Drywall is a fantastic building material and a great way to throw up easy and affordable walls in your home. However, it is also very easy to put a hole in it either by bashing it with something or in some cases even falling into it!
If the hole is big enough for you to put your finger in it is a good idea to patch it, rather than just sticking some filler on. We will discuss patching in this blog.
What Is Patching?
Patching involves putting a wire mesh over the hole in the drywall which the filler or ‘spackle’ can then cling to. The filler will not have a lot of integrity and is challenging to make it flat when it has nothing to cling to. The mesh will just stick on the wall, meaning you can repair that annoying hole in a matter of minutes!
Where Do I Get the Patches?
You can get the drywall mesh online or in any hardware shop. You can often find sets that contain the mesh, the filler, and a spreader, which is everything you need for the job.
Step 1: To begin, clear out any loose debris in the hole you want to fix. Rub about the inside of the hole with a knife or screwdriver until all the dust and other loose product is removed.
Step 2: Cut out the mesh to a suitable size, or pick a suitable size if they are pre-cut and place the sicky side over the hole and against the wall. The patch should now be covering the hole and very flat against the wall.
To be extra sure, take your putty knife with no filler on it and move it across the meshing. This will ensure it becomes as flat as possible against the wall.
Step 3: Take a generous amount of filler on your putty knife and begin working it into the mesh. Go back and forth ensuring it is as smooth as possible until the shape of the mess starts to disappear as it is replaced by the smooth filler.
This process is not complicated, and it shouldn’t take too long, but take your time. Once it is finished, leave it for a few hours until it is dry. Check the packaging to see how long the manufacturer suggests you should leave it for.
Step 4: Once the material has fully dried, take some sanding paper and get to work smoothing the filler out. Eventually, it should be integrated into the wall, apart from being a different colour. Any waste from the sanding should be collected by a wet paper towel and disposed of in the pin, do not flush this paper towel to run the risk of blocked drains.
All the filler needs is a lick of paint, so make sure you use the paint that matches the wall!
A Tip for Painting
It is key that you use exactly the same colour of paint when you are coating over the filler. However, even then the newer paint will likely still stand out depending on what the original paint was applied. Consider repainting the whole wall, if the patch is bothering you, as it is the only way to make things truly uniform!
Many people would never consider working on their car. They are considered to be very specialist machines that must be sent to a mechanic, even for the simplest of jobs. This could not be further from the truth, and there are many routine repairs you can make which will save you money, and you won’t have to hang around while the mechanic gets everything fixed up.
Today, we are going to talk about broken headlight bulbs.
First Up, Get Your Bulb
Naturally, different cars require different bulbs. I cannot provide a simple answer on exactly what one you need. I would suggest just searching “what headlight bulb does [the car model and year] need?” You should find the answer within the first few links.
Alternatively, look up your owner’s manual if you have one. It should tell you exactly what kind of bulb you need.
You can pick up the bulb online, in shops like Halfords, or perhaps from a car part shop if there is one nearby.
Step 1: Before doing anything else make sure that your headlights are off before you start.
To begin, you will have to find out how the headlight bulb is removed. Usually, if you open the bonnet, you will see some clips behind the headlight that can be used to take the bulb out.
If it remains unclear, you can open up your owner’s manual, and it should tell you how to replace the bulb in your vehicle.
Also, make sure that you don’t bash it or drop it. They are very delicate, and even a minor bump can reduce the lifespan of the bulb.
It is just a case of slotting the new bulb into place, the same way you would in your house.
Step 2: Get your new bulb ready and prepare to slot it into place. It is fundamental that you wear latex gloves while handling the new bulb. Any oils from your skin going onto the glass could reduce the lifespan of the bulb.
Step 3: Check the lights and make sure everything is working properly. If it does not work, check the bulb you took out. If the filament has not broken, it may be the case that there is something else wrong with the headlight which may require a mechanic to diagnose.
Chances are, however, you have just finished a ten-minute job that has saved you a fair bit of money!
Some Things to Consider
When you are replacing your bulb, there are a couple of things you will have to consider. Firstly, do not just get the brightest bulb available if you want it to have a reasonable lifespan. Bright headlights can look impressive and will really light things up at night. However, they will burn out relatively quickly. I would suggest going for a middle-ground that strikes a balance between performance and lifespan.
