6 Home Repairs for $15

Stop a Running Toilet: $0
When a toilet runs after the flush is complete, adjusting the lift chain or float arm usually solves the problem. The lift chain should hang straight down from the handle with about half an inch of slack. Move the chain to provide more or less slack, as required. Or, if the toilet has lift wires, straighten them. If that doesn’t do the trick, try bending the float arm until the float ball does not touch the tank wall.

Install a GFCI: $15 & up
To install a GFCI for single-location protection (does not protect other devices on the same circuit), shut down the power at the service panel and test with a non-contact circuit tester to confirm that the power is off. Remove the white neutral wires on the old receptacle, and pigtail them to the white line terminal on the GFCI. Remove the black hot wires from the old receptacle, and pigtail them to the hot line terminal. Disconnect the grounding wires from the old receptacle and pigtail them to the grounding screw terminal on the GFCI. Mount the GFCI and attach the cover. Turn on the power and test the GFCI.

Repair a Broken Lamp: $0
If the bulb is good and the circuit is operating but the lamp won’t light, the connections may be loose. Unplug the lamp and remove the light bulb. Use a screwdriver to pry up the metal tab at the bottom of the lamp socket. If that doesn’t solve the problem, pop the socket open. Loosen the screw terminals and reshape the C-shaped loops. Secure the loops around the screw terminals and tighten the screws. Pop the socket back into place, insert a lightbulb and test the lamp.

Seal a Leaky Downspout: $15 or less
Downspouts tend to be quite durable, but joints can work loose and leak. Tightening and sealing the joint is a quick and lasting solution. Take the leaky joint apart and use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub it clean. Wash the mating pieces and dry them thoroughly. Apply a bead of caulk at the seam line, position the pieces, and secure the joint with new fasteners.

Caulk Around a Window: $15
Gaps around windows and doors leak air, which means higher utility bills. Seal those gaps with silicone caulk. First, scrape out any failed caulk and clean the joint. Cut off the nozzle on a tube of caulk, angling the nozzle. Insert the tube into a caulk gun, and squeeze a smooth, even bead of caulk into the joint between the window frame and the siding.

Secure a Front Door: $15
Thieves can kick in the average door in moments, but sturdy hardware makes a door stronger and more secure. Fill the gap between the door frame and surrounding wall studs with plywood shims, and replace short hinge screws with 3- to 4-inch screws. Install metal plates to reinforce deadbolt locks and strike plates.

Original Source

Home Wiring Inadequate

Problem: Excess demand on electrical system, which shows up as blown fuses, tripped circuit breakers, dim or flickering lights, or appliances that operate at only partial capacity.

Background: Electrical requirements for the average home have- almost tripled since 1955. In 1940, for example, the average home used 30 electrical appliances while today’s home uses about 80. The electrical systems of about 90% of homes in the United States are not designed to accommodate the number of appliances currently avail able. Many homes over 20 years old require complete rewiring, and even a number of newer homes need either rewiring or expanded wiring systems (including new circuits) to handle major appliances.

What to do: If your home’s wiring system has any of the symptoms listed below, the individual circuits may be overloaded or the wiring of these circuits may be inadequate.

Blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers: When fuses blow and circuit breakers trip frequently, it indicates an overloaded circuit, or that the power drain from appliances is greater than the circuit can handle. Short circuiting in appliances or wiring could also be the problem.
Lights dim or flicker: This problem can be caused by having too many appliances on one circuit, or by putting too large of a power drain on the circuit when specific appliances are turned on. (It may also be caused by electrical storms or by voltage drops at the power plant.)
Appliances with heating coils warm up slowly: Inadequate wiring may be indicated by electric space heaters and hot plates that are slow to warm up, and by similar appliances that re quire high power and seem to be operating on decreased power.
Television picture shrinks: If the image on your TV is smaller than the picture tube area, the circuit could be overloaded with too many appliances or extension cords. If it occurs only occasionally, it is probably caused by the heavy current drain of appliances that are started up on the same circuit.
Air conditioners work at less than full capacity: The heavy power needs of air-conditioner compressors can require more line voltage than circuits provide. With large air-conditioning units, separate circuits may be needed.
Special advice: When in doubt about any electrical wiring problem, consult an electrician. Always use caution when working with electricity. Before proceeding with any electrical work, make sure the main disconnect on the service entrance panel is in the “off” position, or pull the main fuses if the panel is the cartridge fuse type. When working on individual receptacles or light switches, also turn off the circuit breaker for the circuit you will be working on, and test the receptacle with a test light before handling bare wires.

