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4 Essential Homeowner Skills For New Homeowners

As a new homeowner, there are dozens of maintenance tasks you need to take care of in order to keep your home in working order. There are some major repairs that you need to call in the professionals for – like sewer repair and sewer replacement. But there are many projects you can take care of yourself - while saving money at the same time.

Completing a Professional Paint Job

The easiest way to spruce up a room is with a fresh coat of paint – and you don’t need a crew to complete this job. All you need is your ideal color and the right tools. Interior paint needs to be re-done every 10 to 15 years, and outdoor paint normally lasts seven to ten years. Choosing the right kind of paint and brushes is crucial. And having lots of drop cloths, tape and paper to cover fixtures, cabinets, molding or other areas to protect them from unwanted paint is important for painting projects too. Finally, having a great ladder on hand can help you stay safe – and it can be used with a lot of other projects around the house.

Hot Tip: If you need to repair damage to textured walls, make sure to pick up a can of spray wall texture so that you can blend the patch before you paint.

Clearing Clogs

Clogged drains can happen when refuse is flushed down the drain instead of being thrown into the trash, so it’s important to know how to take care of this problem when houseguests come around. You’ll need a pair of rubber gloves and a plunger for this job.  For safety, never use a hand-snake from the hardware store when you've used a drain cleaner to avoid accidental skin contact.

Hot Tip: If a plunger doesn't work, call in a professional to do a video inspection to make sure that there aren't any underlying problems that won't be solved with over-the-counter options.

Tackling Running Toilets

Does your toilet constantly make a running sound? This is a problem you can fix yourself. Start by shutting off the water valve located behind the toilet itself, and then lift the lid on the back of your toilet. Inspect the float, chain and flapper to see if there are any discolorations, tears or cracks that may be letting water pass through. These can be the culprits when there are slow leaks. Take a look at the chain length to make sure it is not too short. If it is, it may be keeping the flapper up and the water running.  Toilet fixes are typically a strait forward job.  Consult with your local hardware store and they will be able to help you find the right replacement for anything that looks worn or needing repair.

Hot Tip: If your toilet is gurgling instead of running, the issue may be in the sewer line itself - get a video inspection in this situation as well to make sure that the sewer line is draining properly.


Extreme seasonal weather makes spaces that let cold air in during winter (or hot in during summer) very apparent. You need to do some detective work to find the cause of the problem. Look for areas light can be seen through cracks or air can be felt entering the room. Head to the hardware store to get some weatherstripping and weatherproofing materials. Installing curtains can also help keep out unwanted cold air in winter and hot summer sun.

Hot Tip: Home energy audits can be well worth the cost in identifying where you need to insulate your home.

With these essential new homeowner skills, you’ll be able to tackle small problems that arise around your home!

Do you have more essential skills that should be on this list? Have a request for a follow up article?  Let us know - post a comment!

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