Do you have a door that sticks or doesn’t close properly? You are not alone. Many factors can contribute to this problem. Let’s learn how fixing common door problems can be easy.

Fixing common door problems pin this image

Fixing Common Door Problems

Do you have a door that sticks or doesn’t close properly? Or maybe your door rubs, squeaks, or is drafty. Regardless of the problem, I’m going to show you how to fix your most common door problems! But first, a big thank you to Schlage, the 100-year-old leading door hardware company, for sponsoring this article.

If you have common door problems, you are not alone. Many factors can contribute to them: house movement, humidity, dry air, improper installation, slamming doors, or kids swinging on them (true story). Without being able to control many of these factors, it’s important to know how to fix your door problems – as your door is often a main focal point of the room and/or entryway.

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Door Not Latching:

A door that doesn’t latch properly is usually a simple fix. Lean down until you are at eye-level with your doorknob. Look at the gap between the door and the door frame. Is the latch centered on the strike plate?

latch too low on strike plate

If not, that’s why your door doesn’t latch. Here’s how to fix it. Determine the center of the latch. Remove the strike plate and move it to center on the latch.  Mark the new location of the strike plate. Chisel the door frame as needed.

chisel strike plate area out

Reattach the strike plate and test the door. You can see in the photo below the latch is now centered with the strike plate and the latch can now slide into the strike plate properly.

Latch and strike plate lined up

(Like the knob above? It’s a Schlage Plymouth in Bright Brass, but comes in a variety of finishes.)

Door Not Closing Tight Against Stop:

If your door rattles loose in the frame and doesn’t close properly against the stop, it can be as simple as moving the strike plate closer to the stop.

Important: If this problem happens on a door between the garage and the house, it could be a potential safety issue! The door between the garage and the house must protect the residents from carbon monoxide gases potentially leaking in from a car’s exhaust. With this in mind, it’s important to fix this problem immediately!

Luckily, fixing a door that doesn’t close tightly is a simple one to remedy. But, there are two solutions depending on your type of strike plate. (Is your strike plate adjustable or non-adjustable?)

door won't shut tight vs. door closes against stop

If You Have an Adjustable Strike Plate:

Look closely, does your door strike plate have a small screw holding a sliding tab to the strike plate? If this looks like your strike plate, the solution is simple.

common door problems strike plate

Loosen this screw and adjust the tab closer to the door stop.

door problems adjust latch

Tighten the screw and try closing your door again. Continue to adjust the tab until your door shuts properly and stays closed.

If You Have a Non-Adjustable Strike Plate:

Non-adjustable strike plates don’t have an adjustable tab, but your fix is still easy. Remove the strike plate and reposition it closer to the stop.

moved strike plate

Sticking Doors or Doors that Won’t Close

Look at the space around the door. Is there a gap at the top or bottom? Normally, the door will stick at the top corner opposite of the hinges because over time the weight of the door will pull away from top hinges.

To fix a door that sticks or rubs in the frame, you can try one of these fixes:

  • Tighten screws
  • Add longer screws
  • Add a shim behind a lower hinge

Let’s take a look at this french door. The door rubs at the top when trying to close it.

french doors rubbing at top

Open the door and look at the hinges. Do any of them need to be tightened? Well look at that! This door is missing a screw.

missing screw in hinge

Try to tighten the screws. If they just spin, the wood has been stripped. You can either add longer screws or fill in the holes with toothpicks.

Replace with Longer Screws

Remove the hinge screws and use longer screws that drive through the door jamb and into the framing.

long and short screw in hand

How to Fix Stripped Screw Holes:

Remove the screws from one hinge at a time. Squeeze some wood glue onto several toothpicks. Pack the hole with toothpicks.

insert toothpicks into stripped screw holes

Let the glue dry. Cut off the excess toothpick with a utility knife (or use a chisel if you don’t have your knife with you.)

chisel off extra toothpick

Drive screws back into the hinges.

drive longer screws into door hinge

Better yet, replace the screws with longer ones that will grip into the framing behind the door jamb.

Hopefully this will fix your door. You can see below the door shuts and the spacing is even between the french doors.

Is Your Door Out of Alignment?