Secondly, make sure you don’t get any dirt in the headlight cover when you are changing things over. Make sure that the bulb does not touch anything on the way in, and that you do not knock any dirt or filth in through the open hole after you remove the broken bulb.
I am Mr Fixit, a DIY enthusiast and general hobbyist. I think that getting your tools together and fixing problems around your home can be massively rewarding, as well as saving you time and money.
With a significant amount of effort, the right tools, and a little bit of patience you can fix just about anything around your home. However, I want to show you that there are many quick and simple repairs out there that are incredibly accessible. I want to help you complete these tasks so that you have a good DIY starting point to build on!
Tasks like installing an automatic garage door, for example, is technically something you can do yourself. However, this is not that you can just dive into without some prior experience. On the other hand, simple fixes to your car or some decorative tasks around your home can take as little as 15 minutes but can save you hundreds of pounds.
These tasks are what I want to focus on, because they are accessible for absolutely everyone!
What Tools Will I Need?
None of the repairs I discuss will require expensive or unusual tools. A lot of the tools you will have around your home anyway, such as screwdrivers and hammers. Otherwise, you will have to buy some cheap and simple gear.
For example, I have done a blog on changing your headlight bulb. All you need are some latex gloves and a bulb - that is it! The whole point is saving money, so I am not going to suggest you spend £200 on tools when you could just have hired a professional for £80.
What Experience Will I Need?
None. For all of these tasks, the only difference between you and a professional will be time. With some concentration and some commitment, you can achieve an end result that no one will even know that you did yourself. That is unless you can’t help but tell them out of pride!
Remember, There Is Still a Place for Professionals
You can’t do everything yourself. There are some jobs that will require, or at least benefit from, a professional finish. Saving money through everyday DIY tasks means that that cash can be used to hire professionals when you need them.
Hiring in tradespeople is good for big jobs, because you are not necessarily going to commit the time to doing it yourself and to be honest you might not even be able to. However, call out fees mean that smaller and easy jobs can be wildly expensive to have done professionally. If you hire someone to paint a patch on your wall, they will still charge the same set call out fee even if it takes them 20 minutes!
Expand Your Skills!
As I have said, my website will focus on very simple and accessible tasks. However, don’t be afraid to take on some more complicated projects when you think you are ready! There are plenty of resources online that can help you to become a DIY master. Eventually you will laugh at the thought of hiring professionals to do basic tasks!
It isn’t unusual for a fence to sag or lean during its lifetime. In fact, it is to be expected. If you have a wooden fence, over time the structure might start to weaken and because the wood has begun to decay. Even metal fences might start to fail as the ground underneath moves, or they are battered by heavy winds. A fence in a poor state of repair can be bad for the aesthetics of your home and security!
If you are in this situation, use this guide to get your fence back in place and standing tall.
Why Is My Fence Sagging?
99% of the time when your fence’s structural integrity is failing, there is a problem with the posts. Naturally, this is where your investigation should start. Identify which posts are leaning or out of sorts and grab your shovel!
Step 1: Once you have identified where the problem lies, you will need to start digging around the post around ten to twelve inches down. Ideally, your neighbour will give you permission to work on both sides, although it is not absolutely necessary.
If you have concrete holding the fence post in place, you will need a pickaxe or hammer to get rid of it.
Step 2: Check the post for rot, as if this is the case it is likely to have happened underground. If the post is fine, we can continue, if it has rotten, you will need to cut out the rot. Make sure you spray the newly cut wood with preservative to stop further rot.
If the rot is extensive, you will have to replace the post entirely.
Step 3: Stand your post upright and ram it into the ground before using a spirit level to make sure it is entirely level. Secure your post somehow by ramming stakes into the ground to keep in position.
Step 4: From here, you have a couple of options. Firstly, you can either shovel the dirt you dug out around the post back into the hole and pack it down very tightly.
Secondly, you can prepare a concrete mix and pour it into the hole around the post. Keep pouring until the concrete is around two inches from the top of the hole. Allow the concrete to dry for 24 hours at the very least, before packing in the dirt to fill it to the top.
Remember to remove your stakes after the post is firmly in place and before the concrete dries!
