47 Home Repair Skills You Need to Survive Homeownership

Benefits of homeownership

In this post you’ll discover some incredible insights that will help you navigate the overwhelming process many face when owning their first home…

Recently, I published a similar post on home buying where I asked real estate agents to share their best tip for buying fixer-uppers as a first-time home buyer. The tips shared were absolutely priceless (you can find the post here)!

…This got me thinking – How about an in-depth tutorial outlining common household home repair problems, with QUICK fixes? And not those same boring tips from 10 years ago. But fresh and unique advice that any DIY’er can quickly put into action…

You could spend hours searching for home repair tips and you would never find so many actionable tips in one spot.

This is a 2 page series post with navigation at the very bottom.

Be sure to check out our latest: 27 Home repair tips

Have a great home repair idea to share? Leave a comment, or join our facebook group and tell us about it : )

…Without further ado:

1. How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

how to fix a leaky faucet

You’ve finally put the kiddies to bed, but a quiet house is never really quiet. Drip. Drip. Drip. The water equivalent to nails on a chalkboard. Water leakage is possibly the result of a failed washer inside a handle.

To change the washer, make sure to turn off the water supply valve under the sink. Shove a rag in the drain so you don’t lose parts, then take the handle apart. Pop the screw cover on top, remove the screw, and pull off the handle. Use a wrench to take apart the stem, and line the parts up on the counter in the order they came off, so you know how it goes back together. Observe rubber parts or plastic cartridges for cracks, and take the deteriorating piece to the hardware supply store for an identical replacement. Put back together the parts you’ve laid out, in reverse. Enjoy!

2. How to Move a Refrigerator by Yourself

magic sliders to help move heavy furniture

For anyone that has ever been stood up by their “friends” during moving day needs to invest in Magic Sliders. You will feel as though you’re Popeye and consumed a gallon of spinach the way it makes you feel powerful to move the heaviest furniture with ease. Place these sliders right under the refrigerator’s front feet (any type of crowbar or prying bar can be used to lever the front of the fridge up to glide the slider in), then pull. Most refrigerators have wheels in the back, so the whole unit should glide forward effortlessly. So thanks, but no thanks Pete (best friend from College who “forgot” to set alarm clock on my moving day), I got this!

3. Need to Dig a Hole – Wait Just a Minute…

call 811 dig safe before digging a holoe

Don’t be that guy on the block that wipes out all the power or is sent off by ambulance because he dug a hole in the wrong spot and cut through a shared power line. Call 811 prior to any digging project to notify the local utilities in your area. They will send a professional out to your home, mark any lines you have, and save you from getting electrocuted or evil glares from the neighbors when they discover you’re the reason they lost power during the last inning in the series.


4. Need To Find a Stud in The Wall

How to find a stud in the wall with a stud finder

Do a manual scan on the wall for electrical outlets, light switches or where a nail runs through the molding. These are all usually affixed to a stud, so if you find one stud that way, you can measure off 16 or 24 inches in either direction to find the next stud as that is the average spacing interval. Another method, include holding a lamp about an arm’s length away from the wall to scan for depressions or dimples that signify where the wall is connected to the stud or knocking lightly on the wall to listen for elevated sounds that suggest a stud. Where there’s no stud, you’ll hear a more vacant sound, If you make a error and drill in the wrong spot, you can insert a bent piece of stiff wire in the hole and feel around to find a nearby stud.

5. How to Deal with a Seized Lock

How to fix a sticky door lock

Got an old door lock that is leaving you stuck at the door and has been sticking for ages? Stop turning that key. Having some WD-40 sprayed into the keyhole will lube the mechanism quickly or try graphite lubricant. If that doesn’t do it, you may have a broken spring or tumbler and need to call a locksmith. If so, keep the new lock from locking up by giving it a yearly maintenance with a durable Teflon spray.

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  1. Awesome tips for new homeowners. I stumbled upon this site after buying a ” fixer upper” and love the tips given. Or was it the image of the cute cat pawing at the faucet? Either way, nice tips and I will make sure to implement them into my new house.

    My hubby will be ecstatic that I’m taking the iniative to home repairs!!

    Any tips about conquering linenoleom floors? (Sp?)

    • Thanks and I’m glad to have helped in some way 🙂 And yes, I can put Lineoleom flooring into a future post..

  2. You never ever use WD-40 in a lock as suggested in #5 unless you intend to replace the lock. WD-40 is not a lubricant, is displaces moisture or water. Using WD-40 ensures you that the lock will be gummed up in the future. Graphite is the way to go.

    • You’re right to a point. However, by the time your lock seizes up, don’t you think it’s time to replace? Furthermore, most people have WD-40 kicking around and want to get into their house fast until they can call a locksmith.

  3. Anything you take apart, use your fancy phone to take pictures along the way so you’ll know how it’s supposed to go back together.

    • Great tips, Laura. In fact, as a contractor myself, I do this a lot. It’s a perfect way to remember each and every step in case sh** goes bad : )

  4. when drilling tile ,to avoid having the bit wander first take a glass cutter and place the wheel at the point you want to drill apply some pressure and just spin the tool a few times and it will score through the glaze giving you an exact starting point for your drill bit never fails, BILL the handyman

  5. I have an almond colored Roman style bathtub with a small hairline crack. We’ve had it tested for leaks and there are none. Any idea on how to make it less obvious…like invisible?

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