Door still rubbing? Occasionally a door will get out of alignment. To fix this, first, look at the door and determine where the gaps are bigger.

For the door above, try simply loosening the screws from the top hinge 1/4 turn or more. If this doesn’t work, try tightening the screws into the hinges at the bottom. If it’s still not fixed, you’ll need to try shimming the door hinge.

Shimming Door Hinges:

Sometimes a door hinge needs to be shimmed to adjust the door in the frame. If the spacing is tight behind one hinge, you can adjust it slightly to correct uneven spacing around the door.

common door problem fixes

The door above still shows a tight spot near the top right hinge. To shim it slightly, add a piece of chipboard (cereal box cardboard) behind the hinge.

door problems shim hinges

If you need a thicker shim, you can use the end of a wood shim.

add shim behind hinge

Replace the screws in the hinge and test your door. Is it still rubbing?

replace door hinge screws

Recessing a Hinge:

Occasionally, you might need to set a hinge deeper into the door or the frame. You can use a chisel to remove a small amount of material from the jamb or the door. If you don’t have a chisel or are worried about taking out too much, use the small sanding bit on a Dremel.

dremel door hinges

Door Rubbing on Top:

Have a door that swells when the temperature or humidity changes? To fix a door that rubs along the top in different seasons, you’ll want to sand or plane the top. This doesn’t involve buying a ticket or boarding an airplane. Planing is removing material from the edge of wood. You can try using sandpaper with a coarse grit to sand it down, but if that doesn’t work, reach for a hand planer.

plane top of door

As you run the planer across the top of the door it literally shaves off some of the wood. Simple design, but very effective.

Door Scraping on the Floor:

door scraping floor

A door that rubs on the floor or carpet is not only annoying, but it can scratch your floors. Time to fix this problem!

Get a helper to assist with removing the door. Close the door completely.

Position a scraper or flat pry bar just under the hinge pin head. Gently tap the end of the pry bar with a hammer to raise the hinge pin. Remove the hinge pin from the top and bottom hinges first.

remove hinge pin

Remove the middle hinge pin last but have your assistant nearby to hold the door in the frame. As the assistant opens the door, be ready to lift it off the hinges.

Lay the door on sawhorses. Tape the button of the door with painter’s tape to protect from chipping.

cut off bottom of door

Use a circular saw, track saw, or power planer to remove a portion of the bottom of the door.

Plane doors from the edge to center

Replace the door and check to see if it still rubs.

Exterior Door is Hard to Open:

If your exterior door is hard to open, it might be from a loosened threshold piece. You can try to tighten the threshold screws or replace the threshold and sweep at the same time.

driving screws into door threshold

Also check to see if the door sweep has lowered. Unscrew the sweep and raise it on the door. Tighten the screws.

raise door sweep

Door Latch Sticks in the Door

If the latch is sticking in the door, you can try one of three fixes:

  • Loosen the screws on the doorknob. (Tightening the screws on your doorknob too much can cause the knobs to bind.)
  • Remove the knobs, spray a little lubricant onto the latch inside the door. Replace the knobs and turn them to distribute the lubricant.
  • Finally if all else fails, it might be time to replace the doorknobs. Believe it or not this is a quick fix and can be done in five minutes.

Save yourself the headache of doorknobs that stop working smoothly and purchase Schlage brand door hardware from the start. Schlage has been producing high-quality door hardware in a variety of types, looks, and finishes for more than a century and will continue to do so in the years to come. Whether traditional, modern, or technology, Schlage products offer a limited lifetime mechanical and finish warranty and a three-year limited electronics warranty.

How to Replace Door Knobs | Pretty Handy Girl

Squeaking Doors

Doors that squeak mean the hinges need lubrication. Simply spray a lubricant like WD-40 just under the top of the hinge pin. Be sure to have a rag handy to catch any drips.

Fixing Common Screen Door Problems | Pretty Handy Girl

Open and close the door several times to help the lubricant work its way down the hinge. Your door should be squeak free now.

