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50 Common Home Repairs That Everyone Faces [Simple DIY Fixes]

By: Susie
Updated On: December 23, 2023

Like countless others, you’ve likely encountered a leaky faucet, a squeaky door, or a stubborn drawer that won’t close right.

These are indeed some of the common home repairs you might face as a homeowner. This blog addresses these and brings you an extensive list of 50 common home repairs everyone inevitably encounters at one point or another.

Whether it’s an annoying drip in your bathroom sink or cracked tiles on your patio, it’s essential to treat these issues in a timely to prevent further damage.

Armed with this guide, you’ll be better able to spot potential problems in your space and know when it’s time to call in the professionals.

So, let’s roll up our sleeves and familiarize ourselves with these essential fixes that every homeowner should be aware of.

Contents

Common Home Repairs that everyone faces

It’s a universal truth – things break, often when you least expect it. And your home is no exception. No one knows this better than homeowners, who understand that repair tasks are a part of the home-owning journey, from fixing a leaky faucet to replacing a burnt-out light bulb.

The following sections will guide you through some common home repairs everyone faces and how to approach them.

Fixing a leaky faucet

There’s hardly anything as annoying as the constant dripping of a leaky faucet. Besides running up your water bill, it can lead to mold or rust. To fix it, first recognize what kind of faucet you have: ball, cartridge, or disk.

Fixing a leaky faucet

Each has different repair steps, but generally speaking, you will need to close the water supply valve and open the faucet to drain any existing water before dismantling it; replace any worn-out parts like washers or rubber seals before reassembling.

Unclogging a drain

Water pooling around your feet during a shower is typically indicative of a drain blockage. This may be caused by hair buildup or soap scum stuck further down.

A good first step is using a plunger or hand auger to dislodge the clog if it’s within reach. If not, chemical solutions available in stores can dissolve tougher clogs but should ideally be avoided due to their corrosive nature.

Patching a hole in drywall

Whether from door knobs, roughhousing, or moving mishaps, drywall holes happen. But don’t fret – patching one up isn’t as hard as you think.

You’ll need patch kits for smaller holes, and for larger ones, you’ll need drywall sheets for replacement. Just remember, safety first; never attempt repair work on walls hiding electrical wiring without consulting an expert.

Replacing a broken tile

A chipped or cracked tile can stand out like a sore thumb. Replacing one is about carefully removing the broken tile and any leftover adhesive, applying new adhesive onto your replacement tile, placing it into the space, and filling up any gaps with grout.

You might need to seal it finally to match the look of other tiles.

Fixing a running toilet

If your toilet constantly sounds like it’s refilling, you’ve got a running problem. Check the fill tube first; if it’s not inserted about one inch into the overflow tube, water could be siphoned out, resulting in constant refilling.

If that’s not the issue, check the flapper for wear or breakage. A simple replacement kit from your hardware store may solve your problem.

Replacing a damaged window screen

Window screens play an essential role in keeping pests out while letting fresh air in, but they are susceptible to wear over time.

Replacing one isn’t hard: remove the old screen and spline from their grooves on the window; put your new screen over and cut down to approximate size before using a spline roller to press new spline and screen into place.

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Tightening loose doorknobs

Over time, repeated usage can loosen up doorknobs, causing them to become unsafe or even ineffectual in latching doors shut.

The good news is fixing this mostly requires a screwdriver. Locate screw holes (hint: they may be hidden behind trim plates!) and tighten screws until the knob feels solid again.

Replacing burnt-out light bulbs

Surely, everyone has had experience replacing a burnt-out light bulb. But did you know energy-efficient LED bulbs can drastically reduce how often you have to perform this chore?

Replacing burnt-out light bulbs

LED bulbs are rated at 25K-50K hours of use as opposed to 1K for incandescent! An easy swap lets you save energy while sparing yourself climbing up step stools frequently.

Clearing a blocked toilet

This might be one of the least favorite homeowner tasks, but thankfully, we have plungers! Most clogs can be handled with generous plunger usage.

A closet or toilet auger can handle tougher cases by breaking up hard clogs. If these don’t work, you may need professional help as the issue may reside deeper in your plumbing.

Repairing a leaky hose bib

The leaky hose bib – it’s one of those things we ignore until there’s a puddle on the patio. Start your repair by testing the spigot; turn the water on and check for leaks surrounding the handle.

If it is indeed leaking, you’ll likely need to replace an interior part called the washer and possibly even its connecting valve, known as the stem.

