A handyman is someone who is skilled in many areas, especially when it comes to fixing things around the house. If you need help with unclogging a drain or repairing a hole in a window screen, then you should call a handyman. Repairing is not the same as home improvement, although many improvements can be made from repairs or maintenance. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to upgrade a home system than to repair it or pay for frequent and costly maintenance for an inefficient, outdated, or failing system.
One of the most difficult repairs that a homeowner may face is broken or damaged items. In today's world of built-in obsolescence for many products, it is often more convenient to replace something than to try to repair it. A repairman must accurately identify the problem and then find the materials, supplies, tools, and skills needed to make the repair successful. Some items, such as broken windows, appliances, or furniture, can be taken to a repair shop.
However, there are many repairs that can be done easily enough at home, such as repairing holes in plaster and drywall, cleaning stains, repairing cracked windows and their screens, or replacing a broken electrical switch or power outlet. In some cases, repairs may need to be done urgently due to broken water pipes, doors, latches or windows, or a leaky roof or water tank. In these cases, it is best to request professional help. A domestic handyman can become adept at dealing with such immediate repairs in order to avoid further damage or loss until a professional can be summoned.
Periodic maintenance is also included in the general class of home repairs. These are inspections, adjustments, cleanings or replacements that must be done regularly in order to ensure the proper functioning of all systems in a home and avoid costly emergencies. Examples include annual tests and adjustments of alarm systems, central heating or cooling systems (electrodes, thermocouples, and fuel filters), replacement of water treatment components or air treatment filters, purging heating radiators and water tanks, defrosting a freezer, vacuum coolers, refill dry floor drain traps with water, clean rain gutters and downpipes and drains. Other tasks include touching up worn house paint and weather seals and cleaning accumulated creosote from chimney ducts (which may be best left to a chimney sweep). Examples of less frequent household maintenance that need to be regularly forecasted and budgeted include re-painting or staining wood or metal outdoors; repainting masonry; waterproofing masonry; replacing sacrificial electrodes in water heaters; replacing hoses on washing machines (preferably with stainless steel hoses less likely to burst and cause flooding); and other home improvements such as replacing obsolete or old systems with limited lifespans (water heaters, wood-burning stoves, pumps and tiles and asphalt or wooden roofing linings).
These maintenance tasks pay for themselves over time. Injuries can occur when operating heavy machinery or when climbing stairs or roofs around your home; therefore if you are not physically able to perform these tasks then you should consult a professional. Lack of maintenance will cost more due to the higher costs associated with repairs or replacements that will need to be made later. It requires discipline and learning aptitude to repair and maintain the house in good condition but it is a satisfying experience when performing even seemingly minor repairs. Help is available for low-income homeowners in Houston who need help repairing their homes through the Single-Family Home Repair Program.
This program assesses damaged homes and helps make repairs needed to protect the life, health and safety of homeowners who are over 62 years old; have children under 18; or have disabilities. In cases where homes are severely damaged the program will rebuild new homes for homeowners. If you outsource remodeling or repair work on a non-residential structure then the remodeler or repair person can give you a resale certificate instead of paying labor taxes. Another class of home repairs involves restoring something back into working condition such as sharpening tools or utensils; replacing washers from leaking faucets; cleaning plumbing traps; rain gutters; etc. Emergency repairs are also important due to natural disasters; power loss; appliance failures; lack of water; etc. If a homeowner sells or leases their home before the end of the affordability period then they will be required to reimburse a portion of the cost of repairs performed.
Most have shut-off valves in pipes below them so that the water supply can be shut off while repairs are being made either by removing an obstruction or repairing a broken mechanism. City inspectors will determine how much needs to be repaired and estimate the costs of repairs.