Door Knob Hits the Wall

Door knobs that hit a wall can put dents or holes in the wall if left alone. The solution is quick. Either add a door stop behind the door at the baseboard…

door stop behind door at baseboard

…or add a hinge pin adjustable door stopper to the top door hinge.

hinge pin adjustable door stopper

Drafty Doors

Cold drafts wafting in around your door? The solution is as simple as installing (or adjusting) the weatherstripping. If you can see light coming in around your door, it’s guaranteed to let drafts in too!

Adding Foam Weatherstripping | Pretty Handy Girl

Simply adding adhesive-backed foam weatherstripping around the door will stop those drafts in their tracks.

Look Ma, no more light, no more drafts!

Adding Foam Weatherstripping | Pretty Handy Girl

Adding a door sweep to the bottom of the door will keep out drafts from the bottom of the door. In addition, a well-fitted sweep will also keep insects and spiders from making an entrance under your door.

white door sweep on yellow door

That pretty much sums up fixing common door problems. Next time you have an issue with your door, you can fix it yourself!

PHGFancySign

Disclosure: This article has been sponsored by Schlage. If you’ve been around here for a while, you know I’m very particular about the brands I work with. I only recommend products and brands that I use myself. I was compensated for my time, but I was not told what to write. All opinions are my own.

Pin for later!

How to Fix common Door Problems

How to Fix Cracks in Door Panels - An Easy RepairHow to Fix Cracks in Door Panels without Taking the Door Apart

Wooden doors will develop cracks over time, especially if the panels aren’t free to expand and contract. Most of the time, years of paint or caulking the seams around the panels will cause the wood to stick and not allow the panel to expand and contract with the weather. The result is a big vertical crack along the wood grain. Today I’m going to show you how to repair the crack without taking the door apart!

You may remember right before I purchased the Saving Etta house, I discovered a discarded door by the dumpster behind our local grocery store. It had a big crack in the panel and was very dirty. But, otherwise, it appeared to be structurally sound. Pretty Handsome Guy and I salvaged the door on a late night rescue mission, and had a good laugh about it afterwards.

The door sat in the garage until the addition was framed and rough openings were created at the Saving Etta house. With the windows set to arrive, I knew I had to take a day out of my busy schedule to repair the cracked door and prepare it for installation.

Dirty Front Door found in the Trash

First the door got a good cleaning with soapy water.

Cleaning Front Door with sponge and soapy water Looking better already!

Cleaned front doo

Now it was time to fix the door. Let’s learn how to repair a cracked door panel without taking the door apart.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

Lay the door on a flat surface like a workbench or saw horses.

burgundy side of dumpster found door

Using the Dremel with a cut off wheel, clean up the crack and open it to the width of your wood spline.

Open door panel crack with dremel cutting wheel

Sand smooth any jagged edges along the crack and any dings on the rest of the door.

Sanding door smooth

Test fit the spline into the crack. Make any adjustments to the crack as needed or cut a narrower spline on a table saw.

Insert wood spline into door crack

The spline should fit snuggly in the crack.

Test fit wood spline in door crack

Remove the spline and apply a liberal amount of wood glue into the crack.

Add lots of wood glue to door crack

Insert the spline and clamp the door until the glue hardens.

Clamp door repair overnight.

Chisel off the excess spline (you don’t need to get it perfect, but you’ll want to remove as much of the spline that protrudes beyond the door panel.)

Chisel off excess wood spline

Sand the repaired crack until the spline is even with the rest of the door panel.

Sand fixed door crack smooth

There will probably still be some minor cracks or voids, but these can be repaired with putty. Mix up a small amount of Durham’s Rock Hard Water Putty (just add water!) Apply along the repaired crack and fill in any small holes or dings on the door. Let the putty cure.

Use Durham wood hardener to smooth imperfections

Flip the door over and repeat the process of removing the excess spline material and adding the wood putty.

Add Durham Wood Hardener on back side of door repair

After the putty has dried, sand until smooth. Start with a 120 grit sandpaper and work your way up to 220 grit.

Sand cracked door panel repair smooth

Clean the door of any sanding dust. Tape off the window edges (if applicable). Prime the door on both sides (allowing one side to dry before priming the other side.)

Prime repaired door with KILZ 2 primer

Paint your door any color you like!

