Do-It-Yourself? Expert Advice for Owners of Old Homes

Aug 30, 2018 2:47:56 PM Christina Wilson

Owners of historic brick homes in DC often face structural challenges to the exterior of their homes - repair and maintenance of brick facades, steps and walkways that require professional expertise. The interior spaces also require frequent home repairs to worn out systems and surfaces. Some of these can be handled with “do-it-yourself” homeowner skills. 

If you are the new owner of an old or historic home in DC, you are probably concerned about old home renovation costs.  Here are ten common fixes and the websites for the expert advice designed for the homeowner that can help you do-it-yourself and get it right.

1. Fix a Leaky Faucet. When the faucet leaks, the problem is usually a failed washer inside a handle. This one is an easy fix. Expert Advice

2. Locate a stud in the wall. When you want to hang pictures or install shelves that are sturdy, finding a stud is required. Expert Advice

3. Unclog a Sink. There's nothing more inconvenient than a clogged kitchen sink. Since chemical drain cleaners rarely clear a stoppage, here's what you need to know to tackle the problem. Expert Advice

4. Drill Through Tile Without Cracking It. When you want to add fixtures to a tiled wall, there are techniques that help prevent breaks or cracks in the tile. Expert Advice

5. Unstick a Door. Doors in old houses stick for a lot of reasons: a loose hinge, too much paint, a settling house, or humidity. Expert Advice

6. Clean Stained Grout. Years of stains can penetrate surfaces, leaving grout a dingy mess. More often than not old grout can be renewed. Expert Advice

7. Choose and Use a Fire Extinguisher. The right fire extinguisher can be a lifesaver. If easily available it can put out a small fire or suppress the flames while you escape. Expert Advice

8. Stop Flooding—and Save Your Wiring. When pipes burst, fixtures leak, or appliances cause a flood, stop the deluge by cutting off the water at its source. Expert Advice

9. Repair a Doorbell. When your chimes just aren't chiming, try a few of these easy tests and repairs. Expert Advice

10. Stop an Overflowing Toilet. A toilet that leaks or runs is an easy homeowner fix—if you know how to diagnose the trouble. Expert Advice

Source: 47 Skills You Need to Survive Homeownership, TOH.

For more details and expert advice on additional homeowner fixes:

Download Free Homeowner's Guide to Tuckpointing


Renaissance Development, masonry contractors, DC, is a leader in historic preservation and specializes in the brick restoration of DC historic buildings. The company uses traditional methods (tuckpointing) and materials to repair and replace damaged mortar joints. Contact us for a free site visit and project quote.




Categories: Repair

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