Fixing a Pocket Door

The pocket door is such a great concept. It saves a lot of space by not having to swing into the room. The door rides on an overhead track and wheel system.

Over time with regular use, the track and wheel truck can become worn or loose and be in need of repair or replacement. This will cause the door to  not operate properly or fall off its track.

Parts for most systems are still available. If you can’t find the parts you need you may have to replace the entire track system.

The age and the manufacturer of the pocket door unit  will be factors on how easy it will be to repair.


Most pocket door systems work in similar fashion, with a wheel setup that slips into the track and then clips onto the top of the door. The wheel system will have adjusting bolts to raise and lower the door and set the door so it hangs plumb with the door jamb.

How the door is trimmed out will determine how much trim you need to remove to get at the adjusting bolt and release or latch the door into place.

On the Next Page is a great video to guide you through repairing your pocket door.


Decide if Repairs Are Worth It

Decide if Repairs are Worth it

When you decide to sell your home, you need to ask yourself if certain repairs that need to be done around the house, that you just haven’t gotten to, are worth doing or having someone come in and do them.

Some buyers would pay more for a house that they can just move into and not have to do any repairs, while others would rather pay a little less and do some fixing.

It partly depends on if you want to sell fast or want the most you can get for it.

Here are some of the things for you to take into consideration when deciding if you should make those repairs.

Is it one of the first things potential buyers will see? First impressions are key, and that is never more true than in the real estate business! If you have a repair you are unsure about tackling, use this as a litmus test: Is it something the buyer will see as he or she approaches your house and walks through the front door? If so, fix it.

Does the faulty item give the impression the property has not been well cared for? Leaky faucets, cracked tiles, an overgrown lawn, broken appliances or anything else that doesn’t work as it should can immediately turn off buyers. At an open house, people often zip through quite quickly, and if they notice one or two things that send up red flags, they may not give your home another chance.

Can you find a less expensive fix? Let’s say you scoped out the comparable homes on the market in your neighborhood, and they all have updated kitchens, but yours hasn’t been touched since the ’80s. Rather than spend big on a full kitchen remodel, why not give your kitchen a less costly refresh? For instance, you could paint the cabinets, swap out cabinet hardware, change the light fixtures and upgrade the appliances to something current and functional but not top-of-the-line. You will put some money into it but not nearly as much as with a full remodel — well worth it if it gets your home in the running in a competitive market.

Great tips from  a Houzz Contributor.
Most small projects that will make that first impression are well worth the time and money to get them repaired.



Installing a Ceiling Fan!


Ceiling fans are a great addition to any home. They will move the air around keeping the room at a more constant temperature, thereby keeping you more comfortable and your heating or cooling equipment working more efficiently.

Installing a ceiling fan is fairly simple but there are a few point you need to be aware of. Making sure that the connection box that is presently in the ceiling is rated for a ceiling fan, otherwise you will need to replace it with a properly rated box that can be picked up at most hardware stores. There are a few different types of boxes available, made for different types of applications.

Here is a great video with instruction on installing your ceiling fan.


Needing a New Roof?

If your home is needing a new roof soon, whether you are considering doing it yourself of hiring a contractor there are a few common mistakes that you really should make sure are avoided because these are where most roof issues come from. It is good to educate yourself with these issues even if you hire someone else so you can prevent problem down the road. If you are planning to replace your own roof pay close attention to these things so you come away with a great project that will last for many years.

I came across this wonderful video by that explains the 5 most common roofing mistakes.

Always remember safety first when working around your home.


Sliding Door Repair

Over time, all things will wear to the point they need to be repaired or replaced. Sliding Doors are no different. When they are new, they roll along their tracks with the push of one finger. As they wear, they get harder and harder to open and close to the point you think, I need to replace that door. But with just a little knowledge and a few tools you can get them back working like new.

Sliding door repair can be an ongoing project when you own a home. While there may be some times when you wish to pay a professional to perform this work, there are also tasks you can take care of yourself to keep the entryway operating smoothly.


