Home repairs are something every homeowner has to deal with at some time, including if you bought a new home although builder warranties should cover repairs needed in year one. The challenge is integrating home maintenance and repairs into a lifestyle where you never have enough time to get everything done.
Most people don't really enjoy tackling home repairs for lots of reasons.
- Are you uncomfortable doing things you've never done before?
- Are you unsure about how to identify the problem and how to pick the right solution?
- Do you have a limited set of tools and/or experience so many repairs seem too big or complicated?
- Are you frustrated because you've tried to do home repairs yourself and they take forever or you end up calling someone?
You're not alone if you feel this way. Many women calling my handyman business didn't know how to describe the problem. That's how the articles on Home Tips for Women got started. We'd talk on the phone and then I'd panic when I realized the women probably couldn't explain things to their spouse. I'd follow up with emails, and these emails became articles on my website.
You might think you can find the information you need to do your own home repairs online and you can. The question is how long will you delay doing the research because it takes time to do it right. That's where the Savvy Homeowner Club steps in to help you speed up your research with the ability to ask questions and get expert help from the comfort of your home because it's not as easy as you'd think.
Home Repairs that Might Need a Handyman
Replacing Vinyl Siding – The biggest challenge when your vinyl siding has a large crack or hole, is finding siding that matches the style (height and number of folds), color and texture. About 90% of the time, my handyman team could find the siding at Harvey Building Products or Home Depot. This is the part of the job homeowners should do to save money.
Installing the new siding isn't difficult although more challenging from a ladder. You need tools to mark the pieces being cut, a zip tool (red handle) designed for unhooking vinyl siding, and snips (long black handles) to cut the vinyl.
You can find this information online but it's hard when you don't know how to describe the repair or tools that are needed. I found the best video searching for “tool to remove vinyl siding” versus replacing siding. The video from This Old House also shares a contractor trick using siding from a less visible part of the house to get a perfect color match, as siding fades over time.
Sticky Exterior Door That's Difficult to Open and Close – This is one of those home repairs that can be avoided if a door is installed and maintained properly but what exactly does that mean?
When you buy many home repair products, they often include the required number of nails or screws. Sadly the screws are rarely adequate (long or strong enough) to do the job but you only learn this by trial and erro. So the first thing to check with a sticky door is whether any of the hinge screws are loose and then, you want to replace them all.
Another common problem with wood doors is homeowners don't realize a door has 6 sides that need to be painted. We paint the front and back but don't paint the four sides wrapping the door. What was frustrating with my handyman business were the homeowners who saved money painting new doors we installed. Of course they forgot this when the door swelled and assumed we installed the door wrong, so we should come out and plane it down for free. At least the learned you have to paint all six sides of a door!
Repeating Home Repairs Until It's Done Right!
Gate Latch That Couldn't Be Closed Again – This repair offers insight into how a house is like a puzzle and all the pieces need to fit together. A homeowner in Stratham, NH (ground freezes in winter) had her grandchildren coming to visit. After numerous repairs, the gates at the top and bottom of the stairs were out of alignment again.
We talked and once I discovered the house was fairly new, it seemed like the deck and stairs weren't lining up incorrectly. In fact decks are among the most common repair problems with new homes, getting rushed at the end to meet the closing date.
With this house, we had a platform on the ground with the first gate, then stairs resting on the platform and at the top of the stairs, another gate between the deck and the stairs. The platform on the ground was not supported by sonnet tubes (gray, concrete cylinders in the photo) that extended below the frost line. This meant the misaligned gates were due to the platform moving due to winter freezing while the deck remained in place.