5 easy DIY fixes anyone can do—with the right tools

Fall means it’s time to get your home ready for colder weather — and Canadian Tire is here to make it easy to Prepare for Fall. From simple, but impactful home improvement projects to fall lawn care advice, we’re bringing you the tips you need to be ready for anything this season.

Child fixing bicycle with hand tools from Canadian Tire, easy DIY fixes
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Many of us may have grown up relying on other people to help us out around our homes. To the uninitiated, the prospect of tackling home projects can seem daunting. Where do you even start?

Luckily, with ample how-to videos available and handy tools designed to help make life easier, do-it-yourself projects and fixes don’t have to be intimidating. All it takes is the right tools, the proper know-how and a little confidence to get started.

So the next time you run into a pesky problem at home, don’t fret. You’ve got this! From leaky faucets to cracked caulking, here are a few tips and tricks on how to fix common household issues all by yourself, and become handier around the home in the process.

How to fix a leaky faucet

Tap water running smoothly after fixing a leaky faucet
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You don’t need to be a plumber to fix that leaky faucet that’s been bugging you every night for the past week. If your faucet has two handles, you’ll first want to determine which side is leaking by shutting off the valves one at a time. Once you’ve identified the problem, turn off the water supply, remove the aerator and take all of the parts to the store to purchase a new kit and aerator.

Once you have the necessary parts, remove the leaky side’s handle by taking off the set screw, the handle and retainer nuts and pulling out the cylinder using a set of pliers. Then replace the cylinder and reassemble the faucet. Pro tip: Take a photo of the pieces in the order you removed them for easy reassembly! And don’t forget the plumber’s tape.

How to install a new light fixture

Handsome handyman installing a new light fixture with an electric drill. Young man in his 30s doing home renovations
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Changing a light fixture is another DIY fix that’s nowhere near as tricky as it sounds. Your first step is the most important one: turning off the power to your old fixture. (Tip: Once you’ve identified and switched off the correct breaker, test the light switch to check that no power is running to the light. Better safe than sorry!) Once that’s done, remove the canopy to expose the wiring and hardware.

Be sure to use a voltage tester to confirm the electricity is shut off before unscrewing the black, white and copper wire. Using a hand drill, unscrew the old lighting fixture and install the new bracket that came with your new lighting. Connect your new fixture to the wires, secure it to the ceiling and turn your electricity back on. Then let there be light!

How to replace damaged or rotten exterior trim

Female carpenter cuts a piece of plywood with a circular saw. Young woman with curly ginger hair and protective equipment dressed in working clothes. She measures the board with a ruler and marks where it should be cut
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Fall’s the perfect time to give the exterior of your home a quick once over to see if anything needs fixing or replacing before winter weather rolls in. If you notice any of the wood trim around your doors or windows looking a little worse for wear – whether the culprit is water damage or rot – it may be time to replace it. Look for peeling or cracked paint, or wood that’s darker than the rest of the trim. Found signs of rot? It’s time to get to work!

First, pull off the old trim using a pry bar, then cut your new trim to size using a mitre saw or table saw, and secure it in place using galvanized nails and a hammer or nail gun. Once the trim is secure, prime and paint it using exterior paint to help weatherproof your new trim. Then stand back and marvel at how easy it was to give your home’s curb appeal a much-needed refresh.

How to regrout ceramic tile

Worker applies grey grout at white tiles with rubber trowel. Kitchen renovation.
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If your bathroom or kitchen tiles are starting to look rough around the edges, the culprit may be your grout. Provided the tiles themselves are still in good condition, it’s much easier (and more cost-effective) to regrout your tiles than replace them. Be sure to tape off the area with plastic drop sheets first, and always wear a mask and eye protection, since grout removal will kick up a good amount of dust. Then use an oscillating saw fitted with a special grout removal blade to remove the old grout from between your tiles, vacuuming the grout lines with a wet/dry vacuum as you go.

Once you’ve removed as much as you can with your multi-crafter, switch to a handheld grout saw or utility knife to finish the job. Mix your new grout in a plastic bucket according to the manufacturer directions and smear it onto the tile using a grout applicator. When all of the joints are completely filled, follow up with a moist sponge to remove any excess. Then, once the grout has fully dried, use a soft microfibre cloth to buff the tile and remove any haze.

How to buff out scratches on your baseboards

Painter is using a paint brush to paint baseboard in a home
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A couple of scratches or buffs on your baseboards or wall moulding doesn’t mean you have to replace the entire thing. You’ll be surprised just how easy it is to make those unsightly scratches and scuffs disappear with a little elbow grease.

First, clean the area with a damp rag, then fill the nicks with wood filler putty. Once the putty has dried, simply sand the area with 220 grit sandpaper and a sander, and stain or paint to match.

Fall is all about getting back to routine, and making sure both you and your home are properly prepared for colder weather. Whether you’re looking for garage storage solutions, tools to help you make quick work of fall lawn care, or time-saving cleaning products, Canadian Tire has what you need to Prepare for Fall.