Helpful hint: Never stand on a wet or damp floor when working at the service panel. Wear rubber gloves and stand on a rubber mat for added safety.



Scrape off the affected area, sand, apply knotting, and redcoat when dry.

Keep equipment and paint clean to minimize the risk of paint faults. Surfaces should be clean, dry, and dust-free. Paint should be fresh or sieved and always applied to a compatible undercoat. Keep paint can lids well sealed. To close a can, place a piece of wood over the lid and hammer it shut. Store brushes paint pads, and rollers in a dry place, wrapped in lint-free cloth or paper.

Let the paint dry. Rub with sandpaper, clean off the dust, and then recoat.

Occurs when-paint is applied before first coat is dry. Strip and recoat.

If grit is embedded in thy paint, sand lightly, brush, and wipe off when thy.

Strip pant (if open- grain d wood fill), prime und r oat, and then repaint.

If the undercoat shows through, apply another layer of latex paint.

Surface as not properly prepared Strip, prepare surface, and repaint.

Coat the painted surface with an aluminum primer sealer and repaint.

Occurs when paints are incompatible. Strip and prepare surface. Repaint.

In dry paint, sand and recoat the area. In wet paint, brush off and touch up.

Home Painting Tips

Painting Tips & Ideas

Your home is the best place to spend your quiet moments together with your family. You can do whatever you like and you get to choose your home’s color every time you need to paint it.

Many families prefer to change their home’s paint when the season changes and they feel that a new coat of paint is already necessary. Summer comes after the winter, so you might want to have your home’s atmosphere changed to accommodate the summer feel. This is easily done by painting your home. Just make sure that you paint it with colors that depict the summer time.

Check out these cool tips so that you can decorate and paint your home for the summer:

1. When you talk about summer, you instantly think of lively colors. Everything seems so bright when summer comes and so there is a need to change your home’s paint into bright colors. By using bright colored paints, your home will open up and it’s like bringing the outside world inside.

2. Have you heard about decorative painting? This is a technique used in painting which is divided into sponging, stenciling/stamping, and ragging. By using these different techniques, it would be a lot easier to brighten the dull house paint that you now have.

3. Before starting the actual painting, you should pick the right color scheme for your home. Remember that the techniques mentioned above require the use of two shades so this is very important step that you have to never forget.

4. If you prefer to sponge your wall, or rag it perhaps, paint first the base color. Leave it to dry thoroughly. Afterwards, dip the rag or sponge to the lighter color paint that you’ve chosen. Drag or sponge the light colored paint over your base coat; do this until you’re satisfied with the effect.

5. If after your painting home summer-project you’re not that satisfied with some of the results, repaint those areas using your base coat.

6. Some people like to do stamping or stenciling when they paint their homes. This technique creates a design that looks like wallpaper over the base coat. Choose a design that has something to do with the summer. It takes just a few artistic touches and creativity to create something that depicts summer season.

7. Choose the paint for your home carefully, as well as the tools needed. Prepare the walls where you need to change the paint. This way, you can expect a much better result.

8. Visit your local paint shops or hardware for the paints that you’ll need. You can even consult the people there and ask for pieces of advice regarding painting your home with a summer theme. The people there will be most willing to test small amounts of paint for your desired color scheme.

9. If you have excess paints, make sure that you keep them in metal cans that are airtight and sealed. The shelf life of paints is reduced once the can is opened, so you can only keep it for a short time for later use.

Now, there are a lot of paint colors that you can choose for your home painting project. The paint greatly varies from texture, color, to patterns. The color of paint that you choose can affect your home’s structures and other things inside your home. So make sure that you choose the right color for the different rooms of you house. The colors should blend together to create the perfect summer atmosphere for your home.

Home Painting Ideas

When one decides to have his house painted, the most difficult part of the decision usually comes when choosing the finest colors that would complement one room to another.

Paint colors can really do wonders to one’s house. The truth is, it can revitalize a home’s surface, from the ceilings to the walls and the exterior. However, it is also a fact that choosing among the thousands of available colors for house painting can make one’s mind go numb.

Since there are numbers of people who are getting confused as to what colors they would settle on for their home, there are several guidelines conceptualized to provide great color ideas for home painting.

These ideas for home painting will help one to select the colors that would perfectly match their house. Not that alone, home painting ideas that are presented here will also serve as a guide for one when deciding of changing the color of his house by simply counting on his own perceptions of colors.

