Aug 15

Common Household Repairs DIY

In this article we will discuss the simplest method for the repair of binding, twisting, troublesome drawers, and windows.

How often have you struggled with a kitchen or bathroom drawer that just won’t work properly?  This can be frustrating, but there are simple explanations for the problem, and equally simple ways to make repair.

For drawers that tend to shift from side to side, or up and down as they are open and closed; the problem is that there is no bottom ‘guiding’ track to keep them in place.  Most modern cabinetry will have guide tracks installed as a matter of routine, but older cabinets, and some built-in cabinet may not. Guide tracks are available in both fixed lengths, and adjustable designs. Guide tracks are typically found in the shelving section of most DIY stores, and are easy to install.  The Guide track is attached inside the cabinet underneath the drawer between the cabinet trim (found below the drawer front) and the back of the cabinet.  An additional component is attached to the center, back of the drawer that fits into the guide track, and you’re done!

Another annoying problem are drawers that bind and stick when you try to open or close them.  The vertical left and right sides of the drawer are known as ‘rails’. The rails may have swollen is size, or perhaps the inner workings of the cabinet frame have settled, putting pressure on the rails.  If the rails are made from wood, a slight hand sanding will  solve the problem.  Another remedy is an application of bee’s wax (candle wax works well too) applied to the top edge of the drawer rails.

If you have one of those drawers that seem to fall into the cabinet every time you close it, it probably is in need of a drawer ‘stop’.  A drawer stop is usually a small wooden or plastic spacer attached to the back of the drawer which impacts the interior back of the cabinet, preventing the drawer from falling into the cabinet when it is closed.  If your drawer is missing a drawer stop, an easy and quick repair can be made made by gluing a bottle cork by its end to the drawer back.  After the glue has dried, trim the cork with a serrated knife just enough to allow the drawer to close flush with the face of the cabinet.

Older wooden framed windows are notorious for binding when the window itself or the window sash is swollen from moisture.  Older windows such as these have wooden exteriors that if not painted and sealed properly, allow water into the frame and sash, and hence the swelling problem.  Annual preventative maintenance painting is a good first response. However you might consider contacting a qualified Window Contractor and have new insulated, moisture proof windows installed; check out Handyman Headquarters  http://www.la-laborjobs.com/handyman/ for a licensed, qualified Contractor in your area.

If you rather pursue this repair yourself (applies to wooden windows only) you will need the following tools:

1)      Hammer

2)      Small Pry-bar

3)      1” wood chisel

4)      Hand block plane

5)      Power sander with #150 grit paper

Carefully using the hammer and small pry-bar remove the interior window casing (trim) surrounding the window.  After this is done you will see the window frame as it sits in the window jamb, and easily see where it is bound.  With the window casing removed you will be able to remove the window unit, and using either your sander, or block plane remove 1/16” of wood from the sash sides where the binding occurs.  After this is done, apply some Bees Wax to the trimmed area and install the window, along with the window casing as it was originally.  Problem solved!

If you are looking for a professional contractor to help you with your project check out http://www.mylaborjob.com/find. It’s always free to use and you can find trusted local contractors for any kind of project.

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