Fifteen minutes may not seem like a lot of time to get things done around your house, but with a hectic schedule you need to make the most of every minute. Fortunately, there is much more you can do in just a quarter of an hour than folding a load of laundry, making your bed or brewing a pot of coffee.
Here are five 15-minute home repairs that you can get done in the few spare moments of your busy day.
#1 Fix noisy doors
Ideally, your doorbell should be the only noise-making part of your front door, or any door in your house for that matter. Squeaky and slamming doors can be quite the noisy nuisances. Here are some ways to quickly quiet them.
Silencing the slams
- Slamming doors are not only annoying but can also cause damage to the door. Aside from getting a doorstop, you can quickly fix the problem by wrapping a rubber band around both doorknobs, so that it stretches across the door’s edge but doesn’t cover the latch. Another solution is opening the door and finding the valve adjustment screw. It can be found on the closure piston on screen doors and the back part of the closure body on heavier doors. For screen doors, turn the screw a quarter turn clockwise using a Phillips head screwdriver and on other doors use an Allen wrench to adjust it. Close the door and continue to adjust the screw until the door isn’t shutting as fast and slamming any more.
Shushing the squeaks
- Lubricating the hinges is the best way to stop a door from squeaking. Spray some WD-40 on the hinges or rub petroleum jelly on them. Open and close the door a few times so that the lubricant can get worked in. This is typically all you need to do, but if you’re still hearing squeaks, remove the hinges from the door and take out the hinge pin using pliers. Rub the pin with wire wool and put it back before lubricating the hinges again.
- Stop a sticking door – Doors stick when they are out of alignment by either sagging or from a poor initial installation. This video on how to adjust a door provides easy insight and repair tips.
#2 Fix a Squeaky Floor
Now that your doors have been quieted down, it’s time to do the same for your squeaky floor. Sweep some powdered graphite, talcum powder or French chalk in between the floorboards. Just make sure you sweep up all remaining powder if you decide to refinish your floor.
#3 Accent your Address
Upgrading your house numbers is a quick and easy way to boost your home’s curb appeal. Some are peel-and-stick while others require screwing in. Either option won’t take you long at all to put up, and you have a variety of choices when it comes to color and style including brass, wood, stainless steel and plastic.
#4 Remove Tub Stains
Your tub cleans you and sometimes it needs you to return the favor. You can make a paste to get rid of tub stains by combining the same amount of baking soda and cream of tartar and a bit of lemon juice. Use a soft cloth to rub the paste into the stain and let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing with water.
#5 Free Your Stuck Double-Hung Windows
If you’re sliding windows won’t budge, wrap a cloth around a block of wood and place it against the window frame at the bottom of the window. Tap it softly with a hammer, being careful not to break the glass. Do the same on the other side of the window and continue to move up both sides until you’ve reached the top. You can also use a stiff-bladed putty knife. If your windows open but do so reluctantly, you’ll need to pick up some silicone spray lubricant at a hardware store. Spray it on a cloth and then wipe it on the tracks so that you can access fresh air at ease.
Do you have any other ideas for home improvement projects that can be done in 15 minutes or less?
Chris Long has been an on-the-floor store associate at Home Depot since 2000. Chris also writes frequently on DIY door tips for the Home Depot website. Besides advising on doors and windows, Chris also writes on paint, windows and flooring for Home Depot.