All of these can be possible without creating a strain in both of a person’s mind and purse. How? Just a simple knowledge in color combinations including their effects will do.

The home painting ideas that will be tackled here is different compared to the others. Here, you would know the four very vital ideas in home painting. These are the hue, intensity, temperature and value.

Why are they vital? It’s very simple, these four home painting ideas would serve as the key for one to create a wonderful combinations for his home painting.

The four key ideas for home painting:

• Hue-this is actually a synonym of the term color. Therefore, all colors are hues. Normally, hue refers to prime colors’ combinations along with diverse values as well as intensities.

• Intensity – This is term used when judging the colors’ brightness. Intensity can only be either bright if not dull. When you perceive the color as light, medium or dark, it is the value that you are evaluating.

• Temperature-colors usually come with warmness and coolness. For instance, red and yellow are considered as warm. Meanwhile, blue and lime are known to be cool. The color beige though is referred to as a neutral color, the mixture of warm and cool.

• Value – this pertains to the color’s lightness and darkness. The term value is actually synonymous to tint, tone and shade. Therefore, the added amount of colors white, gray, and black to a pure color is being determined by value. This will later be judged whether it is light colored, medium, or dark.

As one masters these four ideas his home painting’s color selection will be more exciting.

As for guarantee, finding the right color temperature will eventually assist in setting the mood in the rooms of one’s house. And this will have a vital part in affecting his views of the space.
Another idea for home painting is varying the house paint from one color to one with combinations. Through this the aesthetic appeal of your home will likewise change. Knowing the four key ideas of home painting, this will not be a tough task.

Also, included in the goal, these four ideas will guide a person to establish balance in his home painting. And as he understands the colors including their effects to his mood, coming up with a good choice will not be that hard too.

Other ideas for home painting can be found just by simply browsing magazines as well as books. These are inexpensive good inspirational resources. From those ideas presented for home painting, start to picture the kind of home painting you would want to have.

Home Painting Techniques

Painting is one skill which could only be mastered if you truly understand how the medium, that is the paint, could be utilized. You have to learn how to control the paint itself and then master its usage. There are likewise various home painting techniques that you need to become aware of especially if you intend to do it yourself. Do not worry because almost everyone begins with home painting technique as a neophyte.

Whether or not you plan to redesign the whole package of your home or if you only wish to refurnish one side say the kitchen or bathroom area, you still need to become aware of the home painting techniques that you have to apply. You may always find the first time you try out home painting by yourself an intimidating task. How much more if you really are not equipped with enough knowledge of the home painting techniques, right? This article is then a must-read since it would be tackling some of the commonly adopted home painting techniques as elaborated by many professionals. Your task would then be made easier and you would likely be able to come up with a laudable quality creation.

Choosing the Paint to Use

Doing it yourself would always be a daunting task, so to speak. Home painting professionals agree that the latex paint is to be highly used both for the painting applications of the outdoor and indoor home areas. The latex paint is known to smoothly apply. It wears best and could be cleaned up simply. As a way of refuting the myth, the latex paints do not involve oil-based ingredients. The base is in itself water-soluble. And it goes to say that the rollers and brushes may at any rate be cleaned up using the warm and soapy water. Another good point with the latex paint is that the spills may be thoroughly cleaned up even without using some toluene-based or mineral spirit solvents.

Many of today’s paints are in some limited number of colors which come standard to them. The common finishes that you may want to consider to blend with your base include flat, satin, eggshell, semi-gloss, and high gloss. Just a warning though: the higher level the gloss is with the finish, the harder it is to retouch any error in the home painting technique. The higher level of the gloss is, the more imperfections are likely to show up in the surface.

Tips and Concepts in Home Painting Techniques

Never paint your home out of the paint can itself. While you go about with painting, the brushes or rollers pick up dust and dirt which may bring about the impurities into the surface. The paint would also dry up in the course of time.

If the paint can is open for a long period of time, it would react to the air where it is being exposed. The paint then would become sticker and thicker. Remember that the air could dry up the paint.

The paint can must only be used to store the paint in and never to be carried around the area.

Only use at least half an inch of the paint into the bucket that you are to utilize for painting. If the bucket is accidentally spilled, you would need to clean a big mess and then lose much of it.

Always put back the cap on the paint can lid as you are done with pouring it out.

Home painting techniques are easy to remember especially if you are serious in dealing with your task.

Home Painting Design

Home painting design is an endeavor that is usually thought about by homeowners. When this is the case, you need to keep in mind that you have to deal with a design that truly fits your own taste or else your expenses would be for nothing at all.

