Make sure you have your handy friend on speed-dial.
Owning a home, or rental property, or even helping someone else with their home, is bound to require some flexibility and sometimes, an extra set of hands. Remember that regardless of the amount of experience you have with household repairs, not all jobs can be done properly by one person. Safety and longevity of the repair should always be considered before working on larger fixtures like doors and windows.
During my time at SWISCO, I’ve encountered a handful of projects that require a team effort. I hope by sharing my experiences, you’ll be better prepared to tackle these repairs and prove they’re far less daunting than you thought.
There is a handful of sliding door repairs that most homeowners can do without hiring professional help, but do require help from a friend or neighbor. Sliding door repairs aren’t inherently difficult, but considering most glass doors weigh more than an average-sized man, having an extra set of hands available is non-negotiable. To avoid hurting yourself, or breaking the glass, you’ll always need assistance to remove the door safely and complete the necessary repair. Some sliding glass door repairs that require an extra person include removing and replacing a roller assembly and any sort of track replacement.
As discouraging as it might be to think about removing something so large, leaving these repairs unattended to can result in even more damage to its hardware, like the handle breaking from dragging the heavy door across a dirty track and rusted wheels for a prolonged period.
Once the door is off, there are quite a few maintenance checks and repairs you can perform to avoid removing your door in the future. Be sure to check the condition of your track and clear any debris while it’s accessible. Lubricating the track could also help keep your door riding smoothly. It’s also wise to remove and test your rollers to see if you need replacements, or maybe just a new wheel.
Roller and axle kits can be useful if the roller housing is still in good condition, or if the roller itself has been discontinued.
Another job that might require an extra set of hands is repairing a non-tilt window. A window may seem like an easier feat than removing an entire door, but I’ve found that older windows tend to require more finesse and precision. The most common problem that I see is when do-it-yourselfers attempt to replace a spiral balance alone. Since the repair requires the sash to stay lifted, people will try to get creative and use something like a stick to keep the window propped open, which is bound to lead to injury. To easily avoid this, have a trusted friend or co-worker lend a helping hand. To assist with this project, our guide for adjusting a non-tilt spiral balance shows the installation process.
Note: Keep a lookout for a future non-tilt spiral balance installation video on our YouTube page.
This project will mostly be for business owners trying to do repairs in-house. If you fall into this category, make sure that a fellow co-worker is willing to stay a little late to help you tackle any necessary commercial door repairs. Similar to the reasons listed for recruiting help with sliding glass door repairs, commercial doors tend to be made of dense metal for increased security. Replacing something like a pivot, which involves removing the entire door, will require help for even the handiest business owners. You’ll notice in our replacement pivot video that even our well-seasoned hardware experts are working together to make sure the job goes by quickly and safely.
Casement windows are mounted by hinges on the top and bottom of the window frame, allowing it to open and close like a standard door. The fact that the hinges are the main pieces of hardware keeping the window attached to the house can make replacing them quite the endeavor. You may be noticing a trend here; repairs that involve moving or lifting a potentially heavy piece of hardware will require a bit of assistance. In this case, you’ll want someone around to keep a large window from falling out of your house in a similar fashion to a scene from National Lampoon’s Vacation! The fact that this type of window opens outward, leaves it dangling outside while you work on releasing one hinge at a time, as well as the operator that attaches to both the sash and window sill. If you have a heavier-than-average window or have an unlucky streak like Clark Griswold, the more help the better.!
If you have a home remodel or yearly maintenance on your mind, it may be time to call in a favor. Whether it be the friend who you helped move last month or a family member that you reminded about their upcoming anniversary, make sure to remind them that a little bit of manual labor is worth having you in their corner. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend that enjoys doing this kind of home improvement project without convincing, make sure they have a special place on speed dial!