Interior and exterior door installation

Interior door installation

Most interior doors (excluding hi-fold doors) are pre-hung assembled or knock down ready to assemble.

To accommodate a pre-hung door the R. S. O. (rough stud opening) must be installed to allow for shimming tolerance, this is required for both sides and the top. The rule of thumb is one inch wider than the door width and one half inch higher including the door frame. This is to allow for any shrinkage or twisting in the rough stud opening. If your door is the knock down ready to assemble type put the unit together following the instructions. You will find that you can assemble for either right hand or left hand hinge, swinging in or out of the opening.

Apply a piece of 1×2 across the door at the bottom (right jamb to left jamb) to hold the door in the front plumb and square. Set the door in the opening and using carpenters square and level shim with cedar door shims and fasten with nails. Do the hinge side first then the others shimming where required top and side.

Exterior door installation

Installing a new exterior door will require you to make a number of decisions.

1. Solid core plywood faced door?
Will require a lot of maintenance, staining, sealing and painting.

2. Solid wood door i.e.: Western Red Cedar or Oak etc. Will require sanding, staining, natural finish — subject to temperature change inside and out. Panels may crack requiring repairs and refinishing on an annual basis.

3. Steel insulated door primed ready for paint? Most people assume steel insulated doors are a finished product (usually white in colour) “WRONG”. They must be painted within the first 6 to 8 months of installation using an exterior acrylic latex or exterior urethane paint. Door must be washed with T.S.P General Household Cleaner or T.S.R using a pot scrubber pad and rinsed well before painting.

4. Consider fibreglass-insulated doors, as they are maintenance friendly.

5. Good, Better, Best, One of the best doors available now is the new Protect Door manufactured by Guenther Doors. Their new laminated inner frame adds structural strength giving greater security and comfort.

Ice Dams Form on Roof

Problem: Ice dams form at roof edges, causing backup of snow water which can damage home.

Background: Ice dams cause mil lions of dollars of damage to homes in northern areas every year. They are especially prevalent when snow and weather conditions react with poor attic ventilation and insulation. Snow melts next to the shingles, runs down under the top layer of snow, and freezes near the edge of the roof. Additional snow water backs up under the shingles, resulting in soaked insulation; stained, cracked, or spalled plaster or wallboard; damp, smelly, and rotting wall cavities; and stained, blistered, or peeling wall paint inside and out side the house.

What to do: The most effective remedy is to improve both attic ventilation and insulation to keep roof temperatures as close to the outside temperature as possible. All other emergency measures are short-term, and have drawbacks. They may include using a roof rake, hosing ice dams with tap water on a warm day, or having the roof steamed. Removing snow from roofs can be dangerous, water runoff from hosing can damage shrubbery, and steam can expand and contract the roof deck.
Room ceilings should be insulated heavily to minimize heat losses and reduce attic temperatures, and the attic area should be ventilated sufficiently so outside air sweeps out any warmed attic air. Make sure insulation doesn’t lose effectiveness because of bridging, wires, or ceiling fixtures. Also check for uninsulated chimneys, gas vents, warm exhaust piping, or other sources of heat. (A rule of thumb is that attics should have 1 square inch of ventilation opening for each square foot of ceiling area.)

Special advice: Heating cables, arranged in a saw tooth pattern near the eaves, are sometimes installed to help prevent ice dams. They are generally ineffective: melting is limited to only a few inches from the cable, melting often causes secondary ice dams higher on the roof, and cables use large amounts of energy. Never chop through the ice dams down to the shingles, or use a blowtorch, because you may cause roof damage.

Helpful hint: Just improving attic insulation will not prevent ice dams; it must be done in conjunction with adequate ventilation using ridge vents, soffit vents, roof louvers, or power vents. Insulation also must not block air passages, especially immediately above outside walls.

How to repair a crack, a bigger hole or a large hole in drywall

How to repair a crack in drywall:

1. Apply joint compound inside the crack using a wide drywall knife. Use ample amounts to fill the crack and create an even surface with the surrounding area. Al low time to dry You can tell when it is dry by waiting until it turns an even, white color If it is still a shade darker in some areas, it is not completely dry This usually takes a couple of hours. To speed up the process, you can add heat or a fan to the area.

2. Sand this area with 100-grit or similar sandpaper, or a damp washcloth, for a smooth surface. This does not have to be perfect, however, since this is just the bottom layer.