Over time and with use, it’s typical for this entryway to accumulate debris and dirt. When this occurs, you may notice sticking as you try to move the glass along the track. Use a stiff brush to loosen and remove caked dirt out of the tracks. After removing the dirt, wash the tracks with soap and water to clean them.sliding door

Adjust Screws to Fix Sticking

Sticking mechanisms can be frustrating. Examine the bottom of the unit along the face or the edge to find two screws. The screws may sit beneath trim caps. If this is the case, pry off the trim caps to reveal the screws. Tightening and loosening these screws will adjust the height on the track. Look at the height of the door to ensure that it looks even. If one side looks higher or lower than the other, turn the corresponding screw to either raise or lower that side of the door. If the entire mechanism is sticking, tighten both screws one-quarter turn to lift the entire unit. Glide the glass back and forth to see if it moves more freely.

Examine Rollers

Continued issues with sticking could indicate a problem with the rollers. To examine the rollers, remove the door completely. You may need help maneuvering the glass after removing it because it will be heavy. Remove the stop molding from the inside of the jamb by unfastening the screws. After removing the stop molding, pull out the glass carefully by tilting it back and lifting it out. Check the rollers to see if they are dirty. If you see dirt and debris, clean out the rollers. Check the rollers for mobility. If they are not moving freely, spray a lubricant on them to loosen them. Check them again to see whether the cleaning and lubrication resolved the problem. If they still do not work correctly, consider replacing them.

Replacing the Screen Portion

Replacing the screen door is a common sliding door repair. The screen portion of the unit often comes out of adjustment with use. People tend to exert too much force with the screen, which can result in broken wheels or a bent frame. When it’s time for a replacement, consider purchasing a replacement made from extruded aluminum, which will provide more strength and rigidity. You will need basic tools for this project. Have some silicone lubricant on hand to lubricate the tracks after you install the new unit.

Do-it-yourself sliding door repair can help you save money by extending the life of your entryway. Often, basic maintenance with regular cleaning will also be effective for keeping the mechanisms rolling freely on their tracks. When you can no longer perform repairs, you may need to replace your door.”

Article Source:

There you have the basics of repairing a sliding door, I hope you found this article helpful. Check out our other articles while doing your home repairs.

Is Your Toilet Backing Up?

Is your toilet backing up? Before you grab your phone to call a plumber, here are a few things you can do easily to save yourself a lot of money. They are relatively easy steps and do not require a bunch of expensive tools. But be prepared to possibly get wet or messy.

How To Unclog a Toilet

If water is threatening to overflow the bowl, you can lift off the tank lid and reach in and push the flapper down into the closed position. This will stop most of the flow of water into the bowl. However, some will still run down the sides of the bowl as the tank refills. You can stop this by pulling up on the float and closing the fill valve. You can also reach behind the toilet and turn off the valve that comes out of the wall or floor, to turn water supply to the toilet.

When water overflows the bowl it means there is something blocking the toilet or drain. There are a couple of clues to help you find whether the clog is local to the toilet, the bathroom or may be a house wide problem. In most cases, if the bathroom sink does not back up, then the blockage is in the toilet or very close to it. If the sink (or some other bathroom drain) is backing up, then the clog is farther along in the drain line. If drains elsewhere in the house are backing up, then the problem is likely to be somewhere in the sewer line. This article focuses on clearing those clogs that are in or near the toilet. Clogs farther along the drain or sewer lines will require different equipment and have to be accessed through a clean-out or by removing the toilet from the floor.

Caution: Please read our safety information before attempting any testing, maintenance or repairs.

If the clog might be an object dropped into the toilet, such as a toy or a washcloth, then it is best to try and retrieve it rather than force it threw the pipes. Other clogs resulting from normal flushed waste can be cleared with the use of a toilet plunger or closet auger.

Start With a Plunger to Unclog a Toilet

We recommend a plunger with a flange, rather than the old fashioned cup style. The flange fits into the opening at the bottom of the bowl and exerts more pressure than the old style plunger.

  • If the bowl is full, put on some gloves and bail out water until the bowl is only half full.
  • If the bowl is empty, add water to fill it to half full.
  • In order to avoid the possibility of splash back, drape a large towel over the bowl and under the toilet seat.
  • Place the plunger in the bowl and completely cover the drain opening.
  • With the plunger completely under water, press and pull it rapidly for 15-20 seconds.
  • If the water drains out of the bowl, add some more water and plunge again.
  • If the water seems to be properly draining, go ahead and try flushing the toilet.

