Home improvement is not just the big stuff, but the small stuff counts, too. On some occasions time may be scarce but that doesn’t mean you can’t make valuable improvements that ameliorate the quality and comfort of your home. Here are some home improvement repair and other home improvement ideas, including some interior remodeling tips, all of which are home improvement projects you can complete in half an hour.
Top 10 Home Improvement Tips for Maintenance Projects of 30 Minutes or Less
When considering short, quick home improvement projects, consider the merits they bring in terms of improved safety and comfort indoors. Here are 10 that can be easily handled with a few tools and half an hour to spare.
- Locate all your valves: Water leak can be a nasty business leading to huge inconvenience and tremendous damage to your home and other property. Why not take half an hour to locate and label every important water valve in your home, including the main water valve, water heater valve, hose valves and icemaker valves. Once that’s done, give the rest of the family a quick tour so that if any problems arise in your absence, they too can take advantage of this effort. Knowing how to shut down sudden major leaks in a hurry could the difference between a big inconvenience and major damage to your home.
- Drain the water heater: Sediment can build up in the bottom of your water heater. This sentiment interferes with the heater achieving optimum performance. It’s a good idea, every six months or so, to address this problem by draining the tank, with the provided valve, to discharge a few gallons of water. Caution is of course required; it is hot water inside.
- Lubricate the metal moving parts: Don’t you hate those creaky hinges and how annoying are sticking locks? It only takes half an hour to do the rounds with a trusty can of WD-40.
- Clean and reverse ceiling fans: If you have ceiling fans, the best quality ones, such as the Westinghouse Contempra Tria reviewed elsewhere on Home Improvement Rocks, have a reverse setting to get the right effect for cool or warm weather. Have a reminder system to reset them in fall or spring. That’s also a good time to take 30 minutes to give the fan blades a thorough dusting.
- Test your detectors: Important aspects of your home safety protection are the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. A couple times a year it is necessary to vacuum them to remove dust that might impede performance, replace the batteries, and use the devices’ test buttons to check their function. Indeed, this latter chore is best conducted monthly.
- Humidifier cleaning: A lot of people find great comfort in the improved air quality that a humidifier can provide. Be aware, though, that over time they get clogged which can greatly reduce performance. Indeed, if that happens, they can start having the opposite of the desired effect, sending bacteria and mold throughout the house! Especially leading into the winter months, when they’ll be used most, do a thorough cleaning following the manufacturer’s instructions. Soaking the evaporator pad in a solution of white vinegar and water often works to dissolve mineral salts left by evaporated water. If you do this, though, be sure to rinse the pad well after the soak so your home doesn’t end up smelling like a jar of pickles.
- Get the roof leaks before they get you: Roof leaks are another one of those misfortunes that can do a lot of damage, creeping up on you. Again, though, just half an hour effort every year can keep you ahead of the potential harm. After a big rain storm, take a flashlight and inspect areas where protrusions such as chimneys and plumbing vent pipes meet the roof. Also, take your binoculars and inspect the same spots from the outside, scanning for missing shingles and loose flashing. If you find any, it may take more than 30 minutes, but replacing it fast will save you lots more time and money in the future.
- Cabinets that move with stealth: Creaking and sticking cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom are annoying. It will only take 30 minutes to do a quick clean and lubrication of your drawers and hinges. While you’re at it, it might take a little longer, but replace those annoying catches that no longer catch.
- Steady handrails: Handrails are supposed to steady you on the stairs, but how can they do their job if they’re not steady. Both annoyance and safety benefits from ensuring that all hand rails, indoors and outdoors, are well secured. Repair those loose railings, posts and spindles. Here’s a great trick for loose wood spindles indoors: dip a wooden toothpick into glue then wedge it in where the spindle goes into the handrail. Once dry, break off the excess toothpick and trim it down with a file.
- Caulking your crown: Another great way in which a little time and money now can save you a lot in the future is doing a little maintenance on your masonry chimney’s crown. The crown is the cement area between the outside edge of the brick and the terra-cotta clay chimney liner. If you develop cracks there water will be able to leak into the chimney. Such leaks cause the chimney bricks to freeze and crack. You can prevent such mishaps if every year you take 30 minutes to apply new caulking to the area.
A little time can go a long way in preventing greater cost and inconvenience later. Hope you find some value in these home improvement repair and other home improvement ideas, all of which are home improvement projects you can complete in half an hour. Though, of course, a spare half hour is also always well spent reading up on such helpful hints at Home Improvement Rocks!