With the holiday season quickly approaching, this is the time of year when we kick into high gear and spruce up the house for local and out-of-town guests. Getting ready for the holidays often means hanging up the lights, setting up the tree, hauling out the Christmas linens and other decorations. Your holiday preparations should also include a few basic home repairs to be made before the guests arrive.
Making these easy home repairs ensures that your house is safe and will function properly during the holidays. It will also help make the holiday season just a little less stressful as well. Don’t know where to start? Here’s just a few of the simple home repairs I make as part of my pre-holiday routine.
Replacing light bulbs
I don’t mind living with just a single light bulb in my overhead lights since I typically use my table lamps instead. Most guests however prefer a little more light which is why replacing burned-out light bulbs throughout the house, the garage, and the porch should top the list of pre-holiday home repairs.
Tighten up the cabinet handles
Prepping the guest rooms for the company should including testing the cabinet handles and pulls. Loose handles should be tightened and missing screws replaced. If you don’t have spare cabinet screws in the drawer, take a sample to the hardware store for a match. Stuck drawers? A little paraffin rubbed on the base of the drawers will make them glide more smoothly.
Clean out the filter basket in the dishwasher
In the back of your dishwasher is a small, inverted basket which collects the food particles that have washed off your dinnerware. When the filter is clogged, this food is circulated back over your nice clean dishes instead of draining away. Cleaning out the trap and filter basket, then running a vinegar load is a great way to prep the dishwasher for lots of holiday use. These baskets can be removed using a small crescent wrench or a hex head screwdriver.
Test your smoke detectors
When was the last time you tested your smoke detectors in the guest room areas? To see if the smoke alarms in your home are still working, press the little round button to hear the beep. A silent smoker detector means the batteries are dead and need to be replaced.
Lubricate the locks
While you may be used to juggling your house key in the front door lock, your guests are not. To prevent your holiday guests from breaking the key in the lock, lubricate the door lock with some graphite powder to make getting in and out of the house much easier. Graphite powder for door locks is available at all hardware stores.
Oil the hinges of your doors
Squeaky doors can wake up sleeping holiday guests. To repair those squeaks, spray a little WD-40 in and around the hinges.
Tighten up the towel bars
Towel bars tend to work themselves loose over time but are more prone to falling off with excessive use by holiday guests. To tighten up a loose towel bar, search for the tiny screw beneath the brackets and tighten with a small Philips screwdriver.
Recalibrate your oven
During the holiday season, ovens see much more use than normal. To make sure that your oven is operating at the correct temperature, test the temperature using a portable oven thermometer.
Check your dryer hoses and vents
Extra company means extra laundry. Prevent your dryer by turning into a fire trap by pulling off the flex tubing from the base of the dryer and vacuuming the lint build up around the exhaust and in the tube itself. Be sure to clean out the air vents on the outside of the house as well since this can prevent your dryer from working at its best.
Recharge the fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers need a certain amount of pressure to work. Determining if the extinguisher is fully charged is as easy as looking at the gauge and taking note of the position of the needle. If the pressure is low, your local fire station can recharge the fire extinguisher for a nominal fee.