3. Apply additional joint compound (mud) to the crack.

4. Immediately apply paper joint tape over the entire crack in the wet mud.

5. Smooth the joint tape with the wide drywall knife, working from the center outward.

6. Use additional joint compound to apply layers over the tape and blend (feather) it into the surrounding areas.

7. Let dry for several hours.

8. Repeat these steps until the repaired area blends with the surrounding wall. Don’t worry—if you mess up, you can always sand it down and start over.

9. Sand with 100-grit or similar sandpaper until smooth.

10. Try to re-create the texture of the wall. Do this by put ting a small amount of joint compound on a wet wash cloth. Dab it onto the wall like you would a sponge, until you have closely matched the surrounding texture, adding or subtracting wherever necessary

11. You are ready to prime. Make sure you use a primer before you paint because the new substance on the wall is much more porous and will absorb paint more quickly changing the color and texture of the paint slightly.

12. Allow two coats of primer to dry before applying the paint to match your wall.

How to repair a bigger hole in drywall:

1. If the hole is bigger (anything larger than the golf ball but smaller than a softball) or has cracked edges, you need to do a little bit more. Get a ‘peel and stick repair patch” from the hardware store.

2. Peel and stick the patch over the hole.

3. Apply a thin layer of joint compound over the entire patch with a wide drywall knife.

4. Let the compound dry.

5. Add a second or third coat until the area blends in with the surrounding areas.

6. Let the compound dry and the patch set until everything is completely dry

7. Sand with 100-grit or similar sandpaper until smooth.

8. Try to re-create the texture of the wall. Do this by put ting a small amount of joint compound on a wet wash cloth. Dab it onto the wall like you would a sponge, until you have closely matched the surrounding texture, adding or subtracting wherever necessary.

9. You are ready to prime. Make sure you use a primer before you paint because the new substance on the wall is much more porous and will absorb paint more quickly changing the color and texture of the paint slightly.

10. Allow two coats of primer to dry before applying the paint to match your wall.

How to repair a large hole in drywall:

1. Square the hole by cutting around it in a square pat tern using a utility blade or drywall saw.

2. If the hole is near a stud, you are in luck. Cut the dry wall back to about ½ inch over the stud and skip to step 7.

3. If there is no stud, you will have to make your own tiny studs.

4. Take small pieces of scrap wood or drywall and place them behind the drywall surface.

5. While holding them close, use drywall screws to attach these tiny studs to the outmost edges of your new square hole. These are what you will use to attach your new piece of drywall.

6. Cut the drywall patch a little bit smaller than your square hole so it will fit easily into the hole.

7. Attach the patch to the tiny studs or main studs in all four corners with drywall screws.

8. Apply fiberglass mesh tape to all the seams.

9. Apply a thin layer of joint compound over the entire patch with a wide drywall knife.

10. Let the compound dry

11. Add a second or third coat until the area blends in with the surrounding areas.

12, Let the compound dry and patch set until everything is completely dry.

13. Sand with 100-grit or similar sandpaper until smooth.

14. Try to re-create the texture of the wall. Do this by putting a small amount of joint compound on a wet washcloth. Dab it onto the wall like you would a sponge, until you have closely matched the surrounding texture, adding or subtracting wherever necessary

15. You are ready to prime. Make sure you use a primer before you paint because the new substance on the wall is much more porous and will absorb paint more quickly, changing the color and texture of the paint slightly.

16. Allow two coats of primer to dry before applying the paint to match your wall.

How To Remove Wallpaper

1. Every good job starts with preparation. For this prep, simply move all furniture away from the wall and cover it with drop cloths. If you are in a bathroom with a tile floor, yon are pretty much ready to go.

2. Begin in the corners. See if you can grab a piece of wallpaper and begin to pull. Sometimes you will hit the jackpot and it will simply peel right off. Most times, you will be able to pull some off with ease, but you will be left with some stubborn spots of paper and a lot of leftover glue residue.

3. Remove all that you can while dry

4. Fill your squirt bottle with hot water. It just has to be hot/warm (not boiling). Out of your tap is fine.

5. Spray a good mist on the wall, starting at the top and moving in about a four-foot section across. Be sure to mist well.

6. Repeat about four times, until the wall is saturated. Be careful, however, not to oversaturated, as it can ruin dry wall if it gets too wet.

