Frugal home repairs

As any homeowner will tell you, owning a home is an expensive proposition. In addition to those monthly mortgage payments, you’ve got ongoing maintenance and repairs to contend with.

However, if you really want to keep those costs down, rolling up your sleeves and engaging in a little DIY repair is the way to go. Of course, there are some household repairs that are much easier than others. Here are a few suggestions for DIY home repair that could be within your homeowner toolbox, even for the most reticent handy man (or woman).

Unclog the toilet

There are plenty of plumbing issues that you’ll definitely need a plumber for. However, if you experience a clogged toilet, you’ll want to try a few things first. Get out a plunger and flex those muscles. Pump the plunger up and down swiftly and there is a good chance you’ll be able to dislodge the offender. It might be worth your while to buy a plumbing snake, which can be handy in dislodging clogs that are further down.

Prevention can go a long way in keeping plumbing problems at bay. Don’t put paper towels, diaper wipes or feminine hygiene products in the toilet.

Repair drywall

It doesn’t get much easier than this! Press polyfill into the hole and smooth down as flat as you can with a putty knife. Once it’s dry, sand it down and touch up the paint over top. Good as new!

Changing the furnace filter

Even I can do this one! Changing your furnace filter on a regular basis (seasonally) will not only improve the air quality in your home, it will improve your furnace’s efficiency. The size and type of filter you need will be written on your furnace. Turn off the furnace, open the furnace door. Slide the dirty filter in and change with a clean one.


Draughty windows or doors? Is it because the caulking is loose or broken away? How is the caulking around your tub or sinks in your bathroom?  If you’ve got a caulking gun and a reasonably steady hand, you can fix these easily yourself. Clean the remaining caulking out with a putty knife and wipe down. Once dry, apply a thin line of caulking from the gun, and wipe away excess either with a rag or with your finger.