Guest Post – Quick DIY Home Repairs for the Holiday Season

Guest Post – Quick DIY Home Repairs for the Holiday Season

Fix your vinyl floor

The kitchen is one of the most frequented places during the holiday season, so get that vinyl looking good again! To begin with -- Fixing your vinyl floor can be done in a few easy steps. You don't need to be a licensed carpenter, either!

Fix Your Vinyl Flooring

Step 1-3 - Cut a new patch of vinyl

  • Cut a piece of new vinyl that is slightly larger than the section you are replacing.
  • Line up the pattern directly over the damaged tile and tape it down. Make sure the pattern is aligned exactly or you will have an uneven pattern (that's more embarrassing than having damaged tile, for sure…).
  • Use a utility knife to cut through both layers of vinyl, using the tile edge as a guideline.

Step 4 - Remove Damaged Vinyl

Once you've cut through both layers, lift out both pieces of vinyl. This will reveal your cut shape.

Step 5 - Secure New Vinyl

Apply double-sided tape around the edges of the new piece of vinyl.

Position the new section. Press down on the edges until the piece is flush with its surrounding pieces. A seam roller is very helpful in this situation.

Fix That Detached Wallpaper

Again, kids are fun, aren't they? The little blessings always seem to find their way to the seams in the wallpaper. So intuitive, they are. Fixing detached wallpaper is actually pretty easy. In three easy steps, you can have your wall looking new again.

Note: This typically happens in bathrooms because of moisture in the air. It can also happen because of poor initial application.

Step 1 - Carefully peel back the lifted section and apply border adhesive or white glue to the section.

Step 2 - Use a damp sponge to smooth the section back into place.

Step 3 - Once the section is dry, apply caulk along the seam between the wall and wallpaper.

Easy right? Now that we've got the vinyl flooring and wallpaper out of the way, isn't it time we sat back and relaxed a bit? Typically, yes, but you've been having nagging heat problems this winter, and it's colder inside than it is outside. Time to check out that thermostat.

Replacing Your Thermostat

When most people get heating or cooling problems, they automatically call up an A/C guy or a contractor to come figure it out. What people should actually do is check out their thermostat. More often than not, the problem is not with the HVAC system, itself; rather, it is the thermostat that is to blame. Most thermostats are digital these days and most of those are programmable. So, if you don't want to deal with circuit breakers, changing battery sizes, RAM, ROM, or calling a contractor, we'll just replace it.

Tools You'll Need:

  • -      Screwdriver
  • -      Utility knife
  • -      Replacement thermostat
  • -      Tape
  • -      Level

Step 1 - Compatibility First thing is first - you've got to make sure your new thermostat is compatible with your 110-volt housing circuitry. Ask the associate at your local hardware store if you're not sure.

Step 2 - Cut the Power As you probably don't want to get electrocuted, please turn off the power supply to the thermostat. This should be a power panel or circuit breaker. If it is a circuit breaker, once you've identified which breaker it is that supplies the power, place a note on that breaker so that no one turns the breaker back on while you're working.

Step 3 - Remove Old Thermostat Snap off the cover to the old unit or unscrew it if it is held on by set screws. Pull the unit off the mounting plate. DO NOT damage the wires.

 Pay attention to these colors

Step 4 - Wiring A few things here. Grab a pencil and some color-coded Post-its or something like it. You may need these once you've disconnected the wiring. The pencil will help you keep the wires from falling behind the wall (a BIG no-no), while the Post-its will help you keep the wires in order for when they need to be installed in the next thermostat (the wires may be color coded, but if not, that's where the Post-its come in handy).

Remove the electric power supply wiring from the back of the thermostat. Typically, there are connection points. Turn those counterclockwise. Once you've removed the wires, ensured that they won't fall behind the wall, and color coded them, remove the mounting plate from the wall.

Step 5 - Attach New Mounting Plate Place the new mounting plate on the wall in the same spot the old one was. Pull the wires through the holes in the new mounting plate. Screw the plate into the wall. Before tightening the screws, make sure the plate is flush with the wall. Adjust the plate using a level before fully tightening the screws.

Step 6 - Re-Wiring This can be tricky, but I assure you that you can do it. If you feel you cannot, call a professional electrician. You've color coded your wires, or maybe they were already color coded. There is a "G," a "W," and a "Y". Green goes to G, White goes to W, and Y goes to yellow. DO NOT CROSS THE WIRES. This is important.

Step 7 - Mount the Unit Place the new thermostat on the mounting plate by sliding it into place. Turn the power back on to make sure your new thermostat is working correctly. After that, follow the manufacturer's instructions on setting up your display.

Now you can sit back and relax… unless of course, the family is coming over tonight.  

Today's author!

Today's author!

Diane Kuehl is a home improvement/DIY professional and owner of DIY Mother. She lives in Springfield, Illinois with her husband and two kids.