Carl's Corner

Tue, 02/03/2009 - 1:57pm
By: The Citizen

Dear Carl,
I was mowing my yard last summer, and ran over a toy car that my youngest son left in the grass. It flew out of the mower like a race car on Sunday. It left a hole in the white piece of siding on the corner. How do I go about fixing it?

I am led to believe that you have vinyl siding. Repairs on vinyl siding are quite simple. Start by going to the local home center and pick up a new corner trim, a small box of inch and a half roofing nails, and a “siding removal tool”. Pick a nice day to work. Somewhere between 50 and 70 degrees would be best.

Begin at the top and remove the siding on both sides of the corner about 2 feet back. This should give you enough room to work. Pull out any nails along the top of the siding, and then unlatch the bottom. Continue working down until you reach the bottom. Now you can remove the nails from the old corner trim.

Now it is time to install the new corner trim. It may need to be trimmed to fit, use a pair of tin snips or a sharp knife. Nail the new board in where the old one was and be sure not to set the nails too deep. The head of the nail should be about 1/4 inch from the vinyl.

The vinyl needs space to move back and forth as it expands and contracts with the changing temperatures.

Now you can reinstall the siding. Start at the bottom and work your way to the top. Latch in the bottom and put a nail in the top, remembering not to nail too tight.
Yours Truly,

Dear Carl,
I made a mistake just yesterday. I was cleaning out my van in the garage and my chore ran into dinner time. As I went into the house, I mashed the button to close the garage door; low and behold, the tailgate was still open. Yikes! The garage door is now tipping to the side and will not open. How can I get my van out?

Yikes is right! If your home is like most others, driving through the living room is not an option.

Seriously though, PROCEED WITH CAUTION. Garage doors use a counter weight system to assist in lifting the door. It is in the form of a spring. The springs are connected to the door by a cable. These springs and cables carry a huge potential for personal safety. If there appears to be anything wrong with the springs, cables, or the bottom brackets the cables attach to, call a service company for help. If it looks like there are just a few rollers out of place, here is what you can try.

Begin by disconnecting the garage door opener from the door. This will take a lot of tension off of the door and make the repair a lot easier. Locate the rollers that are out of the track.

Remove the hinge with a wrench and put the roller back in the track. Now slide the hinge onto the roller and reattach with the screws. Continue doing this until all of the rollers are safely, back into the track.

Work the door a few times. It should be working now. Reattach the opener and give it a whirl. Also, next maybe clean your van in the driveway!
Yours Truly,

Dear Carl,
I recently have moved into a new house. Well, new to me. And I would like to put new locks on the house. Can I do this myself?

The easiest way to make sure the new locks fit your door is to take one of them with you to the hardware store. Each lock can be removed from the door by unscrewing four screws. The first two, will hold two halves of the lock on to the door. They will be found on the inside, side of the door. Occasionally they will be beneath the rosette (the decorative trim against the door). Open the door and while holding on to the outside knob, unscrew the screws. Pull the pieces apart and set aside.

The next piece to remove is called the backset. Some might refer to it as the “plunger”. Regardless of what you call it, it is the part of the lock that keeps the door closed. Two screws on the edge of the door will remove this part.

Take your parts to the hardware store and have them show you what is available for the holes drilled in your door.

Reinstallation is a cinch. Just follow the steps in reverse order, and in no time, you will have new locks on your new-to-you house. You want to be sure to give your wife the new key too!
Yours Truly,

Please email us at if you have any question you would like to have answered.

Carl’s Remodeling Service
BIG or small, Carl’s does it all!

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