When installing a new or replacement lock, be sure the keyway is positioned so that the cuts of the key will be inserted upward. This will reduce the chance of dirt, dust, and water (which can turn to ice in cold weather) settling in the lock mechanism creating a lockout or stiff operation of the cylinder.
For paneled doors, remove all hardware or cover it with masking tape. (If some paint inadvertently gets on metal parts, wipe it up immediately with a soft cloth.) Paint the panels, working from top to bottom. For each panel, paint the molding first followed by the interior. Finally, paint the rest of the doorl finishing with the outer edges. If the door swings out, paint the hinged edge; if the door swings in, paint the lockside edge.
Spring is the perfect time to inspect door and window screens for tears. You can often repair small tears using a kit from your local hardware store. This will prevent insects from getting into your home, and keep you comfortable on the screened porch.
Sliding patio doors can often be the weak link in an otherwise secure house. Be sure to use security bars for added protection on sliding doors and keep them locked when not in use. There are two primary types of security bars: one for standard doors and one for sliding patio doors. Look for a security bar with a patented locking device that can withstand up to 1,000 pounds of force. Patio door security bars should also prevent thieves from lifting the door off the track.
Making it difficult for thieves to enter your home is an effective way to protect your possessions. Research by the Natinoal Crime Prevention Institute shows that burglars generally will work no longer than 60 seconds to obtain entry.
For a high level of security, select padlocks with pin-tumbler locking mechanisms, shackles of high-tech alloy steel to provide pull strength, and special weather-resistant plastic covers to stand up to the elements.
Many utilities offer incentives to homeowners who make improvements that save energy. Contact your utility company to determine if you're eligible for a low-interest loan or discount for replacing your windows and doors. Ask about energy-efficient insulating features such as argon gas between the panes of glass and a Low-E coating.
Weather stripping can seal leaks around movable joints, such as windows or doors. You need to choose a type of weather stripping that will withstand the friction, weather, temperature changes, and wear and tear associated with its location.
To loosen a sticking lock, put a little oil on the key. Put the key in the lock, and give it a few turns to loosen the hardware.
If you have dents in the metal-clad doors in your home, one answer is to use auto-body fillers to make the fix. Either the polyester resin or fiberglass paste fillers bond well with steel, and the repair can be made like on a car. But, because you can finish the door with acrylic-latex trim paint, not glossy auto body paint, you don't need the skills of an auto body technician to get excellent results.