GOOD

Do It Yourself: Fixing Carolyn's Window #30DaysofGOOD

Carolyn's window frame tore during a wind storm. DIY mastermind Mike Senese showed her how to fix it.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ_qHgMHFSI

Things are easier said than done, or so the old adage goes, and we couldn't agree more. That's why we do 30 Days of GOOD (#30DaysofGOOD), a monthly attempt to live better. Our challenge for July? Do It Yourself.


A few months back, Los Angeles woke up to the sight of hundreds of felled trees after a powerful late-night wind storm swept through the region. During the storm, GOOD staffer Carolyn's window frame tore from the wind pressure. It ripped out much like a door does when kicked open—the wood along the corner of the frame splintered apart where the window lock and catch connect. To keep her window from swinging open freely, she taped it closed with duct tape. A temporary fix, she said it didn't work great.

I gave her a quick tutorial on how to repair it. We used a fast and simple approach. I showed her how to move the latch a few inches up to a spot with solid wood that would hold tight. We marked the new location in pencil and double-checked its position before drilling some pilot holes for the screws—critical for not splintering the wood in the new location as well. Then we tightened everything up, and Carolyn's room was again safe from gusts of wind. Watch the video above for a look at how we tackled the problem.

Unfortunately, Carolyn lost the splinter of wood that broke off with the latch, so there is still an unsightly spot where the bare, cracked wood shows. If your door or window frame break, make sure to keep the broken piece. It can be glued back into place and painted to be almost unnoticeable. If you've already got a broken frame and you don't know where the splintered segment is, you can rebuild the edge with resin. It mixes up into a pasty consistency, then hardens into a plastic that can be sanded and painted like wood. There are some good tricks out there for getting the best results. These videos by Ron Hazelton do a great job showing a wood furniture edge repair that uses this same approach.

Read more of Mike Senese's DIY tips and projects at DO IT.

We're giving away $1000 for you to share your own DIY skills with others. Participate in our Host a GOOD Workshop challenge.

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