You Can't Handle Repairs
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18 Things You Didn't Know You Could Repair to Save Money

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You Can't Handle Repairs
kali9/istockphoto

Easy Fixes

While you may be willing to take on DIY projects around the house, you may not realize how many of them you’re overlooking when it comes to fixing purchases you’ve already made that have become worn or broken. So roll up your sleeves and commit to be even more frugal with these DIY fixes you can do yourself (or outsource to a specialist for less money than you’d spend on a replacement).

Related: 50 Well-Made Products You’ll Never Have to Buy Again

You Can't Handle Repairs
kali9/istockphoto

Easy Fixes

While you may be willing to take on DIY projects around the house, you may not realize how many of them you’re overlooking when it comes to fixing purchases you’ve already made that have become worn or broken. So roll up your sleeves and commit to be even more frugal with these DIY fixes you can do yourself (or outsource to a specialist for less money than you’d spend on a replacement).

Related: 50 Well-Made Products You’ll Never Have to Buy Again

Broken Zipper
Amazon

Broken Zipper

Ever have a kid break the zipper on their winter coat in the middle of a below-zero day? Be prepared to fix it on the spot with a zipper repair kit from Zipper Rescue ($12 on Amazon), YKK ($11 on Amazon), or your local shoe repair retailer. Not only does the repair kit work for jackets, but also for other clothing items like jeans, skirts, purses, and more. Worth a try before splurging for a new winter coat halfway through the season.

Broken Zipper
Amazon

Broken Zipper

Ever have a kid break the zipper on their winter coat in the middle of a below-zero day? Be prepared to fix it on the spot with a zipper repair kit from Zipper Rescue ($12 on Amazon), YKK ($11 on Amazon), or your local shoe repair retailer. Not only does the repair kit work for jackets, but also for other clothing items like jeans, skirts, purses, and more. Worth a try before splurging for a new winter coat halfway through the season.

Fixing Chair
eclipse_images/istockphoto

Furniture

Most trashed furniture can easily be saved. Fix wobbly legs by making new holes and using new screws, or you can even replace the legs of an old table altogether. Find table legs at any hardware store. When it comes to aesthetics, simply scrape off the old paint (be sure to do a lead test first with these simple swabs or lightly sand the finish and repaint in a color you want. After you’ve painted it, cover it with a water-based, clear top coat. This is easy to apply with a foam brush to minimize brush strokes, and this top coat will protect the color and finish for years to come.

Related: Vintage Ikea Furniture Pieces That Sell for Real Money

Fixing Chair
eclipse_images/istockphoto

Furniture

Most trashed furniture can easily be saved. Fix wobbly legs by making new holes and using new screws, or you can even replace the legs of an old table altogether. Find table legs at any hardware store. When it comes to aesthetics, simply scrape off the old paint (be sure to do a lead test first with these simple swabs or lightly sand the finish and repaint in a color you want. After you’ve painted it, cover it with a water-based, clear top coat. This is easy to apply with a foam brush to minimize brush strokes, and this top coat will protect the color and finish for years to come.

Related: Vintage Ikea Furniture Pieces That Sell for Real Money

Upholstery
sarasang/istockphoto

Upholstery

Part of fixing outdated or seemingly ruined furniture is replacing ruined upholstery. Many people shy away from this task or hire someone to do it for them, when it is remarkably simple to do it yourself — even if you aren’t handy. The Family Handyman can walk you through the supplies you need and steps to do this task.

Upholstery
sarasang/istockphoto

Upholstery

Part of fixing outdated or seemingly ruined furniture is replacing ruined upholstery. Many people shy away from this task or hire someone to do it for them, when it is remarkably simple to do it yourself — even if you aren’t handy. The Family Handyman can walk you through the supplies you need and steps to do this task.

Busted Pants Seams
DmyTo/istockphoto

Busted Pants Seams

Split your favorite pair of pants? Don’t worry — you can fix the damage. Seams intimidate people, with good reason. They aren’t the easiest fix, but learning to fix a busted seam is still cheaper than hiring someone to do it for you or replacing the garment altogether. Collect the following supplies: thread to match the garment, a thimble, a needle, and scissors. Helpful online videos will walk you through this repair.

