15 DIY Home Improvement Hacks

15 DIY home improvement hacks from MHx Designs

Being a homeowner means keeping up with a seemingly never-ending list of tasks. From painting your fence to cleaning your gutters, and everything in between, it can feel overwhelming trying to manage all of these home improvement tasks on your own. We’re here to let you in on a secret: there are some helpful tips that professionals know to make these tasks easier. Below, we’ve rounded up our favorite 15 DIY home improvement hacks to share with you. 

We hope these tips and tricks will help you get through your exterior to-do list with ease. If there are any major home improvements that are outside the scope of what you can do yourself, trust MHX Designs for help. Call us at 888-944-6493 or contact us online to learn more about the tasks that we can take off your plate. 

15 DIY Home Improvement Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

Before you tackle your next exterior home improvement project, keep these helpful hacks in mind. 

1. Shovel Snow With Ease1 of the 15 DIY home improvement hacks from MHx Designs talks about snow shoveling

We get plenty of snow here in Pennsylvania, which can be difficult to shovel. If you find that it’s difficult to comfortably grip your snow shovel each winter, making a simple update could be all you need to do. Use epoxy to secure a 1-inch PVC tee to the end of your straight-handled shovel to help you get a better grip. 

2. Keep Your Fingers Safe When Using a Hammer

When you’re hammering small nails, there’s always a risk that you’ll hit your fingers, which is annoying at best and incredibly painful at worst. What if there was a simple way to keep your fingers safe, no matter how small the nail? 

Good news! All you need is a bobby pin to hold your nail in place as you begin to hammer it. Then, once the nail is started, you can remove the bobby pin and continue hammering it in place without worry. 

3. Prevent Blisters When Raking or Sweeping

If you’ve spent the fall raking up leaves, you know it’s only a matter of time before you start to develop painful blisters on your hands. Fortunately, there are two simple steps you can take to help prevent them from forming, no matter how many leaves you have to rake. 

When you put bubble wrap around the handle of your rake, it provides a comfortable buffer to help prevent blisters from forming. 

If you don’t have any bubble wrap on hand, try changing the way you hold your rake instead. By keeping your fingers and thumb on the same side of the handle––instead of holding the handle between your thumb and index finger––you’ll have a better grip and it’s less likely that blisters will form. 

4. Easily Check Your Gutters for Clogs1 of the 15 DIY home improvement hacks from MHx Designs talks about gutters

Wouldn’t it be great if you could see whether your gutters are clogged from the safety of the ground? With a quick trip to the store and a little handiwork, you can. Get a piece of PVC pipe and cut the end on a 60-degree angle. 

Then, use tape to secure a hand mirror on the angled end. From there, you can take the tool outside and hold it up above the gutters, using the mirror to spot any debris, clogs, or other issues inside your gutters. 

5. Protect Your Siding When Using a Ladder

When you do need to use a ladder, there’s a risk that the top of it will damage your siding as it leans against your home. While there are rubber bumpers you can buy to help prevent this damage, there’s a free option you can try instead. 

If you have an old pair of sneakers lying around your house, put them to use by fitting them on top of your ladder and securing them with duct tape. Then rubber soles will provide a buffer to help prevent damage to your exterior. 

6. Create a Safe and Easy-to-Use Gutter Cleaner

Make sure you clean your gutters safely to prevent injuries to yourself and damage to your home. To do this, you can create your own gutter cleaner tool that will help you clear your gutters of debris while you stay safe on the ground. 

All you need is the following: 

  • 3/4-inch PVC pipe
  • Two 90-degree elbows
  • Cap
  • Garden hose coupling

To make the tool, drill 1/16-inch holes in the cap, then connect all the pieces together with PVC glue. When you’re finished, you’ll have a long handle with a 90-degree angled capped end that you can use to remove debris from your gutters. 

7. Magnetize Your Screwdriver1 of the 15 DIY home improvement hacks from MHx Designs talks about magnetizing your screwdriver

A magnetized screwdriver makes it easier to drive screws with only one hand or when you’re trying to drive a screw in a tight space. Fortunately, you can make any screwdriver a magnetized one with very little effort. 

All you have to do is attach a small magnet to the shaft of your screwdriver. This will extend the magnetization down through the metal end of the screwdriver so your screw will stay in place without you having to hold it. 

8. Easily Move Heavy Objects in Your Yard

If you need to move something heavy in your yard, such as a shed, it may seem like an impossible task. However, once again PVC pipe can come to your rescue. You can use three pieces of 4-inch, heavy duty PVC pipe to move the object across your yard with ease. 

To get started, use a pry bar to place two of the pipes spaced apart underneath the object and place the third pipe in front of the object. Then, roll the object forward, until it moves onto the front pipe. Once the third pipe is free, move it to the front and continue repeating until the object is where you want it. 

9. Paint Your Deck More Efficiently

When it’s time to paint your deck, skip the paintbrush and opt to use a broom instead. A broom with nylon bristles has flagged tips, or split ends, which makes it easier to brush paint across the surface of your deck. This can help you paint your outdoor space more efficiently, while giving you a smooth finish. 

10. Stay Comfortable With Ladder Padding1 of the 15 DIY home improvement hacks from MHx Designs talks about ladder rung covers

We talked above about how to protect your exterior when using a ladder, but you can also add padding to protect your shins. All you need is a pool noodle, which you’ll split lengthwise. From there, you can wrap the noodle pieces around the front rungs of your ladder to give you a comfortable place to rest your shins and thighs while you work on the ladder. 

11. Paint Oddly Shaped Items With Ease

If your to-do list includes painting oddly shaped items, such as a wrought-iron fence, using a paintbrush can get tricky. An easier solution is to use your hands instead. To help prevent making a mess, put on latex gloves, then cover your hands with an old towel, which you’ll secure in place with rubber bands. 

Then, plunge your fingers into the bucket of paint and coat the object, using your hands to massage the paint onto the otherwise hard-to-reach areas. 

12. Remove Stubborn Nails

Are you having difficulties removing stubborn nails? Whether the nail is small or the head has broken off, keep this helpful tip in mind! Use a pair of locking pliers to grab the shank of the nail. Then, use a pry bar to pull it up with ease. 

13. Keep Insects Away From Your Outdoor Paint1 of the 15 DIY home improvement hacks from MHx Designs talks about citronella oil

Nothing is worse than taking time to paint something outside, only to see that small bugs have flown into your pain, ruining the finish. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to help prevent this. Add a tablespoon of citronella oil into your gallon of paint, stirring it well before you begin painting. Once you finish painting, the citronella oil will naturally repel bugs away from the structure. 

14. Save Caulk for Later Use

If you find that you don’t use caulk fast enough before it dries out, there’s a simple way to preserve it. Drill a small hole in a synthetic wine cork about 1-inch deep, then place the cork on the end of your caulk tube. It will help to create an airtight seal so your caulk stays fresh until your next project. 

15. Easily Remove a Stripped Screw

When you strip a screw, it seems like it will be impossible to remove. However, there’s a simple trick that you can keep in mind the next time it happens. Simply place a rubber band or deflated rubber balloon between the screwdriver and the screw head. Then use slow force to turn the screw. The rubber band or balloon will provide enough grip to allow you to remove the screw. 

Here to Help With Non-DIY Projects

We hope you find these 15 DIY home improvement hacks helpful! When you want to tackle projects outside the scope of what you can do yourself, like stucco remediation, turn to MHX Designs for help. 

To get started, please call 888-944-6493 or contact us online.