Replacing a faulty light switch

Flicking the switch and getting no light can be frustrating. Often, it’s a sign of a faulty light switch. A quick fix involves first turning off the power from your fuse box for safety.

Then, remove the faceplate and unscrew the switch, taking careful note of how existing wires are connected before replacing it with a new one.

Fixing squeaky door hinges

The irritating sound of a squeaky door hinge is enough to make anyone shudder. Luckily, fixing this nuisance involves simply lubricating the offending hinge with household oil or silicone spray.

Remove the pin, apply a lubricator, and replace the pin – your sole soundtrack should now be peaceful silence.

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Repairing a broken fence

A broken fence can compromise your security and curb appeal. To mend it, first, remove any broken or rotten parts and replace them with similar material, whether wood or vinyl; ensure you’ve prepped your new section (paint for wood) before installing it.

Fixing a jammed garbage disposal

If your garbage disposal is humming but not grinding, you likely have obstruction. Start by unplugging the unit or switching off its breaker for safety.

Fixing a jammed garbage disposal

Use pliers (and never your hands!) to try to remove any visible blockage from above; if unsuccessful, an Allen wrench underneath can usually spin things free.

Replacing a worn-out showerhead

Inefficient showers could be down to worn-out showerheads, which are fairly easy to replace.

Unscrew the existing one using adjustable pliers (protect finishes using cloth), and clean threads on the shower arm before screwing on your shiny new showerhead morning showers might become your favorite thing again.

Repairing a dripping shower

Like leaky faucets, dripping showers contribute to substantial water waste over time; plus, that constant dripping sound would drive anyone batty.

You typically need to replace malfunctioning parts like washers or seals accessible by removing the shower handle and trim.

Replacing a broken thermostat

A malfunctioning thermostat can lead to uncomfortable temperatures at home. To replace, start by carefully removing your old unit and taking a photo of wire connections.

This will guide you when installing your new device. Then, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the installation process.

Fixing a loose railing

Loose railings pose safety risks. Luckily, tightening them is usually straightforward. Wooden railings may need their brackets screwed tighter.

For metal ones, scrutinize where posts meet flooring: loose screws are usually culprits that some tightening or replacements can easily fix.

Replacing weather stripping

Old weather stripping lets in cold draughts and bugs; replacing it helps create a more inviting home. Remove old material first, then cut new stripping to fit each side of the doorjamb.

Don’t forget that shorter piece for the tops of doors! Stick on self-adhesive ones or use nails for others.

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Fixing a stuck window

Stuck windows are frustrating, but a little elbow grease can often solve this issue. If it’s painted shut, run a utility knife along seam lines before trying to pry it open with a putty knife gently.

When dealing with swollen wood due to humidity, some sandpaper work should allow it to free up again.

Repairing a cracked floor tile

A cracked floor tile isn’t just an eyesore. Ignored, it can lead to further tile damage and even trip hazards. To fix this, you need first carefully to remove the cracked tile and adhesive underneath.

Repairing a cracked floor tile

Clean the exposed area before spreading fresh adhesive for a new tile placement. Matching replaced tiles with the existing ones is an art, so keeping a few spare tiles from the original installation is always a good idea!

Sealing a bathtub or sink

The caulking around your tub or sink isn’t just for aesthetics – it keeps water from dripping into areas where it shouldn’t be. Over time, though, this sealant can crack or peel away.

By removing loose caulk, completely drying the area, then applying new caulk with a caulking gun, followed by smoothing out the bead with your fingertip, you’ll have your bathroom looking as good as new.

Replacing a broken electrical outlet

While an important task in maintaining home safety – replacing an electrical outlet necessitates careful attention to detail and should only be done if you’re comfortable working with electrical elements.

If not – calling in an electrician is recommended. If doing it yourself – make sure to turn off the power at the breaker box first.

After that, it’s about unscrewing old fixtures and noting wire positions before connecting them similarly to your new outlet.

Fixing a sagging gate

Sagging gates are not just unattractive, but they also become more cumbersome to operate over time.

All you may need is something called an anti-sag gate kit, which consists of two corner brackets and a turnbuckle-style cable system.

Easy installation instructions will guide you on how to install the brackets at diagonally opposing corners, after which proper adjustment of the cable reduces sag in no time.

Tightening cabinet hardware

Loose cabinet handles are one of those little things that could drive homeowners nuts. It’s an easy fix.

All you need is a screwdriver, or an Allen key to tighten the screw found at the back of the door/drawer holding the handle in place while tightening might require an extra set of hands.

The screw may be stripped, in which case, replaced with a slightly larger one.