Busted Pants Seams
DmyTo/istockphoto

Busted Pants Seams

Split your favorite pair of pants? Don’t worry — you can fix the damage. Seams intimidate people, with good reason. They aren’t the easiest fix, but learning to fix a busted seam is still cheaper than hiring someone to do it for you or replacing the garment altogether. Collect the following supplies: thread to match the garment, a thimble, a needle, and scissors. Helpful online videos will walk you through this repair.

Sticking Wood Doors
photovs/istockphoto

Sticking Wood Doors

True wooden doors tend to expand in humidity and this causes sticking. The good news is you don’t need to hire a handyman to fix this problem. While tightening the screws is a good idea, it usually isn’t the fix you need. Instead, take the door and hinges off the frame and use a chisel to carve out a deeper groove in the frame for the hinges. Prime, paint, and reinstall the door. If this doesn’t solve your problem, take it off and try again, this time shaving a little off the door side with a hand planer. Finally, prime, paint, and reinstall.

Sticking Wood Doors
photovs/istockphoto

Sticking Wood Doors

True wooden doors tend to expand in humidity and this causes sticking. The good news is you don’t need to hire a handyman to fix this problem. While tightening the screws is a good idea, it usually isn’t the fix you need. Instead, take the door and hinges off the frame and use a chisel to carve out a deeper groove in the frame for the hinges. Prime, paint, and reinstall the door. If this doesn’t solve your problem, take it off and try again, this time shaving a little off the door side with a hand planer. Finally, prime, paint, and reinstall.

Worn Heels
Amazon

Worn Heels

If you’ve walked through your favorite pair of high heels, don’t toss them or (if the damage is minor) turn to a shoe repair shop. Try heel protectors and caps from GoGo Heel ($16 on Amazon), Heel Hunks ($16 on Amazon), or other retailers. You get 4 heel covers, enough to fix two pairs of worn-out heels or protect two pairs of new heels from meeting the same fate. Multiple heel cap sizes are available to accommodate any size heel.

Worn Heels
Amazon

Worn Heels

If you’ve walked through your favorite pair of high heels, don’t toss them or (if the damage is minor) turn to a shoe repair shop. Try heel protectors and caps from GoGo Heel ($16 on Amazon), Heel Hunks ($16 on Amazon), or other retailers. You get 4 heel covers, enough to fix two pairs of worn-out heels or protect two pairs of new heels from meeting the same fate. Multiple heel cap sizes are available to accommodate any size heel.

Vacuum Cleaner
BanksPhotos/istockphoto

Vacuum Cleaner

A vacuum cleaner  whose spin brush stops working is an easy fix. It just needs a new belt. Best of all, you don’t need to take it anywhere for the repair but can do it yourself at home. Simply get a new belt, remove the belt cover, take off the old belt, and replace it with the new one. New belts start around $3.

Vacuum Cleaner
BanksPhotos/istockphoto

Vacuum Cleaner

A vacuum cleaner  whose spin brush stops working is an easy fix. It just needs a new belt. Best of all, you don’t need to take it anywhere for the repair but can do it yourself at home. Simply get a new belt, remove the belt cover, take off the old belt, and replace it with the new one. New belts start around $3.

Leaky Faucet
BigshotD3/istockphoto

Leaky Faucet

If your shower or sink is leaking, chances are it’s an easy fix and there’s no need to call a plumber. Instead, turn the water off. Loosen the fastener and take the handle off. Replace the inside cartridge (replacements can be found at any hardware store). Replacements usually start around $8. Pull out the old cartridge and replace it with the new and reattach the handle.

Leaky Faucet
BigshotD3/istockphoto

Leaky Faucet

If your shower or sink is leaking, chances are it’s an easy fix and there’s no need to call a plumber. Instead, turn the water off. Loosen the fastener and take the handle off. Replace the inside cartridge (replacements can be found at any hardware store). Replacements usually start around $8. Pull out the old cartridge and replace it with the new and reattach the handle.

Grill Burners and Parts
Olga Mendenhall/istockphoto

Grill Burners and Parts

Replacing a grill is expensive, but what most people don’t consider is that you don’t have to replace the whole unit. You can easily, and cheaply, fix broken parts on your grill. Most hardware stores sell parts for your brand of grill and you can easily find replacement instructions to walk you through the process.