7. Take your scraper and gently start scraping away wall paper and/or glue residue. I say “gently” because it is very easy to nick or gouge the wet drywall.

8. Repeat this process until the entire wall is wallpaper! Glue free.

9. Some places will tell you to score the wallpaper with a razor blade, but this is never a good idea. This will leave your wall scratched and nicked.

10. If you are still left with residue on the wall, grab some sandpaper and sand it away. You can start with a really rough surface (60 grit), and gradually work your way up to a very smooth surface (220 grit). This should remove all gunks from the wall. Keep in mind that you may have to go through a lot of sandpaper, as it will get “gunked up” with all the glue.

Repairing Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl floors are popular because they’re easy to clean and maintain. Today’s high-quality vinyl floor coverings don’t re quire any regular care beyond frequent sweeping and mop ping. But vinyl does get divots, holes, and tears. The only way to really repair it is to cut out the damaged section and re place it with a patch. It’s pretty easy to fix vinyl if you have remnants and you can match it; if you don’t, there’s not a lot you can do.
With vinyl tile, it’s best to replace the damaged tiles. With sheet vinyl, you can fuse the surface or patch in new material.


Small cuts and scratches can be fused permanently and nearly invisibly with liquid seam sealer, a clear compound that’s available wherever vinyl flooring is sold.

How to fix small cuts and scratches in vinyl flooring:

1. Clean the area with lacquer thinner and a soft cloth.

2. When it’s dry, squeeze a thin bead of liquid seam sealer into the cut or scratch.

3. Use your finger (wearing a rubber glove) and lightly smooth out the edges, if needed.

4. Let dry.

If your flooring is all one color, you can fix gouges another way. Shred a piece of your vinyl flooring in a food grater. Take the shavings and mix them with a small amount of clear nail polish, drop by drop, until you have a paste like mixture. Wearing a rubber glove put this mixture into the groove and squishes it into place. Let dry.

How to clean discolored grout

1. Get a spray bottle and fill it with 2 parts water to 1 part bleach.

2. Spray generously over the grout, making sure not to spray it on anything the bleach might stain.

3. Let the bleach mixture sit for 30 minutes.

4. Use a small stiff brush or toothbrush to scrub the grout.

5. Rinse off, or use a sponge to clear the bleach from the grout.

6. If the discoloration still persists, repeat all steps. If the grout is stained beyond cleaning, you may want to re place it.

TIP: When using grout, follow the directions on the back of the box or bag. Make sure you mix it to toothpaste like consistency.

Handy Person Tips

• When a drain is clogged with grease, pour a cup of salt and a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by a kettle of boiling water.
• If your water taps have a tendency to freeze during a cold spell, leave your taps on slightly: Running water will not freeze.
• Frozen water pipes can safely and easily be thawed out by using an ordinary hair dryer nozzle directed at the frozen pipe.
• To tighten cane-bottomed chairs, turn them upside down and liberally apply hot water to the underside. Dry the chairs in the sun.
• When sanding or refinishing, cover your hand with an old nylon stocking. Glide your hand over the surface to be re done. Any rough areas will snag the stocking where more sanding needs to be done.
• To restore odor to an old cedar chest or closet, sandpaper lightly. This reopens pores in the wood to restore breathing.
• Spring-type clothespins are useful as clamps to hold light weight glued materials together.
• To find a wall stud, hold a pocket compass level with the floor and at a right angle to the wall. Slowly move it along the surface of the wall. Movement of the compass will indicate the presence of nails and reveal stud location.
• You always have a measuring tape in your pocket — a dollar bill is exactly six inches long and just short of three inches wide.
• Use non-stick vegetable spray to lubricate squeaky hinges and sticky locks.
• Loosen rusted nuts or bolts with a few drops of ammonia or peroxide.
• To help remove stubborn nuts and bolts, pour on some cola soft drink.
• You can retrieve a broken key by putting some strong metal adhesive on the handle and holding it to the part stuck in the lock. Hold it there until the glue has set. When it holds, pull out the key. Don’t use the key again.
• Four or five mothballs in your toolbox will keep the tools from rusting.
• A piece of chalk or charcoal in your toolbox will attract moisture and keep your tools from rusting.
• Save your old nuts, bolts and washers. They make excellent sinkers for your fishing line.

Repair wallboard – Drywall

Here are tips and suggestions on how to patch and repair plasterboard walls. Read these suggestions carefully to help you make such repairs easily and quickly.


