Little problems in your home add up fast. Outsourcing small fixes to professionals is twice the headache of rolling up your sleeves and getting to work on the problem yourself. Whether you own or rent, there are a few easy ways to keep up your home and save money on repairs. Keep more of your money by doing some simple maintenance.

Fixing a Crack in Drywall

A small break in your drywall can be fixed in less than an hour but will go a long way to improving the appearance of your home. Especially for rowdy renters, making this small repair will really add up to a savings on a security deposit return. The basic tools you’ll need for the job are Spackle, a putty-knife or similar tool for spreading, some sandpaper, primer and paint that matches the room, and a paintbrush.

  • Spread the Spackle over the crack in the wall. Leave the excess and make sure that you’ve filled the entire crack. Let the Spackle dry. You can use a hairdryer to speed up the process.
  • After the Spackle is completely dry, sand it down until the area is smooth and as flush as possible with the wall.
  • Apply some primer before painting over the area. Make sure to find a color of paint that matches the rest of the wall or your fix will not be subtle. Apply at least two coats for best results.

Taming a Spraying Faucet

An unruly faucet can make washing your hands annoying and potentially cause unnecessary water damage to your bathroom in the long run. If your faucet sprays in all directions when you turn it on, there is an easy fix that should solve most of the problem. Removing the grime from your aerator (the mesh screen in your faucet) will make for a steadier flow. If that’s not the problem, tightening your faucet head may also do the trick. You’ll need a wrench, a towel, and a brush with some soap.

  • Place your towel over the drain to prevent losing any pieces during the repair.
  • Remove the tip of the faucet with your wrench by turning counterclockwise. You can apply masking tape over the jaws of the wrench to prevent scratches. In some cases, you may not even need a wrench if the tip is loose enough.
  • Remove all pieces of the aerator and take careful note of their order. Place them in order so you don’t forget how to reassemble.
  • Brush the mesh part of the aerator with some soap. Use a wire brush for the most stubborn grime.
  • Reassemble the faucet in the opposite order of removal. Make sure to tighten the faucet tip fully to avoid repeating the spray problems.

Restore Pressure to a Drizzling Shower head

Showers are much less satisfying with wimpy water pressure. The most common culprit of a weak showerhead is mineral buildup. You don’t need a plumber or new hardware to restore the flow. All you’ll need is some vinegar or calcium dissolving solution like CLR.


  • Remove the showerhead from the pipe. Be careful not to damage the pipe or fixture in this process; it’d be a shame to do more harm than good.
  • Place the showerhead in a bowl of vinegar and soak it overnight. If you’re using CLR or a similar type of chemical solution, follow the manufacturer directions.
  • After enough time has elapsed for the mineral deposits to dissolve, replace the showerhead and give it a test run to make sure you’ve solved the problem.