The Homeowner’s Survival Guide
Did you just move into your first house? It’s a big transition going from an apartment to a house, and if this is your first time actually owning rather than renting the transition might be rocky once you realize that when something goes wrong you are your own landlord.
Here are a few simple things you must know how to do on your own:
1. Fix a leaky faucet. The culprit is usually an old washer inside the faucet, so to get to it turn off the water supply valve under the sink. Remove the screw and pull of the handle. Using a wrench, disassemble the stem and remove all parts. Line them up on the counter in the way they came off so you don’t confuse yourself later. Examine the cartridges for cracks and replace the offending piece. Reassemble and relax.
2. Move the fridge. Fridges need maintenance. The area behind them needs to be swept, the condensation pan needs to be cleaned and the front grate needs to be vacuumed. This all involves a lot of maneuvering, and buying magic sliders can save you a lot of pulled muscles and angry fits.
3. Locate a stud. Important when you’re decorating or remodeling, the ability to find a stud will save you lots of money when you avoid tearing out a chunk of your wall. Most studs are placed in 16-inch intervals so start at the corner of the wall (there are always studs there), and count your way to the location you want.
4. Unclog a sink. Before you go gung-ho on the chemicals, remember that they don’t clear stoppages—they usually just made a small hole. Try doing it the manual way first: with a small plunger and the sink full of water. If the block is deeper down, invest in a small hand snake and try to clear it yourself. If that doesn’t work it may be time to pick up the phone and call a professional.
5. Drill through tile. Even bathrooms need nice decorations. To drill through tile you’ll need a drywall screw and a hammer. Place the screw where you want to drill and tap it LIGHTLY with the hammer to make your place. Using a masonry bit and drill SLOWLY to avoid cracking and rage.