Cabinet repair from water damage

Cabinet repair caused by water damage is common as sinks and drains are the main source of water from inside a house. We were called to a condo building by the association to to do some drywall repair and cabinet repair. The situation was water damage. The issue was a burst waste line in the wall. The location was behind the kitchen sink of the ground level floor. The cabinet above the sink was removed as to make way to find the break in a multi unit drain line and add an access panel and valve behind the sink cabinet wall for future access and cleaning. what we found was needed is cabinet repair from water damage

cabinet repair water damage

Water Damage

A big project gets bigger.

We came in to patch the wall with some drywall repair and Mount cabinet above, which was the easy part.

When we begin to investigate we found the project was much bigger. water damage to the cabinet and wall behind the cabinet showed signs of mold. This condo association has used us for several handyman projects, so when we told them what was needed they approved the cabinet repair from water damage work immediately

Drywall Repair

We cut away all moldy and damaged drywall and secured new sheets with hot mud and then a mold resistant primer. The damage to the base of the cabinets was severe and warped as well as the back and drywall behind. Initially the solution was to cut out the base and back of the cabinet, replace the drywall behind the cabinet. Then to replace the drywall and build a new base and back for the cabinet..

Cabinet repair

chicago handyman drywall repair

We went with a Slightly thicker 3/4″ cabinet finish plywood. Since the floor was warped we built a base frame out of 2×4 and 2×6 sanding out notches for it to sit level over the small area of damaged wood. The drywall was all removed, cleaned, and aired out before new sheets were added and then mudded up and primed with a mold killing primer just to be safe. Previously holes were left which rank air could be felt and smelt blowing in, which were cleaned and properly sealed of with great stuff expanding foam and drywall mud. It was very tricky getting everything to level out and line up and patient was the key to the base frame. After that it was smooth sailing cutting out our premeasured dimensions to replicate the previous 2. One at 2 feet at 3 feet width.

We were delicately able to not break the granite countertop pulling back and filling the seam with black epoxy kit for granite. And a silicone adhesive to affix it and the previous backsplash. The sink was being held by 2x4s before so we added undermount sink clips and reattached the previous plumbing and dishwasher. Overall a solid repair to mitigate the damage done without having to fully replace all cabinets. when its time for kitchen cabinet repair from water damage , let us know.

chicago handyman cabinet repair

Custom Barn Door Installation

One of my favorite clients was updating her rental property in the west Pilsen neighborhood – close tot he Lagunitas brewery and the Cinsespace industrial park. She requested I make and install a barn door for her. This custom barn door fabrication project was one of my favorite pieces.

I used 2×6 pine so the door would be light weight. Using a claw hammer, an angle grinder and some wood stain, I weathered the boards and assembled them as pictured above.

I used a splotchy staining technique and 2 different colored stains to bring out some character in the wood. I found a basic sliding door hardware set up on amazon and the result was great.

If you are thinking about a custom barn door fabrication project, please let me know. I really enjoy hearing about custom project ideas.

Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing

We recently finished a kitchen cabinet refinishing project in Chicago’s thriving west Loop neighborhood. Our Client was selling the unit and wanted to update the aesthetic to facilitate quick sale.

The Process for kitchen Cabinet cabinet refinishing can take 2-4 weeks depending on the number of doors and drawer fronts. First we remove all door and drawer fronts – these will be refinished in our work shop.

When the doors have been refinished, We return to the home and paint the cabinet boxes in place. the process takes about 3 days. Special care is taken to mask off all areas surrounding the painted surfaces to protect the home.

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Preparing for a winter storm

With a record Low temperature approaching Chicago, It is a good Idea to prepare your home to increase comfort and reduce energy costs. the biggest culprit is Heat Loss – places your home is letting warm air escape, or cold exterior air enter. Here are a few key areas a home owner can address on their own.

  1. Doors – If you can see daylight, you have heat loss. Run your hand along the cracks of your Sliding doors and entry doors. I you can feel cold air – you have heat loss. Quick fix – Tape. Duct tape or packing tape will instantly reduce your heat loss and save on your electric bill.
  2. Windows – Be sure to close storm windows. According to, replacing single-pane windows with ENERGY STAR qualified storm windows can save you up to $465 a year on energy bills. Closing curtains and blinds will also create a barriere between you and the cold. Plastic on your windows is also a great way increase your comfort and reduce your energy bills
  3. Bath and Kitchen Exhaust fans – Most kitchen and bath exhaust fans vent to the exterior of your home. Exhaust fans can remove 30% of your homes heat in One hour according to some estimates. If your vent does not include a damper – your vent could be pulling heat out of your home even when it is not running.

Chicago Handyman can provide home energy audits if you are ready to increase the comfort of your home and decrease your energy consumption. Bundle up out there!

Why Go To The Bar When You Could Build Your Own?

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 12.18.17 AMGoing to the bar is expensive. Along with the $10 cover, it’s $20 for a couple of beers and the inevitable cab ride home. So why not pocket the $50 for a night out and instead pay less than $40 for an at-home bar to provide years of entertainment? By repurposing some old wood and purchasing only the building supplies, it is totally possible!

Besides the repurposed wood, these supplies are required:

  • Sheathing
  • Screws
  • Stain
  • Polytheurane
  • Saw

Start by framing the bar, using 16″ centers. Create the sides of the bar by attaching sheathing to the frame. Reddit user 7thsonwoodworking found those pieces at a gas station, but can also be found at a local building site or hardware store for free with just a couple “please and thank you”‘s.

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 12.18.40 AM

Use plywood for the surface of the bar and screw wooden boards to the surface for the 12″ overhang of the bar. These will also serve as the frame for the inlays. Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 12.19.01 AM

In order to create a chevron badocams look with the inlays on the surface, measure and cut each board so each side matches up to make the arrow shape. Do this until reaching the middle where both sides meet up. Get creative for this section, 7thsonwoodworking decided on a geometric pentagon shape, but any shape to fill the space will do. Similarly, the fronts and sides should also possess these designs. Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 12.19.18 AM

Stain the trim of the surface, front and sides until reaching the desired hue. Once stained, screw all the corners of the inlays in. This will be the longest step in the process. Attach the trim to the surface, sides and front. Finally add a layer of polytheurane to make the bar shiny, crisp and clean. Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 12.19.31 AM

For the advanced class, build some shelving behind the bar to keep all needed liquor and garnishes nearby. This finished look will have people wanting to party in a basement for the first time since high school.

Be nice, and no matter how tempting, don’t charge a cover. Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 12.19.47 AM