How to replace or fix a doorknob

Repairing or Replacing a Doorknob

Just as new knobs can give a kitchen a brand-new look, door knobs can really update the feel and look of your home. Are your doorknobs in good shape? Could they use a little updating? Are they lose or malfunctioning? If your doorknobs are dingy, you will be surprised at how simply changing them can really add to the look, feel, and cleanliness of your home.

Doorknobs are not too expensive and relatively easy to install. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and locking mechanisms. If you are changing out an old door knob, make sure your replacement is the same size. Most doorknobs are standard and interchangeable, but you want to make sure.

Essentially, you can approach replacing or fixing a door knob in the same way. Typically, if your doorknob is loose or is in need of repair, you can simply replace the whole thing, or you can take it apart and tighten it up. Either way, the steps will be the same.

How to replace or fix a doorknob:

Out with the old:

1. Take the old doorknob out of the door by first removing the trim (the metal ring on the door surrounding the knob). Using a screwdriver, unscrew the two screws that hold the trim to the door. If the trim does not come off when you unscrew it, you may need to use a scraper or flat-head screwdriver to ease it off.

2. Next remove the two screws on either side of the door knob mechanism. These are what hold the mechanism (and the two doorknobs) together.

3. Take a good look at how the doorknobs come apart. This will help when you install the new ones.

4. Take the old doorknobs out and set them aside.

5. You will be left with just the bolt (or the locking mechanism). Remove the two screws that hold this in the door, and remove the bolt.

6. Does the strike plate also need to be replaced? Take a look at it. If it’s in good shape (and matches the color of the new doorknob) then keep it. If not, remove the two screws that hold it to the doorjamb and set it aside.

In with the new:

1. Take the bolt section and place it into the opening. Doorknob bolts have one side that is slanted. Make sure the slanted side faces the direction in which the door closes.

2. Screw in the bolt section with the screws provided.

3. You should have two doorknobs and two trims. Take the first trim and put it up to the door, covering the bolt section.

4. Take one of the doorknobs (the one with the mechanism that fits in the bolt—usually a square hole) and put it through the trim and the bolt.

5. Take the other doorknob and trim piece and put it on the other side of the door. Make sure you align these correctly. Remember the two long screws you took out of the old doorknob? Well, this one needs those too, so make sure they all line up.

6. Put in the long screws. Begin to tighten each just a little; going back and forth between both sides to make sure that the knob is coming together evenly.

7. You will now need to put the strike plate onto the door jamb.

Strike plate:

1. Take a pencil and mark up the end of the bolt.

2. Close the door and turn the handle so that the bolt gently hits the doorjamb. Repeat this a few times.

3. This should leave a mark on the doorjamb. The mark will show you where you need to place the strike plate. You may need to use a chisel to adjust the previous hole.

4. Place the strike plate in the correct area, and attach it with the screws provided.

5. Test the lock a few times from both the inside and the outside to ensure that it has been assembled properly. Adjustments may need to be made.

6. If the strike plate seems loose, you may need to buy longer screws to get a tighter fit.


When you take apart your old doorknob, keep all the pieces together or even reassemble them. Having this as a reference when you put in your new doorknob will be really helpful.
Have patience. Doorknobs have a lot of tiny little pieces, which can disappear and cause contusion, so go slow. You’ll do just fine!

How to restretch carpet


Carpeting that isn’t glued down is held around the perimeter of a room by wood strips with metal pins that grip the carpet backing. To repair loose carpets, you’ll need to rent a “knee kicker,” a stretching tool to pull the carpet tight and reattach the edges to the strips. These can be found at rental centers and carpet distributors.

How to restretch carpet:

1. Turn the knob on the head of the knee kicker to adjust the depth of the prongs. The prongs should extend far enough to grab the carpet backing without penetrating through the padding.

2. starting from a corner or near a point where the carpet is firmly attached, press the knee kicker head into the carpet, about 2 inches from the wall. Thrust your knee into the cushion of the knee kicker to force the carpet toward the wall.

