3 easy ways to repair and replace woodwork

July 28, 2015

When woodwork is damaged, repairing and replacing the  wood can seem overwhelming but may be simpler than you imagine. Check out these tips to save money before you get started.

3 easy ways to repair and replace woodwork

1. Wood worries — prevention vs cure

Woodwork with extensive wet rot must be replaced — and costs can quickly escalate over the $1,000 mark. Extensive dry rot can cost thousands of dollars to eradicate from a small house.

  • Cure wet rot early yourself with rot killer, wood filler and a coat of paint for under $30.
  • Maintain a waterproof roof, sound brickwork and good underfloor ventilation.

2. Cut costs on maintaining windows and doors

  • Use car body filler: A cheap way of repairing window sills that have rotted in a few areas is to chisel the rotten wood out, paint the sound bare wood with top-quality wood preservative to prevent more rot, then fill with car body filler. This is less expensive than wood filler — especially if you buy a large container from a car parts wholesaler — and just as effective. Sand until smooth and paint normally.
  • Save by repairing old windows: Rattling, drafty or stuck-shut windows of all kinds can often be repaired at minimal cost, compared to the outlay for replacing them. Do-it-yourself stores offer low-priced windows starting from $150.
  • Replace putty the proper way: If putty is loose or missing, scrape the old putty out with a chisel, down to the bare wood. Knead fresh putty until workable, then hold it in your palm while you press it in place with your thumb. Smooth the surface and shape it to match the other windows with a scraper or knife dipped in water so it doesn't stick to the putty. When it has hardened, paint the new putty in the same way as wood.
  • Stop the rot: If the bottom of a door or the sill has started to deteriorate, remove paint from the affected area and treat with two coats of wood-hardening resin, then fit a weather bar. This will divert rain from the door bottom. Paint with two coats of exterior paint.
  • Strengthen doors: Close up loose joints in the corners of a panel door by knocking them together with a mallet, then running two or three 2.5 centimetre (one inch) wood screws through the side rails, about three centimetres (1 1/4 inches) in from the edge. Countersink the heads so that they disappear, fill and smooth out the surface and then coat with paint.

3. Invest in the right equipment

The main problem when fitting new trim around doors and windows is cutting the mitres. But if you invest in a chop or mitre saw, there will be no need to call in a professional. When fitting new internal woodwork, always paint the front and back with wood primer.

Wood can be easily damaged but that doesn't mean you have to spend a lot on repairs. Check online resources and DIY guides for more information and get started!

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu