Simple Repairs and Fixes for Your Home

Standing in front of Blanton home with pressure washer.

Marrs Zakary and Arria Blanton with Allen Lyle and Danny Lipford.
(Photo by Carolyn Wilson, Mobile Chamber of Commerce)

Watch Full Episode

In the two years that homeowners Billy and Arria Blanton have lived their 1950s brick house, they have compiled a rather lengthy and varied to-do list of home repair projects from door repair to covering ceiling stains.

Home Repair To-Do List Projects:

  • Clean Brick Steps: We started by thoroughly cleaning the brick steps on the front of the house using a Generac OneWash pressure washer.
  • Brick steps with wrought iron railing.

    Brick steps after repair.

  • Repair Brick Steps: We used a hammer and cold chisel to remove any loose mortar between the bricks on the steps, then filled in the gaps using Quikrete Zip & Mix FastSet Repair Mortar (No. 1241-15).

    This multi-purpose polymer-modified mortar mixes right in the bag, sets quickly, and provides high strength. While you can apply the mortar by hand, a grout bag makes filling mortar joints less messy. Watch How to Repair Brick Mortar Joints to find out more.

  • Reattach Porch Railing: The screws holding the wrought iron railing to the concrete slab on the front porch had worked loose over time. To reattach the railing, we used concrete screws coated in fast-setting epoxy glue. Watch How to Repair and Paint Wrought Iron Railings to find out more.
  • Attach Vent Cover: To attach the loose heating/cooling air vent cover on the ceiling, we used self-tapping screws drilled into the side of the metal ductwork.
  • Red entry door with brass kickplate and centered doorknob.

    Entry door after painting and repair.

  • Refinish Entry Door: Auto body filler was used to fill the damaged area round the center mounted door knob on the entry door. The door was then painted on all sides, including the top and bottom, to prevent swelling. To clean the brass kickplate, we scrubbed it with steel wool dipped in water.

    Since the door knob lock was missing the key, we had a locksmith replace the lock cylinder and key it to match the deadbolt. Watch How to Refinish an Entry Door to find out more.

  • Paint Ceiling Water Stain: To repair the water stained ceiling, we applied several light coats of KILZ UpShot spray paint. Make sure the leak has been fixed before repairing a stained ceiling. Watch How to Cover Over a Ceiling Water Stain to find out more.
  • Install Screen Door Closer: To keep the screen door closed, we installed a new pneumatic door closer to replace the one that was missing. Watch How to Install a Pneumatic Door Closer and read Adjusting a Pneumatic Door Closer to find out more.
  • Repair Back Door: We mixed up two-part auto body filler, and used it to fill any rotten spots in the back door. Once the filler had hardened, it was sanded smooth, and the door repainted. Read How to Repair Rotten Wood to find out more.
  • Replace Door Threshold: We removed the old threshold on the back door and installed a new metal one, using concrete screws to attach it to the slab.
Metal threshold on black door.

Back door after repairing and replacing threshold.

Other Tips from This Episode

plastic container with hole drilled in top

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Reusing Plastic Containers in the Workshop

Rather than recycle plastic containers, start reusing them in the workshop for extra storage. Cut off the top of the jug, including the handle. Drill a hole in the tab, and hang it anywhere in the workshop. (Watch Video)

LED light

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Commercial Electric LED Utility Light

Commercial Electric’s LED Utility Light is a bright, long-lasting, energy-efficient light fixture. It’s designed to simply screw into most existing lamp holders and can directly replace a light bulb. 11.5-Watt is equal to 60-Watt light. It is available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)


Ask Danny Lipford:
Brush, Roller, or Spray Paint

When painting large, flat surfaces, such as walls and ceilings, a roller works best. Spray painting gives a very smooth surface but requires covering the area around it to prevent overspray. Brushes are the best choice for woodwork and trimming around walls. (Watch Video)


Please Leave a Comment

10 Comments on “Simple Repairs and Fixes for Your Home”

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  • Richard L Brown Says:
    April 24th, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    I have a brick patio made with just loose bricks on a sand base. A root from my neighbors tree has grown thru the patio and raised the bricks. How do I repair this easily. Do I remove all the bricks, take out the root (that will be a job). Then redo the whole patio. Or is their a simpler solution.

  • Official Comment:

    Lindsay Hughes Says:
    March 15th, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Phoebe, as each season approaches we will be posting links to the “4 Seasons of Home Ownership” checklists and infographics at Please check back each season as we develop and curate content specifically for the “4 Seasons.” Thanks so much for the feedback!

  • Phoebe Rose Says:
    March 12th, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Would like to be able to print out the seasons of home ownership for summer, fall, and winter. I just printed out the one for spring. That way I would have this info available, and could even get started early.

  • Official Comment:

    Lindsay Hughes Says:
    February 29th, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Happy to hear the show inspired you to tackle this project, Sandra!

  • Sandra Washington Says:
    February 27th, 2016 at 4:56 am

    I just finished watching an episode of “TODAY HOMEOWNER” and was not sure how to fix patches of missing mortar between bricks on my back porch. Now I know how to go about this job.
    Thank you for the information and hope to this project in early spring.

  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    August 16th, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Hi Gloria,
    Glad to hear you enjoy our show. Thanks for the positive feedback!

  • Gloria Wynn Says:
    August 15th, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Your TV shows are most enjoyable as well as helpful. Keep up the good work. Great crew.

  • Official Comment:

    Lindsay Hughes Says:
    February 22nd, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Don, the full episode is now available online. The segment you’re looking for starts at about 10:20.

  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    May 30th, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Hi Don,
    The video for the ceiling vent repair isn’t online, but what Allen did, since the metal tabs were missing on the ductwork, was to install selftapping sheet metal screws through the vent cover holes and into the sides of the ductwork. Hope that helps!

  • Don Roos Says:
    May 30th, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    I was waiting with great anticipation for the fix on the ceiling vent and when it finally came on, I was distracted by something in the house and your answer came and went so fast I did not get to see it. My wife said “Don’t worry dear, you can look it up on line!” since we do not have a dvr to be able to buzz back and see things. So I look you up on line and every other segment has a link to watch the fix you did on that show EXCEPT this one segment which I so desperately wanted to see!!! Would you please let me know where I can view this?
    Exasperatedly yours,
    Don Roos

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Simple Repairs and Fixes for Your Home