3. Tuck the carpet edge into the space between the wood strip and the baseboard, using a 4-inch wallboard knife.


Most carpets are held together at the edges with heat activated seam tape. The tape comes in rolls and has hardened glue on one face. You will need to rent a “seam iron.”

How to reglue loose seams:

1. Remove the old tape from under the carpet seam.

2. Cut a strip of new seam tape, and place it under the carpet so it is centered along the seam with the adhesive facing up.

3. Plug in the seam iron, and let it heat up. Seam irons work like curling irons and regular irons, but they vary in the amount of time needed to heat up. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see how long you should wait for it to heat up.

4. Pull up both edges of the carpet, and set the hot iron squarely onto the tape. Wait about 30 seconds for the glue to melt.

5. Move the iron farther along the seam, as necessary.

6. Quickly press the edges of the carpet together into the melted glue behind the iron. If anything goes wrong you have only 30 seconds to repeat the process.

7. Separate the pile to make sure no fibers is stuck in the glue and that the seam is tight.

8. Place weighted boards or phone books over the seam to keep it flat while the glue sets.

How to replace grout or a broken tile

How to replace grout:

1. Scrape out the existing grout with a chisel or small putty knife and a small hammer, or simply a utility knife. Be careful not to tap too hard and chip the surrounding tile.

2 Clean the area with a vacuum to remove excess sand, dust, and debris.

3. Run your hand over the grout. Does is feel smooth or a little rough? If it’s smooth, you will need to buy unsanded grout. If it is a little rough, you will need to buy sanded grout. Take a piece of the grout with you to the hardware store to match the color. You only need to buy a small bag or box of grout for small repair jobs. Buy the smallest one you can find.

4. Mix up the grout according to the directions on the back of the bag or box.

5. Take your float, load it with grout and spread grout over the repair area, making sure to push it down into the gap.

6. Scrape away all excess grout by holding your float on its side or at an angle, making sure the grout is smooth and even, just at or slightly below the tile surface.

7. Let the grout dry (or “set up”). This should take about 2 hours.

8. Remove all excess grout and messiness with a damp sponge. Rinse out the sponge frequently and keep it clean. The water will appear chalky or cloudy until it is clean.

9. After grouting, do not get the surface wet for at least 24 hours.

10. After the grout has set up for I week, it should be completely cured. Now it is time to apply a grout sealer. You can buy this at your local hardware store and should follow the directions that come with the product.

How to replace a broken tile:

1. Scrape out grout with a chisel or small putty knife and a small hammer, or simply a utility knife

2. Break the tile in need of repair into tiny pieces using the small hammer.

3. Remove all the pieces of the broken tile. Use a utility knife or small putty knife to scrape the area clean of all excess debris. There will probably be quite a bit of debris left from under the tile, so scrape well! Vacuum the area to remove small particles.

4. Test fit the new tile in the opening. It should have an equal gap on all sides and must also sit flush to the surrounding surfaces.

5. Apply adhesive to the back of the tile and immediately place it into the area being repaired. Use even force with both hands, slightly twisting the tile until it is level with the surrounding area. You want to make sure that the adhesive does not push up the tile unnecessarily.

6. Use a piece of blue painter’s tapes (a type of masking tape) to the tile to hold it in place for 24 hours.

7. Remove the tape and clean around the replaced tile again to assure no debris, dust, or particles have accumulated in the gaps. Clean if necessary.

8. Grout around the tile, following steps 3—10 in the previous project.

How to repair a minor crack in concrete – How to fill a gap in concrete – How to repair a small hole in concrete

How to repair a minor crack in concrete:

1. Clean the area so that it is free of debris. You can sweep it out, or use a wire brush or vacuum it out with a shop vac. It must be dry before you move to step 2.

2. Apply caulk into crack. Use an ample amount of caulk to fill the crack to just above the surrounding surface.

3. Take a trowel and smooth out the caulk so that it is level with the surrounding area. If the crack is small enough, you can use your finger to smooth out the caulk (make sure to wear a rubber glove).

