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Saving money with simple DIY repairs

Saving money with simple DIY repairs

 
May 4, 2011
 
For many families, buying a home may be the first time they are faced with trying to deal with maintenance issues themselves.  But as CNN Living reports, homeowners don’t need to call an expert for every little job.  Knowing how to take care of some easy fixes can save a lot of money in the long run.
 
The power goes out in the kitchen
 
CNN living says when electricity goes out in part of the house, then it may be a problem with a circuit breaker or a fuse.  Generally, this panel can be found in a utility area in the rear of the house or the basement.  It may be a good idea to locate it right after buying a home, so it can be easily found in the dark.
 
If one of the circuit breaker switches is “tripped,” pushing it all the way off, and then switching it on, should restore power.  If it’s a fuse, then unscrew it and take it to a hardware store to get a new one.  However, if the fuse box or circuit breaker feels hot, CNN Living says it could be a much more serious issue, and you should call an electrician.
 
Unclogging the sink
 
In most bathrooms, it’s almost a matter of time before the sink is clogged with hair and won’t drain properly.  CNN Living says that instead of calling a plumper, homeowners first move might be to try a plunger.
 
Filling up the sink with enough water to cover the plunger and pushing up and down might be enough to push the clog through.  A coat hanger can also be used in an attempt to move or break the clog.  If that fails, homeowners can try a drain cleaner, as long as their pipes aren’t old.  CNN Living says pipes older than 25 years can actually be damaged by the chemicals.
 
Pruning shrubs
 
Many new homeowners are unsure how to take care of the shrubs and trees that surround their new home.  But instead of continually hiring a landscaper, CNN living says a sharp pair of pruning shears may all that’s needed.
 
Trimming shrubs of dead branches can keep them healthy and looking good.  To see if a branch is dead, you can take the shears and gently scrape away a layer of bark.  If the inside of the branch is brown or black, it’s dead, while white or green means it is still alive.
 
If it’s dead, take the shears and make an angled cut – away from the end of the branch – a few inches into the live portion of the branch.  However, if it’s too high to reach, call a professional. 
 

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