Next, Try a Closet Auger

If the water still is not draining out of the bowl as it should, then use a closet auger. A closet auger is a drain clearing tool designed specifically for use with a toilet. Typically it has a sharp spiral of wire on the tip and a semi-rigid wire that can flex through the bends in the toilet bowl. It also has a guide tube and an offset hand crank, to turn the spiral tip and clear the obstruction. Do not use other types of drain snakes with a toilet as they can damage the toilet.

  • Insert the guide tube with the curve facing the direction of the drain. Some bowls drain to the front and some drain to the rear.
  • Crank the auger in one direction until is becomes tight then crank in the other direction. Repeat this until the auger is in as far as it will go.
  • Crank the auger to clear the obstruction.
  • Pull the guide tube out of the toilet. If it gets stuck push and pull gently or turn a crank back and forth while gently pulling up. Do not force the auger or you may break the toilet bowl.
  • Repeat the process using the plunger.
  • If the water seems to be properly draining, go ahead and try flushing the toilet.

Great advice from

We hope this helps get you out of a potential disaster, for more on sewer issues see our other articles.

Preparing Walls for Painting

Wall Prep

Preparing walls for painting is a rather important step in the process of making your home to look fantastic. Most people would think, Hey just put some paint on the walls and we will be done! Actually, prepping your walls properly first will make your paint job a whole lot  better and last 5 times longer.

A proper prepping job actually takes longer than the painting itself. But if you want a great looking room, roll up your sleeves and lets get started.

Begin by removing as much furniture as possible from the room. Use drop cloths to cover the floor and any remaining furniture. While plastic is ideal for furniture, canvas drop cloths absorb paint, are not slippery, will not move, and can be reused.

Next, remove any pictures, mirrors, window treatments, and electrical/light switch plates. Loosen the ceiling plates of hanging light fixtures and cover the fixtures.

Washing the Walls

Because surface dirt can cause poor adhesion, use a light detergent to wash surfaces that are soiled, that are touched often, or that may have any oily residue from cooking. Take care not to leave any residue from the detergent.

Wash doors and trim, particularly where they are handled. After they are clean, wipe surfaces with a damp cloth and allow them to dry before painting.

Removing Pen, Crayon, and Water Stains

To prepare a wall for painting, use a liquid detergent to remove as much of the markings left by pens, crayons, and water stains as possible, and wipe with a clean wet cloth. For any remaining marks, spot prime the affected areas with Moore’s® QD 30® or Fresh Start® to prevent “bleeding” through the finish coat.

Dull Glossy Areas

To ensure proper adhesion, sand glossy surfaces with fine sandpaper. Be sure to remove sanding dust. Vacuum surfaces clean and wipe with a tack cloth.


Examine floor, wall, and ceiling surfaces for nail holes, cracks, or any other surface imperfections. Use a putty knife to rake out any large plaster cracks or loose particles in your walls and ceilings.

Firmly press spackling compound into crevices with a putty knife and smooth until the compound is flush with the surface.

To fill mitered trim joinings (which are open) and door or window trim that is separated from your wall, press the compound into the crevices, and smooth it with your finger. Allow it to dry and then sand lightly.

Because patching compound shrinks when it dries, it is often necessary to apply the compound a second time after the first coat has dried.

See our article on repairing drywall:

When preparing your walls for painting by performing spackling work of this kind, we recommend Moorlastic® Lightweight Compound and Moorlastic Vinyl Spackling Paste.

Removing Loose Paint

Use a putty knife to remove any loose or scaling paint. When you remove paint from walls or ceilings, sand paint edges to ensure a smooth surface. This will marry the two levels of paint so the edges will not be noticed when it is re–coated.

Thanks to

Now that you have properly prepped your room it is time to break out the paint and equipment and get painting.

Don’t forget drop cloths and tape to keep paint off of the places you don’t want it.

Does Your Bathroom Faucet Need Replacing?