4. Let dry for at least two hours.

How to fill a gap in concrete:

1. Make sure the area is dry and clear of debris.

2. Take caulking and apply it to the entire length of the gap. Use generously

3. You can even out the caulking with a glove-covered finger, a trowel, or the back of a spoon rubbed with oil you can use any oil—baby vegetable, olive, even suntan oil.

4. let dry for at least 4 hours.

How to repair a small hole in concrete:

1. Break away any loose or unstable material. The easiest way to do this is with a small chisel and hammer.

2. Clean up any excess debris. If you can use a shop vac, it’s best. Make sure area is dry

3. Use a paintbrush to apply the bonding adhesive to the entire area that needs to be patched.

4. Fill the area with the reinforced patching compound, only adding about ‘4 inch at a time.

5. Wait about 30 minutes for the layer to dry.

6. Apply additional layers until you have filled the hole to just above the surrounding surface area.

7. Use a trowel to smooth out the area being repaired, until it is level with the surrounding area, its okay to let the mixture feather over the surrounding area to get a good, level base.

8. Allow the mixture to cure (or dry). Although it will take months to completely cure, you will begin to see hardening within the first few minutes, and it will be hard enough to walk on within 2 hours.

Oven Thermostat Faulty

Problem: Oven thermostat set ting is off and needs adjustment.

Background: If, when using the time given in recipes, foods consistently brown too little or too much, the oven thermostat may be out of adjustment. Over time oven thermo stats may drift from the factory setting; 5-to 10-minute differences in liming between an old and a new oven are not uncommon. To correct the situation, on many ovens you can make a simple adjustment in the thermostat (oven temperature) knob. Small adjustments can be made a little at a lime, or a precise temperature tester (available at an appliance parts store) can be used to determine temperature inside the oven so you can adjust the thermo stat knob accordingly.

What to do: Pull the oven temperature knob off of its shaft and look at the back of the knob and note the setting of the pointer before making any adjustment. To increase the temperature, move the pointer toward “high” or “raise”; to decrease, turn toward “low” or “lower.” Each notch should change the temperature 100. On some knobs you have to hold the skirt of the knob firmly in one hand and turn the knob with the other hand to move the pointer. The pointer is designed to be difficult to move but you can loosen it by slightly lifting up the end of the pointer with a thin screwdriver, knife blade, or similar instrument. On other knobs you may have to loosen 2 screws on the back to move the pointer I notch in the desired direction. Replace the knob to the shaft, and recheck the oven’s performance before making additional adjustments.

Special advice: If you are using a temperature tester to calibrate the oven, allow the oven element to cycle on at least twice. Then, with the oven set at a specific tempera- tine, take 4 readings to get an aver age temperature. Take 2 readings when the element cycles on, and 2 readings when it cycles off. Add up the readings and divide the sum by 4 to get the average temperature. The average should be within 25° of the knob setting. If it isn’t, recalibrate the setting.

Helpful hint: When testing the oven temperature, do not rely on the inexpensive thermometers you can buy at discount stores. Their readings will not provide the accuracy needed.

How to heat strip wood

1. Hold the heat gun about 4 inches away from the wood, using slight back-and-forth motions.

2. The paint should start to soften and begin to blister. Be careful not to overheat the paint since it will turn into a paste that is hard to remove. Remember, too, that wood is a flammable material and can be scorched or catch fire.