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Replacing a broken doorbell

A non-functioning doorbell can cause inconvenience and frustration. The good news is that doorbells are fairly straightforward mechanisms to replace.

You’ll have to first find and disconnect wires connected to the old doorbell before attaching them to your new unit. Safety comes first, and turn off your home’s power supply before attempting this replacement.

Fixing a leaky roof

Leaks from roofs are often due to missing or damaged shingles. Provided that it’s safe climb up your roof for inspection after gearing up with safety shoes and harnesses if necessary.

Once located, replacing the offending shingle involves carefully removing surrounding shingles with a pry tool, installing a new shingle, and nailing it securely into place.

Repairing peeling paint

Peeling paint can alter a room’s look drastically, but repairing it doesn’t need big renovation efforts! Begin by clearing peeling patches using a scraper or putty knife.

Repairing peeling paint

You might even need sandpaper for especially stubborn areas; prime exposed areas before finally applying coat(s) of paint matching the original color.

Fixing a malfunctioning ceiling fan

A malfunctioning ceiling fan could be down to several issues: whether it’s behaving erratically or dead altogether.

Problems relating to remote sensors, switches, or wiring usually call for professional help. Simpler fixes like WD40 on squeaky moving parts or cleaning dusty blades could also improve functioning.

Replacing a damaged baseboard

Baseboards are better known as those pieces of molding running along the bottom edges of walls, tying together elements of flooring and wall decor; their close proximity to the floor makes them particularly prone to scuffs or damage.

Replacing one involves simply prying away from the wall and addressing any underlying wall/floor issues before installing a new baseboard and caulking/waist/priming/painting as necessary.

Repairing a broken drawer

It’s frustrating when you can’t close your drawer completely, or it always winds up jammed. This is often due to wear and tear in the sliders or build-up of debris in the tracks.

Wipe them off with a clean rag and apply silicon-based lubricant to smooth them out. If this doesn’t work, replacing the drawer slides might do the trick.

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Fixing a leaky refrigerator

If you notice a puddle around your fridge, there could be an issue with the defrost drain or water supply line. Unplug your fridge first for safety, then see if these lines are clogged or damaged.

Cleaning out any blockages or replacing worn-out tubes might solve your leaking problem.

Replacing air filters

Air filters in your HVAC system play a critical role in keeping indoor air quality high and reducing energy consumption.

Over time, they become congested with dust and dirt particles and need replacing. Never ignore an old filter; frequent replacement ensures cleaner air and better system performance.

Repairing a faulty thermostat

A malfunctioning thermostat can lead to comfort issues at home, especially during extreme temperatures.

Resetting or recalibrating the thermostat may help solve minor glitches, but for persistent issues like no power, incorrect readings, and rapid cycling, it may be best to seek professional help.

Tightening a wobbly toilet

The last thing any homeowner wants is to sit on an unstable toilet seat. Making it stable once again is usually as simple as tightening some bolts.

Tightening a wobbly toilet

Check where the seat attaches to the bowl and tighten those screws just enough so that there’s no longer any unwelcome movement.

Replacing a faulty smoke detector

Being able to rely on your smoke detector could literally save lives. So if yours starts giving false alarms throughout the day, doesn’t alarm during tests, or chirps incessantly (even after battery changes), it’s likely time for a fresh unit.

Most models are simple to replace, but make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Fixing a broken blind or curtain rod

A broken window treatment can be problematic, leaving you with limited light control and reduced privacy.

Most minor problems like bent or broken slats, damaged pulls, or a misaligned rod might be fixed using home-specific tools. But if there’s a larger issue, like a snapped rod, the entire set might need replacing.

Repairing a chipped countertop

It hurts when an expensive countertop chips, but even small chips should be addressed right away to prevent further damage.

There are epoxy kits available that allow you to fill in the chip and level it yourself, ensuring you accurately color-match your counter for the best result.

Tightening loose floorboards

Loose floorboards aren’t only noisy; they could pose tripping hazards, too. The solution is often as simple as securing the loose boards back down with screws, being careful not to drill too deep and through the visible surface of your floor while ensuring any chosen screw heads are appropriately concealed.

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Fixing a malfunctioning dishwasher

Meanwhile, water remaining post-cycle or dishes coming out still dirty usually indicates something’s amiss with your dishwasher.

A hardworking appliance like this may occasionally require cleaning or part replacement. Perhaps its spray arms have become clogged, or the float switch is stuck?

Try cleaning these parts first before considering professional help with more complex issues.

