Use these home repair tricks to save time and money
As the old adage goes, “time is money.” Unfortunately, home maintenance often involves spending quite a bit of both. For busy homeowners and families, keeping up with their home’s repairs and upkeep can be expensive and get in the way of other items on their busy weekly schedule. It’s time to start working smarter—not harder. Here are just a few helpful home repair tricks you can use to cut down on your household expenses and reduce the time you spent on home maintenance.
Improve your home’s energy-efficiency
Energy-efficiency upgrades are some of the best changes you can make to your home. You don’t need hundreds of dollars to get started, either. With just some caulk and weatherstripping from the hardware store, you can easily seal around your doors and windows. This keeps drafts out and reduces heat loss, especially in the winter.
Next, climb up into your attic and measure your insulation. Depending on where you live, your home might not have enough attic insulation. Generally speaking, the colder your winters, the more insulation is needed to keep heat from escaping.
Talk to a local contractor about having more insulation installed. While they’re up there, consider having them test your air ducts. Much of the cooled or heated air generated by your air conditioner or furnace gets lost on its way to you, through holes, cracks, and other leaks in your ductwork. Having a professional test for, and then seal, these leaks can be an energy-efficiency gamechanger!
If you’ve been noticing your winter heating bills steadily increasing, you might also want to talk to a local HVAC professional and have them out to take a closer look. Your heater might be malfunctioning, leading to a spike in energy use. If you live in the Midwest, call a local pro out for furnace repair in Chicago—doing so might lead to hundreds of dollars in energy savings.
Clear out tough clogs
If you called a plumber every time your kitchen sink, shower drain, or toilet clogged, you’d probably just want to buy the plumbing company—it might be cheaper. There’s a better alternative. Most clogs can be cleared with the right approach and a few items you probably have around your home.
Let’s start with kitchen sink clogs. If your sink isn’t draining, go ahead and boil some water. Pour it down the drain: the heat of the water should loosen up the clog. Then, drop equal parts baking soda and white vinegar down the drain. Their chemical reaction will further dissolve the clog, especially since it’s likely made of either grease or trapped food waste. Now, try plunging the sink again. The blockage should clear out.
For shower drain clogs caused by trapped hair, turn an old metal coat hanger into a makeshift snake tool. With a pair of pliers, carefully unfurl the metal into a long rod with a hook at the end. Remove the drain cover and feed this rod down the drain. When it hits the source of the blockage, twist the hook to catch the hair, and then pull it out.
If your clogs aren’t responding to these tricks, it’s probably time to call a plumber—your drain clog might be more serious than usual. However, generally speaking, these tactics should help eliminate all but the very worst clogs.
Find even more ways to save
When it comes to home repair tricks, what we’ve discussed so far is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so many other workarounds, tricks, and DIY strategies you can use. Here are just a few others:
- Hold onto old toothbrushes and use them to clean the grout lines in between your tiles.
- Use correction fluid to cover up marks on your white baseboards.
- Take stains out of carpet with the powerful combination of baking soda and vinegar.
Looking for even more DIY inspiration? Check out this infographic. It contains a step-by-step breakdown of how to freshen up your in-sink garbage disposal, caulk around your windows, and so much more!