Ok, so you played golf all morning and your college team doesn’t play until 3:30 so you figure maybe you would do a couple of jobs around the house so that, well, so that you would be able to play golf all morning and watch football in the afternoon again next week.
Question is, what kind of DIY jobs can you get done in under a couple of hours that will impress your significant other so you can maintain your lifestyle.
Here are 5. Do one or two a week and you should be in good graces. And – all you will need is a wrench, maybe an extendable brush, perhaps a screwdriver (a real screwdriver, not the cocktail), and your favorite work shirt.
One – service your own heating and air system. That’s right, you can service your own system in between the times when your hvac company comes out for their twice-a-year check-ups.
Get a new filter, one for each system, then take the old one out and slide the new one in. Make sure you close the filter cover, don’t cut your finger on the sharp shards of metal in that area and you are good to go.
While you are there you can add a quarter cup of bleach to the system where the pvc pipe makes an upside down ‘T’ and you will help keep your condensate drain clean.
Problem – this takes approximately 3 minutes to do not including the time you take to get your filters. Take your time. Wrinkle your eyebrows at least once. Pretend to measure something to help fill out the time.
Benefits – huge. New filters keep your system running more efficiently, longer and the clean drain keeps the condensation flowing out of the house.
Two – install a new faucet. Kitchen, bathroom, utility room, I bet you are tired of looking at that same old faucet you’ve had since day 1. You will need a wrench for this.
Turn off the water to that faucet. Use the wrench to loosen the old faucet and remove. Get a towel and wipe the water off your face that will hit you when you remove the old faucet. Put the new faucet in the same opening. Tighten the nuts. Turn on the water. Good to go!
Problem – you might have to work on your back under your faucet for a moment or two so you will have to clear out storage under sink. You will also momentarily be confused laying on your back looking up at the bolts as to which way you turn to tighten. It’s the same way, you are just looking at it upside down so adapt.
Benefits – beautiful new faucets in your kitchen or bath or utility room. Side benefit, since you will have had to move stuff from under your sink you will also be able to clean that part of your house up. This is huge extra credit. To honor the event, throw something away for a change. Your other will appreciate it.
Three – change the hardware in your kitchen. You will need new hardware and a screwdriver.
Find some matching hardware, not only matching itself but matching the kitchen as well and install it in on your drawers and cabinets. Unscrew the old hardware, remove, wipe down the cabinet face with a damp rag and perhaps a bit of liquid soap (not too much), and screw in the new hardware. Be careful not to screw them in too tight.
Problem – your screw holes may have become too big or wallered out for your new screws. Won’t be all of them, but maybe a few have. While you are buying new hardware also buy some wooden matches. If you find a hole that is too large, or wallered out, break the head off of a match (and dispose of carefully) and insert the stick into the hole. Now your screw will be secure in the hole.
Benefit – believe it or not your kitchen will look surprisingly new for the small amount of work you have done. This is a great, inexpensive improvement.
Four – clean out your dryer duct. You will need a vacuum and possibly an extendable brush.
Slide your dryer out away from the wall so you can work behind it (that can be a job in itself). Now vacuum out the dryer vent the best you can. It is possible your vent turns immediately behind the wall so do the best you can. Also go outside where the vent exhausts from your house and go at it from that direction. Use the extendable brush if you can. Also if you are on a crawl space you can possible get it from your crawlspace (depending on which floor your dryer is on). That is the best because you can probably get into the duct along the line and clean in both directions.
Problem – people (not you, noooo, not you) but some people are grossed out by the gunk in their dryer vent. Generally, it is just cloth from your dryer, just washed cloth from your dryer, so there really isn’t anything to be grossed out by.
Benefits – a clean dryer vent allows your dryer to work more efficiently, a lot more efficiently, reduces energy usage and helps prevent fires. Extra side benefit, when you move your dryer out away from the wall – that is where your big gunky mess is – you can clean that out. You’ll get more, big bonus points for doing that. For gags while you are there push the washer out a little and clean that too. Do that and you can play 36 holes next Saturday. Wanna go for the Grand Slam? Pull out your refrigerator and your stove and clean there too. You will be up for saint-hood.
Five – spruce up your electrical. By electrical I don’t just mean stuff you plug in. I mean everything with a cord. You will need your eyeballs, colored tape, and perhaps another person.
For starters have someone stand at your breaker box and start flipping breakers off. Have someone else make note of what went off when which breaker was flipped. Mark your breaker box accordingly. Nothing says loving like knowing that breaker number 8 goes to the guest bedroom. Your box being marked correctly and completely will save you time when you have electrical issues.
Now go to each tv and computer and electrical strip and mark which cables and plugs come from what service and go to which input/output. You can do it by using color coded tape or use white tape and write on it. While you are there, neaten and bundle the cables and plugs so they aren’t strewn about on the floor.
Problem – this can take some crawling around and could be confusing and frustrating as you attempt to trace cables from under the crawlspace, through the basement, up underneath the stairway into the back bedroom. Stick with it. It will come in handy as you up-grade and replace electronics in the future.
Benefits – tons of benefits here, you get to make sure you know where every cable goes, you get your cables and plugs neatly arraigned and out of the way, you get to see how dusty it is underneath your desks and entertainment centers, the list goes on…
There is a whole month’s worth of DIY lovin’ broken down into easiness.
Enjoy your golf and tv.