Fix-It Chick: Tackle some basic home repairs for the new year

Here are some New Year’s resolutions you can fix yourself.

•Fix that leaky faucet. Turn off the water supply to the faucet. Remove the faucet handle. Replace the seat and spring under the stem or replace the faucet stem washer, depending on the age of the faucet.

• Fix that squeaky door. Tighten any loose hinge screws. Hold a rag under the hinge pins and spray the pins with a high-quality lubricant. Move the door back and forth. Spray again and wipe away the excess lubricant.

• Fix that broken door knob. Depending on the age of the lock set, remove the rosette or face plate. Disassemble the handle set. Remove the handles and the backset. Replace with a similar sized lockset.

• Fix that leaky toilet. Replace the flapper and replace the fill valve. If the toilet still leaks, remove the tank and replace the tank to bowl gasket and the flush valve.

• Install energy efficient lighting. Replace incandescent bulbs with CFL or LED light bulbs. Replace old T-12 ballasts with new T-8 ballasts.

• Spruce up the yard. Reseed the lawn. Trim back trees and shrubs. Replace damaged landscape elements with native, drought-resistant varieties.

• Fix that window screen. Lay the screen frame on a flat surface. Remove the old spline and screen. Install new screen and new spline using a good quality screening tool.

• Fix that broken window. Wait for a warmer day. Remove the broken glass and clean the area around the frame opening. Install new glass. For wooden windows, use a putty knife to cut in the glazing around the glass edges. Avoid touching the glazing with your hands.

• Fix the front door bell. Remove the old button and replace it with a new one. It is not necessary to turn the power off when replacing a door bell, but do not allow the two wires to touch. If the bell still does not work after replacing the button, locate the transformer and replace it.

• Start composting. Purchase a composter or use fence posts and chicken wire to create an open compost bin in the yard. Fill the compost bin with equal parts of food waste and dry ingredients, like leaves, straw, newspaper or natural fabrics. Turn the pile regularly, adding additional wet and dry ingredients to create rich, earthy smelling compost for the new year.


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