Grill Burners and Parts
Olga Mendenhall/istockphoto

Grill Burners and Parts

Replacing a grill is expensive, but what most people don’t consider is that you don’t have to replace the whole unit. You can easily, and cheaply, fix broken parts on your grill. Most hardware stores sell parts for your brand of grill and you can easily find replacement instructions to walk you through the process.

Stained Microfiber
Vershinin/istockphoto

Stained Microfiber

Do not call bulk trash pick up for a stained microfiber couch — even if the material is severely stained. Instead, try this magical cure: rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Spray the stains — even water marks — and use a soft sponge to rub them out. Let the fabric dry. Finally, go over the dried areas with a carpet brush. This can be done on an entire couch to make it look brand new.

Stained Microfiber
Vershinin/istockphoto

Stained Microfiber

Do not call bulk trash pick up for a stained microfiber couch — even if the material is severely stained. Instead, try this magical cure: rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Spray the stains — even water marks — and use a soft sponge to rub them out. Let the fabric dry. Finally, go over the dried areas with a carpet brush. This can be done on an entire couch to make it look brand new.

Pilled Material
Amazon

Pilled Material

Don’t toss your favorite sweater just because it looks like you’ve worn it 100 times (which you probably have). Instead of throwing it away or paying a dry cleaner to fix it, invest in the Conair Fabric Defuzzer-Shaver ($12 on Amazon) With over 9,000 positive reviews, it’s worth a try to save your favorite clothing items and it’s said to work wonders on furniture too.

Pilled Material
Amazon

Pilled Material

Don’t toss your favorite sweater just because it looks like you’ve worn it 100 times (which you probably have). Instead of throwing it away or paying a dry cleaner to fix it, invest in the Conair Fabric Defuzzer-Shaver ($12 on Amazon) With over 9,000 positive reviews, it’s worth a try to save your favorite clothing items and it’s said to work wonders on furniture too.

Discolored Ceiling Spots
Walmart

Discolored Ceiling Spots

Did you have a leak that seeped through the ceiling? Is your ceiling textured? Even if you can paint the ceiling, you probably have no idea how to match the texture. The good news is you don’t need to pay a professional painter to come out and fix a discolored ceiling. Instead grab a bottle of Kiltz Upshot for less than $6. It’s a ceiling spray that matches most ceilings and will easily cover up water marks, smoke stains, grease marks, and more.

Discolored Ceiling Spots
Walmart

Discolored Ceiling Spots

Did you have a leak that seeped through the ceiling? Is your ceiling textured? Even if you can paint the ceiling, you probably have no idea how to match the texture. The good news is you don’t need to pay a professional painter to come out and fix a discolored ceiling. Instead grab a bottle of Kiltz Upshot for less than $6. It’s a ceiling spray that matches most ceilings and will easily cover up water marks, smoke stains, grease marks, and more.

Leaky Dishwasher
ronstik/istockphoto

Leaky Dishwasher

When it comes to any appliance leaking, most people are ready to pick up the phone and call a repairman. Don’t make that mistake. A leaky dishwasher could potentially be a very easy fix that costs less than $20. Examine the thick rubber gasket that runs along the tub of the dishwasher. Is it brittle and cracked? If so, it needs to be replaced. Simply remove the old one, soak the new one in warm water for a few minutes, then set it in the tub where the old one was. Shut the dishwasher tight and let it sit for a few hours until it sticks to the tub.

Leaky Dishwasher
ronstik/istockphoto

Leaky Dishwasher

When it comes to any appliance leaking, most people are ready to pick up the phone and call a repairman. Don’t make that mistake. A leaky dishwasher could potentially be a very easy fix that costs less than $20. Examine the thick rubber gasket that runs along the tub of the dishwasher. Is it brittle and cracked? If so, it needs to be replaced. Simply remove the old one, soak the new one in warm water for a few minutes, then set it in the tub where the old one was. Shut the dishwasher tight and let it sit for a few hours until it sticks to the tub.