Step 5: Repeat this process for any other posts that are not standing erect and fully upright. By the end of the process, your fence should be as straight as can be!
Take This Opportunity to Repaint Your Fence!
A lack of protective paint can be a really common cause of rot for all cut outside wood. Once you have got your fence straight again, give it a lick of paint to really have it looking as good as new! Who knows, it might save you having to fix it again in the future.
I’m Mr Fixit, and I’m a big believer in taking projects on yourself without instantly turning to expensive and often unreliable professionals. I have set up this website in order to help you fix things around your home to save you time and money!
When something breaks, it is always tempting just to either chuck it away or get in a professional to fix it. Not only does this mean you are wasting objects that could have a new lease of life, but you are spending money you don’t need to and having to wait on a professional to make it to your home. I think when it’s possible, you should always fix it yourself!
You’ll find that my blogs are simple to follow and relatively non-committal. What I mean is, you aren’t going to start a project which can’t be given up and handed over to a professional – if you can’t quite get it done for whatever reason, it is not the end of the world.
However, I have every faith using my tips and tricks you will see your DIY through to the end!
What Can Be Fixed?
Anything can potentially be repaired. The question is, is it worth your time or effort. Although many tasks are unarguably best left to professionals, there are a number of common DIY projects which the average person often calls in an expensive tradesperson to fix despite being perfectly capable of sorting it themselves!
With the right guidance and a bit of commitment, you can take on a number of projects which will not only save you time and money but will also be incredibly rewarding and even fun (especially if you use a bit of the money saved to treat yourself or a loved one!).
This website will cover a whole range of things which I have dealt with in the past and know to be very manageable. Although you might falter or make some mistakes, you can rest assured that absolutely nothing will be entirely out of reach!
My goal is to mainly focus on common and problematic issues that crop up which can cause real disruption within your home. This is partly because these issues are most pressing, which means they are issues you should be keen to start working on immediately!
What Will Mr Fixit Blogs Contain?
I’m not going to discuss anything that is too out of reach for anyone, regardless of what experience you have in repairing things yourself. I will never leave you in a position where you are likely to do more harm than good, regardless of what project you take on.
For example, I won’t write a guide suggesting that you should climb up on your roof to retile the whole thing or crack open your boiler and start messing about with the pipes. Everything I discuss will be fairly untechnical tips and tricks!
Everything I discuss will be largely aesthetic and, when functional, never structural. Repairing a chair leg or mounting a shelf is within our wheelbase – removing structural beams within your home or tearing down a wall is not something I am going to cover.
It is also important to remember that some jobs just require a professional touch. For example, I have a blog on repairing a blocked drain, but if the issue runs deeper than merely using a plunger to unblock a pipe, then it is probably necessary you get in touch with a company with the right equipment. [LINK] Clark Drainage has a fantastic blog on how professional tools are required for some jobs.
I understand that not everyone has a vast collection of tools. There is also nothing more frustrating than getting halfway through a job and realising that you are missing a tool that you need. This is especially true when it turns out you need a piece of equipment that breaks the bank.
That is why I will also always include a full list of tools that you will need so that you can check off what you have before you get started and take a trip to a DIY shop if necessary! In addition, none of the tools or apparatus required will be particularly expensive.
Simple and Manageable Stages
Anyone can give repairing things a go. The trick is not to get overwhelmed by a project. Do not start worrying about the final stages when you haven’t even started the process at all. If you take one step at a time, your chance of success becomes much more likely.
For example, putting up a shelf can be quite a complicated subject when looked at as a whole. However, none of the individual stages are particularly tough. If you want to do a good job, just focus on one element of the repair at a time!
By taking it on within small stages without biting off more than you can chew, it is only a matter of time before you reach the finish line. Always think one step ahead, but remember, stage 5 is not your immediate concern when you are just starting the project.
This is my philosophy. Whatever problem you are trying to fix, make sure you remember that you will never be thrown in at the deep-end.
Fixing things for yourself not only saves you time and money but can be a gratifying experience. I hope my guides can be of some use, and I wish you all the best when you decide to get started!
Remember that a little patience is vital when it comes to attempting things that are not within your traditional skill base or expertise, and often taking a step back and coming back to it later will allow you to look at the situation with a fresh perspective. This can make the world of difference.