As homes age and “settle” what was once square and plum becomes a “parallelogram,” meaning, all four sides are parallel to each other, but are not 90 degrees to each other.  This causes the door to rub at the top, side or bottom and the door may not latch properly any longer.  Shaving the door down or moving the strike plate is not the answer to the problem; it is a solution but not the correct fix. 
Most interior doors have two (2) hinges (top and bottom) if you have three (3) hinges the same solution will work.  When you look at the door and its frame you will notice the space between the door and the frame (jam) is uneven.  The top may be rubbing and at the bottom you have a quarter inch gap. 

Unscrew the bottom hinge from the frame and cut out a “shim” from cardboard the same shape as the hinge.  Make several of these “shims.”  Start by placing 1,2 or 3 behind the hinge.  Screw the hinge back in place.  Check the space and see if this relieved the rubbing.  Trial and error will get you to the door working properly.  If you find you need more “shims”, unscrew the hinge from the door not the frame this time and repeat the process as needed. 
If you have three hinges add “shims” to the middle hinge as well; but, only ½ as many.  Example: bottom hinge 3 “shims,” middle hinge 2 “shims.” In the end the gap (margin) should be the same all around the door so it does not rub or stick and latch properly.


Interior leaks are the most difficult to discover and repair.  Some of the most common problem areas are doors and windows. 

Why?  Because these two areas offer an easy way for water to get in.  In reality, this is good news.  When the water has a way out the path it travels has an opportunity to dry out faster.  It is when water lingers and the area stays wet or damp that this causes mold to grow.  So, if you have a water leak it is better to see it than not. 

First, once you detect that leak survey the area where the water is coming out from.  Example: top of the door frame you notice the leak.  Go outside and look to see if there are any visable holes or gaps.  If you find any, fill them with caulk.  If not, a common problem with vinyl siding is where the siding ends.  Vinyl siding terminates into what is called a “J” channel.  It really looks like a “J.”  It has three legs.  The longest is nailed to the house, the second leg provides a finished edge and the third leg holds the siding in place. 

Along the outside edge of the first one and second leg is a common place for water to get in.  If you caulk along that point around your window and doors, this is usually where the water gets in.  You can “load up” the inside of the “J” channel with caulk to prevent water from working its way around the siding and back into the house. 


The door will not go down: Newer doors have a laser beam that is placed 4” above the floor.  If the two beams are not properly aligned the “sensor” thinks there is a problem and prevents the door from closing.  Adjust these so they are aligned.  Move any objects that could be blocking the beam.


Use a “monkey hook”.  These may be sold using different names.  Basically, it looks like a big “C” with a little crocked end.  These hooks can hold up to 50 lbs.  One end is sharpened so you can push it through drywall or you can poke or drill a tiny hole first.  You insert the hook into the hole and turn the hook once completely in so the bent end sits on the drywall and you are done.  Hang your picture or mirror. 

A little trick for hanging pictures using two hooks is to place painters tape on your level by holding the level on the back of the object to be hung, transfer the hook locations on to the tape and transfer them to the wall making the hole exactly where needed and level at the same time.


This can be easy or difficult depending on what you are going to paint.  When painting a room,start by painting the ceiling first.  Second, paint all the trim and baseboards.  Now, you can “tape” the ceiling where it meets the walls.  So, you set a straight line.  Do this if you are not confident  that you can paint close to the ceiling and achieve a straight line and not get paint on the ceiling.  Tape the painted trim and then roll paint onto the walls using the “W” method.  Always work from a “wet surface” (where you end up with the last “W” motion). 

Applying two coats will always insure proper coverage and elimination of light covered or missed spots. 

Before starting to paint be sure to repair any drywall holes and etc with joint compound.  When repairs are dry, lightly sand excess and prime the repaired area.  Now you are ready to paint. 


Start by buying a tool that aids you in the removal of old caulk.  Clean the area to be caulked with bleach.  Be sure ti is completely dry before starting.  Around the tubs, sinks and showers use a silicone based caulk; some can be cleaned using water.  Most others will require the usage of mineral spirits. 

Cut the tube end of the caulk at at 45 degree angle about 1/8” to 3/16” opening.  Small is better than large.  Apply a thin continuous bead and smooth out with a rag wet with water or mineral spirits, depending on your caulk. 

Wrap the rag around your index finger and run it over the bead of caulk.  This will do three things.  First, it will remove excess caulk.  Second, it will smooth it out.  And, last and most importantly, it will give it a concave look.  Clean any excess off walls, tub , sink, etc.  Let dry 24 hours. 


Grout, no matter where it is, always gets dirty.  Some places more than others.  Purchase a grout sealer  in a spray can, or bottle and apply to all grout joints.  It is best to do this when you have recently grouted or had the grout removed and re-grouted.  Applying the sealer every couple of years keeps it looking new and fresh for many years. 

If the grout is soiled, you could try using a steam machine with an attachment that will direct the steam into a narrow localized stream.  Once clean, apply the grout sealer. 


There are many good home remedies for cleaning up small spots that can occur on a carpet from day to day use.  Often the solution is right in your kitchen.  The key first step, though, is to be diligent about thoroughly vacuuming your carpets on a regular basis. That will help prevent soil from being ground into the carpet causing abrasive damage and permanent discoloration.

Here are some tips for when those occasional spots do happen:
Club Soda -- For water-soluble stains, club soda is an excellent choice. Spray the club soda on with a spray bottle or wet a clean white cloth. Blot the stain. Repeat, if necessary.
Vinegar -- Mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1 cup of warm water. Place the mixture in a spray bottle or blot on the mixture with a clean white cloth. Blot the stain. Repeat, if necessary.


Remove spots from a wool carpet using a spray bottle that contains 2 tbsp. of a wool cleaner and 2 tbsp. of vinegar. Add a cup and a half of water. Spray this cleaner onto the spots, let it soak in for a minute and dab the spot with an absorbent cloth.
Add salt to the spot if it is a wine stain to help draw the wine up out of the carpet. Rubbing alcohol helps to remove ink stains. To remove chocolate stains, scrape off some of the chocolate, and place a cloth over the towel. As the chocolate dries, iron the towel and the chocolate will transfer onto the towel from the carpet.



Baking soda is an excellent natural deodorizer and it’s safe to put on your carpets. Thoroughly vacuum the carpet, then sprinkle baking soda evenly all over.  Allow it to dwell for several hours, then vacuum it out. Be sure to vacuum well to extract the baking soda from deep inside.

If you detect a pet stain that is causing odor, putting a moderate amount of diluted white vinegar on the spot can help neutralize odor. Mix the vinegar with a little water and pour a small amount directly onto the spot. Don’t overdo it, because that can cause the pet urine to spread in the padding.


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