As a homeowner, no doubt you’re familiar with Boston area home improvement issues. Every home has those nagging problems that arise from time to time. Many times they are too minor to call in a professional, but they still require attention – and repair. The good news is you can easily tackle these and other issues all by yourself. Let’s take a look at how you can solve three well-known problems that can occur around the house.
Jammed or stuck garbage disposal
The first of the Boston area home improvement issues we should address is the jammed garbage disposal. You know the drill. You flip the switch and it makes a humming noise, but doesn’t turn on and do its job. That usually means it’s stuck, clogged or jammed with food (or something that’s not supposed to be in there, like a spoon for example.) Don’t force the situation and don’t reach down into the disposal with your hand! Follow these easy suggestions to remedy the problem:
- Turn off the disposal or flip the electrical circuit that serves the appliance.
- Using a flashlight, look into the disposal and “fish around” with a pair of pliers to pull out the item(s) that may be clogging it. Again, even with the power turned off or disconnected, never put your hand in the disposal. Hopefully, you’ll locate whatever’s jamming the disposal and can remove it easily. If that’s not the case, continue as follows.
- If your disposal is equipped with a reversal feature, run cold tap water into it and put it in reverse. Usually, that dislodges whatever is causing the clog and it can be removed. If you don’t have a reversal feature, do the following instead:
Turn off the electrical power at the circuit breaker
Look beneath the sink and find the hole in the bottom of the disposal. Using an Allen wrench, insert it in the hole and twist it back and forth a few times in an effort to free the impeller blade, which could be stuck. If you can turn the wrench in a complete circle, the object will probably be freed… see step two above.
- Try the reset button and run cold tap water into the disposal for a minute or so.
- Turn the power back on to the disposal ad turn it back on.
Loose toilet seat
Probably because it gets a fair amount of wear and tear, it’s not unusual for the toilet seat in your main bathroom or kid’s bathroom to become loose. It’s common among Boston area home improvement issues. Do this for a tighter toilet seat:
- Take off the hinge bolt covers on the seat
- Remove the nut holding the hinge bolt in place. Be sure to leave the hinge bolts in.
- You’ll need a toilet seat tightening kit, available in Lowe’s or Home Depot. Using the tool in the kit, slide the washer from the kit onto the hinge bolt on the underside of the toilet. Then, slide the bolt up so that it’s secured tightly into the underside of the hinge bolt opening.
- Replace the hinge bolt nut, then tighten.
- Do the same thing on the other side of the toilet seat.
Misaligned or sticking door
Another one of the Boston area home improvement issues facing homeowners is the nagging, recurring problem of an interior door that won’t close as it should. Remedies can range from inserting a piece of cardboard used as a shim to aid in realigning the door, to using a long screw in the door jamb to pull it in, to removing the door and planing the edge so it swings properly.
Before you try any of those options, make sure to check the hinge screws to see if they’re loose. If they are, try this:
- Take out the screws from the hinge and remove the hinge from the door or door jamb (depending on which side is loose.)
- Place a drop or two of wood glue into each of the hinge screw holes.
- Using wooden toothpicks or wooden matches, put one or more in each of the screw holes. Allow them to set for ten minutes, then break off the excess wood.
- Re-install the door hinge with the screws. If everything goes well, the fit should be tight again.
These Boston area home improvement issues are just three of a number of common problems that every homeowner faces at one time or another. With a little patience and a few simple tools, these and other issues can be repaired with minimal expense. If you hit a snag or need additional information, Google it! In today’s information-rich age, many do-it-yourself solutions to Boston area home improvement issues are available on the internet – some complete with YouTube videos that show the step by step instructions.
Fixing these and other problems yourself will give you a greater degree of satisfaction and will save you time and money!
You can find more articles pertaining to Boston area home improvement issues and projects in the Boston area Home Improvements section of our site below Boston area Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.