Common Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself


A new year brings along fresh motivation to get your house in order. You might even be ready to tackle that list of repairs around the house.

“You can save a lot of money if you use a little elbow grease for small fixes at home,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent homeowners insurance agency.

Below are some common household repairs along with instructions for DIY.

Hanging Curtains

Curtains can transform the look of a room and even help with energy efficiency. Start by measuring correctly and determine how you want your curtains to hang. Be sure they are long enough to touch the floor, you can even move the rod up the wall if necessary. Use curtains twice the width of the window so they look full. Iron or steam the curtains before hanging. When choosing hardware, consider the weight of the drapes. The weight of your curtains will determine if you need extra support and added hardware.

Stuck sliding door

If your sliding door is stuck, it could be debris clogging the track. Popular Mechanics gives directions on how to fix the problem yourself.

“Start by removing the door from the track. The removal process can vary by door, but typically, it requires removing the screws at the top and bottom rails, then pulling off the stile cover that keeps the door panels from lifting out. Then lift up the door and pull the bottom toward you to remove it from the track.”

“It’s a good idea to have a helper since the door is heavy. Lay the door flat and look at the wheels along the bottom. If they’re broken, you’ll need to replace them. Otherwise, clean the wheels, door bottom, and door track with warm, soapy water. Wipe everything dry, then replace the door. Spray silicone lubricant on the track, then slide the door back and forth a few times to spread out the lubricant across the track.”

Patching a hole in drywall

To cover up unwanted picture holes, This Old House recommends, “Overfill holes with a lightweight patching compound. Once dry, smooth with a damp sponge.” This leaves no damage to the wall paint like sandpaper.

Install a smart switch

 “Most electrical work should be left to the professionals,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.

However, for easy projects like installing a smart switch such as WeMo, it is an easy DIY. Start by turning off the circuit breaker. Remove the faceplate covering the switch. Next, remove the switch from the wall. You will see two wires connected to screws on the switch. Disconnect the wires and attach then to the new switch.

Fix a running toilet

Lift off the lid to the back of the toilet, reattach the chain if necessary. If that is not the problem, you can buy a toilet rebuild kit from a hardware or big box store. These kits contain easy directions to follow.

GreatFlorida Insurance offers homeowners insurance to keep your home in top condition. Contact us today.