Tiny Home Repairs for Big Houses: Small Differences That Add Up
When it comes to making home repairs, most people tend to think of the big picture. Fixing a broken foundation, running pipes from your basement to you upstairs bathroom or performing your own water heater repair come to mind. Not surprisingly, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the repairs that may need to be done on your home when you talk about work that should be reserved for contractors. But what can you, a humble homeowner do? Believe it or not, small home repairs can make all the differences in keeping your property running like a well-oiled race car.
If you’re inclined to think that home repairs, renovations or just general positive upkeep of your home is for the rich and famous, think again. While you’re probably not going to get your own reality show anytime soon (but please, work on that clothing line), nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, after completing a kitchen renovation the vast majority of people report a greater desire to be at home. It’s easy to see why: if your home is nice and comfortable, where else would you want to go? It costs less than the Four Seasons in any city and you’ve got access to your own personalized bathroom, pantry, and couch. Instead of having prep kitchen rental materials, you can actually own the kitchen and use it to you’re heart’s content. Save the studio for your new YoutTube video. When you’re home, what more could you ask for?
There are lots of simple things that you might not even classify as “repairs” that can help you out on a yearly basis. Painting the walls, inspecting commonly used areas for damage, and making sure that fuses & light bulbs are in working order are just a handful of things you can do on your own in order to improve your home. A benefit to doing it yourself is that you gain experience with the layout and features of your home while having a keen familiarity with common things that go wrong. When you know what things commonly tend to plague your home, then you can seek out professionals to either remedy them out of existence or suggest ways to work around them. But make no mistake, small home repairs can make a big difference.
Who Cares About Their Garage?
The garage is a funny place. You pull your car in, hop out and probably don’t give it a second thought. Maybe there are old boxes in there of baseball cards and old jam recipes, collecting dust for a better day when Babe Ruth and Concord Grape rule supreme again. Unless you have some sort of studio or workshop, it seems to be accepted that garages are just necessary add-ons to the house where little goes wrong.
Nothing could be further from the truth, and if not taken care of your garage could become an entry point for everything that eventually goes wrong in your home.
Unless you have a manual garage door, most garages are opened by either an electronic remote or password of some sort. Not only are these prone to failure or hacking, but eventually they do need to be replaced. Since you’re probably not a garage technology aficionado nor computer whiz, it’s more than likely you’ll have a garage door professional come out to evaluate your situation. Be sure to ask them if your garage door system is adequate and updated, whether you need garage door spring repair or if they notice any leaks, cracks, or damage to your home because of (or exacerbated by) the door. It is a common concern that garage doors become brittle, unstable, and old after many years and let in the elements to your garage, which leads to your home. Not only can this result in expensive water damage repair bills if a storm hits, but thieves and criminals can take advantage of a worn-down garage door as an easy break-in point. So while small home repairs to the outside of your house can seem insignificant, they might actually save your life (or at least thousands of dollars).
Don’t Be Bugged by Pests, Seek Out the Best
We welcome all sorts of critters into our home, whether they fetch tennis balls or eventually grow up to go to college. But along with these cute bugs comes all the pests that exist in the outside world beyond the confines of your slice of heaven. Cockroaches, beetles, and snakes (oh my!) all seem to have a way of meandering into the wrong place at the right time, even if you’re just making small home repairs and think you’re locked up tighter than a drum. But rest assured that like specialty contractors that know how to install a chandelier just right, there are many different types of exterminators that can help rid you of this problem. Some even specialize in harm reduction if you’re against killing living things or noxious chemicals entering your abode. There truly is an option available to everyone.
If your budget doesn’t allow for exterminators or you’d rather not have someone looking in the nooks and crannies of your castle, then rest assured that there are multiple DIY options. Mouse and rat traps are an old standard for killing a single animal, but you can also make traps that include food and simply corner them within a box to release outdoors. Unfortunately for smaller pests like flies, beetles, and roaches, the methods for capture and control can only do so much. Putting up flypaper, glue traps, and other pest control devices will help control the population, but eventually, you will need to locate the source of the infestation.
Sometimes you won’t even notice pests until you’re making small home repairs and come across their habitat. For instance, spiders love to spin webs in dark corners with lots of angles. If you haven’t replaced window blinds in one room (or multiple rooms) for a while, then you should expect this to be the perfect place to find a dozing spider, eagerly waiting for some other pest to enter its web and become dinner. Make sure to wear gloves and old clothing when cleaning out these areas in order to reduce the chance of being bitten or ruining a great outfit.