3. Remove the heat and start scraping the paint from wood with a metal scraper.

4. Repeat steps until the paint is mostly removed.

5. Use the rough sandpaper to sand down any sections that still have paint.

6. Use the fine sandpaper over the entire surface to create a clean, smooth surface for painting.

7. Wipe down the wood with a damp cloth.

Handy Person Tips

1. Rub petroleum jelly on the hinges and door knobs before you start to paint a door. If you get paint on them, they will wipe off easy.
2.To keep white paint from yellowing, add 10 drops of black paint to each quart of white.
3. When painting ceilings, cut a child’s rubber ball in half and put your paint brush in one of the halves to catch the drips.
4. An old pair of swimming goggles will protect your eyes from paint splatters and drips when painting ceilings.
5. When painting, protect your hands and face with moisturizer. Cleanup will be easier and the moisturizer will prevent paint from seeping into the pores.
6. Before starting to paint with enamel paint, lightly coat your hands and underneath your fingernails with any name brand hand cleaner. After the painting is finished, your hands will be easy to clean.
7. Line your paint tray with aluminum foil. When its time to clean up, just roll up the foil and throw away.
8. To stop paint from dripping, punch a few holes in the rim of the paint can. When the brush is wiped against the edge, the paint flows back into the can. The lid covers the holes so the paint won’t dry out.
9. To remove lumps from paint: Cut a piece of screen to fit the inside of the paint can. Set it on top of the paint and let it float down to the bottom of the can. It will take all the lumps with it, trapping them at the bottom of the can.
10. When painting trim around windows, doorways , etc., try using stiff paper to cover the area you don’t want painted. (An old phone book cover works well.) Slide paper along as you paint. It’s much faster and more economical than using masking tape. Works well with either a roller or brush.
11. When painting a room, dip a small card into the paint so that you have the exact color with you and can match accessories in stores.
12. When painting inside corners, trim the paint brush bristles to a V to save strokes and spread paint more evenly.
13. Before pouring paint from a can, cover the rim with masking tape. After pouring, remove the tape — the rim will be clean and the cover will fit tightly.
14. When you poke a paint brush into corners or allow it to rest on the bottom of the paint can, the bristles curl and stray. To straighten natural bristles (not synthetics), try wrapping the brush in a couple of thicknesses of damp cloth and press gently with an iron. The steam and cloth binding do the job. Only light pressure is needed. Let the bristles cool before you unwrap the brush.
15. When painting old woodwork, fill in the holes or cracks with a mixture of flour and some of the paint you are using. It hardens like cement and matches perfectly.

Instant Room Makeovers

Is your room in dire need of a makeover? Don’t sweat over remodeling costs just yet. Most people put off updating their décor because they think it’ll cost a fortune, but that’s not always the case. Often, dull rooms are just a small change or two away from a new and improved look—and the best news is that you can do it on a budget. Here are some ways to give your room an instant makeover without breaking the bank.

A new paint job

Color is usually the first thing people notice about a room, so it makes a sensible start for a makeover. A change in color can completely turn your room around even if you don’t change anything else. Most rooms can be fully repainted for under $500 and finished in four days or less.

However, a change too drastic can be hard to pull off. If you’re not sure how much you want to change, consider keeping your current color and choosing a lighter or darker shade. Bring out the color with contrasting hues in your area rugs, pillow cases, or curtains.

Contemporary area rugs

If you’re going for a trendy look, modern area rugs are the way to go. Today’s rugs are designed to catch the eye with their bold colors, unusual patterns, and avant-garde designs. Choose a bright color if your walls are plain or neutral. Pink area rugs and red area rugs are some of the most popular choices these days; they go particularly well with browns, blacks and grays. For a more festive look, spread some colorful braided area rugs or kids area rugs around the house.

Zen-style elements

More and more people are getting into Asian themes, and it’s easy to see why. The calm, open feel of Zen homes is a fresh change from the sleek lines of modern design. You don’t have to build an entire Zen garden to get the same effect. What you can do is introduce these elements in little accessories, such as window treatments and room dividers. Start by giving your floor a natural feel using bamboo area rugs, sea grass area rugs, or other natural weaves. You can also use these materials in decorative pieces or even your furniture.

Slip covers

Furniture tends to get dated fast, so you want to be able to update them anytime. The best way to do this is with slip covers. Unlike upholstery, slip covers can be removed and replaced as you wish, so you can change your furniture to match your changing tastes. You can buy them off the shelf or have them custom-made—either is cheaper than upholstery. Have a supply of basic colors and designs, and some “fancy” ones for special occasions.

New accessories

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference. If old paintings or drapes have lost their effect, put them away and replace them with a fresh new piece. Go for something that works with your décor theme. If your room is large and opulent, oriental area rugs can replace those old wall-to-wall carpets.