Paint repaired door with Magnolia Home Magnolia Green paint

Want to Stain Your Door Instead?

If you prefer the natural wood look on your door, be sure to choose a spline that matches your door’s wood species and skip the wood putty step.

Installing the Door:

Back at the house, my framers had some fun with the house wrap at the front door.

After I added an exterior door frame kit to my repaired door, the framers hung it in the rough opening.

Because I didn’t paint the exterior of the door yet, you can barely see the repair above. But, after a fresh coat of paint, I challenge you to spot the repaired crack!

Do you like the color I painted the door? You might remember my decision making process when selecting the exterior color scheme. Ultimately I chose Magnolia Green and Locally Sown in the Magnolia Paint line.

Magnolia Green Door with Locally Sown Magnolia Home Paint on Siding

And just in case you thought I was only good at saving doors, apparently now I’m also a house saver! The Saving Etta house received her plaque denoting her name as it’s registered in the list of National Historic Properties.

Saving Etta: 1900 Home Saved from Demolition and restored into a beautiful Triple A construction modern farmhouse.

Hopefully she’ll last another one hundred plus years!

A funny story about the green door: Originally I was going to hang the door with the handle on the opposite side, but made a last minute change. The interior of the door was supposed to get painted gray to match the rest of the doors in the house (minus the salvaged 1900 doors shown above. They were left raw to show off the original wood grain and square peg construction.)

Many of you loved the green color and voted on Instagram to keep the front door green on both sides. Which is why Etta has a green front door inside and out!

Saving Etta: 1900 Home Saved from Demolition and restored into a beautiful Triple A construction modern farmhouse.

What do you think? Do you like the double-sided green door? Do you have a cracked door panel in need of repair? I know you can fix it.

how to fix a leaky garden hoseHow to Easily Fix a Leaky Hose

A garden hose is a valuable tool around my yard in the summertime. It’s vital to keep my yard looking beautiful, keeping plants watered, and occasionally for a fun water fight with my kids. But what happens when that very useful hose springs a leak? Not only is it frustrating to use but it is a complete waste of water (not to mention that you get wetter than the person you intend to soak in a water fight.) It may be tempting to throw it out and buy a new one, but did you know it’s fairly simple to fix a leaky garden hose? It is! I have the solution for you in this tutorial on How to Fix a Leaky Hose!

Ready to save money and water? Great! Let’s get to it!

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

The first step is to cut off the leaky end of the hose using your heavy duty snips. Be sure to cut perpendicular to the hose.

Remove the two screws from the hose repair coupling clamp using your screwdriver.

Insert the threaded coupling piece into the cut end of your hose.

Have patience, this can be the hardest step. Push it down against a hard surface until the coupling is completely inserted into the hose.

Next, take the two parts of the clamp and put one piece behind the hose, as pictured. Hold it in place while you add the second clamp piece. Line up the screws with the holes on the back piece.

Tighten the screws. It may be easier to set it on a hard surface, as shown here.

Now connect your sprayer to the end and give it a test try!

Hooray! No more leaky hoses. Now where are those crazy boys of mine? Time to start a water fight on this hot summer day. ;-D

This was a simple fix to a frustrating problem and it only cost a few dollars. Definitely worth it! I hope you liked this tutorial and it comes in handy should you need it. Do you have a leaky hose you need to fix? Or have you repaired a leaky hose with this method?

If you liked this post, you’ll love:

How to Install Sprinkler System

How to Install a Sprinkler System

 

Tips to Create Knock Out Container Gardens | Pretty Handy Girl

Tips to Creating Knockout Container Gardens

DIY Sheet Metal Gift TraysDIY Sheet Metal Gift Trays

The holidays are fast approaching and it’s time to start thinking about gift giving ideas! Gift trays are a great way deliver gifts to your friends, neighbors or teachers. The best part of a gift tray is it can be reused for anything they want and nothing goes to waste! Follow along with this tutorial to see how to make these DIY Sheet Metal Gift Trays.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Materials: Sheet Metal Gift Tray