Pools, Drains and Water Damage Prevention
On a hot summer day, there’s nothing better than an outdoor pool. Whether rain or shine, it adds value to a house not only monetarily, but in comfort. As with all nice things, with this comfort and value comes responsibility. Swimming pools need to be cared for often in order not to mold or harbor dangerous aquatic animals (such as snakes) that will definitely ruin your swim. In addition to adding cleaning chemicals and checking for dangerous critters, eventually you will have to drain the pool of all its water if the drain becomes clogged. This can be both expensive, laborious and is certainly not in the realm of small home repairs.
It is recommended that for major outdoor investments like pools you always hire a professional. Not because you’re not competent to do the job, but because there is a lot of specialized equipment that goes into the cleaning process and sometimes things can get interesting. If your pool has never had a deep cleaning or drain cleaning/flushing, the contractor may actually have to don special protective gear to insulate them from the harmful effects of concentrated chlorine and other chemicals used in the disinfecting process. You definitely don’t want these things on your skin or in your eyes, so it’s best to watch from afar unless you are also allowed to don protective gear.
While we’re speaking about water, it’s worth noting that water damage is both one of the most common ways that a home loses value as well as the most preventable. Water can seep into the foundation of your home or a room and the damage is the same. Mold, cracks, loss of sealant, and more come with the territory of too much water and the effect only compounds if you live in a humid area. An area where water damage often happens (but people don’t suspect it) is with air conditioners leaking and malfunctioning. So while it’s great to have a water damage specialist come over and try to go through your entire house, it may also be worth calling an air conditioning repair service to maintain your A/C unit and ease that worry. When dwelling on small home repairs that you can do yourself, keep the A/C and major home appliances out of it.
Last, but not least, remember that there are drains all around your home (not just in your pool). From the shower to your kitchen sink, drains let water down and safely out of your home. They also let in a lot of bad things like food, dust, garbage and everything in between. Unfortunately, if you don’t look inside every once in a while and roll up your sleeves to do some cleaning, this could turn out to be a big problem. Everyone is familiar with too much hair stuck in the drain and needing to purchase drain clear at the store, but what about larger clogs in your kitchen or basement? It depends on what exactly is clogging the drain (things like oils and gum can be notoriously hard to unclog), but if there’s a will, there’s a way. Sometimes you may have to enlist the services of a plumber to get access to caustic cleaners that will get the job done, other times you may simply be able to pick something up from the grocery store. Do yourself a favor and know the status of your house pipes before you go pouring chemicals down below. Not only could these chemicals be against the law and get into the water supply, but you could eat through old plumbing and soon have a big water problem on your hands.
A Fresh Coat of Paint Can Make Things Sparkle with Novelty
Who doesn’t like a fresh coat of paint (besides people sensitive to smells)? Nobody, that’s who. And for just pennies on the dollar you can transform a previously drab room into a bright yoga studio, baby nursery or cozy office. Perhaps this new room could even be the center of a small home-based business. Having trouble deciding on the color? Don’t let it keep your down or pull your hair out. Gone are the days when you had to physically buy cans of paint and put stripes on the wall to see which fits. Now there are all sorts of temporary samples, phone apps and more to help you decide on exactly which color is correct before committing to the wall.
There is now a plethora of information on how colors affect our psychology and perception. Red makes us hungrier, while blue calms us down. Depending on what you want the room to convey or be, you can look up different color combinations and designs and plan appropriately. Don’t be afraid to paint one wall, see how it looks and then either go back to square one and continue. Sometimes it looks good on a sample, or through an app, but terrible in real life. Unfortunately, this is just the cost of doing business and going hard in the paint. Hopefully you’ll feel a sense of ease, calm and accomplishment when the brush enters your hand to make it worthwhile.
Painting a room can also help inspire inspections from a certified contractor or repair specialist, because in order to paint a room you usually need to clear it out completely (or at least move everything to the center). Once you’ve got a clean room, it’s much easier to spot water damage, electrical outlets that need to be tightened, carpeting concerns and much more. You’ll be glad that by trying to spruce a room up, you can improve it in more ways than one.
Just Because You’re Done with Small Home Repairs Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Relax in a BIG Way
Repairs can be frustrating, time-consuming and banal, no matter how small they are. It is incalculable the amount of divorces, friendships and lost productivity that has resulted from people being stressed out about something as tiny as small home repairs. But rest assured, it does happen. Remember to take frequent breaks anytime you’re putting in the effort to repair your home, and perhaps even try to have a little fun with it.
It’s your home, isn’t the point to do what you want to? When making small home repairs that don’t require you to use dangerous power tools or alert the neighborhood that the electricity may turn off for a couple hours, make it interesting. There’s nothing wrong with making drinks if you’re just painting a room or trying to plan where sprinklers should be installed. It makes the day (and work) go by faster if you listen to music while performing trivial repairs. Just make sure to keep your wits about you, and even the biggest curmudgeon can have a blast while getting work done.