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To fix or not to fix.



Fixing things around your home, can be a tedious and frightening job. But sometimes it is just worth it to save money, than to spend hundreds of dollars paying someone else to do it. And with the cold weather coming soon in Colorado, there might be something that you can fix on your own and not have to spend a large amount of money to hire someone.

Ty Pennington is a television host; most notable for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on ABC and as a carpenter on TLC's reality show, Trading Spaces. He is a big fan of doing things yourself and has some excellent tips to get started.

One, don’t get started on a job if you don’t have the time to finish it. Second, don’t be brainless—it’s not smart. If you know that you are good at something, than take it on; but if you aren't, there are experts willing to help. When you go to a home-improvement store, ask for help and don’t be afraid. Make sure to plan ahead by measuring everything and know what you need and are going to do.

There are so many tools on the market, so how do you know how much money to spend? A person doesn't need every tool. If you need a large expensive item, like a tile saw, floor sander or house jacks, try renting the item or see if a friend has it.

Make a “can-do kit,” which includes: a tape measure, hammer and a battery-operated drill. When you go to the store to get your supplies for the project, explain what you’re trying to do to someone who works there and by a little bit more. Then you won’t be short and if possible, you can return the excess and get some money back.

When you are doing major renovations, such as wood floors or the electrical, it is best to seek a professional. Make sure that you are there with them every day, so you can learn how they do it.

Here are some easy at home repairs, for around $20.00.

Fixing a loose door hinge. If a door is shaky, the hinge screws might be stripped. Spend a few dollars on a “stripped screw-hole repair kit.” Put metal mesh in hole and then insert a longer screw. Then you can apply the extra savings for new hardware, weather-stripping or even a new door frame at a later date.

Replace/clean the central air/heat filter. Make sure your filter is the correct size for the unit and that it isn’t clogged with dirt. Regular changing or cleaning the filter, will allow the unit to heat and cool your home more efficiently.

Replace traditional light bulbs: Replace those old light bulbs, with energy efficient ones (compact fluorescent lighting).They’re more expensive but can last up to 10 times longer than a regular light bulb. If you replace just five light bulbs with CFL’s, you can save up to $60 a year.

Install ground fault circuit interrupters (GCFIs). Identify the electrical outlets near the kitchen or bathroom sinks and then replace them with GCFIs. This can protect you and your family members, from possible electrical shock.

Replace an old shower head with a new energy-saving, low-flow one. Showers account for 17% of indoor household water usage. A new shower head is not only good for your water bill, but for the environment.

Replace fence boards. Missing or damaged boards can weaken your fence. Check the entire fence and write down how many new boards you’ll need. Make sure to include the height and width of each board needed. When you buy the boards, get a box of galvanized screws because they won’t rust.

Adjust the water-heater temperature. Set your water heater to 120°F. You’ll save money and still be able to clean your clothes, dishes and take a shower without burning yourself.

Clean gutters and downspouts. You should clean them twice a year or more (it can depend on the number of trees on or near the property), to prevent interior water damage. Then install a downspout extender on every downspout. This will help keep the water coming out of the gutter system and away from the home.

Insulate the water heater. Use a water-heater blanket to save year-round on your water bill. The blankets come precut . Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, especially for a gas heater.

Replace damaged splash blocks. Each splash block should slope and lie perpendicular to the house, so that water is forced away from the home. Choose plastic over concrete, because it is easier to lift and nonporous.

Install heat-control window film. This will help reduce the load on your air conditioner. This is an easy do-it-yourself material, that is available at home-improvement centers. When you apply it  to a window that receives direct sun light, it’s will reduce up to 76 percent of solar heat and block up to 99 percent of ultraviolet rays.

For advice and tips from home improvement stores, try Lowe's on Powers and Home Depot on Southgate or Academy. Look at their websites before going, they may have a class that you can sign up for that can help you on that home improvement project.


  • JeanK 5 years ago

    May I also please suggest that when it comes to taking care of your homes rain gutters we must be diligent to keep them cleaned on a regular basis, so stop any possibility of damage to our roof, fascia, gutter themselves, foundation and anything that may be under the gutter line.
    Most folks hate cleaning out gutters as it can be a nasty dirty job and also very dangerous when using a ladder. It has been reported that in 1999-2004 over 2.1 million serious injuries and even deaths have been recorded due falls from ladders while maintaining roof or gutters.
    Please consider checking out a new on-line gutter cleaning tool that vacuums out debris while you stand firmly on the ground. Go to and see for yourself. No ladder needed and you save time, money, and effort while eliminating the possibilities of further damages to your home.
    Stay Well, Stay Safe, Stay Strong and "Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled." God Bless America.

  • Phyllis 5 years ago

    I spent many years as a single mom and homeowner. I learned to do minor repairs myself, though I didn't think I could do those things. They are easier than we think when we haven't done it before. Not only did I get the needed "fix" done, I always felt very proud of myself for learning to do it.

  • Florida Flowers 5 years ago

    Great article. My husband and I have made most of the above out weekend projects. We especially enjoyed installing window tint. Some of our rooms that would bake during the afternoon suddenly became inhabitable again without turning on the AC!

    Only suggestion I would add is that you avoid the window films at Lowes or Home Depot. After doing some research, there are differences in quality of consumer-grade vs professional grade window film. We chose to buy ours from SnapTint window tint, they custom cut the to the sizes of our windows, saving us much work.

    Best of all, we also are saving even more by not turning on the AC as much.