If you’re like most people, plumbing jobs are outside your comfort zone. When we see water overflowing a basin and blockages where it should flow freely, we’re at a loss, and our only solution is to call a plumber. Actually, most plumbing problems fall into only a few categories, and the fixes are simple enough that anyone can do them provided they have the proper tools. For tips on repairing easy plumbing issues without involving the expense of a professional plumber, keep reading.

The most common plumbing issues are usually quite simple, involve clogs and leaks and they can happen anywhere in your plumbing system. Acquaint yourself with where the shut-off valves are located in your home so that if you develop a leak, you’ll be able to turn off the water running to that area until it’s diagnosed and repaired. Just this little knowledge can end up saving you from a lot of expensive damages and repairs.

Plumbing Tools

The tools that you’ll need to fix most plumbing issues can be purchased in your local hardware store, and it’s a good idea to have the basics already on hand, because when a water emergency happens, and it will, you’ll be ready to respond immediately. Some of the items you should have include:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • A heavy-duty rubber plunger
  • A plumber’s snake
  • Plumber’s putty
  • Both a regular and a Phillips screwdriver
  • Simple household cleaning products, such as lemon juice and baking soda
  • Slip-joint pliers
  • Adjustable pipe wrench

Although the list may seem somewhat intimidating, you don’t have to buy everything at once. Start with a plunger and then add to your plumbing toolbox gradually as you can afford to.

Clogged drains are the most common plumbing problem. It’s just something that happens from time to time. A plunger is an absolute necessity as something to start with. Usually a clogged toilet or sink can be cleared by just plunging it several times. A plunger forces water and air into pipes which usually is enough to clean it out and let water run freely again. If this doesn’t work, you can try running a plumber’s snake down the drain to see if the metal tape will free it up. Once you’ve opened the pipe, run plenty of water down it to make sure it’s clean.

Plumbing snakes are available in a variety of sizes and can be rented from most tool rental outlets. Most of the tools needed for the jobs mentioned in this article are usually found lying around the house. If a plumbing problem arises and you want to tackle it yourself, you should consider investing in the tool needed at the time thereby building your toolbox as needed.

Leaking Faucets

Leaking faucets and shower heads can be removed using a pipe wrench or screwdriver. Take the fixture apart and clean every piece inside and out with a gentle solution of baking soda or lemon juice and water. Replace worn screws and gaskets. Once the faucet is reassembled and back in place, make sure everything is tight. Most times, this will correct the leakage problem. Be sure you shut off the water before tackling this job, though.

If all of this is too much or you’re the kind of person who would rather pay a professional to take care of it for you, then we suggest looking online for a Vancouver plumber near you to fix the problem for you. Most plumbing companies are reputable because word travels fast in this industry, especially when everyone is leaving reviews online about plumbers they’ve dealt with. In fact the easiest way to find a good plumbing contractor close to your home is find the names of a few companies close to your area and then search on their company name + the word reviews. You’ll find the best ones will have a number of good reviews that sound realistic. It wont be hard to stop fake reviews, so just go with your gut and research the reviews of a few local plumbers. If you live in the southeast corner of BC, we have the name of a great plumbing company in Vancouver who have been doing excellent work for decades in the Vancouver BC region. Here it is listed below

KC’s Plumbing & Heating Ltd
Phone: (604) 873-3753
1896 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC

Home renovation often increases property value. This is one of the most common reasons for renovations, in addition to updating a home and making it more suited to your personal tastes. When it comes to renovations, some homeowners opt to utilise the services of professional contractors. Renovation projects can be very costly, especially where you enlist the services of a professional builder, interior designer or other specialist. This is why some people prefer DIY (do it yourself) renovations, which can be more cost effective, especially where you have the skills to do some of the tasks. So if you are thinking of DIY home renovations, here is a list of renovation tips that may help you renovate your home.


Having a plan for each step of your renovation allows you to renovate in a more cost effective manner, giving you the ability to budget accordingly before you start the project; an outline of the project will help during the renovations.

Appropriating funds from your budget is extremely important. Kitchens and bathrooms are huge selling points in a house, which means you should spend the bulk of your time and resources renovating those rooms. Often a new coat of paint or new carpet can change the entire look of your bedroom and living rooms, and both are relatively inexpensive ways to improve a place.

If you are looking to increase the property value, talk to a realtor before you start your renovations. Your realtor can provide you with insight as to which renovations are worth the money and which ones will not turn a profit. Additionally, your realtor can provide you with current real estate trends so you can see what aspects of a house are selling points with buyers and which ones are not.

