The joys of home ownership can sometimes be expensive. People’s needs change over time, as do their personal preferences. For most people, remodeling or redecorating usually requires careful financial planning. They’re able to set aside a part of the family budget and use the time it takes to save the money to begin a new project to perfect their vision and look forward to the final result when it’s completed. However, sometimes unexpected, and costly, home repairs become necessary. To avoid having to put other long-term plans on hold, more people are taking advantage of all the information available on the internet to make those repairs themselves.
One example of a potentially costly unexpected home repair is a plumbing leak in which your pipes continue to drip water even when the main shutoff valve is completely closed. The looming threat of water damage or potential contamination requires immediate action. The average cost of professional plumbing services ranges from $160 to $430 for many of the most common jobs. The average cost per hour ranges from $45 to $150. It’s as easy to make some simple plumbing repairs yourself as it is to think of at least 10 enjoyable family activities that would cost the same amount.
Main water shutoff valves becoming clogged with mineral deposits is a common cause of slow leaks. The good news is that the problem can often be corrected simply and easily by replacing the ball valve. With a few simple tools and materials, that’s something you can do safely and easily yourself. To replace a ball valve, you’ll need the following tools:
- A 4-in-1 screwdriver
- An adjustable wrench
- A pipe wrench
- A roll of plumber’s tape
The only materials you’ll need are a ¾ inch ball valve (check flange tables here) and some leather washers. Leather washers are the best because unlike neoprene washers, they don’t dry out and crack. They can be harder to find, but it’s well worth your time to contact a plumbing supplier or search online for them. The best type of ball valve to buy is a threaded replacement ball valve, which are superior to the older gate-style valves. While replacing a valve yourself can save you a lot of money, you’ll save even more over time by using quality parts.
The first step in any kind of plumbing repair is shutting off the water. While the results of not doing so can be hilarious to anyone watching, they can also be costly. First, you’ll need to test the street-side valve that provides water to the house to make sure that it opens and closes correctly and completely. If it doesn’t, it may need to be replaced as well, which means you will need to contact your local water utility to shut off the main valve. Once you’ve assembled your tools and materials and shut of the water, there are a number of videos that offer both educational information and step by step instructions for replacing the valve.
Another common unexpected home repair that requires immediate action to avoid further damage is replacing a broken window. The cost of having a new window pane professionally installed can range anywhere from $100 to $600 dollars. That amount could represent anything from a family night out to a mini-vacation. Fortunately, replacing a window pane another common home repair that you can save money by doing yourself. To do it yourself, you’ll need the following tools:
- heat gun
- putty knife
- tape measure
- small wire brush
- heavy gloves
The first step is to measure the area of the window and use those measurements to order a new pane of glass. The materials you’ll need in addition to the new pane of glass are some putty, linseed oil, and glaziers push points. If you don’t know what glaziers push points are, don’t worry. You can find them here. Once you’ve assembled your tools and materials, you can either follow written step-by-step instructions or follow along with a video, depending upon your preferred learning style.
Although they are a great way to save money, there are other benefits of DIY home repairs. Do-it-yourselfers report feeling a great sense of empowerment in learning a new skill, one benefit that money can’t buy.