Like humans, floors can get creaky joints.  So if yours is starting to show its age, step up to the plate and give it a quick pick-me-up. Jonathan and Drew Scott will show you how easily those creaks can be removed.

DIY Ditty Track #4: Three Sweeps You’re Done

Let’s take it step by step

Here’s how to reverse the sands of time with a little talcum powder and a sturdy broom.

  1. Sprinkle some talcum powder over the squeaky spot.
  2. Sweep the powder into the gaps between the floorboards (don’t forget the elbow grease).

Now, no one will hear you sneaking into the kitchen for a midnight snack (ice cream, anyone?).

Better with age (quick tips for old homes)

Like America’s favorite pastime, an old home is full of nostalgia and charm. But often, along with charming details like original crown molding, you’ll inherit drafty windows, sputtering faucets, and outdated wall sconces. Don’t despair — even if you don’t have the time, money, or restoration savvy for a full overhaul, you can still give your old house a weekend makeover. Show it some love with these quick tips.

Upgrade the small stuff

Compared with a full renovation, surface fixtures like toilet seats, faucets, and shower heads are relatively cheap and fast to replace — and make a big difference in comfort and convenience (not to mention style).

Update lights and fixtures

Replacing outdated or inefficient light fixtures gives you a chance to modernize a little, save on your energy bill, and improve the mood at dinner parties. While you’re at it, replace old switch plates and outlet covers with updated models to suit your taste. It’s an easy way to customize and refresh your home.

Check out:  4 Easy and Inexpensive Green Cleaning Solutions

Bring old features back to life

“Old” doesn’t have to mean “worn out.” Before you decide that old bathtub or those kitchen floor tiles are ripe for replacement, give them a chance to live up to their former glory. We’re talking elbow grease — scrubbing grout, resealing windows, and filling in wall holes (great use for leftover acrylic caulk, FYI). While bringing old features back to life, don’t be afraid to call in the pros. After all, restoring the finish on that claw foot bathtub sure beats buying a new one — in charm as well as price.

Like a longtime friend, your old house has quirks and blemishes that make it what it is. Sure, take care of the major maintenance and invest in those low-effort, high-impact details — but embrace the house you chose for its true character.


More cool hacks and helpful tips

Here are a few more links to help you take care of your old (or not-so-old) home.

5 ways to avoid potential home disasters

Root out creaks and leaks from floor to ceiling

Learn when to DIY and when to call in the pros

Catch up on DIY Ditties

Everything Is Brighter

Get A Grip

Thanks To The Walnut

Smooth Again 

Cabinet Action

Hail To The Tread

DIY hacks | Home and garden

about Lauren

A recovering English professor, repatriated expat and startup geek, Lauren speaks several languages, including Spanish, French, Academese, and Tech Lite. When she isn’t writing for Esurance, you might find her reading, marathoning Netflix, or gathering data to decide which San Francisco museums host the best nightlife events. She has a complicated relationship with the Oxford comma.