Worn Out Birkenstocks
Birkenstock

Worn Out Birkenstocks

Birkenstock sandals and clog can last for years or even decades — but with regular wear, they won’t last forever. Given that new kicks are pricey, the company has authorized repair shops such as Ibirks and Birkenstock Express offering repairs of the shoes for a fraction of the cost of a new pair, including new footbeds, resoling, and cork recrafting.

Worn Out Birkenstocks
Birkenstock

Worn Out Birkenstocks

Birkenstock sandals and clog can last for years or even decades — but with regular wear, they won’t last forever. Given that new kicks are pricey, the company has authorized repair shops such as Ibirks and Birkenstock Express offering repairs of the shoes for a fraction of the cost of a new pair, including new footbeds, resoling, and cork recrafting.

Get a Washer and Dryer … Maybe
pixedeli/istockpoto

Slow Dryer

It can be frustrating when a dryer won’t do the job in a timely manner, but don’t despair. Before shopping for a replacement, make sure that the vents are clear of lint and that the dryer can get good air circulation. If this is the case, it’s likely the blower. You can get a new blower wheel starting around $17. Replace the blower wheel yourself and save a ton of cash.

Get a Washer and Dryer … Maybe
pixedeli/istockpoto

Slow Dryer

It can be frustrating when a dryer won’t do the job in a timely manner, but don’t despair. Before shopping for a replacement, make sure that the vents are clear of lint and that the dryer can get good air circulation. If this is the case, it’s likely the blower. You can get a new blower wheel starting around $17. Replace the blower wheel yourself and save a ton of cash.

Filthy Suede and Leather Shoes
Nachosuch/istockphoto

Filthy Suede and Leather Shoes

Do you have mud-caked or salt-water stained shoes sitting in your closet that you don’t have the heart to throw out? There’s a good chance they can be salvaged. Try this special brush from Amazon for just $7. It’s a four-way brush designed to clean suede and leather shoes without damaging the surface. It gets countless positive reviews and is said to revive shoes destined for the trash.

Filthy Suede and Leather Shoes
Nachosuch/istockphoto

Filthy Suede and Leather Shoes

Do you have mud-caked or salt-water stained shoes sitting in your closet that you don’t have the heart to throw out? There’s a good chance they can be salvaged. Try this special brush from Amazon for just $7. It’s a four-way brush designed to clean suede and leather shoes without damaging the surface. It gets countless positive reviews and is said to revive shoes destined for the trash.

Torn or Worn Out Jeans
Willowpix/istockphoto

Torn or Worn Out Jeans

If you’ve worn out your favorite pair of jeans, don’t get rid of them just yet. Patching jeans can be daunting for some people, but it really isn’t a hard task. Get some thread that matches the color of your jeans and a swatch of fabric that matches the jeans or is as sturdy as the jean material. YouTube has some step-by-step videos that are easy to follow (or, if necessary, watch repeatedly until you get each step right).

Related: The History of American Jeans: From Railway to Runway

Torn or Worn Out Jeans
Willowpix/istockphoto

Torn or Worn Out Jeans

If you’ve worn out your favorite pair of jeans, don’t get rid of them just yet. Patching jeans can be daunting for some people, but it really isn’t a hard task. Get some thread that matches the color of your jeans and a swatch of fabric that matches the jeans or is as sturdy as the jean material. YouTube has some step-by-step videos that are easy to follow (or, if necessary, watch repeatedly until you get each step right).

Related: The History of American Jeans: From Railway to Runway

Broken Yeti Tumbler
Amazon

Broken Yeti Tumbler

After spending $30 on a tumbler to keep your drinks hot or cool, you may despair when you lose a lid or, if it’s a Yeti, the magnetic slider that closes the top. Luckily, there are cheaper options than picking up a pricey replacement. Visit the brand’s website to find new lids and magsliders (as well as other replacement parts) for a fraction of the price of a new tumbler.

Broken Yeti Tumbler
Amazon

Broken Yeti Tumbler

After spending $30 on a tumbler to keep your drinks hot or cool, you may despair when you lose a lid or, if it’s a Yeti, the magnetic slider that closes the top. Luckily, there are cheaper options than picking up a pricey replacement. Visit the brand’s website to find new lids and magsliders (as well as other replacement parts) for a fraction of the price of a new tumbler.