Objects that come in contact with wall board can cause dents or scratches in the surface. These indentations are easy to repair.
First, sand the surface thoroughly (Fig. 1). This sanding roughens the surface and provides a good base for the joint compound you will use.
Use coarse sandpaper and a good sandpaper block. For large areas to be repaired, use a power sander.
Fill the dent with a good grade of joint compound using a 3″ or 4″ spreader (Fig. 2). Spread the compound evenly, pressing it firmly into the dented area.
For extremely large dents, allow the compound to dry overnight and then apply a second coat.
When the material is completely dry, sand the area and prime it for a coat of paint or other finish.
Be sure to remove any high or low spots in the patched area with a fine sandpaper.


Various types of patching materials are available for patching drywall. These include adhesive and non-adhesive drywall tapes, fast drying patching compounds and drywall bandages.
Regardless of the type of patching materials you use, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and follow each step as suggested. Some patching compounds dry quickly, while others require longer periods to dry.
Be sure the cracked area to be patched is completely clean and dry. Remove all dirt from the area and clean out all cracks.
Apply the patching plaster with a wide and flexible putty knife (Fig. 3). Apply the compound by working across the crack with strokes in both directions. This method is the best way to work the patching plaster into the crack.
Force the patching material into the crack with strong, firm strokes (Fig. 4). Examine the crack after each stroke to ensure that enough material is applied at all points.
The knife should bend with pressure as you draw it along the cracked area. Repeat the passes as often as necessary to force the material well into the cracked surface.
Use the putty knife as a scraper to remove any surplus material (Fig. 5). Move it along the cracked area gently to scrape away the surplus material that was applied by the double strokes show in Fig. 3.
You may want to dip the putty knife into water and make a final pass along the repaired area (Fig. 6). Touch up any areas that need more patching material.
After the patched area has dried completely, sand and prime it to prepare for the finish you desire.


You can repair small holes, up to 4″ to 6″, in drywall using drywall bandages. To make a drywall bandage, use a keyhole saw to make the hole into a square or a rectangle (Fig. 7). Cut a piece of drywall the same shape as the hole. It should be 2″ longer and 2″ wider than the hole.
Lay the piece of drywall down on a flat surface, shiny side down. Measure the 1″ from all four edges and draw a line. This should form a shape the side of the hole.
Using a straight edge and a utility knife, cut through the drywall to the bottom layer. Do not cut the bottom layer of paper. Using a putty knife, remove the top layer of paper and core all the way down to the bottom layer of paper (Fig. 8). Be careful not to tear the bottom layer.
The cut part of the patch should fit into the hole. The paper edge should cover about 1″ around the hole. Apply a thin layer of patching compound around the hole. Place the patch into the hole (Fig. 9). Using a putty knife, work the paper edge down into the compound. Feather the edges of the compound and allow it to dry. You may need to sand lightly and apply a second layer of compound to finish the repair.
Larger hole, up to 12″, require a slightly different repair which provides more support. Again use a keyhole saw to form the hole into a square or a rectangle (Fig. 7).
Cut a patching piece of wallboard that’s about 2″ larger than the hole to be repaired (Fig 10). Punch or drill two small holes through this piece of board and tie a stick to it, as illustrated. Allow for about 8″ between the board and the stick.
Apply a smooth coat of good grade adhesive all around the edges of the piece of patching material.
Insert the patching board through the hole and position it so the adhesive fits firmly against the solid area around the hole.
Now turn the stick clockwise twisting the string and increasing pressure against the patch board at the rear of the hole (Fig. 11). When the string has been thoroughly tightened, it will hold the board firmly into place until the adhesive dries.
Give the adhesive time to dry. Then fill in the area with a good grade of patching plaster (Fig. 12). Leave the stick and the string in position during the patching process.
You may need to apply two or three layer of patching plaster to build up the patched area. Always allow one layer to dry before applying another.
Remove the stick and string just before the material dries. Smooth out the area then let the patch dry thoroughly.
When the area is completely dry, sand off all high spots and apply a prime coat for paint or other finish (Fig. 13)
Use a fine grade of sandpaper and a sanding block for the finish sanding work.


