How to Remedy 12 Common DIY Problems

A plumber working on a sink drain pipe.

Tackling multiple DIY projects is a natural part of being a homeowner. Fortunately, a lot of the problems that arise around the house can be remedied with a little knowledge and motivation. From noisy floorboards to clogged sinks and overflowing toilets, here are 12 common DIY problems and how to fix them.

1. Unclog a Sink

Most sink blockages occur near the top of the drainage pipe at the stopper. Begin the unclogging process by removing the stopper, which may be held in place by a pivot rod under the sink. Clean off the stopper and run hot water down the sink to help remove any excess blockage.

2. Tighten Loose Screws

You can tighten a loose screw with a short piece of sewing thread. Wrap the thread around the shank of the screw clockwise and put it back in place. The thread will help the screw grab the wood and stay put.

3. Steady Wobbly Chairs

A man repairing a wood chair.

There are few things worse than sitting down on a wobbly chair for dinner. Tighten chair legs by taking off any horizontal stretches and re-applying a generous amount of wood glue. Clamp down the legs for maximum adhesion.

4. Eliminate Window Drafts

You can prevent unwanted drafts in windows by applying new weather stripping. The weather stripping will create a tighter seal around the window and discourage outside air from entering the home. You should also consider re-caulking the window for even better protection against the elements.

5. Prevent Overflowing Toilets

Fixing an overflowing toilet is easy and will save you money on your water bill. An overflowing toilet is typically caused by a defunct float that is failing to pull up. Replace the float and the toilet should return to normal.

6. Stop Noisy Doors

A silver hinge on a white door.

Stop noisy doors by lubricating hinges and locking mechanisms. Graphite powder is a great non-greasy alternative to WD-40. If the door is still giving you problems, tighten the screws in the hinges on the wall and door.

7. Stop Squeaky Floors

Fixing noisy floors is not as hard as you think, even if you have carpet. The squeaks are actually caused by loose floorboards and tightening them to the joists will cut down on the chatter. Hardware stores even sell screws made for this purpose. These fasteners have detachable heads that enable them to disappear in the carpet after they have been tightened.

8. Repair Wood Scratches

You can fix unsightly scratches in wood furniture with a little bit of pigmented wax. Simply apply a coat that matches the finish and watch those fine scratches disappear. For deeper scratches, apply some stained wood putty that closely matches the original color of the wood.

9. Renew Baseboards

Baseboard installation.

Baseboards take a lot of abuse over time. Instead of purchasing new boards, clean them up by buffing them with a sander and patching up scratches with a little wood putty. Repaint the baseboards after the putty has fully dried.

10. Clean Dirty Grout

You can shine up that dirty grout in the kitchen or shower with a little bit of baking soda and vinegar. Start by pouring baking soda directly on the problem areas. Spray a solution of vinegar and water onto the grout and let it sit for a few minutes. Finish by scrubbing the grout with a wire brush.

11. Prevent Painting Woes

Paint blisters are one of the most common problems DIYers come across when painting a room. These defects are usually caused by excess moisture on the surface of the wall. Once you deal with the moisture source, which could be a leaky pipe behind the wall, the paint should go on without a blemish.

12. Repair a Shower Head

Shower heads naturally build up scale over time, which can significantly reduce water pressure. You can get your shower head working like new by dumping it in a descaling solution. You should also check the seal on the shower hose and re-apply plumber’s tape, if necessary.