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If you own a home, you are bound to run into repairs that must be made.  Things break down or stop working, and it can be expensive to have them repaired or replaced by a contractor or even a local handyman.  Fortunately, there are lots of repairs that you can do yourself without calling anyone or paying through the nose.

Painting a Room:  This is a simple home improvement that can really change the appearance of a room.  One of the most important steps in this project, and one that people often skip, is to prep the room.  Remove all the furniture, curtain rods, light switches, and other hardware that would get in the way of your brush or roller.  It takes extra time at the beginning, but it will save you tons of time when you’re actually painting and don’t have to go around everything.  Next, make sure you clean the walls by wiping them down with a damp sponge and fix any nail holes with spackle.  Mask off the trim with painter’s tape and you’re ready to go.

Loosen a Stuck Window:  First, make sure the window hasn’t been painted shut by running an X-acto knife around the edges.  Next, apply silicone spray lubricant (found at hardware stores) to a rag and run it along the tracks. This should work no matter what the tracks are made of.

Applying Caulk:  You’ll find caulk around the base of your toilet and around your tub.  It prevents water from leaking into the spaces in between and causing water damage deep in the floors and walls. Over time, it can become discolored or moldy and may need to be replaced.

First, you must remove the old caulk with a razor blade and a putty knife.  There are products available at the hardware store that will soften it to make removal easier.  Once it’s gone, use paint thinner to remove any residue.

Use masking tape to mark off the area you want to caulk, leaving only the area where you actually want the material to go.  Run a bead using a caulking gun.  It will look sloppy, but that’s okay.  Run your finger along the caulk to smooth it, and then remove the tape.

Unclog a Toilet:  Use a good quality toilet plunger (not a sink plunger) to clear a clog.  Make sure there is water in the toilet bowl, since a plunger works by pushing and pulling water through the pipes, not air.  Placing the plunger over the drain hole, use sharp movements to push it down and pull it up again.  Slow, gentle plunges won’t work.

If plunging doesn’t seem to do the trick, consider using an enzyme waste removal product.  This will liquefy the waste that is causing the clog.  Keep in mind that this will not work if the clog is caused by something like a child’s toy, which will likely need to be removed by hand.

When small repairs come up around the home, you don’t have to feel helpless.  Keep a few basic tools around so that you are always ready when you need them, such as a hammer, pliers, a drill, and several types of screwdrivers.  Keep in mind that there are also a lot of tutorials and videos online that can show you – step by step – how to replace or repair the malfunctioning part.  You’ll save a lot of money and be proud of your accomplishments!

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