Installing a Peephole

Ladies, here is an inexpensive and effective way to be more secure in your own home. Peepholes are one of the best and simplest ways to improve security—not to mention the benefits of quietly fending off unwanted salespeople and nosy neighbors!

How to install a peephole:

1. Measure the distance from the floor to eye level. A range of between 58 and 62 inches is comfortable for most adults, but it’s a good idea to think about making it accessible to any children in the house—even if this makes it on the low side for you.

2. Wearing eye protection, drill a pilot hole with an — >1- inch drill bit all the way through the door.

3. Attach a spade or “paddle” bit to your drill. The size will depend on the diameter of the peephole you purchased. Measure it and use the appropriate size.

4. Using the pilot hole as a guide, drill through the door with the paddle bit, stopping halfway. This is very important: only drill halfway! Drilling halfway from each side will prevent the door from splitting on the other side.

5. Move to the other side of the door, and drill from that side until you get all the way through to the hole you began on the other side.

6. Insert the viewer sleeve (this is the part of the peephole with the bubble) from the outside of the door.

7. Screw the other half of the viewer into the sleeve from the inside of the door.

8. Tighten the peephole by hand, with one hand on each side of the door.

Make sure you center your drill hole before you start: measure across the door (horizon tally) to be sure.
When using the paddle bit, make sure the drill is level and straight. If you are off even just a tiny bit, you will have a hole that is not level.
Many manufacturers say that you should take the door off its hinges for this project. I say—keep it on! In my opinion, taking the door off its hinges will not make installation easier. Keeping it on provides a stable way to hold the door in place.

How to Repair Damaged Plaster


Cold chisel, hammer, utility knife, soft bristle paintbrush, 10” wallboard knife and 150 grit sandpaper.


Latex bonding agent, mortar cement, joint compound and interior primer.


1. Make sure that there are no leaks in the area of the dam aged plaster. If there are any, fix them and allow to dry for a couple of weeks or after next rainstorm.

2. Prepare the room for work by protecting the floor with a plastic cover, take all the paintings off the wall and remove furnishings. Remember to tape around the doors to minimize the dust throughout our home.

3. Gently chip away at the damaged plaster using a cold chisel and a hammer.

4. Using a utility knife, cut along the chipped inside of the edge until the edge becomes smooth and straight.

5. Using a wide, soft bristle paintbrush, apply latex bonding agent onto the edges of the hole and onto the lath.

6. Apply 1 cm (in thickness) of mortar mix using a 10” wallboard knife. Remember that the first layer needs to be cross-scratched when it begins to set; this will help the second layer to stick better.

7. Allow 24 hours to dry.

8. Spray the first coat with water and using the same knife, apply ½ cm (in thickness) of mortar cement of the second coat and remember to cross scratch.

9. Leave to dry overnight, 12 hours minimum.

10. Using the 10” knife, apply the joint compound. Swipe the compound towards the edges evening it with the rest of the wall. Allow to dry for 24 hours.

11. Wet sand the area using 150 grit sandpaper until the area becomes completely even.

12. Using the soft bristle brush to apply a coat of interior primer and allow drying for 4-5 hours.

Complete the project with the final coat of paint.

How to Paint a Concrete Floor

If you expect to use more than one container of paint, open them all and mix them together for a uniform color. You do not need to thin a paint for use on a floor One exception is if you use a sprayer that requires thinned paint.

Using a nylon brush, such as a 2½ sash brush, cut in the sides and corners with primer This creates a sharp, clean edge. Start this way for the top coat as well.

Using a roller pad with the nap length recommended by the manufacturer, apply a primer coat to the surface. Start at the corner farthest away from the door, and back up as you work. Allow the primer to dry for at least 8 hours.

With a clean roller pad, apply the first top coat. Make the top coat even but not too thick, then let it dry for 24 hours. if you choose to add another top coat, work the roller in another direction to cover any thin spots. Let the final coat dry another day before you walk on it.