6 Target Buys Home Maintenance Experts Swear By—And They’re All Under $15

published Nov 1, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Chores weren’t fun when you were a kid, and now that you’re an adult, well, they’re still not fun at all. And on top of that, the stakes are higher now: Don’t stay on top of simple maintenance tasks and snowball into bigger, more costly messes.

Thankfully, the market is littered with clever, inexpensive products that not only lessen your chore load, but also prevent future headaches and can save you a little cash in the long run. And who is better to recommend the best of the best if not for those who deal with maintenance everyday? Here, four home improvement experts share their favorite buys from your friendly neighborhood Target—all of which are under $15:

Drain protector 

Want to hear a scary story? Hair is clogging your drain, and it’s so bad there’s water pooling in your shower or tub. To avoid having to yank strands of hair from your drain (or subject your maintenance person to the Cousin Itt-like problem in your bathroom), just prevent the blockage altogether. Get yourself a drain protector, suggests Kathleen Kuhn, president and CEO of HouseMaster, a home inspection franchise with 320 locations in the United States and Canada. 

Mechanical outlet timer

“Even if utilities are included in your rent, why not save the planet a bit and come home to a well-lit room or to music playing?” Kuhn says. “This little timer can connect to several devices and be set to turn them on or off as desired.” That includes lamps, your holiday lights, or music system.

Dryer sheets 

Dryer sheets are the MacGyver of household products, says Vicki Liston, host of the “On the Fly DIY.” Beyond leaving your laundry with a good scent, they are phenomenal dusters, she says. “They leave behind a bit of fabric softener wherever they’re wiped, which repels future dust from settling back in.” She uses them on baseboards, chair rails, ceiling fan blades, and electronics.

They’re also great at wiping away soap scum in the shower and getting caked on or baked on food off pots and pans.

Window and door caulk

Every fall, Liston says she checks the inside and outside of her window and door frames and seals up any gaps. “This not only stops chilly drafts and keeps my house energy efficient but it stops pesky insects from coming inside and making themselves at home,” she says.

She also uses it along baseboards, wainscoting, crown molding, door frames, and even outlet covers for a seamless look. “I love older houses and the walls are usually not perfectly plumb so a bead of caulk hides the gaps where the baseboard or other architectural element isn’t touching the wall,” she says.

The caulk is also paintable, so once it’s applied and dry, you can paint over it to give it a finished look.  

Stud sensor

A stud sensor is a must-have for anyone who likes to hang stuff on their walls, says Indianapolis, Indiana-based real estate agent Josh Latham at RE/MAX Advanced Realty. “From simple photos of the family to a big-screen TV, you’ll always want to find the studs to hang these things,” he says. The stud sensor can detect studs and even live wires, too.

Furniture felt pads

Furniture felt pads make it much easier to move furniture around if you want to change up the feel of your room, says Domenick Tiziano, editor of Accidental Rental, an advice blog for new landlords. A landlord himself, Tiziano gives his renters a pack of furniture felt pads in their welcome packs to remind them to protect their unit’s hardwood floors from scratches.

Now that you’ve stocked up your tool kit, find out what home maintenance tasks you may be falling behind on, according to home inspectors.

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