew the tip of the faucet, turning it counterclockwise with your fingers or, if it’s on too tight, one of the tools. The aerator may be made up of several components. Set them down in the order you remove them. Wash each with warm water, dish detergent, and a sponge; use a wire brush for caked-on grime. Reassemble the parts in the reverse order, screw the unit back on―and overflow with pride.
A pro charges: $100
DIY cost: $0