  • 1/2″ or 3/4″ Plywood scrap wood
  • 2″ pieces of lathe or scrap moulding
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B000W49NPC’ text=’Sheet metal scrap’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4f103892-cbe2-11e7-a00c-3fda84932599′] (large enough to cover plywood base)
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B00009OYFY’ text=’Sheet metal snips’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’56db011a-cbe2-11e7-88c9-230adf5bdb2c’]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B000S7ZSTS’ text=’Construction adhesive’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’65c9549d-cbe2-11e7-8619-39ed35fc6585′]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B000DZF2Q4′ text=’Caulk gun’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’6d3fe28c-cbe2-11e7-bb25-e144f3be5a89′]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B00125NQBC’ text=’Sandpaper’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7f0ff979-cbe2-11e7-b34f-fb2f071c5869′]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B001JYVDSE’ text=’Steel wool’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8e654c5e-cbe2-11e7-b495-0ffc93a9294c’]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B01I7DNOYA’ text=’Gloves’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b09e21ba-cbe2-11e7-91af-d908a698cd02′]
  • Drill
  • Pencil or Marker
  • 4 – [amazon_textlink asin=’B01N6NID4X’ text=’L brackets’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’de9d5670-cbe2-11e7-84b2-2f143e838863′] and 1/2″ wood screws
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B001PNH8D8′ text=’Brad nails ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’0337c2d4-cbe3-11e7-b1d7-3dfa06c67bf1′]Nail gun

Instructions:

Cut your piece of plywood to the desired size for the tray base. Lay the plywood base on top of the sheet metal and trace with a permanent marker. Use tin snips to cut the metal to size.

1. Cut base and mark sheet metal size.

Put on your safety gloves and use the sanding block to remove some of the shine from the sheet metal. Smooth over any sharp edges.

2. Sand Sheet metal edges and base.

Rub the steel wool over the entire sheet metal piece to give it a soft polished finish.

4. Use steel wool to dull sheet metal surface.

Load a tube of construction adhesive into your caulk gun. Apply a fair amount of adhesive to the plywood. Glue the sheet metal to the top of the plywood.

5. Add Construction Adhesive to wood base

Press the sheet metal down evenly on top of the adhesive. Wipe off any excess if needed with a paper towel.

6. Press sheet metal on top of wood base.

Cut the 2″ pieces of lathe or scrap moulding to the length of the two shorter sides. Next, measure and cut two pieces of lathe for the long ends. (Be sure to allow extra length to overlap the short pieces of lathe/moulding.  Use the construction adhesive and brads to secure the lathe to the sides of the plywood. Clamp the sides until the adhesive cures.

8. Clamp sides while glue cures.

Once the adhesive is cured, remove your clamps. Attach the L brackets on the lower half of each corner using 1/2″ wood screws. The L brackets will reinforce the sides and add an industrial look.

9. Add corner brackets for extra support and decoration.

There you have it! These DIY Sheet Metal Gift Trays are easy to make, look great, and are an extra special and environmentally-friendly way to give gifts!

10. Add gifts and deliver!

I hope you love this project. Do you have other ideas for quick gift giving? Please share!

Want some more gift giving inspiration?

DIY Scrap Moulding Trays

scrap-moulding-trays

Make a Driftwood Gift Crate

Make a Driftwood Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Repair a Dishwasher: Control Panel

The holidays are here and your kitchen will surely be getting a work out! Now is NOT the time for your dishwasher to break. Recently we found ourselves with a non-functional dishwasher. The control panel buttons stopped working and nothing I did would start it working again. You may recall that I fixed our grill igniter a few months ago by ordering the parts from Sears Parts Direct. As smoothly as that repair went, I knew exactly where to turn to order parts for our dishwasher. Once again I’ve partnered with Sears Parts Direct to bring you this tutorial for Repairing Your Dishwasher – Replacing the Control Panel.

How to Repair a Dishwasher - Control Panel Replacement

Before we start, let’s talk real quick about how much you think it would cost to hire a repairman to come fix your dishwasher. If the average appliance repair person charges $75 per hour, the initial diagnosis visit fee would be $75. When the repair person diagnoses the issue as the control panel, he or she will have to order the part and come back a second time. Automatically you are in for $150 for the two visits. Now, factor in the cost of the part ($125 – $200 depending on any mark up that may be added.) In the end you are looking at repair costs in the range of $300 or more.