Improve Instead of Renovate

Before you start the project, think about what you want and decide whether or not you have to replace things or simply reface them. For example, if you are renovating your kitchen, ask yourself if you need all new cabinets or if painting or staining your current cabinets will provide your kitchen with the update you are looking for. In addition, you can remove the doors of your current cabinets and attach new ones for far less than the price of installing a complete cabinet system.

There are also infrastructure items to consider. For instance if the perimeter drains are old there’s a chance they will need replacing. Drain tiles installed previous to the seventies were made of materials that tend to collapse over time. It’s a wise move to have a local plumbing company clean the drains or inspect them to see if there is indeed any serious damage. If the pipes are made of that outdated materials just mentioned then you will need to replace them.

Disintegrating drain tiles impact you in at least two ways. The value of your home is diminished if you are planning to sell. Most importantly, your home could be in danger of a basement flood in winter rains. Areas like the American northwest are very wet in the winter months and experience torrential downfalls which tend to fill perimeter drains with mud and debris, When this happens the foundation can be compromised leading to cracks and leaks. A flooded basement can be a serious problem, all avoided with an initial inspection of the drain perimeter drains. If this is a concern we suggest you seek out a perimeter drainage Vancouver company to clean and inspect your drain tiles.


One of the biggest costs in renovating your house comes from materials. By purchasing and transporting materials on your own you can save hundreds of dollars. A contractor or other third party will charge you delivery fees among other hidden fees to pick up and deliver materials to your home. In addition, doing this yourself gives you the option of shopping around, comparing costs and finding items on sale or clearance.

The best way to reduce cost is to go to places and source second hand building material. If you can’t access used materials, then head to thrift stores or larger outdoor stores that sell cheaper items.


Creating a design for your renovation is perhaps the most important aspect in the remodelling process. Use resources of the internet to get an idea of how you want to design things and speak to professionals to get expert advice and tips on how best to approach the renovation and how to work with the space that you have.

Extra Help

Some renovations will inevitable require the use of a contractor. If you are not accustomed to working with plumbing or cabinetry, it is wise to invest in a contractor to handle those aspects of the renovation for you. The low cost of doing it yourself is gone, but not knowing what you are doing can cost you a significant amount of extra money in the long run! If you must go the route of hiring a contractor, you can still get things done cheaply by doing smaller tasks yourself. For example, if you hire a contractor to handle your new kitchen, you can paint the kitchen yourself, which will save you several hundred dollars.

Consider These Tips!

Before you start your renovation project, consider these DIY home renovation tips. Each will save you time and money on your renovation. Adhering to them will help you increase the property value of your home and maximize your profits by allowing you to see a return on the money you spent remodeling, should you decide to sell your home.

There is no doubt that moving into a new home can prove to be extremely stressful. There are a number of tasks that need to be taken care of, and everything needs to be managed in a short span of time. But having a consolidated checklist of everything that needs to be done can greatly reduce that stress and save you some precious time.

Identify and Manage Your Possessions

Before you start packing, make sure that you look through all your possessions and identify the things you want to take along. Make it a point to keep your valuables in a separate safety box. Ensure that all the items are properly insured before you move.

Select a Moving Company

Selecting a moving company can be a challenge. Make sure you consult at least three different companies before you zero in on one. Make certain to get a written estimate from them, not just a verbal one. You can even ask your friends or family who have moved recently for references.

Create a Binder

When you undertake the task of relocating, it is of utmost importance to keep track of all your financial expenditure and estimates. Create a binder where you can file all your receipts and even take note of all that you have done. You can also use it to keep reminders of daily tasks related to the shifting process.

Update All Legal/Public Documents

At least three weeks prior to shifting, make sure that you update your address in all your legal documents, including your driving license. If you have kid(s) at school, make sure that you inform the relevant authorities of your change in address. You also need to update your address with your milkman/newspaper delivery person.

Purchase Necessary Supplies

When moving into a new house, you will come to realize that you can never have enough boxes or tape. So make sure that you arm yourself with ample amount of cardboard boxes, duct tape, scissors, and whatever else you might need.

Label Your Boxes

After packing, don’t forget to label your boxes, as this simple task will make life so much easier when you unpack. For example, if you have a box filled with important items that you use on a daily basis, labelling them ‘essentials’ will save you the hassle of finding out which boxes to open first.

Have a Layout Prepared

Before you leave your old house, take stock of what your new house looks like, and have a general idea of how you want to place your furniture and possessions. This will greatly help the movers when they unload, since they’ll also have an idea of where your stuff should be placed in your new home.

