It's a thought that looms at the back of our mind whenever we make any changes to our home- if it's going to cost a lot! While you might have a vast amount of savings stockpiled for an emergency, our budget doesn’t always stretch to everything we really want to change, especially when our home is concerned. This is when we begin to give thought to tackling a lot of the problems ourselves. After all, there are numerous guides online stating how we can make simple changes to our home without getting professionals in for every little thing. And maybe you are in a household of people that's not particularly used to getting stuck in and using some elbow grease, even when it comes to something basic like painting. But, we all have it in us to do some simple fix-ups. And when we are looking to save money, this is the best way to get it done. So, with that in mind, what can you do yourself to save money, and what things are best left to the professionals so you don’t end up paying twice for something?
In The Bathroom…
While you may consider the bathroom to be off limits, especially when it comes to the complex nature of plumbing, in actual fact, there are a few things you can do yourself to save a lot of money, and all it requires is knowing how to turn the water off from the mains!
Replacing a toilet– amazingly, you can replace a toilet quite simply, just as long as you have the right measurements, and ensure that you've got materials that resist water corrosion, such as brass bolts. From there, you can fix the toilet to the wax ring without issue.
Fixing a shower head– if you have a wobbly shower head, you can very easily fix this issue with expanding foam. A few squirts from this encases the pipe into the wall, locking it into place. If you have a very old shower head, you may want to replace the item and the attaching pipe.
Repairing leaky pipes– fixing a leaky pipe is a little bit tricky, but as long as you are able to source the origin point and it's easily accessible, you can fix this yourself. If there is a problem locating the leak, even after switching the water off, it's best to go for a plumber.
Unclogging a blocked toilet– a common culprit in the bathroom, a blocked toilet can cause frustration, not to mention an unpleasant smell, but you can fix this easily with dish soap. Simply squirt half a cup of liquid soap, and leave it there for as long as possible, and this will reduce the amount of friction in the bowl.
In The Kitchen…
In an ideal world, we would completely renovate our kitchen, but we have to make do with a lot of the usual issues, but there are some things we can do if we can't afford to replace the floor or the countertops.
Refinish the hardwood– hardwood flooring in the kitchen is quite intimidating. But, if you have a spare day or two, you could actually refinish the floors not just in the kitchen, but in every room of the home! You can rent out machinery and materials like a buffer.
Stop the dishwasher smelling– arguably one of the most convenient appliances is also the smelliest. Dishwasher odors can be minimized by cleaning the food scraps out of the screen at the bottom of the dishwasher, and running the dishwasher without dishes or detergent, but using a bottle of dishwasher cleaner as well as disinfectant.
Reducing the noise of cabinet doors– if you got noisy cabinet doors, and the sound of them slamming shut is one of the noises you can't bear to listen to anymore, all you need to do is purchase a few door and drawer bumpers. Before you apply them, ensure the back of the door is clean so the bumpers will stick to it, and that's it!
Unclogging that kitchen sink– grime is the number one culprit for clogged drains. If the plunger doesn't work you need to locate the source of the clog, especially if it's in the u-bend, and either replacing the piping, especially if it's corroded or putting some drain cleaner down the plug hole. If this doesn't work, you can rent a drain cleaning machine to do this for you.
Fixing handles– if your kitchen cabinets could do with additional sprucing up, especially with a loose handle, all you need to do is insert some thread adhesive to keep them intact.
In The Living Room…
The sanctuary for every mother, father, and child needs a little more care and attention. It's not just about ensuring you are comfortable on the couch, the living room requires an adequate temperature. Too hot, and it's unbearable, too cold, and everyone is going to be reaching for the thermostat! While something like AC repair can be done easily in the right circumstances, there are a few other things you can do to ensure that every member of the family feels comfortable in front of the television.
Fixing holes in the walls– plasterboard is the bane of most living rooms because they can very easily be damaged. But, cracks are very easy to fix up. You can purchase a drywall patch kit to plug small holes, but if the cracks are pretty large, drywall screws and nails will help to keep the material in place.
Sprucing up the appearance– firstly, and most importantly, giving your home that lick of paint is the simplest way to improve the appearance of your living room. Color and lighting are the most important criteria for a comfortable ambiance. As we progress into the winter months, and you're looking to fix up your home before Christmas, considering ways to invoke that calmer aesthetic can be simply done. Items like throws, rugs, and going for the chunky knitted approach to your stylings will create that cosmetic appearance of coziness, but it's the color of your walls, in conjunction with the lighting that will improve your appearance no end. Warm colors, like variations of yellow and burgundy, are two extremes because yellow is presentable enough when the shade is light, but it can be quite harsh, especially if you go for more striking colors.
Fixing the doors– doors can fall foul to various problems, especially as they age. They can sag, let drafts in, or start to stick, not to mention being incredibly creaky. Fixing a door isn't a complex task, just as long as you have the measurements to hand when heading to the DIY store. Preferably, it is a two-person job.
In The Garden…
When people talk about “curb appeal”, it's not just the interiors of the home that make a suitable first impression, it's the exteriors too. While the garden may not be used during the winter months, it's still important to ensure the upkeep is maintained during the winter months.
Planting seeds– if your grass is looking pretty sad reseeding it is incredibly simple and very, very cheap. If you have money to spare, and you are really focused on making your garden look fantastic, you can pay for a landscaper, but this isn’t necessary, all you need is a few essential supplies, and you can begin! Finding the right fertilizer for your grass is dependent on the area you live in so don't just go for the cheapest in the store!
Getting plants– fixing up your garden is all about adding color, and by getting a wide variety of plants, you will automatically generate an incredibly vibrant and beautiful space. The main issue with plants is that you have to look after them. So, if you are incredibly lax on the general upkeep of flowers and plants, peace lilies, orchids, and bromeliads are but three to try to add so much color to your garden that you will want to go out there, whatever the weather!
Growing vegetables– if you're looking to save money, not just in fixing up your home, but in fixing up your life. Becoming self-sustaining by growing a few essential vegetables is a great starting point. Be careful, it's more work than you realize, but it's incredibly rewarding at the same time. The best place to begin is to go for vegetables that don't require much looking after. These are things like carrots, swede, and the trusty potato. Root vegetables will continue to grow and grow with minimal help, and it's a very cheap way to eat! They will be providing the carbohydrate portion of your meal for months, if not years, on end!
Fixing up your home is as expensive as you want it to be. A lot of us feel bound by our own limitations, but we need to give ourselves more credit when making significant changes because a lot aren’t as complicated as we think. We all want to save money, and these are a few of the basic skills to get under your belt.