If you suspect your toilet is leaking, but aren't sure where, add some food coloring to the water in the tank. If you see colored water inside the toilet bowl, suspect a defective flapper that needs to be adjusted or replaced. If it shows outside the toilet near the back, suspect a faulty tank-bowl gasket. If you see any water on the floor near the base, check for a faulty wax ring.
When painting, keep a damp rag handy to clean up as you go. It’s much easier to clean paint that is still wet.
In either a wood stove or fireplace, the easiest and best fire is built by using a mixture of both softwoods–from trees such as pines and firs–and hardwoods, such as oak, eucalyptus, cedar and so on. Softwoods start burning easily, and the hardwoods provide for long burning and good "coaling" qualities. A bed of ashes underneath the grate produces steady heat and aids in igniting new fuel as it is added. The fire will continue burning if small amounts of wood are added at regular intervals. In fact, more efficient combustion results from burning small loads of wood with sufficient air than from burning large loads with minimal air.
Termites and other pest can cause expensive damage. Here's what to look for: sawdust-like accumulations of frass indicate the presence of termites. An exterminator can spray or set traps to eliminate the infestation. A clean hole without cobwebs or leaves indicates an access hole for rodents. An exterminator can set a trap for them, too.