At this point many homeowners will make the decision to buy a new dishwasher instead of paying $300. But, what if I told you that you can repair your own dishwasher for only the cost of the part?  You are probably excited to hear that, and are ready to get fixin’.

Diagnosing the Problem:

To diagnose the problem, visit the Sears Parts Direct Repair Center and answer a few questions about your dishwasher problems. You can also view these 5 Easy Dishwasher repairs to see if the symptoms match your problem. You may end up with a few suggested fixes, but hopefully you can narrow down the issue with some logic. For our dishwasher, I knew it was likely a control panel problem since the buttons had been acting up a few weeks before it stopped working all together.

To order the part for your dishwasher, locate the model number. (Hint: It’s usually located inside the door.) If you have any problems locating the model number, Sears Parts Direct has some recommendations. Write down the model number and head over to Sears Parts Direct to order your part.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

After entering the model number, you’ll get a list of parts for your dishwasher. Locate the control panel and order it. The panel will usually arrive in a week. Hopefully you can suffer through hand washing dishes for a few days. (Don’t complain too much, I suffered through it for 4 months when we were without a kitchen.)

How to Replace Your Dishwasher Control Panel:

Preparation: Hooray, you have the part in hand. Now send the spouse away with the kids and tell them you need complete concentration for 2 hours while you repair your dishwasher! (Truth: It’s going to take you less than 10 minutes! So enjoy the rest of your hour and 50 minutes by binge watching Grace & Frankie on Netflix.)

Materials:

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Instructions:

Always start by turning off the circuit breaker for your dishwasher.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Open your dishwasher and locate the torx screws securing the door panel.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Remove the screws using a torx head screwdriver. Place the screws in a cup or bowl to prevent from losing them. (Yes, I started a timer to show you how long this repair will actually take.)

How to Repair a Dishwasher

For simplicity, you may be able to remove only the control panel and set it on a stool while keeping all the parts wired.

Remove the door latch wiring by lifting it off one side at a time.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Use a flathead screwdriver to gently release the electronic control board.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Lift the control board off the control panel.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Gently disconnect the control board from the control panel by sliding off the ribbon wiring.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

You might need to wiggle it back and forth a few time to release.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Check for any other parts that need to be removed from the control panel (like the handle) and remove them.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Set the new control panel in place of the old panel on the stool.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Work in the reverse order of the parts removed. Add the handle onto the new control panel.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Attach the ribbon wiring from the new control panel to the electronic control board.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Press the control board into place in the new control panel.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Reset the door latch wiring in place.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Set the new control panel onto the door.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Drive the torx screws in place to secure the new control panel. And, BADABOOM, you are done! Let’s check that timer please: 8 minutes and 37 seconds!

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Go ahead and turn the power back on for your dishwasher.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Check the buttons to see if it works. YES! We have a working dishwasher again.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Didn’t that take a lot less time than you originally thought? Plus you are richer because you didn’t have to pay a repair person or replace your dishwasher! What are you going to do with that money you saved? Why not go ahead and buy yourself that present you really want.

Now that your dishwasher is working, did you know there is a right way to load your dishwasher? Or that there are items you should NEVER wash in your dishwasher?

If you haven’t already, you really need to check out SearsPartsDirect.com to find that part to fix all your broken appliances and more! Follow Sears Parts Direct on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube to see a variety of repair articles and videos.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

I’m ready for the holiday baking rush now that our dishwasher is working, how about you? I’m also feeling relieved knowing that when my Mom visits for Christmas, she won’t feel guilty about our broken dishwasher and try to wash all our dishes by hand. Moms will always be moms, won’t they?!

Have a Happy Holiday y’all! I’m off to clean the baseboards around our dishwasher. I’m so embarrassed to see dirt and dog hair in that photo above. Ack!

Save your friends $$$ on dishwasher repairs by pinning this image:

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Sears Parts Direct. I was not told what to write. All opinions are my own. I was compensated for my time and efforts to create this tutorial. I am very particular about the brands I represent. Because I value your trust, you will always be notified when you are reading a sponsored post on PrettyHandyGirl.com.

