People are really creative when it comes to home repairs. We will find ways to repair leaky faucets or ducts in innovative ways with household items, or we will develop creative wiring methods to provide electricity where we need it. We are really concerned about our ability to repair items to cause serious damage. For this reason, I would like to mention some things that I all see frequently, so that you can avoid these mistakes.
Note: There is not enough room here to go into the details of how to accomplish these tasks. Beside there are several good books, which have easy-to-follow steps and diagrams. I have found repair manuals like these in the bookstores of the occasion, but they are not so bad in other places. These volumes are perfect for homeowners who want to tackle projects themselves.
Extension outlets seem to be a preferred way of providing energy to the equipment on the outside. I saw small extensions cut in half and passed through the wall where there is a small opening. The ropes are then spliced with tape, so that water can enter and bypass the circuit. Most cords of this size are not designed to withstand the type of use you plan to handle, so they start to overheat and the casing will melt. If you need a plug for the Christmas lights, I recommend installing a plug in your soffit. The soffit is the board under the overhang of the roof. Find a junction box in the attic from which you can run a wire. Look for a rafter to go down to attach the exit box. The exit does not have to be GFCI at this location, but it would be a good idea to go ahead with a GFCI plug here. Attach the wires to the rafters and joists with metal clips. If you need an outlet for the tools on the outside, the simplest method would be to pass the wire through a conduit tube to the outlet box. Here, you will definitely need a GFCI plug with a cover. Make sure that the duct and the box are securely fastened to the wall. Any wiring that runs outside the building must be secured with clips every few feet. The other major wiring problem I see is the use of the wrong junction box, especially without a cover.
Putting silicone balls seems to be the common solution to a plumbing leak. The really amazing thing is that most plumbing pieces that need to be replaced for a leak are not really that expensive, but here's the catch, you have to buy the right piece. If you know the manufacturer of your fixture, finding a replacement part is a lot easier, but I found that by going to a good hardware store, you will find someone to help you find the good piece. Gaskets, seals and O-rings eventually fail with age. However, pipes or tubes are sometimes knocked over, damaging their wires or walls. In this case, you will want to buy a new one. Some mysterious leaks in the bathroom come from the wax seal under the toilet. Trying to do something that looks like hers and doing the job will cause more problems.
About silicone, a type of silicone is not always acceptable for any use. Look at the labeling to make sure you get the product that will work. The best product might not be a silicone. There are latex and polyurethane sealants that are far superior to silicone for application. Latex caulks are great for painting jobs, and polyurethane caulking is perfect for outdoor situations.
The duct tape is not for ducts. If you need to repair a duct in the attic, use the shiny ribbon that is meant for this job. In addition, a conduit is not a conduit, which means that there are several types of conduit, so you need to make sure that you install the correct one for the application. Conduits for different uses are not designed to bond to each other.
The last common mistake concerns fasteners. Screws, nails and bolts come in different sizes and types. There are special nails for fixing roof shingles, and there are special screws for drywall. We like to use what we have on hand (or what we can easily find in the garage or shed), which is the best fastener for the job. I've seen people nail hinges in the cabinet. What got worse was the fact that the nails were too long, so you could sting with them inside the closet. Some hardware stores sell boxes with a variety of fasteners. It's a good deal if you do not want to buy a lot of different packages. The proper attachment will make the job easier to do (and undo).
Perhaps I should say that all of these errors boil down to errors in planning, preparation, and execution. Think about what needs to happen before you start. Then think about how to fix it if you need to do it again. (How will they get that nail out of the hinge?) Plan all the steps, and everything will be fine.