Easy DIYs for Housebound Homeowners

Sequestered at home with time to spare? Here are 5 easy home repairs to make that a first-time do-it-yourselfer can accomplish.

By Gene And Katie Hamilton

10 Easy Home Upgrades

I overheard a woman stocking shelves at the grocery store happy to be at work. "If my husband, grandson and I were stuck home for two weeks, someone would get injured," she said. Those of us in the aisle all laughed with one customer agreeing. If you’re going stir crazy at home and enjoying plenty of quality time with the kids, why not take advantage of being there to check off some of those nasty little chores you’ve been avoiding. People much more organized than I am tell us how to organize our closets, basements and garages, purging away unused and unwanted items, but I’m suggesting you take it a step further and fix and repair things.

I took a look at some of the job costs for minor repairs and quick fixes and found some easy chores worth doing because you can pocket a nice savings compared with hiring a handyman. With major home centers and hardware stores open for the materials you need, you can order them online or pick up at a local store.

Here are five quick fixes you can do. Some are so small you’d have trouble finding a handyman to do them unless you combine several jobs to make it worth the trip to your house.

Caulk windows. Caulk 6 double-hung windows for $65, the cost of caulk and a caulk gun. You’ll save energy and money heating and cooling your home.

Repair a torn screen. For $20 bucks you can buy what you need to remove the torn screen and replace it with new screening and a splining tool (looks like a pizza cutter) to secure the material in place.

Repair wallboard. That hole behind the kitchen table chair or bathroom door is easy to repair but needs time between the sequence of steps so it’s a nuisance job for a contractor. For $17 buy a wallboard repair kit and patching compound and use a putty knife and sandpaper to make the fix. For damage to textured wallboard get a drywall repair tool with templates to match the texture and patching compound, both about $40.

Repair a toilet. Toilet not working right? Use a toilet repair kit which includes the replacement parts for $75 and tune up the toilet. To diagnose the problem go to www.fluidmaster.com.

Repair a garden hose. A bent fitting (easily crushed by a car tire) makes the hose useless but you can replace the fitting. Buy one for under $10 and use a utility knife and adjustable wrench to remove the old fitting and slide the new collar over the hose and secure it.

My friend Martha went the whole nine yards. What began as taking inventory of canned goods evolved into a major job of first removing them all, then washing and painting the walls and shelves of the pantry. That’s impressive.

Enjoy spending time with your family at home and get satisfaction from knowing you can make repairs to your home, no matter how small or large.