Once you become a homeowner, it’s inevitable that you’ll turn into an amateur handyman. Things at home break sometimes, and it can be more efficient and affordable to fix it yourself rather than hiring a professional. Here are seven maintenance tasks that might come up at home and how you can easily fix them on your own.

  1. Cracked Molding

When a small crack forms in the molding and it’s not a structural problem, you can repair it with caulk. Caulking could not be an easier task to complete. You simply clean the surface, apply a bead of caulk, smooth over the crack, and let it dry. This quick fix will keep insects, wind, and water from passing through the wall.

  1. Broken Handles

Doorknobs and handles can loosen over time from constant pulling and turning. Once the handles start to separate from the door, they’ll need to be tightened to protect the mechanism and to keep your place secure. A screwdriver can usually take care of the job, but the repair method will depend on the design of your door handle and how it’s fastened.  

  1. Air Conditioner Malfunctions

One of the most uncomfortable things that can happen on a hot summer day is a broken air conditioner. In places with triple digit heat, it can even become an emergency. Air conditioners malfunction for many reasons, and one reason is a frozen coil caused by a dirty filter. Be sure to keep your air conditioner filter clean, and check it regularly to see if it needs to be replaced. If your unit isn’t functioning properly and a filter replacement doesn’t do the trick, then it’s definitely time to find a professional to fix the air conditioner.

  1. Light Plumbing

Big plumbing jobs that require installation or replacing pipes should be left to a professional plumber, but small clogs and running toilets could be a DIY repair with a few common household tools. A clog in the toilet or tub can be solved with a plunger, snake, clog remover, and elbow grease. A toilet that continues to run after it’s flushed can usually be fixed by replacing a broken toilet flap. A leaky faucet requires wrenches, screwdrivers, replacement parts, and a couple of hours of your time.

  1. Holes in the Wall

Accidents happen, and sometimes the door swings too wide and hits the wall, leaving a hole or indentation in the drywall. Repairing drywall takes a little more skill, tools, and time than other projects, but this tutorial explains the steps to patching small and large holes with drywall compound. When all is said and done, you can add a bumper to prevent the doorknob from meeting the wall in the future.

  1. Paint Retouches

Paint occasionally needs to be retouched, either after a drywall job or due to scratches, stains, and nicks from being touched by other objects. For interior paint touchups or complete color overhauls, a trip to a home improvement store for painting supplies can make the job doable on your own. Find swatches, pick the colors, prep, mix, paint, brush, and roll. Prepping takes a good chunk of time for full-room paint jobs, but a small retouching job should be quick and easy.

  1. Refrigerator Issues

You’ll likely encounter one of these three common refrigerator problems, but you don’t need a professional repair service or special tools to solve it. A refrigerator that cycles too much probably just needs the coils to be cleaned or the temperature to be adjusted. A water leak is likely caused by a blocked defrost drain that can be flushed or a frozen water supply line that needs to be defrosted. Ice buildup in the freezer can be fixed by keeping the freezer door closed to avoid humidity or by cleaning/replacing a dirty gasket seal.

Before starting any home repair project, be sure to turn off the water supply or electricity to whatever you’re fixing. The point of DIYing your home maintenance is to keep it simple and affordable, not complicate the process by creating a bigger mess. And as always, safety should come first.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Most of us love breaking out the hammer and nails to conquer a DIY project every now and again. But when it comes to big renovations around the house, there’s no substituting for the experience and expertise of a professional. When working with things like electricity, plumbing, and structural changes, hiring help keeps you safe and protects your home’s integrity. Below are some of the most common big home improvement projects that definitely require professional help. 

Removing Walls

Maybe you’re thinking of knocking out that one kitchen wall to create more of a flow between where you cook and where you eat. Removing a wall may seem like a pretty cut-and-dry project, but you never know what it may support. An experienced contractor can tell you whether that wall is load-bearing and if it is a safe idea to remove it. If the wall is merely ornamental, the contractor can remove it safely so you don’t put yourself at risk of injury. 

Electrical Projects

About 30,000 people are electrocuted in their own homes each year. So don’t add your name to that statistic by attempting a DIY electrical project. When it comes to dealing with electricity, there is no substitute for a professional electrician. A professional knows how to turn off the live power to whatever needs to be worked on while avoiding overloading, popping breakers, sparking outlets, and other accidents that may require pricey repairs down the line. If your new lighting requires a mix of low-voltage and higher-voltage electrical products, it’s essential that you hire an electrician. 

