Aug 4, 2006

Cabinet disaster

When we moved into this place back in February, we noticed that the left side of the kitchen cabinets were sagging about an inch. Writing it off to normal settling, I didn't think much about it. However, last week, Alexandria noticed that the thing seemd to be sagging a little more. I couldn't tell, and since there were no cracks in the fresh paint I didn't think much about it. On Wednesday, when she told me that it was definitely sagging, I noticed for the first time that "fault cracks" had started to form in the paint. Fascinated, I made marks on the cabinet to see how fast it was sagging.

I made the mark on Wednesday.

On Thursday night, while doing the dishes, I opened my cabinet, and something was definitely wrong.







As you can tell from this photo, in just 24 hours, the cabinets had sagged OVER 1 INCH! Whatever was happening was accelerating.



Total sag was about 3 inches - probably 2" total since I moved in March, of which 1" in the last 24 hours.


Ideally, the bottom of these cabinets would be just under 19" from the countertop. Conveniently, I had a couple of pieces of wood that were 18" long, and about 12" wide. I also had a 3/4" plank of wood that's 12" wide and about 4' long. I was lucky.


I went to Home Depot and rented a jack for $14 (I didn't realize until later that I could use the jack in my car, but whatever), and placed the long board directly underneath the cabinet, and started jacking it up.



By the time I was finished, the marks I had made on Wednesday were now about an inch apart in the other direction.


And the cabinet went almost all the way to the ceiling.


I set the two pieces of wood underneath the cabinet, and stabilized it.


Of course, this is about as stable as a house of cards, because the only thing holding those boards in place is friction and gravity. I picked up a few corner brackets to hold things in place, but I'm not sure how effective that's going to be against an accidental knock. But at least, with a little prudence, the cabinets won't fall on us now.


-steve