As a homeowner, you most probably want to get rested from the boring look of your home. You would also go for redecorating your home with a new home painting design. As one season comes and passes by, many families wish to adopt with the trend. They think that it is necessary to redesign the home significantly as they change the style from the winter season towards the spring season. They would always want to soften and cozy up the air within the home. However, such endeavor proves really costly. One of the many ways of redesigning the home arena is by the application of a coat of fresh paint and the purchase of different fixtures and home accessories. Here are some worthy tips that you may adopt for home painting design and transition from one season to another.

One sure way of adding up some taste of spring and summer right into your own abode is by means of home painting designs. The decorative painting is the term used to refer to the strategy of painting the home with the utilization of the steps such as sponging, stamping, stenciling, and using the ragging patterns for the walls right under the base coat. These strategies permit you to create a new environment for the home and lift up the atmosphere in a once dull and plain room. This thing is also so much easy and pocket-friendly to do.

Sponging is done through the use of a base of the paint mainly because the paint distribution there on the wall surfaces is rough and sporadic so therefore a texture appearance is created. This is a cool concept to adopt especially if you are going to use a dark paint coat for the base because what you need to come up with is the use of the lighter shade of those already present shades on the walls of your home. The effect that you want to produce is actually already of your own choice.

If you prefer to go for patterns and be creative with your home painting design, you may use the technique known as stenciling or stamping. This is one strategy that is mostly adopted by many families. The strategies of stenciling or stamping gives about some regulated design which allows the appearance of the wallpaper design over that of the base coat. One good advantage to this is that the design or pattern that you would create would always match with the decoration that you would have to employ for the season. You don’t need to become a great artist to be able to do wallpapers that are indeed lovely. All you need is to explore the depths of your imagination.

As you think about the transition that is going to be adopted for the seasonal home painting design of your preference, always come up with a vivid, lively, and bright set of colors especially if you want a sudden transition from winter towards summer or spring. The best summer colors include the green, yellow, blue, and other pastel colors. They have the quality to create a natural feeling of freshness straight into your home.

Home Office Paint

Aside from the feel and general appearance that you would want to create in your home office, the choice of paint colors likewise put on a great effect on your productivity rate when it comes to you’re working place. Basically, you would need to stay for long durations of time in your office so it is only necessary that your working place is truly satisfying and inspiring as well. If you have a home office, then it is most probably applicable that you have the general decision on how to go about with its decoration and designing. Therefore, you have to make the most of it and turn the space into a fulfilling place that is sure to address your needs.

Certainly, everyone wants a relaxing aura existing in his or her home office. So do you. You would like your home office to be always stimulating. Every now and then you would be entertaining visitors and clients and your home office design would largely matter. As a general rule, the working place may exude an environment that is conducive to working and that which complements with the nature of the business that you perform. Hence, choose the best home office paint colors that would best go about with your lifestyle trend, style, and needs.

Home office paint must always draw a balancing line between the commercial and the residential. There are types of paint colors which function to motivate while there are those which appear distracting indeed. Take note that you need to use proper colors that would blend in with your intention to create a better environment for your working place. The colors that appear relaxing are those that have the attribute of appearing soft and muted. Now if you would prefer a highly stimulating batch of home office paint colors, then go for the lively and brighter ones which are sure to pump up more energy levels from you. It is you who could better decide on what home office paint colors could best work with your mood.

The Cool Colors

The cool colors include the greens, blues, purples, and the likes which somewhat appear passive by nature as they recede in the backgrounds. They never have the ability to disturb or distract you. These cooler hues also help out in quieting the nerves, soothing the soul, and lifting a downtrodden spirit. In a psychological manner, these cool colors are inherently meditative and calming thereby leading to a deep concentration.

Green, the Color of Nature

The color green is closely associated with nature itself. It is very natural, rejuvenating, and restful in attribute. The home office paint color green is said to be one of the best since it is related to the goals of creativity and thinking profitably. Most study halls and offices are employed with a touch of green. The color green is also said to promote harmony and balance. It is also helpful in easing out stress.

The Warm Colors

The warm colors include the yellows, reds, and oranges. They are the active and lively hues which look like moving towards your direction and hence rooms painted with them seem cozy and a lot intimate. The warm colors are truly invigorating and cheerful. These hues are perfect to be used for the areas being occupied by people who want much stimulation from the workplace. These colors are said to be very helpful in awakening the mind as well as enlivening the spirit. However, due to the lively character of these hues, they may sometimes tend to become distracting.

