Almost every residence has a few built-in closets and we often want more of them! Whether in the kitchen, bedroom, or bathroom, they are generally used fairly constantly and therefore suffer from exactly the same wear and tear disorders that doors and windows suffer. Kitchen cabinets, in particular, break from constant opening and closing and contact with water and heat.
Built-in cabinets could be one of the most expensive things to call a merchant to build. There are some jobs the average DIYer can do around the house to troubleshoot and update the look of their embedded devices. Kitchen cabinet doors no longer align over time, cabinet doors tend to sag, especially those that are used all the time. About once a year I need to take a screwdriver to the cabinet door hinges and adjust them to keep the doors aligned.
Most doors are designed to be adjusted quickly and easily with nothing more than a screwdriver, as most kitchens built within the last 30 years have hidden adjustable hinges. These hinges typically have four adjustment screws, allowing you to make three main adjustments:
Side – Adjusting the front set screw (or setscrew) allows the door to move from side to side.
Depth: loosening the rear screw allows the door to be moved in or out.
Vertical: the two upper and lower screws allow the door to be adjusted up or down.
You will have to experiment with readjustment to achieve the ideal alignment, but you will soon get the hang of it. It is worth noting that most of these types of hinges are made in Europe and will in all likelihood have Pozidriv screws.
Fix Warped Corner Cabinet Doors
The problem with built-in kitchens is the corner cupboard. It constantly ends up in a black hole where nothing can be found to be pushed from the back, and the doors, having two sections, usually warp and eventually fall off. This type of hinged door is much heavier than a normal closet door, as the cabinet hinges and supports the combined weight of both doors, to counter this additional weight and open the gap between the top of the folding door also. Like the adjacent door, you have to compensate by overtightening not only the hinges that connect the doors to the cabinet, but also the hinges that connect the two doors. Both hinges will have an adjusting screw that fits through a slotted hole, usually in the back of the hinge assembly. Loosen this screw a bit and then push the two parts of the hinge closer together just before retightening. It may take a couple of tries for the doors to seat where you’d like.
Like the rollers on sliding doors, the rollers on the drawer guides can wear out or become damaged. Replacing inexpensive guides or slides will make the drawers roll like new again and is actually a fairly straightforward operation:
1 – Pull the drawer forward and lift the front out of the cabinet. This will give you access to both parts of the roller assembly.
2 – Removing just a couple of screws will totally free the old mechanism. Again, a decent hardware store should have an exact matching assembly; if not, try the joinery supplies in the phone book.
3 – These are commonly sold in pairs and you need to replace both sides of your drawer at the same time. You will only need a screwdriver to replace the old screws in the original holes.
Sometimes with too many pulls and overloaded drawers (or maybe if the rails had broken), the front of the drawer can loosen and separate from the rest of the drawer. If this is happening to yours:
1 – Remove the drawers and hold the front rear in position.
2 – Add a few small metal brackets at a 90 degree angle to the inside of the drawer before it is completely detached.
Another common complaint is the collapse of the thin plinth inside the drawer. Typically this will happen because the drawer has been overloaded.