Fixing Stuff at Home: How to Do It Without Spending a Fortune

Fixing stuff at home rocks. It can save you money, teach you new skills, and give you a greater appreciation for the things you own. For our money, we would rather fix than throw things away and replace them with new. Fortunately, a home fix doesn't have to cost you a fortune.

We recommend Sugru for those fixes that would otherwise require some sort of adhesive. Sugru is the world's first multi-purpose mouldable glue that transforms into a flexible silicone rubber as it cures.

But enough of that. Let us get onto talking about the broader topic of fixing stuff at home.

Too Quick to Throw Away

Modern culture is too quick to throw things away. The good news is that it's only because most of us have never been taught how to fix things. You can make a change in your own life by no longer letting a lack of knowledge stop you from being a fixer. Instead, start learning and start saving. You will help keep things out of landfills at the same time.

How to Fix an Old Dining Chair

Old dining chairs can be found across the UK. Sometimes, fixing one means shoring it up so it's not so loose and rickety. Other times, you are looking at changing the upholstery or applying a new finish. All these jobs can be done on a budget.

The first thing to do is evaluate exactly what's needed. If the chair is just wobbly, you could be looking at loose legs or spindles. You could be looking at missing fasteners. A thorough inspection should reveal what's going on.

As long as all the parts are intact, disassembling the pieces and applying some glue before putting them back together should do the trick. The chair will be as strong as ever for the cost of a bottle of wood glue.

Upholstery and Paint

Repairing damage to upholstery can be a little more difficult. The least expensive way to do it is to simply replace the damaged material with scrap fabric you have laying around the house. In the absence of scraps, you can still buy new fabric pretty cheaply.

If the chair's finish is the issue, get yourself a piece of sandpaper along with some primer and paint. All three can be had pretty inexpensively. Then it is just a matter of sanding the chair down, priming it, and applying a coat or two of paint.

How to Fix a Leaky Toilet

Our next home fix is found in the bathroom and involves a leaky toilet. A leaky toilet is one which continually leaks from the cistern (or tank) into the bowl. A leaky loo can waste a lot of water. Having a professional plumber come in adds cost and inconvenience.

Fortunately for you, most leaky loos are easy to fix with parts you can buy from the DIY store. If you can read and follow instructions, you don't have to be a licensed plumber to do the job.

A leaky toilet is usually the result of one of the following two problems:

  • A malfunctioning fill valve
  • An old and worn-out flush valve.

Both types of valves can be replaced with a minimum of hand tools and about 30 minutes of your time. Make sure that the parts you buy at the DIY store come with fully illustrated instructions. Then just follow those instructions to the letter. It really is easy to replace both types of valves without paying a professional.

How to Fix a Broken Vase

You just broke your favourite vase by dropping it on the floor. It is a precious family heirloom, so throwing it away isn't an option. Well, you can fix it pretty easily without spending barely anything. All you need is some Sugru.

It turns out that the Japanese art of Kintsugi is all about fixing broken pottery. Fixing your vase will not only save money and give you a sense of accomplishment, but it will also make you an artist!

Just take a small amount of Sugru and roll in your finger to create a tube. Next, press the tube firmly onto the broken edge of the largest piece. Repeat this process until the entire surface is covered in Sugru.

Now push the broken piece onto the larger piece, keeping the Sugru in between. Press the two pieces together as firmly as you can. This should cause excess glue to seep out of the crack. Use a wet finger to smooth things out to your liking. Once the Sugru dries, your vase will be as good as new.

How to Fix a Broken Laptop Screen

Some DIY jobs look a lot harder than they actually are. A good case in point is our next home fix project: replacing a broken laptop screen. Do not let the fact that you are working with a computer scare you. You can replace a laptop screen pretty easily if you can use a screwdriver.

First, check the back of the laptop case for the model and serial number of your computer. You will need both to order a new screen online. While you're waiting for it to arrive, make sure you have a set of small screwdrivers on hand. If not, borrower a set or take a quick trip to the DIY store.

You also need to go online and find a guide for your make and model of computer. No worries. There are tons of guides that will not cost a penny. Make sure to get one with pictures. The pictures will help a lot.

The Basic Process

Although all laptops are different, they all follow the same basic process for replacing a broken screen:

  • Remove all the screws that hold the case together
  • Gently pry the case apart
  • Locate and disconnect the ribbon cable that runs from the display to the computer
  • Remove the screws that hold the display in place; pop out the display.

Complete these steps and you will have successfully removed the broken screen. Simply reverse the steps to install the new one. Provided all goes well, you can complete the entire job in 30 minutes or so.

As a result, you will not end up throwing out your laptop and spending hundreds on a replacement. The cost of the screen will be a fraction of the cost of a new computer.

How to Fix Holes in Your Wellies

There is no piece of kit more critical to spring adventures than a good pair of wellies. Unfortunately, subject your wellies to enough punishment and they are bound to develop small holes. You don't need to throw them in the bin and buy new ones. Sugru is not only a mouldable glue, it is also waterproof!

With a touch of Sugru and a little bit of spare time, you can fix those wellies right up. Start by cleaning the wellies so that there is no dirt or grease to get in the way. Our mouldable glue is good stuff, but it doesn't play well with what you tend to track home on your feet.

Once the wellies are clean and dry, take a small bit of Sugru in your fingers and gently work it into a small tube. Next, force the tube into the hole in your wellies. Push it flat and use your finger to smooth out. A little water on your finger will make smoothing easier.

That's it. All that is left is to wait for the Sugru to dry and cure. When it does, it will become a flexible rubber-like substance that moves freely with the rest of the boot. It will flex, bend, etc. without harming your work.

The Right Tool for the Job

We have given you a ton of great suggestions for fixing stuff at home. Every one of these home fix projects can be completed at minimal expense and with only a minor time commitment. Just remember the number one rule for fixers: choose the right tool for the job.

Sugru is the right tool for fixes requiring a waterproof, temperature-resistant, mouldable glue. Just take a look at some of the many projects on our website to see for yourself. Our customers have been inspired to do some truly amazing things.

Other types of home fixes will require other tools. We recommend a basic tool set that starts with a hammer, some screwdrivers, a utility knife, and whatever else is appropriate to your DIY jobs. You may have to go out and purchase additional tools as you take on more projects.

One way or the other, just remember that you can learn to fix just about anything. The more you learn to fix, the more money you will save by not having to replace broken things. Fixing things is a way to save money and get more enjoyment out of what you would otherwise have binned. There is nothing quite like doing it all yourself.