It’s too cold to hang out outside anymore, so this month on the Welcome Home blog we’re looking at easy indoor improvement and repair projects. Today’s focus, tricks and don’t forgets!

Basic home maintenance and repair is one of the responsibilities you take on as a homeowner. Happily, there are many such tasks you can take care of yourself with the help of the internet, and doing so can save you big bucks over hiring a contractor or handyperson. Here are a few such easy tasks under the general heading of Tricks and Don’t Forgets, all courtesy of

  1. Replace Your Furnace Filter – Furnace
    filters should be replaced every three months to facilitate optimum operation
    and clean air efficiency. The lowest-cost pleated filter is generally best for your
    home and your furnace, and size can be determined by finding the dimensions
    stated on the old filter. Pay attention to the air flow direction arrow when
  • Check Circuit Breakers Before Calling an
    – Got an electrical outlet that’s stopped working? Odds are you’ve
    tripped the fuse circuit. This can happen when running a vacuum cleaner or
    making toast and coffee while operating the microwave. To check the fuse
    circuit, unplug everything from the nonworking outlet and then open your home’s
    electric panel and look for a switch that’s tripped from on to somewhere in the
    middle of off/on. Often a tripped switch will be showing a strip of red. Simply
    turn the switch all the way off, and then back on. If it stays on, you’ve fixed
    the problem! If it immediately trips again, it’s time to call an electrician.
  • Fix a Cabinet Door That Won’t Stay Shut
    – Cabinet doors that like to rest in an open position rather than staying closed
    probably just need their hardware repaired. Take a look at a cabinet door that
    is working, and determine what keeps it shut – it could be a magnet, a catch
    mechanism or something else. Compare the working door to the door that won’t stay
    closed to see what’s missing and needs to be repaired or replaced. Your local
    hardware store can help you find exactly what you need to close the door on
    this annoyance.
  • Fix a Dent in Wood Stairs or Furniture
    – Ever drop something heavy on a wood stair? Sometimes this can leave a dent –
    and you might be the type of person that notices said dent every time you use
    the stairs for the next 30 years. If so, try this easy trick. Soak a washcloth
    in water and ring it out a bit so it’s not sopping wet. Fold it over once and
    lay it on the dent. Then use a clothes iron on the hottest setting to iron over
    the dent until the washcloth is dry. Repeat as needed. This really does work!
  • Fix Sticking Drawers – Old wooden desks
    and dressers can look great in your home. But they also can have drawers that stick
    and are difficult to open and close. This can be fixed by removing the drawers
    and wiping a candle along the bottom drawer sides that slide against the
    dresser. The wax makes the drawers glide with ease.
  • Fix Sticking Windows – The tip above
    works well for old wooden windows as well. If your windows are newer and are
    difficult to open and close, silicon spray from your local hardware store does
    the same trick.