Regardless of whether you rent or own a property, here are four repairs that are useful to know how to do yourself.
As a renter/tenant it is important to know what is and is not your responsibility in your rental space. Generally, landlords are required to fix anything that makes a space uninhabitable. This means that major pest problems, lack of water or electricity, and major appliances must be fixed by the landlord.
However, any damage that the renter inflicts is up to the renter to repair, as well as anything else that the landlord may specify in the contract. Instead of panicking when you find that there are repairs you need to make as a renter, stay aware of what the simple repairs are and how you can fix them.
If you move into a space and the sink is already leaking, that will be the landlord’s responsibility to fix. However, if it starts to leak after you move in, and it is not causing any major damage, it may be up to you to repair. A simple leak under your kitchen sink is easy and quick to fix though. If it is possible, turn off the water before you attempt any repairs. You will need two wrenches, one to hold the valve and the other to turn the compression nut. Many leaks can be fixed simply by tightening up the valves and nuts on your pipes.
Replacing Window Screens
A loose window screen or one with a hole in it is not considered to be a major home repair. Therefore, you will need to take care of this on your own. This is a simple and inexpensive project that should only take an hour or less to complete. First, remove the old screen by prying it out with a flathead screwdriver. You will be keeping this screen for the plastic frame, or spline. Remove the mesh screen material from the spline and size the new screen material to fit. Use a flat, rolling tool to tightly insert the screen into the spline. The reinsert the screen in your window.
Unclogging Toilets or Sinks
Unclogging a toilet or kitchen sink is an extremely easy repair that any homeowner or renter can handle on their own. Usually there is no need to call a plumber to help with a simple clogged sink. All you need is a plunger and some arm strength. Pump the plunger in a quick up and down motion to loosen the object stuck in the drain. If the object is not small enough to journey down the pipes (like a child’s toy), you may need to reach in and grab it. Calling a plumber is only necessary if flooding occurs.
Often a window will get stuck if it is not opened for a long period of time or if it has not been cleaned or lubricated recently. If you go to open your window on a particularly hot day to get some fresh air circulating, it can be frustrating to find that your window won’t open at all. Do not despair. Instead of calling your landlord to complain, take matters into your own hands.
Often you just need some extra momentum to get the window open. First, wedge a putty knife in the crack of the window and gently tap it with a hammer to see if you can loosen the window. If this does not work, use leverage to get it open. Place a block of wood to rest against the window. Then put a pry bar under the end of the window and gently rock it back and forth, being careful not to work it too hard and break your window. This should give you the help you need to get that stuck window open.
The more you are able to fix on your own, the better off you will be financially. Stay knowledgeable on those small and simple repairs and your landlord will be impressed at the great state you’ve kept your home or apartment in.
About the author:
Theo Schmidt enjoys spending time in the outdoors, and he is passionate about protecting the environment. He spends time on the weekends finding ways to improve his home and helping others with their own projects. To help with your drain in Toronto, visit the Advanced Plumbing website.