Take Inventory Before and After Moving

Whenever you move your belongings from one place to another, it makes sense to keep an inventory of all the items, to make sure that nothing is lost or misplaced. It is even more important when it comes to moving into a new house. Create an inventory and tick off each item as you pack and unpack them.

Wow, can we be hit with any more doom and gloom financial news? Over and over, we are bombarded by the media as to how bad things are in the economy, which leaves you thinking that now is actually a poor time to buy a new home. Gas had been hitting record highs week after week, inflation is still increasing at a faster rate than in recent years, people are losing their jobs, and the real estate market is being pounded by the many adjustable rate mortgages (ARM) that are now adjusting to higher payments, many of which people are unable to afford. Despite the current state of affairs, now is definitely a good time to buy a house.

According to some, the outlook to buy a new home may be grim – it’s reported that existing home sales will decrease nearly 7% this year, and new home sales are expected to decrease 19% (1). And with a nod to the times, real estate developers in San Diego, California are offering a ‘two for one’ deal – on homes, that is (2). Real estate is going through an adjustment period, and for many potential buyers, now is a good time to buy a house if there are available funds to secure the financing. Mortgage interest rates are still low compared to historical data, and home prices are also similarly low compared to what some of them were 1-2 years ago. The point I’m trying to convey is that now is, in fact, a good time to buy a house for those buyers who weren’t able to buy a new home when the real estate boom was happening. People looking to buy a new home and invest in properties (keeping them for a long-term period) would also benefit from the current state of the housing market.

Making the Most of Your Investment

Many financial speculators recommend that, while now is a good time to buy a house, you need to keep the property for three or more years; however, if your plan is to buy a new home and then sell it within that window of time, you’d be better off renting. Furthermore, with the current volatility of the market, it’s hard to calculate the outcome of it all and when it will end (3). Many websites now provide a practical calculator tool to analyze and compare the cost of renting versus buying and which is better for your economic situation in the long run. To judge for yourself if now is a good time to buy a house, plug in your statistics to Real Estate Journal’s online calculator.

Housing will continue to go through tough times and will probably remain slow or stagnant for the next 2-3 years. There are an incredible amount of homes for sale on the market far exceeding the amount of people who are looking to buy a new home or who can qualify for financing. To give you an example, as of today’s writing on July 17, 2008, there are more than 106,000 homes listed for sale with local real estate agents in metro Atlanta. That number doesn’t even include the ones being sold by the owners themselves, likely constituting a couple thousand more. First time home buyers with good credit and down payments of 3-5% of their purchase price can benefit by getting the right assistance from many sources that help decide if now is a good time to buy a house.

Finding Affordable Homes

However, the resistance to buy a new home is not happening everywhere. Seattle, Atlanta, and Dallas, for instance, are not feeling these strong depreciation downturns like other cities in California, Florida, and Arizona are (4). In these areas, it is not unusual to find homes that were selling for $449,000 last year and are still on the market today at $349,000 because they haven’t sold. A friend of mine recently sold her house at 68% of the home’s appraised value because it had taken one full year to sell. Since the home was completely paid off, she wanted to move it as soon as she could and no longer cared how much less she was going to get. She ended up selling it for $10,000 less than what she had paid eight years ago. Stories like this become persuasive evidence of why now is a good time to buy a house.

Finding affordable, quality homes and assisting home buyers with the financing are the types of things the company I am associated with and other similar companies can do for people who are ready to buy a new home. The more we are able to inform them as to what options they have available and what they can do, the easier it will be for the market to slowly but surely recover and keep things from getting worse for those in financial distress. Again, if you are looking at the long run when you decide to a buy a new home (five or more years), you will be able to benefit with the conditions the market is currently giving you, hopefully encouraging you to understand why now is a good time to buy a house.

What Are You Waiting for? Buy Now!

There are many websites out there that can point you in the right direction and help you decide, in your particular case, if you are ready to buy a new home and if it is beneficial for you. Some buyers are worried about timing the purchase of a home to the exact minute that prices drop to their lowest points. The opportunity to a buy a new home may be too late at that point, and timing anything as unpredictable as a good time to buy a house is, after all, impossible. Search around for the right home: research the neighborhood to get a feel for that location’s housing market, continue to build up your funds, and talk to real estate agents and mortgage lenders or banks (5) that can help you decide if now is a good time to buy a house. Those in the know can give you first hand advice when you’re ready to buy a new home at a price you feel comfortable with.

new home