Finding the Confidence to Make Household Repairs Yourself

Figuring out how to install a new tile floor in her family room paid off big for my friend, Mary Brock, who lives in South Carolina. A close-out sale of 25-cents each for twelve-inch ceramic tile, basic installation tools and a simple how-to-book gave her the confidence she needed to give it a try.

“I got a serious physical workout, great results and still enjoy the bragging rights of a do-it-yourselfer. Plus, with the money I didn’t spend on materials, we got new furniture for the room.”

Read more

Repair—Don’t Replace—and Pocket the Savings and More!

Not all companies are starving for business these days. In fact, some are setting records for increased business. Any kind of repair business and also thrift stores are doing great during these financial turbulent times. Makes sense. After all it doesn’t require a Mensa membership to know that most often it is cheaper to repair than to replace, and you can clean silver for a fraction of the price of a commercial cleaning product for a fraction of their new price tag. Which leads me to today’s first in a fun collection of random tips …

022416image

WINDSHIELD REPAIR. Call your insurance agent to report a small crack in your car’s windshield. Many insurance companies will fix cracks or “stars” for free, provided they’re smaller in size than a quarter, in order to prevent larger claims in the future. Some companies will even send a repair person to your home or work to make it convenient for you.

CORD CORRAL. To corral a group of cords under your desk or behind a TV, buy a plastic shower rod cover. Cut it to your desired length. Then spread it open and enclose the cords. You can even match it to your carpet color to make the cords less visible.

COUPONS FOR KIDS. Turn grocery shopping into a game for kids. Pick out which coupons you plan to use and give them to the kids. Let them try to match the items from the coupons to the items on the shelf. Then, at check out let their reward be the money that you saved from using the coupons.

FRESH SCENT. Scented candle stubs from used candles will keep your car smelling fresh. Put the wax pieces in a can or a small container and leave them in your car. On a warm day, the wax will melt and fill the car with a nice fragrance.  Read more

Simple Tips to Keep Things Beautiful and Working Well Around the House

So you splurged on some really beautiful—dare I say expensive—sink fixtures for your kitchen or bathroom. Here’s a fabulous way to keep them looking beautiful for many years to come.

102015image

Once a month or so, wipe the faucets down with a rag that you have sprayed with a wax-based furniture polish. This will keep mineral deposits from building up and staining or pitting the surface of even the most exquisite fixtures.

DUCT TAPE REPAIR. Got a shower curtain with a ripped ring hole that makes it sag? Don’t throw it out quite yet. Instead, get out the duct tape and cover the entire hole on both sides. Using a hole punch or craft knife, re-create the ring hole. Now it’s stronger than new. But maybe not so attractive. Not to worry. These days duct tape comes in loads of colors and even patterns. You may even want to reinforce the entire top strip of the vinyl curtain with a bright color or design and redo all of the holes while you’re at it, not just the torn one. Read more

A Little Appliance Know-How Saves Money

If you’ve been reading this column for any length of time, you know that my husband and I have repaired or performed regular maintenance on a number of our home appliances. And I love hearing when my readers do the same. Our first great reader tip is a good reminder for anyone with a dishwasher.

Dishwasher

Some rights reserved by brownpau

EASY DISHWASHER MAINTENANCE. We began to see our dishwasher’s efficiency steadily dropping even though it was only six years old. The dishes were coming out spotty, even after trying several different detergents. We assumed it needed replacing. My husband decided to examine it more closely and noticed that the spray holes on the rotating jet arms were plugged with debris. He cleaned out each of the spray holes and my dishes have been sparkling clean ever since. Sadly, the owners manual mentioned nothing about doing this procedure. We are thrilled that we saved ourselves the expense of a new dishwasher. Jean, California Read more