Sunday, June 15, 2014

Basic Repair and Maintenance Skills Every Woman Should Know


As a single mom I've had to acquire a new skill set to keep things running around here. It ain't always easy, that is for sure. If you are a single parent, you know you have a lot on your plate. You don't have a partner to help out, and if you are on a tight budget like me, can't always hire a plumber, mechanic, or handyman.

Don't let it intimidate you. Most of the things I've had to learn how to do myself are actually quite simple. You can do it. And you will feel great having done so. Believe it or not, it can be very empowering fixing a leaking toilet for the first time. Too often we women rely on other people, our father's, our spouses, people we hire to do these things for us when we are quite capable of handling it ourselves. Then, when we find ourselves unexpectedly living alone, we are overwhelmed by what we don't know how to take care of. Of course, when you have a partner helping you out with the day to day tasks of running a home, it is our natural tendency to split the things that need done into his and hers, and usually that means he does the repairs or calls someone to make them. But now that you are on your own, as you well know, everything falls upon you to get taken care of. 

But let me say it again...you can do it. And here is a handy list of tutorials to guide you through some of the repairs and maintenance you may need to take care of:

Toilet Repairs


So far I have had to replace a toilet seat, a broken chain, and I will be changing the flush valve seal tomorrow. Oh, and then there is the basic unclogging a toilet. In fact, toilet repairs seem to be the most common I've had. How Stuff Works has a great tutorial on basic toilet repairs that is easy to follow:

How to Patch a Hole in the Wall


Been there, done that. Door stops fall out and someone hits the wall with the door knob. Moving awkward furniture, you bump into a wall and leave a big hole. You pull a nail and a chunk of drywall comes with it. Patching a hole in the wall is another one of those common skills it is important to know, especially if, like me, you have kids in the house. The blog, View Along The Way, has a great tutorial to show you how to patch that hole like a pro: Repairing Drywall Like a BOSS. There is also a cute little bonus video on how to remove a popcorn ceiling if you ever need to.

How to Jump Start Your Car

One evening while getting out of the car, my little man decided to see what the switch did that turned on the overhead lights in the car. Well, this tired momma just wanted to get into the house and make dinner so I failed to notice that the light was on. Yeah, your guessed it. Dead battery the next morning. It's going to happen and you can't depend on the car you flag down to know how to put the jumper cables on properly. I found this visual over at Fantastic Home. Print it out and keep it in your car. You will need it one day.

Basic Car Maintenance


I drive an older car with lots of, uhm, character. We have nicknamed the car the Rattletrap Car, after a children's story book by that name. And she does. She rattles, she creeks, the power steering hums. I rely on this car to get me to work, take the little one to appointments or soccer practice, run errands. I can not afford to be without it, nor can I afford to repair major issues or replace it at this time. So basic car maintenance is a must. It should be for any car in order to extend the life of the car and keep it running smoothly. The folks over at Lifehacker have a great article on taking care of your car: The Preventive Maintenance You Need to Do On Your Car (And When)

There will be other things that come up. Where is that dang furnace filter? Ugh, the kitchen faucet is leaking everywhere! Why is the lawn mower puttering? One good resource for do it yourself reapir and maintenance help is the website The Family Handyman. They have an excellent list of tutorials and videos. Meanwhile, if I come across any other great links I'll update them here.

13 comments:

  1. What's most helpful to me is, "don't freak out". After that, I have to do some dry-wall repair -- I've been leaving that to Linda and it's time I take it up.
    THANKS! This is GREAT!

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    1. Awesome, Anna! How did the dry wall repair turn out? It takes a little patience but it totally doable :-)

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    2. Drywall are panel-like interior structures made by sandwiching a layer of gypsum plaster between similar sheets of paper-like material. The purposes it is most commonly used are for making walls in the interiors of building or supplemental ceilings below the brick and mortar roof of the house. These days drywall have become ubiquitous, and the de facto wall building process, having replaced the traditional lath and plaster walls a few decades back.
      residential drywall
      commercial drywall
      drywall mechanic

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  2. While others might think that DIY repairs are so hard, these tutorials exist to assure us that we could do it in a competent matter, should we decide to try it ourselves. Aside from cost cutting, it’s also a nice way to acquire new skills and knowledge. Anyway, if you think you’re afraid to try it for the first time, you could always call for expert help. Thanks for sharing, Gina!

    Anthony Lane @ Fast Lane Automotive

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    1. You are welcome, Anthony. I am discovering that most minor repairs are actually quite easy when you get into it, like changing the flush valve seal on the toilet. I do think I'll leave major repairs to the experts ;)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Wise catalog of remedies there. Everyone should take note of those and pay heed. I would have to add setting up your broken drains and sinks, though a professional touch-up to deal with the rest of the fixing as quickly and efficiently as possible is still wiser.

    Traci Romero @ Harris Plumbing

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. Yes, I think anytime someone feels they are getting into more than they can handle they should call in the professionals before possibly making the situation worse. There are some jobs that should be handled by someone with the experience and background to handle it properly.

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  4. Great home repair tips for those of us lucky enough to participate in home ownership :)

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    1. Renters, too. I rent a home and sometimes it's more convenient to fix something myself, plus if a repair is deemed other than normal wear and tear (like an object falling into my disposal and costing me $75 to have unjammed) I am charged for it. Cheaper to do it myself :-)

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  5. DIY repair means can be compared to a volunteer who’s applying first aid to a patient before sending him/her to the hospital. You’ll be able to accomplish a temporary solution to all your house problems, if you’re knowledgeable of those simple means to maintain and repair stuff. If those damages become worse than before, it’s advisable to call your trusted professionals for a permanent solution. Thanks for sharing those tips, by the way!

    Lynn Williamson @ DAL Builders

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  6. Hello,
    Thanks for sharing innovative info.Home improvement include improvements to lawns, gardens, and outdoor structure.
    Home Repairs

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  7. even after controlling for any age or income differences. In addition, mold remediation erie

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  8. Really nice and definitely it will be useful for many people. Kindly keep update like this.
    Car Spa at Doorstep in Mumbai

    ReplyDelete