Larger holes in wallboard require some type of supporting brace for the patch.
Use a short piece of 2 x 4 cut to the proper length as a supporting brace for patching a large hole in plasterboard (Fig. 14).
Cut two pieces of 2 x 4 to a length about 8″ longer than the distance across the hole.
Apply a good grade of cement to one piece of 2 x 4, then insert it through the hole. Tie it to another piece of 2 x 4 holding it parallel in front of the wallboard.
Allow the pieces of 2 x 4 to remain tied in this position until the cement dries. Most cements require about one hour to dry.
Next, remove the supporting piece of 2 x 4 in front of the wallboard by untying the string (Fig. 15). The cement will hold the back piece of 2 x 4 firmly in position, providing a support brace for the wall patch.
Now cut a patch block to the exact dimensions of the sawed-out area. (Fig. 16). The block will be slightly smaller than the hole itself, but cut it to fit as tightly as possible.
Apply cement to the back of the patch block and the support brace, then put the patch into position in the hole.
Use a firm putty knife or patching spatula to apply joint compound all around the patch board (Fig. 17).
Work the patch compound thoroughly into all cracks. Scrape away any surplus material, then allow the patched area to dry completely.
When the area has completely dried, use a regular sanding block and a piece of fine sandpaper to sand away any high areas on the patched surface (Fig. 18).
A prime coat can now be applied to prepare the wall for painting.

How to chemically strip wood


Follow the directions on the chemical stripping agent, since they vary slightly, but for a general guideline, follow the steps below.

How to chemically strip wood:

1. Using a paintbrush, apply the recommended amount of stripping agent to the wood’s surface. You can usually be pretty generous with your application. Use a disposable, inexpensive paintbrush for this job.

2 Let the agent sit for a while until the paint starts to blister.

3. Then use a scraper or putty knife to scrape away the paint. You can also use steel wool to scrub away the paint.

4. Use a cloth to remove the scraped paint as you go because you don’t want to scrape the paint back into the wood.

5. Use some stripping agent on a cloth or steel wool to re move any residual paint and to clean the surface.

6. Wipe down the wood surface with a damp cloth or sponge.

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.

How to add or replace weather stripping

Out with the old:

1. If you currently have bad weather stripping, it will need to be removed before you can get started. Take a scraper, chisel, or utility knife and scrape off the old stripping.

2. If it was held in place with small nails, don’t try to re move them. Simply cut the nails flush with the surface, assuring that none stick out past the jamb. If they are still visible, drive them into the jamb by using a bigger nail and tapping slightly with a hammer.

3. Remove all remnants and/or leftover adhesive with the scraper.

4. Clean the area thoroughly with soap and water.

5. Let it dry completely.

In with the new:

1. Measure each side of the doorjamb that needs to be fitted with stripping. Add a couple of inches to your measurements so there is room for play.

2. Cut the new weather stripping to size.

3. Attach the cut pieces to the doorjamb using the method of application that corresponds to the type of weather stripping you purchased. Be careful to keep the stripping level and within the jamb.

4. Cut off any excess stripping.


For extra protection from the elements (including those eight-legged ones), install a rubber sweep underneath the door. This is usually a simple exercise of drilling holes and attaching the sweep with screws. There are a couple of different styles of door sweeps to choose from. Some will be easy to install, others may require you to remove the door to install them correctly.
Rubber weather stripping is not only the easiest to use, but will hold up for a long time and resist the elements. Stay away from felt or foam since they tend to deteriorate quickly.



Holes in hardwood floors can be filled with wood putty, but trying to apply wood putty directly over sealant or varnish is a bad idea. Just as buffing your nails helps nail polish stick, you need to rough up your wood floor so that the putty sticks. Always start with a rough-grit sandpaper (the thicker the varnish, the rougher the grit) and move up to finer grits. Also make sure to match the color of your putty to the color of your floor (oak, cherry etc).

How to repair a hole:

1. Take a little sandpaper in your hand and rough up the area around the hole. Start with a rougher grit sand paper (65 grit) to remove any varnish, and go to a finer grit as you need a smoother finish (to 150 grit, for example). Always sand with the grain.

2. With a putty knife or scraper tool, add wood putty to the sanded repair area, scrape flat and let dry according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

3. Once dry, sand the putty in the direction of the grain of the wood. If the dried putty has significantly contracted or shrunk, you may need to repeat the process with another coat of wood filler.

4. Apply the finish, trying to match the varnish or poly urethane, or whatever it had on it, to the rest of wood.