CFU would love to add classes to our offerings that help folks with DIY home repair or other kinds of home projects. If you have expertise in that area, please check out the Teach with Us tab on our website for information about submitting a proposal.

In the meantime, interior designer and freelance writer Kylee King shares some tips for your DIY home repair:

5 Repairs You Need to Know To Save Time And Money

With home maintenance repairs costing between $12,607 and $21,506 annually depending on your location in Colorado and the repairs needed, it’s always good to be able to try to save money. Knowing how to do simple repairs, instead of calling a repairman, would allow you to put that money to better use somewhere else in your budget. A great way to save money in the long run is to take classes on home repairs, allowing you to oversee any project you choose to take on.

Before Choosing Your Paint

If a color change is needed because of aesthetics or repairs to the drywall, there are a few steps you’ll need to do. Start with cleaning the walls, and covering the floor and furniture with plastic. Then remove electrical switches, outlet covers, and any other removable wall fixtures. Next, you’ll need to use painters tape around baseboards and any remaining wall fixtures.

Choosing the right rollers or brushes is key because they have different fibers, depending on what type of paint you’re needing to use. Oil based paints can use natural or synthetic, while latex or water-based paint will use just synthetic brushes and rollers. Sizes of brushes will depend on if you need flat brushes for the walls or trim brushes to use around windows and doors. After the primer, don’t forget that it typically takes 2 coats of paint to achieve the look you want, so plan for the amount of paint you’ll need. All items are available at hardware stores, so all you need to worry about is what color you want for the room.

Fixing Faucet Leakiness

Fixing those random leaky faucets is usually one of the major repairs people need to have completed. In the long run, fixing them will save on unintended water usage, which can translate into money saved over time on your water bills. Usually the washer is the source of the leak, which is easily remedied by removing and replacing. However if the faucet doesn’t use washers, it may simply need a new O-ring. Either way, the parts are easily obtained at your local home improvement store.

Misbehaving Drains

Are the drains or the toilet not working quite right, or not at all? A clog somewhere in the line is the probably culprit. If the issue isn’t related to items, like toys for example, being accidentally slipping down drains, then a plunger might be all that’s required. A flanged plunger is great for use on a toilet, it can also be used on a sink drain. If a plunger is not enough to get the job done, then a plumbing snake, or closet auger, might do the trick. Like the plunger, they can be found at most home improvement stores.

Minor Electrical Repairs

Major electrical issues should always require the services of an electrician. However, if the issue is a minor one, like changing out a outlet or light switch, then a little DIY can go a long way. Don’t forget to turn the electricity off to the room you’re working on, and always double-check the wiring to make sure there’s no electricity flowing to them. After that it’s as simple as removing the outlet, taking note of where each wire goes, and then replacing it with the one you want.

Replacing Roof Shingles

Damaged shingles can make your roof an eyesore, but it can also eventually lead to leaks if not taken care of as soon as possible. Understanding how shingles are put on can go a long way to make this easy. First you will want to grab a pry bar, hammer, shingles, shingle nails, and leather gloves from the local hardware store. Make sure the shingles you get match the current ones on your roof, or a close as possible match.

Next you want to make sure the day you choose to do this project is forecasted to have moderate weather, because if it’s too cold the shingles can crack, and if it’s too warm the shingle sealants can be tough to break. You’ll need to loosen the tabs under the broken shingle, push the flat bar up under the damaged shingle, and then pop out the nails by prying underneath the shingle. Once you have the shingle off, then put the new one in place, nailing it just above the sealant strip.

Don’t let the unknown cause you to not take control of your home’s repairs. In addition to classes, a little financial planning, such as a savings account created specifically for repairs and maintenance, can be the start to making sure you’re not unprepared when something goes wrong. You’ll be able to take satisfaction not only having money set aside to pay for the repairs, but also from the success you’ll feel completing the job yourself.

Browse the courses offered at Colorado Free University here.