Replacing broken window panes

Broken window panes are not merely an eyesore; they pose a security threat, too. First, measure the dimensions of the glass needed while wearing safety gloves.

Then remove old glazing putty and points carefully so as not to damage the frame.

When placing a new pane, use the glazier’s points to keep the glass in place before applying a thin layer of glazing compound to seal it off.

Repairing a clogged showerhead

Have you noticed less water pressure from your showerhead recently? Minerals from hard water may be the culprit.

Repairing a clogged showerhead

An easy fix is immersing your showerhead in a bowl of vinegar overnight, which can dissolve build-up. If clogs persist, it may be necessary to resort to a commercial cleaner or replace the unit completely.

Fixing a broken chair or table

Nobody wants views of lopsided chairs or tables at dinner! Fixing these requires identifying loose joints and re-gluing them securely.

For bigger breaks, you will need to use clamps/weights to hold pieces together after applying adhesive until it fully cures.

Replacing a damaged door hinge

A damaged door hinge can cause your door to squeak or not close correctly. To replace it, start by removing screws from existing hinges and lifting the door off the frame.

Install new hinge using screws provided but keep door unlatched for adjustments as necessary for fitting.

Repairing a cracked sink

Cracked sinks aren’t just unsightly; they can lead to slow leakage over time, which worsens if ignored. Small cracks might be able to be repaired using porcelain repair kits found at most hardware stores.

If these don’t work or are impractical due to the size/location of the crack, replacement is likely the best option.

Fixing a broken gate latch

A gate latch that refuses to catch properly can defeat the purpose of having a fence installed in the first place.

Depending on the design, you may need only need to realign latch components or replace screws. In worst case scenarios, however, you may need to replace the latch completely.

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Replacing a malfunctioning door lock

A faulty door lock can compromise your home’s safety. To replace it, remove the screws holding the existing lock mechanism in place and pull them out of the door.

Then insert the new lock mechanism into the hole and secure it with the screws provided. Remember to test your key multiple times to ensure proper function.

Repairing a leaky gutter

Ignored long enough, a leaky gutter can lead to water damage on exterior walls. Gutter leaks are commonly caused by corrosion or structural damage.

Applying sealant on the inner walls of gutters can usually solve minor issues, but more pervasive leaks may require replacing whole sections of the gutter.

Tightening loose bricks or stones in a walkway

Loose bricks or stones can pose tripping hazards if not addressed quickly.

Tightening loose bricks or stones in a walkway

Pull out the loose brick/stone first and scrape away old mortar before laying down fresh mortar mix, setting the brick/stone back into position; be sure there’s enough mortar to squeeze out from all sides.

Once the mortar has dried, sweep sand over to fill gaps and create a solid base.

Fixing a faulty heating or cooling system

From clogged filters causing reduced airflow to thermostats not reaching designated temperatures, proper maintenance is necessary for any HVAC unit.

Regular filter replacements are required at the homeowner level, but for more complex issues like compressor breakdowns, professional help is essential given the high voltages these units operate at.

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FAQs About Common Home Repairs

How often should I conduct routine home maintenance checks?

Most experts recommend conducting a thorough inspection of your home at least once a year. This helps you to catch potential issues early and minimizes the chances of needing major repairs down the line.

What are some preventative measures I can take to avoid common home repairs?

General cleaning, regular inspections, keeping surfaces dry to prevent mold and water damage, proper pest control, and changing HVAC filters regularly are some examples of preventative measures.

When should I hire a professional for a home repair?

Complex electrical work, plumbing issues beyond simple clogs or leaks, HVAC system repairs, roofing repairs, or any repair work that requires special tools or knowledge should be left to professionals in order to ensure safety and effectiveness.

How do I know if my home repair is an emergency situation that requires immediate attention?

Certain situations like gas leaks, flooding or water damage due to plumbing issues, roof leaking during rainy weather, or malfunctioning heating systems during winter months call for immediate professional intervention.

Can regular home maintenance increase the value of my property?

Yes, regular home maintenance helps sustain the value of your property by avoiding deteriorative damage and more extensive repairs. Moreover, well-kept homes also have better curb appeal, which could enhance property value.

Conclusion

Every home, be it new or old, will inevitably need some repair work now and again. While some of these can be easily tackled by a handy homeowner using basic tools and a bit of know-how, others may require professional help.

By being proactive in regular home maintenance checks and repairs, it is always possible to catch potential issues before they get out of hand.

So don’t fret when faced with these inevitable home repairs; remember that occasionally rolling up your sleeves to tackle them is just another part of the homeownership journey.

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