By Peter Fabris
Major home projects are best done when the scorching summer months are at bay, so why not turn your attention to those annoying little problems on the to-do list? Leave the landscaping overhaul and exterior house repainting for cooler weather, and tackle that loose cabinet door, expand your kitchen storage space, or perk up the basement.
Quick home fixes
- Broken Lazy Susan: When your Lazy Susan won’t spin anymore, the pots and pans within might as well have disappeared into a black hole. Fortunately, replacing the unit is a fairly easy task. If you know somebody who is remodeling a kitchen, you might even be able to replace it with a used one that would otherwise be thrown away.
- Front-yard dumpers: Are your neighbors’ dogs doing their business in your yard? An auto sprayer keeps dogs off your lawn. This device could put a stop to that problem by shooting jets of water activated by a motion detector.
- Loose cabinet door hinge: The small screws on kitchen cabinet doors can easily become loose over time. Quickly fix this annoyance by unscrewing door hinges and replacing those holes with toothpicks packed together and well-coated with wood glue. Then, re-drill the hinges back on and let dry.
- Sweaty toilet: Summer heat can make your toilet sweat, and the condensation might seep into the floor and damage wood. An anti-sweat valve solves this problem by keeping the toilet warm enough to stop condensation from forming.
Create more storage space
Most people accumulate more items than they can store, but there may be extra space in your home that you didn’t realize! Look in the back of your kitchen cabinets and add some pullout sliding baskets for ease in taking needed items.
For small bathrooms, DIY Channel’s Amy Matthews suggests adding built-in shelving. Find a space between two studs free of electrical outlets or plumbing, and add in-wall shelving perfect for towels or other bathroom accessories.
When the mercury rises to the 90s and above, it’s an ideal time for working on the coolest area of your house: the basement or storage area.
Water seepage is a common basement problem. The first step is finding the source. Duct tape a square of aluminum foil to a pre-dried space on the wall and check it three days later. If moisture is on the wall-facing side, you’ve got seepage and need sealant. If moisture is on the room-facing side, try using a dehumidifier.
To eliminate new seepage, use hydraulic cement to fill cracks, and apply masonry paint to cement walls.
Light fixture fixes
Switching to energy-saving bulbs saves money, but replacing light bulbs in recessed lighting fixtures is a challenge. The fix? Fold over a piece of duct tape and stick it to the bulb to get a good grip.