| November 15, 2012

The holidays are right around the corner and now is the time to take care of the improvements you've been procrastinating about all year long. From dead doorbells and jammed doors, to caulking the bath and replacing broken tiles, here are our top quick fixes, and all the information you need to get the job done right.

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Ryan Benyi | ThisOldHouse.com
Fix a Doorbell

Don't leave holiday guests waiting out in the cold. Make sure your doorbell is in working order before they come ringing. It could be the fault of a worn outside button. But it's also possible that the chime or transformer have stopped working. For full step-by-step instructions to help you find and fix the problem, see How to Fix a Doorbell.

Ryan Benyi | ThisOldHouse.com
Fix a Worn Concrete Walkway

Make safe passage for party guests this holiday season. If there are cracks and pits in your concrete, but your walkway isn't cracked all the way through, you can coat the slab with a concrete resurfacer. Its natural color is dark gray, so buy enough to cover your entire walk. If you want a different color, just add a concrete tint. Here's How to Resurface Worn Concrete in just 4 easy steps.

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Craig Raine | ThisOldHouse.com
Fix a Sticking Door

Doors shift with time and age, and some become so out of alignment they stick when opened and closed. But the remedy is just a few quick tricks away. Here's How to Fix a Sticking Door in just an hour.

Julian Wass | ThisOldHouse.com
Fix a Newel Post

Staircase handrails rely on the newel post—the large post that anchors the balustrade at the bottom of the staircase—for support. If the post is loose, the railing becomes wobbly and offers little support for guests climbing the stairs to turn in for the night. Here's How to Repair a Loose Newel Post.

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David Carmack | ThisOldHouse.com
Recaulk Your Bathroom

You've seen the ominous signs of aging caulk. First it was the brown tinge along the edges. Now its smooth and supple skin has turned brittle and cracked, opening the way for stubborn colonies of mildew to take hold. Whether it's around your sink, between a tub and its tile surround, or covering the joints of your shower stall, it has got to go before your overnight guests use the bathroom. Fortunately, caulk is cheap, and applying it isn't difficult. For full step-by-step instructions on laying a professional-looking bead, here's How to Caulk Around a Tub.

Richard Howard | ThisOldHouse.com
Install a Garage Floodlight

Not to be a party pooper, but the holiday season is a favorite of home intruders. One of the simplest, most effective ways to enhance the safety and security of your home is to add a motion-sensor floodlight above the garage door. The dual-lamp model installed here comes on automatically if something—or someone—crosses its field of vision. The upgrade will also come in handy to welcome late-arriving family members coming home for the holidays. For full step-by-step instructions, see How to Install a Garage Floodlight.

For more quick fixes, visit ThisOldHouse.com.