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  • If your doorknob is rattling usually it can be fixed by tightening the tiny set screw just behind the handle. If this doesnít help, you may have to replace the spindle that goes through the hole in the door.


  • If hinges are still squeaking after oiling, remove and clean with some steel wool.
  • Remove hinges one at a time to avoid having to rehang your door.


  • If you have a hollow front or back door it may be a good idea to replace it with a solid or even metal door because a lock is only as good what it is attached to.

Squeaky Floors

  • Never try to apply any type of oil to a floor thatís squeaky. Squeaky floorboards should be nailed at an angle with the nail heads just below the surface of the wood.
  • If floors creak try sprinkling the area with plain old talcum powder. Rub it in lightly and sweep away the remaining powder.


  1. Lean an extension ladder against the house or gutter. For safety the ladder should extend a couple of feet above the gutter.
  2. Wherever you see debris remove it using a trowel or other implement, proceeding around the house clearing all blockages.
  3. Take your garden hose up the ladder and run water through all your gutters clearing them thoroughly. If water does not run clearly through your downspout, itís clogged.
  4. Try to use a strong flow of water to clear your downspout. If youíre still not having success, you may need a plumberís snake to clean.
  5. Each time you clean a blockage flush the downspout with water.
Leak in Basement Wall
  1. You must pin point the crack creating the leak.
  2. Get yourself some hydraulic cement and mix following instructions, usually to the consistency of putty.
  3. Wait a few minutes until it stiffens a little.
  4. Use a trowel or putty knife, forcing the cement into the crack or hole, and hold it there for a minute or two until it stays there itself.
  5. Add more cement until the water stops flowing.
  6. Shave or file down the material until itís even with the wall.
Paint and Painting
  • Old paint sometimes gets lumpy. To remedy this cut a piece of wire mesh to fit inside your old paint can. It will naturally sink to the bottom carrying any lumps with it.
  • Stirring in a drop of black paint into your white paint will actually make the white Ė whiter.
  • Hard to reach corners and tiny touch up jobs are easily handled by using a common household Q-tip (ear swab) to paint with.
  • Using a ratio of 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to 1 gallon of paint will help cut down on those strong paint odors.
  • To remove paint from skin try using cooking oil. Usually just as effective as commercial cleaning products, without the irritation.

Frozen Pipes

  • Try wrapping the pipes with hot cloths or towels.
  • Also try a steady heat from a hair dryer.
  • Remember to never let the pipe get too hot to touch with your hands.

Leaky Faucets

Here are 8 easy steps to remedy the dreaded leaky faucet:

  1. Turn off water under sink (or at source).
  2. Open faucet to drain water.
  3. Unscrew faucet handle.
  4. Unscrew nut that holds faucet stem in place.
  5. Pull out faucet system.
  6. Remove the screw at the bottom, which holds the washer.
  7. Remove the washer and replace it with the same size new washer.
  8. Repeat last 6 steps in reverse order.

Protecting Tools

  • If your storing tools in a damp basement or garage try putting some mothballs in your toolbox to absorb moisture.
  • You can rub self-polishing floor wax on your metal tools, let dry and youíll see this is a great precaution to avoid tools from rusting.
  • Prevent your garden tools from rusting by keeping them in a bucket of dry sand.

Finding a Wall Stud

  • Generally wall studs are located 16 inches apart. If you start at the corner of the wall and measure 17 inches you should find the center of the stud. Be careful though electrical wires often run through the center of studs.
  • If you have a common compass you can simply draw the compass across the wall and youíll find the needle will be attracted to the drywall nails.

Repairing Plaster

  • Believe it or nor mixing your plaster with vinegar instead of water will make a stronger fill.

Protect your Walls

  • Place a small piece of masking tape over the spots on the wall you plan to nail (when putting up pictures for example).
  • If youíre using a ladder thatís leaning right against your wall, you may want to cover the top ends with old socks to protect the wall from getting damaged.


  • If your windows are a little sticky youíll find that some beeswax applied to the pulley stiles will make the window slide much easier.


  • If your windows are sweating itís probably one of two things. If the inside window is sweating, the storm window is not properly sealed. If the storm window is sweating, then the inside window is leaking.


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