Kitchen Overhaul

Remodeling your kitchen can add more function to this high-traffic area and even increase your home’s resale value. However, all those appliances require different areas of expertise as they use a mix of plumbing, gas, and electricity to work. To remodel your kitchen, you need a contractor to help plan a layout that works for you. You may need to rewire some of your electric system and add outlets for accessibility. Furthermore, installing things like a new dishwasher requires a plumber that knows how to handle all the various parts. Your contractor should be able to put you in contact with the professionals you need to get the job done right. 

Replacing Your Roof

Your roof protects your family from the elements, but over time, the beating it takes can lead to leaks and other problems. Replacing your roof boosts your home’s curb appeal and can add over $10,000 to your overall asking price. However, it’s a pretty big job that you want done right the first time. Hiring an experienced roofing contractor can get you the results you want in a reasonable time frame. However, be warned: scammers love to take advantage of families in need of a roof fix. Look out for common scams like overcharging for services or advising for unnecessary repairs. Talk to your friends and neighbors to get recommendations on reputable roofers.  


Do-it-yourself projects around the house are great, but most homeowners do not have the knowledge and experience required for large renovation projects. Hiring a professional can ensure the job is done safely and right the first time. Knocking down a wall may seem like a fun project, but a contractor can tell if it is load-bearing and advise you from there. Electrical projects should be done by an electrician. A kitchen overhaul requires various professionals to deal with planning and construction as well as appliances that use electricity, gas, and water. Finally, a new roof looks great and adds value to your home, but roof scammers are pretty common. Ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations to protect your home and wallet.

Image via Pexels

There’s something to be said for a well-tended home. When your surroundings are peaceful and orderly, your mind feels peaceful and orderly. But when your house falls into disarray, your mental state follows suit.

You’re not imagining it. A disorganized environment hurts your ability to focus. When you can’t focus, you don’t accomplish what you set out to, starting a downward spiral in which the further you fall behind, the more impossible it seems to catch up.

More self-efficacy is a compelling reason to take care of your surroundings, but it’s not the only one.

Why the state of your surroundings matters

Taking care of your home is an act of self-care. A clean environment lightens your mental load, leading to less stress and, in turn, better sleep.

It’s also good for your physical health. When your mind is unburdened by the fog of anxiety and fatigue, it’s easier to make healthy choices regarding diet and exercise. Instead of settling in front of the TV with a bowl of potato chips to avoid thinking about all your undone chores, a clean homes gives you the energy and mental clarity to choose better.

And that’s not to mention the dust mites, mold, and pests that view your household clutter as an inviting home. These pollutants trigger respiratory systems and weaken the immune system, leaving you bogged down by allergies and illness instead of feeling your best.

How to stop viewing chores as a chore

Most people think of household maintenance as a necessary evil — certainly not something to look forward to. But when you focus on the outcome instead of the task itself, it’s easier to see the value in tidying up. Rather than thinking about how much you don’t want to wash the dishes, think about how good it will feel to have a clean kitchen the next time you cook.

Some household tasks are enjoyable in and of themselves. Taking on a new DIY home improvement is a fun way to challenge yourself and learn something new, while working in the yard and garden is a fantastic way to burn calories, build functional strength, and reap the benefits of time spent outdoors. Think of ways you can not only maintain your home but constantly improve it.

The value of knowing your limits

As satisfying as it is to set goals for your home and achieve them, it’s equally important to know your limits. Taking on a job that’s beyond your abilities could end in serious injury or damage to your house.

Some jobs are great for DIY, like installing landscaping or building a new workbench, but others, like electrical work or roofing, are best left to the professionals. Not only are these jobs inherently dangerous, but if you underestimate the project, you could just mask a more serious problem. Before you take on a repair or project, ask yourself the questions listed in this article. By answering honestly, you might that maybe it isn’t such a good idea after all. Esurance lists other repairs you shouldn’t attempt to DIY.

Changing habits and getting started

What if you know the benefits of a well-maintained home but just can’t find the motivation to start?

Routines and clearly-defined goals are the answer to procrastination around the house. Instead of waiting for motivation to strike, build routine tasks into your daily schedule. When faced with a bigger project, break it down into discrete steps and set a timeline for each one. Treating it as a responsibility, rather than an inconvenience, encourages you to follow through.

In time, maintaining your home will feel like second nature. Not only that, it becomes something worth looking forward to. Instead of a chore that gets in the way of things you’d rather be doing, taking care of your surroundings turns into the thing that enables you to accomplish your goals. 

Image via Rawpixel