The Whites

White always stands as a symbol of purity and peace. Smaller areas tend to appear spacious with the use of whites. Main walls in the office areas are best off with whites.

The choice of home office paint color actually depends on your own discretion. You would have to assess your response to these colors as you select one for your home office paint.

Gas Smell in Home

Problem: Natural gas or propane gas smell is detected in home, or in particular area of appliances.

Background: An odorant is added to natural gas and propane gas to alert people of its presence. Gas build-up can be extremely dangerous and should be taken very seriously. Gas leaks, which can result from a number of causes, can produce tremendous explosions, so it is wise to be overly cautious.

What to do: If you smell a strong gas odor upon returning to your home, do not enter. Call for help from a neighbor’s phone. If you smell gas within any area of your home, do not try to light any appliance. If faint gas odor is detected, put out any smoking materials, don’t turn on any light switches, don’t use any phone in the home. Shut off any valves to appliances suspected of leaking the gas, then call a technician. However, if you are in doubt or if the gas odor is strong, leave the home immediately, call your gas supplier from a neighbor’s phone, and follow their instructions. If you can’t reach the gas supplier, call the fire department or 911.

Special advice: Liquid propane (LP) gas is heavier than air. If there is a leak in a propane system, the gas will settle near the floor. Basements, crawl spaces, skirted areas under mobile homes (even when ventilated), closets, and areas below ground level, can serve as pockets for accumulated gas. Before at tempting to light or relight a pilot light, or turning on a nearby electrical switch, be absolutely sure there is no accumulated propane gas in the area by sniffing at floor level in the vicinity of any appliance.

Helpful hint: Be especially cautious about gas leaks whenever new gas appliances have been installed. Check all gas pipes and fittings for leaks with a soapy water solution. Before lighting any newly installed appliance, factory fittings on appliances should be checked by a qualified technician.

Excessive Moisture in Home

Problem: Excess humidity causes condensation that leads to dripping on windows, wet sills, damp walls, mold, wet insulation, wood rot, and metal corrosion.

Background: Humidity is water vapor absorbed in air. Condensation forms when vapor cools enough to convert to liquid, such as the fog, water, or ice seen on a cold window, or the dampness on cold wall surfaces. Excessive humidity can come from sources such as humidifiers, bathing, washing and drying clothes, cooking, washing dishes, mopping floors, plants, pets, plumbing leaks, humans, whirl pools, steam baths, saunas, and attached greenhouses and aquariums. Sources also may include moisture migrating through foundations, brought inside by air leaks, from combustion venting failure, or from building materials and furnishings.

What to do: A 30% to 50% humidity level is enough to control dry skin problems, dry throats, coughing, and static electricity. Higher levels may increase potential for mold and mildew. Even reasonable indoor humidity, however, can cause condensation and wet insulation in cold climates if water vapor penetrates into cool parts of the home, such as attics. (Holes where wires, pipes, ducts, or light fixtures enter attics should be sealed to prevent humid air from entering.) Wood rot may occur in studs, wall sheathing, or roof decking if condensation is pro longed.
Solutions include using bath room and kitchen exhaust fans or whole house ventilating systems, and controlling excessive moisture sources, such as wet basements, un vented clothes dryers or kerosene heaters, indoor firewood storage, overly frequent showers, or misuse of humidifiers. Installing an interior- side vapor retarder and a continuous air barrier system to keep vapor- laden air from penetrating into cool areas, are helpful as well as installing adequate corner insulation and thermally insulated windows and doors. In bathrooms, using triple-insulated glass, and well-insulated walls and ceilings installed with vapor retarders, can reduce condensation.

Special advice: Excessive condensation can also be caused by having improper vents for fuel-burning equipment, such as furnaces, water heaters, wood-burning stoves, and fireplaces. If this is the case, take action immediately because this situation can be dangerous. To be properly vented, the appliance area should be kept at neutral air pressure with a constant supply of outside air. All exhaust fans, exhaust hoods, and appliance exhausts should be balanced with an adequate supply of outside air brought into the house or directly to the equipment.

Helpful hint: New houses often have a higher indoor humidity the first few years due to the moisture in building materials. Opening windows or extra use of ventilation fans on warm days may help. If moisture problems occur when an automatic set-back thermostat (automatically adjusts the system to save energy) is used, adding a timer to operate the furnace fan several times an hour, or leaving the heat on during the night, may solve the problem.