Try these quick-fix solutions

Try these quick-fix solutions


There are several little jobs around the house that you can do yourself, if you have the right kind of tools, points out Ruth Dsouza Prabhu.

Every home needs a minor repair once in a while. You may need to get a new shelf for the children’s room or a new curtain bracket for the shower. You may even have needed to fix that broken handle on your antique wooden chair for a while now. These are tasks for which we often call in the experts, but with a few tips in mind, and a little know-how, you can get the job done yourself quite easily.

Designer Juhi Santani says that in terms of aesthetics, the alignment and centering of the object that you are fixing is of critical importance. She adds, “If you are fixing an object or accessory on the wall, look at the overall composition of the wall critically, as well as the functionality of that object at that particular location. Be extra careful with the height at which you fix it, in terms of accessibility and the object not getting in the way of movement.”

Having the right kind of tools to get the job done is also important. You don’t need to invest in expensive professional grade tools. Today, there are several home-tool kits that give you all that you need in a single case.

Vijay Pandey, vice president of a power tools firm, says, “These easy-to-use power tools have been introduced keeping in mind the modern-day consumer who is lifestyle conscious and wants a hassle-free independent life. There is a range of kits that cover hobby tools, lawn and garden tools and even a home tool kit. In general, a home tool kit consists of screwdrivers, drillers, wrenches, pliers and other accessories that help equip the user to do odd jobs in and around the house with ease.”

Simple jobs you can try

Fixing a picture frame: Your picture wire should be of a gauge that matches the weight of your frame. Turn your frame over and measure the vertical sides. In case it does not have a groove built into it already, mark a point one-third the way down from the top. Drill a hole gently into the back of your frame. You will have screw sets with you, each of which you insert into this groove and push it in securely.

Your picture wire frame should be one-and-a-half times the size of your frame.
Assess the wall that you are going to hang the frame on. Choose a position wisely. It should not be hidden, nor should it be too close to other artifacts that you have around. Measure the appropriate height and mark the spot. Use your drill bit and bore a hole into the wall, just deep enough to hold the anchor. Set the anchor in and push in the nail. Hang your frame and you are set. A good tip would be to have a friend around to view from a distance and ensure you are hanging the frame at the right height and position.

Fixing a curtain rod: The first thing you need to decide is if you are mounting the rods on the window casing or the wall. If you do not have a wood panel on which to attach the rod brackets, then you will have to make use of wall anchors. Hold the rod up to the right height that you will need it at. Make sure you place the brackets between three and six inches away from the window edge. Use a ruler if a carpenter’s level is not available to ensure that the rod is straight. Mark out the placement of the bracket as well as the position of the bracket holes.

Drill shallow holes so that you can put in the anchors. The screws are normally provided by the rod manufacturers. Insert these into the anchors and screw on the brackets in place. Place your curtain rods in them.

Fixing broken toilet tiles: This is a common issue in most houses and you can fix it yourself. The first is to cover the damaged tile with a towel and then tap it with the claw end of the hammer. Always make sure you are tapping the edges alone or you will end up destroying some more tiles. Once it comes loose, use the hammer and a chisel or something else for leverage to take it off. Take away all the grout that remains behind. Put on some tile adhesive on the back of your new tile. Use a product that is recommended for that particular tile. Put the tile in place and cordon the area off for a day. No water or footfalls at all. The next day, put in the grout that you can get in hardware stores and press it down. A day later, buff the corners and apply a sealant. You are done.

Keep in mind...

Your project is only as good as your tools and Juhi says that using good quality of tools and materials are of prime importance. When choosing paints / polish etc, check for sample kits, if available. As for tools, source from where the professionals source; the wholesale market would be one place to look. Look for an informed supplier, who may not only educate you, but also help you save some moolah.

Vijay adds to this saying do-it-yourself (DIY) consumers are equipped with information, experience and feedback from others that help them ask the right questions and set standards and expectations for the goods and services they intend to purchase.

The DIY concept is evolving more because of the easy usage and ease of implementation in any layman’s life, although one requires basic skills as far as the aesthetics and dealing with various materials are concerned. You need to visualise the end-result of your experiment before you lay your hands on the raw materials.

The add-on skills to start with would be to have some expertise on constructing, wood-working, carving, engraving, routing, grinding, sharpening, etc.