Installing Cabinet Handles the Easy Way | Pretty Handy Girl

After installing my fair share of cabinet knobs and handles over the years, I’ve made my own templates out of cardboard or scrap wood. But, after trying this new gadget, I can honestly say this is how you too can Install Cabinet Handles the Easy Way.

I was given the Kreg Cabinet Hardware Jig (affiliate link) to test last year, but I never opened it until now. I’m so glad I finally tried this puppy out. Just so you know, Kreg may have given me the jig, but I was not paid to write about it. I’m sharing this with you because I really liked this tool.

When you use this jig, not only will you install cabinet knobs and pulls easily, but each handle will be perfectly lined up with the others guaranteed!

2 Ways to Fix a Knob Screw that's Too Long | Pretty Handy Girl

If you have knobless cabinets in your home, now is the time to update them immediately. Grab a few things and meet me back here in a minute.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Assembling the Kreg Cabinet Hardware Jig:

Remove the pieces from the packaging.

Add the non-slip pads to the edge guide. (Locate the indented circles and place pads here.)

Feed the hex head bolts into the edge guide and insert into slots on the jig.

Thread the knobs onto the front side of the Kreg Cabinet Hardware Jig.

Insert the drill guides into the slots on either side of the center hole window as shown below. Line up the drill guides with your handle posts. If you only have one post knobs to install, insert it in the center hole.

Flip the jig over and secure the drill guides with the provided nuts.

Now you’re ready to Install Cabinet Hardware the Easy Way.

Instructions:

Line up the drill guides with your handle posts making sure the numbers match on both sides. (Or insert the drill guide in the center hole for single post knobs.)

Hold your handle up to the location you wish to install it. Secure a strip of painter’s tape to the cabinet door in the same location.

Mark the center of the handle on painter’s tape on your cabinet drawer (or door.)

Line up your jig over the center line.

Set the edge guide to the desired depth from the top of the drawer. Clamp the jig in place. Feed a 3/16″ drill bit into your drill and drill through the two drill guides.

If your pulls are thicker than 3/16″, measure the depth of the pull posts and transfer that measurement onto a larger bit. Mark that depth with a painter’s tape “flag”.

Drill to the painter’s tape flag for an exact depth.

This jig works the same for cabinet doors with a single knob. The difference being you will line up the edge guide on the side of the cabinet door and only one hole is drilled.

After your hole is drilled, remove the painter’s tape from your cabinet. You should have a nice clean hole with no splinters.

Secure your knob or pull to the door and admire your handy work.

If you run into a situation where the screw is too long, I have two ways to deal with that long screw.

Disclosure: This is a product review. I was given a complimentary Kreg Hardware Jig to try. I was not paid to mention Kreg or told what to say. I will always let you know if you are reading a sponsored post or product review.

How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you have a wobbly chair or table? Don’t throw it away because today I’ll show you How to Fix that Wobbly Chair or Table!

How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

You’ll only need a few supplies for this project and it won’t take you very long, so let’s get fixing!

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

Optional:

Instructions:

Take apart your chair or table. Twist the legs to break any remaining glue.

How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

As you remove each piece, label where it came from (i.e. BR = Back Right, FR = Front Right, etc.)

How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

Continue until all the legs and cross pieces have been removed.

How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

Use a small chisel to chip out any old glue.

How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

Use the Dremel to clean out all the holes and smooth the surface. (It’s important to expose the raw wood before re-gluing.)

How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

Sand the ends of the legs to remove any additional glue.

How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

If you don’t have a Dremel, you can use sand paper.

How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

Wipe off any sanding dust. Add a generous amount of glue to all the holes. (You eagle eye, you! Yes, I painted the table before putting it back together. But, it’s the same table, honest!)

How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

Press the legs and supports back into place.

How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

You might need to gently tap any stubborn pieces in with a hammer.

How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

Wipe off any excess glue.

How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

Make sure all the legs are perfectly plumb and all the pieces are where you want them. Use rope to “clamp” the table and hold it in place while the glue dries.

How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

After the glue dries test to make sure it is sturdy. If there is any movement, you can drive screws into the joints to help secure the legs better. Position the screws underneath or on the inside so they won’t be as visible.

