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Snappy home repairs to do yourself

Sometimes it can be too easy to just call the repairman and get out your checkbook. Leaky faucet? Call. Tub tile cracked? Call. Here are some repairs that every homeowner should know how to do — for a fraction of the cost of calling a pro. "Some projects might seem a little dirty, but a bar of soap is a lot less expensive than an hour of a handyman's time," says Daniel Vannoni, founder of the website ProperSee, which connects consumers with home repair information.

Change a showerhead

Why: "Showerheads can clog with mineral deposits and sediments over time, and newer models have low-flow designs saving on your water consumption without sacrificing the strength of spray," Vannoni says.

Tools: Crescent wrench or slip-joint pliers and Teflon tape

Time: Five to 15 minutes

More help: Home repair expert Barbara K of AOL's home improvement channel provides guidance in this video titled "How-To Change a Showerhead" on YouTube:

Fix a running toilet

Why: It wastes water and has an annoying sound. This usually indicates that the flapper and sealing flange need a cleaning or replacement.

Tools: A flapper replacement kit from the hardware store

Time: Five to 15 minutes

More help: Check out Howcast's video "How to Fix a Running Toilet" on identifying and fixing your porcelain throne's issues:

Fix cracked ceramic tiles

Why: Safely remove the broken tile to replace with a new one.

Tools: Safety glasses, hammer, chisel, grout saw, adhesive, new tile and grout

Time: One hour

More help: Home repair hunk Eric Stromer gives step-by-step instructions to "Replace a Broken Tile" on YouTube:

Fix a leaky faucet

Why: Dripping plumbing wastes water, leads to stains and causes an annoying sound.

Tools: Faucet repair kit, which should include any needed hardware, plus a wrench set and Philips screwdriver

Time: 20 minutes

More help: Lowe's shows you "How to Fix a Leaky Faucet With a Single-Handle Design":

Repair small wall holes and dents

Why: Smooth out your wall to prep for a clean paint job.

Tools: Mesh, spackle, putty knife and sandpaper

Time: 10-plus minutes

More help: AOL's Barbara K shows you "How to Patch or Repair a Hole in a Wall":

Regrout your tub

Why: It's important to remove old grout that's cracked or moldy to prevent deep-water damage in the wall and floor.

Tools: Screwdriver for scraping as well as grout and a sponge

Time: 30 to 60 minutes, plus drying time

More help: Los Angeles contractor Chris Wade demonstrates "How to Regrout a Bathtub": on a flamingo-pink tub

Change a light fixture

Why: That wicker ceiling fan got you down? Want more wattage? Swapping out a light fixture can turn around a room.

Tools: Wire tester, screwdriver, pliers, electrical tape and ladder

Time: 30 minutes, depending

More help: Buildipedia's YouTube video "How to Replace a Light Fixture" gives some safety and DIY tips:

Snappy home repairs to do yourself 11/23/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 6:16pm]
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