Series: How to fix it up

New Year, New Home is a three-part series on how to refresh your home in 2015

In addition to finally tackling those long-delayed tidying tasks, New Year’s resolutions often involve attacking those odd jobs that went unaccomplished in 2014. Like ripping off a Band Aid, the job – whatever it may be – will be that much easier by just getting it done.

To help do just that, CREB®Now has compiled a list of common household jobs that may need tending to and some ways to remedy them.

1. Dripping faucet

To remedy the constant drip of a leaky faucet, first shut off the water under the sink in question. Then, close the drain or cover it to catch any parts that may come loose. There are four types of faucets – compression, cartridge, ceramic disk and ball – so it’s important to figure out which type you’re working with in advance.

For most types, correcting that drip will require nothing more than replacing a simple washer, O-ring or cartridge, which are often visibly damaged. Ball faucets can be especially tricky, so the best course of action is to buy an entire kit. To ensure you don’t damage the fixture, American home improvement specialists This Old House recommends you cover your wrench with a layer of tape. You can also help your faucet flow freely by using distilled white vinegar or other cleaning products to remove mineral deposits on faucet parts.

2. Drafty windows

The application of weather-stripping around a window can reduce drafts. If more intervention is required, shrink wrap kits that minimize heat loss are available at stores for less than $20.

For an even more miserly fix, drafts around windows sills can be reduced by laying a draft stopper, which can be as simple as an old sock filled with dry rice, along the bottom of the window. For windows where the view is less important, such as in the basement, cover the entire surface with Styrofoam insulation cut to size glued to plywood or drywall. To check if you’re windows are letting air in, blow out a candle around suspect areas and see if the smoke blows toward or away from the window.

3. Dots, dots, dots

Have you moved into a new home and, once you’ve hanged your photos and art, still have nail holes from former occupants winking at you? Or have you renovated and moved some of your wall hangings, leaving little black holes dotting the walls? Use a lightweight drywall compound to cover unsightly marks on the wall. Use smooth, even strokes to first cover the hole. Then, let the compound dry before lightly sanding the entire area.

Lastly, spot prime the area with a latex primer, followed by applying a top coat with your wall paint cover. Priming is also necessary so you don’t get flashing. For larger holes, say a door knob through the wall, consider purchasing a patch kit.

Next week, CREB®Now takes a look at some outdoor renovation projects that may have been neglected last year and are once again popping up on your To-Do lists.

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