Owning your home is a dream come true for most people — until something needs to be repaired. No quick call to the landlord is going to make the annoyance go away, but luckily, some really annoying things are also incredibly easy to fix yourself. If any of these 10 annoyances are on your list, here's how to cure them.
1. Squeaky Door Hinges. To fix a squeaky door hinge, simply tap out the hinge pin using a nail and a hammer, lightly cover the pin with petroleum jelly or graphite powder, reinsert it and open and close the door several times to distribute the lubricant evenly. Although many people suggest you use a lubricating spray, such as WD-40 or even cooking spray, these are messy and can drip out of the hinge and down the door.
2. Squeaky Dryer. If your dryer's not sitting level, it can vibrate, chirp and rattle. Use a carpenter's level to check the dryer, and if it isn't level, adjust the leveling legs until it is.
3. Squeaky Floor. Squeaks in hardwood floors don't mean there's anything wrong with your flooring or subflooring, and best of all, they're easy to fix. Just shake some talcum powder or graphite powder into the cracks to lubricate the boards that are rubbing together.
4. Leaky Faucet. Faucets tend to leak when the washers and O-rings in the handles wear out. These are easy to replace by taking apart the handles and putting in new parts. If you have newer ball-type or cartridge faucets, you pretty much have to buy and install a replacement kit. Ceramic disk faucets often just need to be taken apart and cleaned. The folks at This Old House provide easy-to-follow steps to fix any of these faucet types.
5. Leaky Toilet. If parts in the toilet tank are worn, water slowly but constantly trickles into the bowl. When the water level in the tank gets low enough, it automatically refills. This wastes gallons of water each day. Before you buy a new valve and flapper, try untangling the chain or bending the tube connected to the float ball.
6. Peeling Edge on Laminate Countertop. Stick that annoying edge back in place with contact cement. Clamp it tightly with blue painter's tape until it's dry to make sure it stays.
7. Sticky Door Lock. Graphite powder is the lubricant you need to make the lock work smoothly and not attract dirt, as a lubricating oil might.
8. Cupboard Door Won't Stay Shut. If the latch on your cupboard door is worn out or so covered in paint it doesn't latch anymore, replace it with a heavy-duty magnetic catch. It's easy to install and works like a charm.
9. Banging Water Pipes. Water pipes bang when the air in the pipes that pressurize the water leaks out. Turn off your main water supply into the house, then open all the faucets and flush all the toilets. Now that the lines are completely empty, slowly — really slowly — turn the main water supply back on.
10. Scratches in Wood. To repair scratches in wood furniture, floors or trim, use a wood marker, found at most hardware stores, in a color that matches your wood. Or if you have children, check to see if they have a crayon color that matches — it works just as well!
There you have it. Ten simple things you can do to make yourself happy and your home squeak – and leak – free.