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    My husband and I are extremely pleased with Reilly! You team, Bruce and David, are masters. They came each day when they said they would and worked diligently, and I was pleasantly surprised that they were quiet and didn't listen to radios. Bruce is a jewel; he was so patient with me and explained answers to all of my questions."

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  • 47 Skills To Survive Owning A Home Part II: Studs, Seized Locks & Termites

    [caption id="attachment_4992" align="alignleft" width="350" caption="This Old House"]House[/caption]

    Through the month, we will be giving you tips that every homeowner should be aware of if a problem happens under your roof. These basic jobs/tips will come in handy, especially with the Holidays approaching!

    4. Locate a Stud

    Say you want to hang a shelf. Knuckling the wallboard can pinpoint a stud. But to better the odds when your electronic stud finder's gone missing, use deductive reasoning. Most studs are placed at 16-inch intervals, so once you know where one is, you can usually find the rest.

    Start at a corner, where there's always a stud. Or take the cover plate off an electrical outlet and find out on which side it's mounted to the stud. From there, measure 16, 32, 48 inches, and you should hit a stud at each go. Eliminate all guesswork by using a thin bit to drill a test hole at the top of the base molding, which you can easily repair with a dab of caulk.

    5. Deal with a Seized Lock

    Hit the 7-Eleven before you call that $100-a-visit locksmith. Some WD-40 sprayed into the keyhole will lube the mechanism quickly. If that doesn't do it, you may have a broken spring or tumbler—and need that pro after all. If so, keep the new lock from locking up by giving it a yearly spritz of long-lasting Teflon spray.

    6. Check for Termites

    Despite your worst nightmares, you won't hear a distinct munching sound. And these guys don't hide in plain sight, so you need to scout out places where wood framing is exposed, like crawl spaces. Inspect them for raised, branchlike tubes that, when broken open, reveal cream-colored or yellowish insects. Also, check where siding meets the foundation for salt-size droppings or tiny clumps of dirt next to pinholes. If you spot even one, you need a licensed and bonded exterminator to squash those tunneling bugs.

    Courtesy of This Old House

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