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10 general repairs you can do around your home


We’d all love to live in a problem-free home, but a home is never quite finished. There’s always little odd jobs and maintenance that needs your attention. Although many of these tasks require a professional touch, there are some simple tasks that you can turn your hand to. So, get your toolbox ready and your builder brews on the go as we walk you through ten general repairs you can perform yourself. 

Before you start

From clearing a blocked toilet to dealing with a power cut, these odd jobs take next to no time to complete. However, it’s a good idea to have your toolkit in hand before you begin. Here’s a list of some items we advise you need to complete these simple tasks:

  • Set of screwdrivers
  • Abrasive paper
  • Release oil
  • A hairdryer
  • Bendable wire
  • Your trusty drill
  • Steel measuring ruler
  • Spirit level
  • A kettle
  • A plunger
  • A drain auger
  • Talcum powder
  • Painter’s tape

Dealing with a power shortage

Dealing with a power cut can be an inconvenience at best and a nightmare at worst, but with a few simple steps, you can get your home up and running in no time. 

Start by checking if your neighbours are affected. If so, phone the emergency number for your power distribution company - they'll be able to tell you when the power will be restored. 

If it’s just your home that's affected, check your trip switches on your consumer unit. 

If you reset the trip switches and the electricity continues to trip, you may have a faulty appliance. Unplug all your goods, reset the trip switches, and turn each item on one-by-one.

You can learn more about resetting your trip switches and identifying faulty appliances in our handy guide.  

Power Shortage

Fixing a stuck dresser drawer

Have you ever tried to open a dresser drawer only to find it's lodged? We’ve all been there, but luckily this annoyance can be resolved in just a few minutes. 

First, check nothing has fallen down the back of the drawer, causing the runners (the strips of wood inside the dresser that the drawers slide along) to become blocked or rough to move. 

Follow that up by checking none of the nails are protruding out, then smooth the runners with abrasive paper. 

Finally, use a spirit level to check the drawer is sitting straight. If necessary, readjust the drawer carcase to sit flush with the cupboard.

Broken Dresser Drawer

Maintaining your stopcock

Your mains stopcock is typically found within your home, under your kitchen sink or in your hallway. Make sure you note where yours are positioned, both inside and outside of your property. 

It’s a good idea to spray your stopcock with release oil and turn it off and on again twice a year. Once it’s fully turned off, turn it back on a quarter of a turn so that it’s less likely to seize up. 


Thawing a frozen water pipe

A frozen water pipe can not only play havoc with your water supply but your heating system too, making it difficult for warm water to heat your radiators. However, it can be easy to defrost your frozen water pipes in a few steps. 

Minimise damage when attempting this repair by turning off your mains stopcock. If you have a cold-water tank in your roof space and are able to safely access it, turn that off too and cover it with a plastic sheet to prevent leakage. 

Finally, check the affected pipe for signs of splitting. If the pipe shows no damage, open the faucet closest to the frozen section of the pipe. Follow this up by gently blowing a hairdryer on the pipe, beginning at the faucet end.

For a more in-depth tutorial, check out our guide on managing frozen pipes.

Frozen Water Pipe

Unclogging a blocked shower drain

Between hair and product build-up, it’s easy for your shower to collect unwanted debris, causing blockages. If you’ve noticed water sloshing around your shower drain, don’t panic. You can clear the obstruction in next to no time. 

If your shower features a shower trap, start by lifting it out and clearing any mess it has collected. 

If that hasn’t done the job or your unit doesn’t feature a trap, find yourself a piece of wire and safely bend the end to form a hook, ensuring any potentially sharp edges aren’t formed, or don’t Use this makeshift tool to pull out the clog, then use a plunger until the water flows freely. 

Blocked Shower Drain

Unblocking a toilet drain

If you notice the water level in your toilet bowl is higher than usual, or it’s taking longer to clear after flushing, you might need to unblock your toilet drain. 

Your first port of call should be boiling water. In many cases, a kettle of hot water can break down clogs, creating a simple solution. Start by boiling a full kettle of water. Once heated, carefully pour the contents down the toilet drain, and make sure to use gloves to protect your hands. Wait a few minutes, then flush the toilet. With a bit of luck, that should have shifted the blockage. 

If that hasn’t solved the issue, it’s likely the obstruction is in the u-bend. Try using a plunger or a drain auger, a long flexible tool that prises blockages apart. If that hasn’t solved the problem, you’ll need to clear the pipe leading to the outside drains. 

Once all the pipes are cleared, carefully pour a second round of boiling water down your drain with soda crystals and flush away any debris. 

Dealing with a leaking toilet? Why not check out our handy guide to fixing a leaking toilet.

Unblocking Toilet

Unclogging a slow draining sink

Slow drainage or funny smells can be a sign of a sink blockage. To solve the issue, begin by pulling out any debris you can see in your sink’s drain. A bent piece of wire is the perfect tool for this job.  

Next, fill the basin with water and stuff a cloth into the overflow to prevent air pressure from escaping. Place a plunger over the plughole and plunge to force the blockage away. You may need to repeat this process a few times.

Slow Draining Sink

Fixing a creaky staircase

A staircase is a high-traffic area of any home, so it’s not surprising movement can cause creaking. Although this is a minor and expected occurrence, it can also be annoying. Thankfully, there's an easy way of solving it. 

Simply sprinkle talcum powder into the joint of the problem step. This powder will lubricate the loosened wood, preventing that annoying noise. However, if your staircase is covered with carpet this might not be as easy of a fix. We’d suggest contacting your housing provider for assistance if this is the case.

Person Walking Downstairs

Fixing a failed wall fixture

Wall fixings often fail because the hole and plug are too big for the screw used. It’s always a good idea to match the size of the drill bit, wall plug, and screw. 

It’s also smart to ensure the hole created is deep enough to support the fixture. If your drill doesn’t have a depth gauge, put a piece of painter's tape on the bit to mark up the length of the plug, plus 6mm.


Repairing a stuck door

Wet weather can often cause wooden doors to swell, causing them to stick. Painted doors are better protected from the elements, but natural wood can be varnished or oiled for weatherproofing. In an ideal world, the swollen area would be rubbed with a wax crayon along the edge of the door and opening. Use coarse glasspaper to smooth areas. 

Doors that require force to open or close need fixing as soon as possible to prevent joints from weakening or the handle from shearing off. 

Once the door is open, check a stone hasn’t got jammed against the frame. Inspect the hinges and tighten up any screws. Finally, lubricate the door with a drop of oil. 

Repairing Door Hinge