Saving money on your utilities is always a good deal! Doing your own Home Repairs can potentially save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Just by repairing a leaky faucet that only drips slightly can be a major savings. If that faucet is not repaired it can also cause major damage to your siding or foundation, and even undermine your home, causing major costly repairs.

Some times a faucet will just need a new washer or flow cartridge. Sometimes you will need to replace the entire fixture!

A typical bathroom or kitchen faucet replacement will take an hour or so.

Step 1

Identify the Type of Faucet You Already Have

There are three main faucet types available today: single hole, 4” triple hole, and 8” triple hole. In the single-hole faucet, the center control typically not only serves as the spout but the mixing valve as well. In the triple-holes faucets, the center device is usually just the spout with the mixing valves 4” or 8” from the center on each side respectively. Depending on your existing situation, the faucet may be installed to the countertop or the sink, so if you are replacing one or the other, you have the option to change faucet type. If not, purchase a new faucet to match the type you already have. The one exception would be that single-hole faucets can typically be used in a 4” triple-hole sink or countertop if they come with a blank base plate to cover the additional holes. One added benefit of separate mixing valves is that most manufacturers use one valve with many different trims. This will let you change the style in future with less waste and work. In our case, there was a 4” three-hole faucet installed to an integral sink cultured-marble top. Because we were also replacing the countertop and sink, we decided to go to a widespread 8” triple-hole faucet to match the new larger sink.

Step 2

Assemble the Parts

Once you have the new faucet picked out, assemble all the parts you need, and double check so you can complete this at one time and without multiple trips to the hardware store. Be sure to specifically check the fittings on the end of the faucet versus your existing water line extensions. Since it is an opportune time to replace the flexible lines, choose a set with an auto leak shut off. A small valve in the base of the line detects excess water flow and shuts off preventing further damage and flooding. If you are also replacing the sink drain, be sure to specifically check your P-trap setup in case any new o-rings or extensions are needed.

Step 3

Remove the Old Faucet

Start by shutting off the wall valves and turning on the faucet to drain down residual pressure. With a bucket handy, use an adjustable wrench to loosen and remove the flexible extension from the faucet. Drain the remaining water into the bucket. Next, remove the flexible line from the shutoff valve.

Step 4

Remove Hardware

Under the sink, there are typically nuts and washers securing the faucet. Remove any hardware in this area including the clamp bolt from the drain rod extension. Lift the faucet out from the top. It may need some gentle persuasion from years of corrosion or a sticky base gasket.

Step 5

Install New Faucet

Faucets can vary greatly among manufacturers, so consult your installation manual. The steps seen here will be generally applicable but might need modification for your particular setup. I find it helpful to mock assemble the part first to better visual what you will likely be feeling and not seeing when laying in a dark cabinet. Generally, from the top down there will be the spout, a gasket or plumber’s putty, the sink or countertop, a large washer or saddle, and a mounting nut. In this case plumber’s putty is called for instead of a gasket. If you’ve never worked with plumber’s putty before, imagine gray modeling clay. To use, take a small bit in the palm of your hand, and roll it back and forth until you form a 1/4” diameter rope. This putty is applied around the new spout base to prevent water splash from running into the cabinet. Install the center spout, and tighten the mounting nut from below with an adjustable wrench.

Step 6

Assemble Mixing Valves

If you are using a single-hole faucet, you will skip the next steps. Assemble the hot and cold mixing valves. In this case, a large nut and washer tightens the valve from below while a large washer and C-clip holds the valve at the top. Apply plumber’s putty to the sculpted bottom side of the top washer. Install the C-clip, and tighten the nut from below. Just as a reminder, the hot and cold valves are left and right respectively.

Step 7

Thread the Trim

For this faucet, the top trims are installed by threading onto the mixing valve. Make sure the handle is oriented parallel to the wall in the OFF position prior to threading the trim. Next, hook up the water lines from below. Luckily, this faucet features easy snap-end fittings. If yours uses threaded NPT fittings, be sure to use plumber’s tape on any connections not utilizing a rubber or gasket seal. Install the new water line extensions to the shut off and mixing valves.

