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: youtube.com/watch?v=fHBaTCKcYPU
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: howcast.com/videos/112977-How-to-Fix-a-Running-Toilet
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: youtube.com/watch?v=WGWmuDCAkS8
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": youtube.com/watch?v=A7e2bIfP8Us
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": youtube.com/watch?v=y4yqVFb96bo
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": youtube.com/watch?v=4uyn5RmLzyc 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: youtube.com/watch?v=jRFKsnyidjA