Consumer Reports: Getting fall DIY projects done

It is feeling like fall and if you're starting to panic because you didn't get to all those DIY projects on your list during the summer months, no problem.

The experts at Consumer Reports have compiled a list of home fixes you can do in under two hours whether you're still working from home or have a free weekend.

"As the weather starts to get a little bit cooler it's a good time to pay some attention to those indoor projects you may have been neglecting. The good news is a lot of them are easy to tackle yourself," said Paul Hope, Consumer Reports Home Editor.

Check the water hoses on the back of your washer. These should be replaced every five years. If they look brittle, buy a braided stainless-steel version and swap them out.

And once a year, deep clean your dryer by cleaning out the air duct and port in the back with a vacuum and a brush made for dryer ducts.

"Cleaning the lint out of your dryer can actually help the appliance run more efficiently and dry better and cleaning the duct work in particular can help prevent a dryer fire," said Hope.

Deal with your doors. Check for loose hinges and tighten the screws on any that are loose.

If the screws are just spinning in their holes, remove the screws and try this contractor tip: coat two to three toothpicks with wood glue, then push them into the screw hole. You can break off the ends that stick out. Allow the toothpicks to dry, then fasten your screws again.

Spruce up your shower. A clogged showerhead is most likely the result of hard water mineral build up. To de-clog and shine, remove the showerhead and let it sit in a bowl of distilled vinegar for an hour. Then wipe it clean with a sponge.

For grimy grout and caulk, try using a bleach pen. Apply it along the grout and caulk. Rub it in with the tip of the pen. Then rinse or wipe clean.

"If you find that bleach doesn't get out all the stubborn stains from your bathroom it may be time to re-caulk or even re-grout between the tiles. Caulking is an easy job you can do yourself in an hour or two. While re-grouting between tiles is usually a job best left to the pros," said Hope.

If you've got time and want to involve the whole family, clean your windows. CR says just be sure to check your window manufacturers' website for cleaning instructions before you do. Its tests found some windows can stain and streak if you use the wrong type of cleaner even some ammonia based formulas and some Windex products. And you can check out a quick how-to window cleaning video here.
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