Step 8

Reinstall Drain Rod

Finally, reinstall the drain rod to the extension, and tighten the clamp bolt. Double check all your fittings, and slowly turn ON the shut off valves one at a time. Look for leaks, and if all is well, test and flush the new faucet for two minutes.

Step 9

You’re Done!

While faucets tend to last a long time, they don’t always age well in the design department. Replacing your bathroom faucets can be a quick and rewarding project. Plus, if you choose ones with separate mixing valves and trims, you can more easily update the faucet in the future with less work and waste.

Thanks to Dylan Eastman for sharing this info. See the whole article at

When Doing your own Home Repairs, it is always best to take some to to be prepared. Whether  it is just a washer replacement or the whole faucet, read the instructions and make sure you have all the tools you need to complete the project before you start.

Repairing Drywall before you begin to Paint!

drywall repair

Now that you have decided to change the color of your living room to make your home a nicer place to live, you relize there is some prep work that needs to be done.

Things like, repairing drywall of all the bumps and holes that have appeared over the years from moving furniture, to the kids playing, to parties, or what have you. However they have appeared it is time to fix them.

Here you can learn some of the best ways to repair your drywall so your paint job comes out looking awesome.

“Repairing and patching drywall is pretty easy to do. The most challenging part is getting a good finish so that you can’t see where the drywall repair was made. The procedure to patch drywall holes, cracks, gouges and other damage varies by the type of damage and the size of the affected area. Essentially there are two types of drywall repairs; repairs involving installation of a new piece of drywall to make a patch and repairs that mend the surface of existing drywall, like with cracks and gouges. For very large repairs the steps may be the same as hanging new drywall.          

taping-knife-mdDents and gouges are easily repaired using joint compound or other patching material. Small gouges can usually be repaired without the use of reinforcing mesh tape. Simply applying one or more coats of joint compound will fill and hide most damage.

For dents, simply apply patching compound with a putty knife to create a smooth, even patch. Allow the patch to dry. Because the material may shrink as it dries, additional applications may be necessary to completely hide the damage.

If you apply too much and fill in the surrounding texture, use a damp rag to wipe away the excess. You may wipe away the patch material too, but it is easy to just reapply another coat.

After the compound has dried for at least a couples hours, lightly sand it smooth. Wipe away any dust and apply another coat of joint compound if needed. After the joint compound has thoroughly dried, it can be sanded and painted.

Nail and other small nail holes are easily repaired using joint compound or other patching material. Some people even use toothpaste to fill nail holes (although we don’t recommend using the green mint gel type of toothpaste).

Small holes can usually be repaired without the use of reinforcing mesh tape. Simply applying one or more coats of joint compound will fill and hide most small holes.

For nail holes, simply get a small amount of patching compound on your fingertip and apply it to the hole. Because the material may shrink as it dries, additional applications may be necessary to completely hide the hole.

For holes half an inch or smaller, apply patching compound with a putty knife to create a smooth, even patch. Fill the hole with material and then smooth the surface with the putty knife. Allow the patch to dry.

After the compound has dried for at least a couples hours, lightly sand it smooth. Wipe away any dust and apply another coat of joint compound. Taper the compound at the edges to blend it with the surrounding surface. Allow this coat to dry and then sand.

Finally, apply a third coat of joint compound. With this coat, it will be necessary to blend it with the surrounding decorative texture. There are many different textures, so we can’t list all of them here. However, matching a texture can sometimes be done by dragging the compound around with a putty knife, dabbed with a moist sponge, or sprayed on with off the shelf products designed to retexture small patches.”

Thanks to: for a great article.

Repairing Drywall before you begin to Paint is a fairly important step if you want a great looking paint job. See other articles on what other prep work needs to be before painting!

Building Deck Stairs

Planning to build a deck or need to replace your existing deck stairs? With some simple measurements and the use of a stair calculator, you can figure out the needed rise of each step to make them uniform. Buying precut stair stringers can work if you just need a couple of steps and you have the correct height to the top of the deck so that each step is the same height. If you need more steps or different height than the precuts come in, you will need to make your own.

Here is a great video from on how to build stairs for your deck, or anywhere else you need stairs.