1. Check the lights
Basic DIY electrical work starts with checking the light bulbs. Go around the apartment and flick all the switches. If you need to replace any due to burn out, opt for LED bulbs – they last longer and are now available at really reasonable prices.
A step further would be to replace light switches, fixtures or wall plate covers. With things like this, it's always better to be safe than sorry. Dealing with electricity can be extremely dangerous. So you may want to leave these things to electricians.
2. Check the walls
Before inspection day rolls around, you need to carefully check every wall. Firstly, the paint should not be chipped and should be consistent throughout the entire apartment. If it comes to it, repainting the walls is a simple DIY job – just make sure the furniture and floors are properly covered and there’s enough ventilation in the space.
For small stains on the walls, scrub them clean with hot water or a special cleaning solution. If the stains are extensive, it could indicate water damage or mould, in which case you might need to bring in a professional. You should also look for holes where previous tenants may have put up posters and pictures. To fill them, simply use a putty knife and spackling.
3. Check the floors
The truth is, vacuuming the carpets will only go so far. To make sure they’re truly presentable and clean, it’s worth renting a steam cleaner. When it comes to vinyl and linoleum floors, you can clean them using natural or chemical solutions – just make sure you rinse and dry the floor when you’re done. Tile floors can be easily washed using a mild detergent and clean water, but it’s best to replace any broken tiles before you do.
If you’re apartment has wooden floors but they’ve lost their sheen, try using a wood floor-cleaning product. However, if the wood is completely worn out, it might be time to buy some proper polyurethane finish and rent a floor sander. Refinishing might sound like a big project, but with the right tools, anyone can do it. For surface scratches, simply use wood floor paste wax and a cloth to wipe away the residue.
4. Check the plumbing
Using simple methods and simple tools, anyone can take care of everyday plumbing issues. Let’s start with a clogged sink. First up, reach down into the drain or disposal and make sure there isn’t anything obstructing it, such as a clump of hair or food – the problem could be as simple as removing it. If not, use a sink plunger and give the drain a few pumps.
Nothing is less appealing than a clogged toilet. For blockages, your best bet is to use a toilet plunger. If the toilet is constantly running, this can usually be solved by adjusting the pull chain or replacing the flapper valve – both simple DIY tasks. When it comes to baths and showers, hair is the main culprit here. If you’re having trouble clearing the drains, you can always use special chemical cleaner. However only use this sparingly, as the solutions can be harsh on pipes.
5. Check the windows
Clear and grime-free windows make a huge difference to how bright and welcoming a space looks. To clean them, simply use window solution and newspaper, or a dishwashing soap in water and a sponge. On the other hand, broken windows will require replacing. For DIY-ers, wear gloves to remove the broken glass and use a utility knife to scrape away old sealant. Before heading to the hardware shop to pick up a new piece and sealing caulk, remember to take careful measurements.
Squeaky hinges? This is another common window ailment - however thankfully, it’s also an easy fix. Spraying some WD-40 onto the hinges should do the trick, but if this doesn’t work, a couple of shots of PTFE-based lubricant might be more effective. You should also check the blinds to make sure they’re not dirty, stained, or broken in any way.