How to fix your most annoying issues

If you’re spending more time indoors lately, you’re no doubt coming face to face every day with those little jobs around your home that are just always there.

We’ve all got them. Whether it’s a mark on the wall from when the toddler got loose with a felt tip, or a squeaking stair that you always thought about getting fixed, these little nagging problems plague every home.

The problem is, they’re usually small enough that on a day to day basis, you can just overlook them. But seeing them day in, day out, and knowing that they’re not going to go away by themselves, should be the impetus to finally get them fixed - most of these annoying jobs won’t take long, and many won’t even cost much. So what are you waiting for?

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Scuffed walls

If you’ve lived in your home for more than about a week, you’ve no doubt got plenty of marks over your walls (in fact, even if you’ve only been there a week, moving in usually causes a few scuffs and scratches).

Whether it’s marks from doors or furniture, scribbles from young artists, greasy hand prints or muddy boot scrapes, our paint and wallpapering can take a beating over time, and quickly leave a room looking tired and rundown.

There’s not much that can revitalise a room like a fresh coat of paint, especially when a change of colour can do so much to change the mood - from deep relaxing tones, to bright energetic shades. It’s a job you can tackle yourself, or you can hire a decorator to guarantee a job done properly, making sure the surfaces are properly prepared and the finished - all the better to withstand whatever you can throw at it in future.

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Leaking taps

The slow drip-drip-drip of a leaking tap can be its own form of water torture, but it’s also a waste of precious (and pricy) water - around 460 million litres are lost in the UK every year to leaking taps, so if you’re paying for usage, then it’s in your interest to get it fixed.

With most traditional taps, the culprit is usually a failed washer or rubber seal which needs to be replaced. Monobloc taps that allow you to mix temperartures may have a ceramic cartridge which needs replacing.

Keen DIY enthusiasts can tackle the job themselves - just be careful to shut off the water and not to lose any screws down the plughole - or a plumber can do the job in a jiffy.

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Damp patches

A problem in many homes, and one which it’s easy to ignore for fear of finding out something you don’t want to, is damp. If you see black mould on walls or skirting boards, or notice places where the wall is cold, damp, or starting to discolour, then there’s a good chance you’re dealing with damp.

Luckily, lots of damp is fairly simple to deal with. The most common issue is simply condensation, which can be fended off in future with better ventilation. If you have persistent damp patches then it may be a sign of penetrating damp, where water is coming into the home through a fault in your brickwork, roof or windows.

Whether you need to install new extractor fans, reseal windows, fix broken gutters or redecorate after cleaning up the issue, it’s worth doing it sooner rather than later.

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Threadbare carpets

It’s easy to ignore the things under our feet (how many times have you stepped in or on something you didn’t mean to?) but there comes a point where you have to take notice. In hallways or staircases in particular, heavy foot traffic can wear out carpets before their time, leaving entire rooms looking tired and worn out.

Sometimes, a good clean is enough to give them new life - you can hire carpet cleaning machines and marvel at the dirt that gets removed - but replacement is also an option. It’s a quick job, and one that will instantly make a difference, and make you wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

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Dark corners

Every home has a place, usually in a hallway somewhere, which we think would be so much more useful if only there was a bit more light. But no matter how you try to set up lamps, it never quite works out.

If you’re frustrated with wasted space, make a commitment to making a permanent change, and install proper lighting. Downlights or spotlights are a practical solution that can help illuminate many under-utilised parts of your home, and turn them into useful spaces. An electrician can help install them and transform your home instantly.

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Dragging doors

Everyone has one door that sticks a bit - dragging a track in the carpet, or even worse, scratching or leaving a mark on wooden floors or vinyl flooring.

Over time you get used to it - “Oh there’s a knack to opening it” - but getting it fixed isn’t necessarily a big job.

There are a range of things that can cause doors to start misbehaving like that, and a carpenter can help diagnose the issue and fix it, whether it needs rehanging with new hinges or shaving down a few milimetres.

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Storage space

How many of us have books piled up in corners, or pictures sat in boxes rather than proudly displayed? It’s something we always say we’ll get to one day, but why not make that today, and add some extra storage space to your home.

The simplest way to make more room for books, pictures, or your collection of antique teapots, is to add some more shelves. A handyman can help install shelves that won’t fall off the wall when you breathe on them, and finally allow you to show off your things with pride.

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Squeaking stairs

If you know which stair or floorboard in your home squaks well enough to avoid it when sneaking to the kitchen late at night, then you’ve officially been ignoring the problem too long.

The irritating squeaking noise doesn’t have to be an inbuilt part of your home that you have to learn to avoid - you can just get it fixed, with a little tradepserson help.

In the case of stairs, extra fixings are usually needed to secure the treads and risers, which is best accessed from beneath the stairs. However, even if you can only access the top, you can still use slim metal brackets to tighten up the parts and eliminate squeaks - a carpenter will be able to advise you, and get rid of annoying squeaks forever.

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