Your wallpaper's peeling, there's a hole in the wall, and your driveway is cracked. Before you hire an expert to make any repairs, you might want to consider DIY, or doing it yourself.

"It's very empowering to be able to handle some repairs yourself. It also saves money, time, and frustration," says Danny Lipford, host of the Emmy-nominated nationally syndicated television show and the nationally syndicated radio show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford.

Supply List for DIY Projects

Lipford says the key to successful DIY projects is having the right supplies. Some of the items (which you can pick up at most home improvement stores for $100 to $125 total) include:

  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdrivers
  • Flashlight
  • Razor knife
  • Putty knife
  • Tape measure
  • Chisel
  • Small level (a hand-held tool that indicates whether a surface is level)
  • Paint brush
  • Toolbox

5 DIY Home Improvement Projects

Here are five home repair projects that Lipford says most women can do themselves:

1. Repair a hole in drywall
What you'll need:
A putty knife, joint compound, mesh repair patch, sandpaper, and a paintbrush.

Glue a small mesh repair patch over the damaged area, then apply 2-3 light coats of joint compound, a plaster-like substance. Lightly sand, then touch up the paint in the repaired area.

2. Fix a squeaky door hinge
What you'll need:
Multi-purpose lubricant and paper towel.

Spray a multi-purpose lubricant on the top of the hinge, then open and close the door a few times to make sure the door hinge doesn't squeak anymore. While you're in DIY home repair mode, you can also spray the doorknob's moving parts, then wipe any excess oil off with rag or paper towel.

3. Repair peeling wallpaper
What you'll need:
Clear household glue, putty knife, and painter's tape.

Slightly dampen the loose wallpaper, then apply clear glue, and spread it on the wall. Next, push the paper back into place, and use a putty knife to smooth out any wrinkles. Hold for at least a minute, then apply painter's tape to secure the wallpaper until it dries completely.

4. Replace torn weather-stripping
What you'll need:
New weather-stripping, a razor knife to cut it, and pliers to help remove the old material.

After removing a small piece of the damaged weather-stripping from your door or window, take it to your local hardware or home improvement store to make sure you replace it with the exact same type. Remove remaining weather-stripping and install the new one. You may be able to slip the materials into an existing slot, or simply stick the stripping to the door trim with a peel-off adhesive.

5. Fill in concrete cracks
What you'll need:
Caulking gun, flat screwdriver, concrete repair caulk, and maybe backer rod.

Cracks in concrete allow water to soak into sidewalks, steps, and driveways, and over time will cause the concrete to settle. Clean out the cracks with a flat screwdriver, then sweep or blow out the crack using a leaf blower. Fill in the void with a quality concrete repair caulk, a flexible sealing compound. (Note that cracks larger than 3/8" will require a backer rod (rod-shaped flexible foam) to be forced down into the crack prior to caulking.)

When to Hire an Expert

While these and other DIY home improvements can be handled on your own, it's essential to know when to call in the experts. "I would suggest calling in a pro for any electrical work, heating/cooling repairs, and most roof repairs," Lipford says.

Danny Lipford, Host of Today's Homeowner, reviewed this article.




Lipford, Danny. TV & Radio shows: Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford. Email interview. 24 April 2013.