Enjoy your sturdy chair and/or table! It wasn’t that hard to fix that wobbly chair or table was it?

How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

That’s what I thought! Enjoy.

How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

Be sure to pin this post. All wobbly chairs and tables deserve a second chance!

How to Fix a Wobbly Chair or Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

Like this tutorial? You’ll get a kick out of how I saved this broken chair that was rescued from the trash:

Rescued Trash Chair

Have a great weekend.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

If you googled “Sad Excuse for a Gate”, this is the image that would pop up:

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Rotted, sagging and falling apart are all words you could use to describe it.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

One of the main reasons this gate is in poor shape is because it wasn’t built rock solid! Building a rock solid gate requires a 2″x4″ frame, not these measly 2″x2″ pieces. The wire can only help so much with sag. This gate just wasn’t built to last.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Want to learn How to Build a Rock Solid Gate?

Let’s get building!

Materials:
(contains affiliate links)

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Homax Easy Gate Kit
  • 2″x4″ board(s)
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • String
  • Shims
  • Drill
  • Saw

Instructions:

I’ve built several gates, but the Homax Easy Gate is the easiest way to build a Rock Solid Gate (NOT paid to say this!) The frame is custom sized to your gate by the length of the 2″x4″ boards. The hinges are integrated into the frame, making this one of the quickest and strongest gate kits I’ve ever built.

Start by removing your old gate. If the pickets are in good shape, save them for use on the new gate.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure the width of your opening.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Subtract 1.5″ from the width and cut two 2″x4″ boards to this dimension.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure the height of your adjacent fence posts.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Subtract a few inches from the height measurement to allow the gate kit hinge to secure to the post. (And to keep the bottom 2″x4″ a few inches above the ground to keep it from rotting.) Cut the two 2″x4″ boards to this measurement.

Insert your cut boards into the gate kit. You may need the hammer to force some stubborn studs into place. Read more

11 Ways to Keep Your Home Warmer This Winter | Pretty Handy Girl

That bugger, Old Man Winter is peeking around the corner. He’s ready to put the chill in your bones and push drafts through every little crack in your home. But, you can be ready for him with these 11 Ways to Keep Your Home Warmer this Winter. Is your home truly as energy efficient and secure from drafts as you think it is? Here are 11 Ways to Keep Your Home Warmer this Winter! And, not one of them involves raising the thermostat! Click on the links to be taken to a more detailed tutorial.

Adding Foam Weatherstripping | Pretty Handy Girl

Weatherstrip Your Doors and Windows

 


Protect Spigot from Frozen Burst Pipes | Pretty Handy Girl
Protect Your Spigots

 


Make Sure Your Heat Pump is Working at Full Capacity Read more

Protect Water Pipes from Freezing | Pretty Handy Girl

In the same vein as Monday’s post about adding insulation, let’s continue preparing for winter. While you are under the house looking at insulation, take notice of your water pipes. Are they insulated too? If not, it’s important to protect your water pipes with foam insulation to prevent them from freezing.  Here in North Carolina, we’ve been experiencing more winters with temperatures dipping below freezing and sometimes in the single digits.

Having a water pipe freeze and burst is not a disaster I wish to experience. Water leaks, mold, termite damage and asbestos are plenty of experiences for one handy girl. Given my experience with water leaks, I will do everything I can to prevent future leaks (including installing water leak detectors.)

Ready to learn How to Protect Water Pipes from Freezing? This is one of the easiest tutorials I’ve written. Honest.

Materials:
(contains affiliate links)

Protect Water Pipes from Freezing | Pretty Handy Girl

Instructions:

If you are venturing into the crawlspace, protect your knees. As a brand ambassador for Duluth Trading Company, I was overjoyed to try these Duluth Trading Company cargo pants with knee pad sleeves. They are now my favorite work pants and I wear them with the inserted knee pads anytime I have to go under the house.

Protect Water Pipes from Freezing | Pretty Handy Girl

Locate any unprotected water pipes (look for copper, white, red, blue or gray pipes about 3/4 – 1 inch in diameter).

Protect Water Pipes from Freezing | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure the length of the exposed pipe. Read more