Hole in drywall behind a the kitchen cabinet

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Old 06-26-18, 05:01 PM
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Hole in drywall behind a the kitchen cabinet

I work for a landlord as a general handyman around his rented properties, this guy is a real douche and doesn't want to spend a penny extra to do the work right so he gave me this project that I have to finish one way or the other.

One of his tenants has been complaining that there is a hole behind the kitchen counter that allows the mice to come into the kitchen, I've inspected the area and can't see any visible holes however there most likely is a hole since there are plenty of dropping under her sink. The thing is that I have no way of reaching the drywall to even see let alone repair the damage.

I've told him that we would have to remove the cabinets in order to fix the problem, however he doesn't want to spend more than $50 for work. In any case I have to do something because he's breathing down my neck since the lady is refusing to pay her rent because of this.

I'm toying with an idea of cutting the cabinets in the back however from the diagrams of kitchen cabinet designs I'll most likely just compromise their integrity completely since I can't just cut a hole in the back, I have to remove the rear supporting legs of the cabinet along with a part of the cabinet floor and wall, and repairing them is out of the question for the price he's paying.

I know its a tough case but does anyone have any remotely feasible suggestions?
 
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Old 06-26-18, 05:16 PM
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Pulling a single cabinet usually isn't too bad of a job... I would look into that first. Sure it isn't just the hole around the plumbing?

Plus, I would tell him you can't do it for $50.
 
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Old 06-26-18, 06:53 PM
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Removing the cabinets is probably doable but wouldn't I have to remove the counter top first? I also assume it's nailed to the floor or wall because they're very old and feel very sturdy. I'm working from memory here but from what I recall it's not even possible to remove one cabinet in those old style non-modular setups, it's like a single frame just with 3 different sections, and even if it was sectioned I have no idea where the wall is damaged so I'd have to pull all of them. Anyways I just don't think I can do that without destroying the whole kitchen in the process. I wouldn't mind trying it but there is a family living there with like 4 kids so it's not like they can just wait a few day while I destroy and rebuild their kitchen even if I did attempt it.
 
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Old 06-26-18, 07:00 PM
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If it's an old school built in, then no. Cutting out the back and then being prepared to slap a piece of plywood over the hole to patch it is about all you can do.
 
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Old 06-26-18, 07:09 PM
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Yes but I think cutting out the back won't be enough, since the hole is most likely at floor level. So I would probably have to cut out a part of the floor of the cabinet, some of the back and also the rear support leg or kickboard whatever you want to call it. Wouldn't that like completely destabilize them?
 
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Old 06-26-18, 07:16 PM
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Not if you leave enough cabinet back / floor so that your "patch" has something solid to attach to.

I'm afraid you will go to all that trouble and find nothing. Can't you remove something in the toe kick area and shine a flashlight underneath the cabinets? Or is the back of the wall covered by a cleat, I suppose.
 
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Old 06-26-18, 08:51 PM
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The toe kick is not removable on this unit, and even if I drilled a hole in it to see there is the same toe kick on the rear of the cabinet. But lets say I do cut out the backs, this is just a quick sketch of what I imagine it would look like.



Lets say I do cut the middle section of the cabinet marked by the circle in that picture, you see how I have to cut through the rear toe kick in order to get to the wall? That's not going to be an easy cut and it will leave the cabinet high and dry without the rear support. But lets say I manage to do that, there is no guarantee that the hole will be behind that cut section. So I would have to cut these kind of holes every few inches, ok still doable, but you see the section I marked abutting sections, that is where the adjacent cabinet begins that corner joins 3 wooden boards together, I would have to cut through it completely, which will be very difficult and it would now mean that I'd be working away at the walls of the cabinet too. Now can you imagine what condition this will be in once I'm done cutting everything and how difficult these cuts will be to patch up?
 
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Old 06-27-18, 02:06 AM
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The cabinets when installed should be pretty solid from the floor, the wall, the counter and the cabinets on either side. You could pretty much remove most of the cabinet without much issue.

Question, how do you even know where to cut? What are you going to have after making several guesses, a huge mess!
 
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Old 06-27-18, 07:34 AM
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Yes cutting seems to be out of the question. So you're saying that it's not difficult to just move the cabinet? I don't have to remove the counter top or disassemble it or anything like that? I guess I can see if I can try that, but like I said it's one big cabinet with dividing walls to make smaller ones so I have to remove the whole thing. So where can I find the attachment points, which I assume are to the floor? If someone can direct me to a video or give me a run through the process I'd appreciate it.
 
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Old 06-27-18, 09:16 AM
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$50 is not even going to come close to the amount of $ needed to do this job. Removal of the tops, damage to the wall where the top meets the wall, materials, and of course your time will greatly exceed this number. If you are bound to fix the issue, I would use a 1/2" one-side finished plywood, cut sections small enough to seal what needs to be sealed and still fit through the door openings, and simply overlay the existing interior of the cabinet. Use hole saws to cut for piping, then cut the sections through the middle of those holes so you can use these "patch panels" as giant escutcheons. These site-built cabinets are a nightmare to work with, and in reality should be replaced. It sounds as tho you are working with a typical bottom-of-the-barrel landlord, none of which I have ever met in my 40+ years as a finish carpenter was ever profitable to work with. Do yourself a favor and walk away if you can.
 
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Old 06-27-18, 09:35 AM
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Hey thanks. So you're saying I should indeed cut the backs of the cabinet out? Can you just quickly look over the post that has a picture? I've outlined some problems with cutting sections. And yes this landlord is a complete ass and I feel like I lose more money with him then I make, however I also double as a delivery driver in his furniture business and over there the pay is pretty good, so I kind of have to take care of a few lackluster jobs now and then just to stay on good terms with the guy.
 
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Old 06-27-18, 01:51 PM
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Personally it's a job I would simply walk away from, nobody is going to win on this one!
 
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Old 06-27-18, 02:12 PM
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I agree. You may be looking for a hole that's not even there.
 
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Old 06-28-18, 04:34 PM
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I am told a mouse can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime or a slot just a quarter of an inch wide or high. Can you at least find out how the mice are getting into the cabinet insides? or other viewable areas? Then patch the hole or slot (in the cabinet back or floor, not in the wall behind) as seen from the living area or cabinet insides.

Where the water pipes and drain pipe and dishwasher hose enter the cabinet interior is another place to patch.

No exploring, no cutting.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 06-28-18 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 06-28-18, 05:04 PM
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Once in my shop I had a mouse get caught in an aluminum soda can. He got in but couldn't get out. So about the size of a nickel. Or maybe he was just fat.
 
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Old 06-28-18, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper View Post
Once in my shop I had a mouse get caught in an aluminum soda can. He got in but couldn't get out. So about the size of a nickel. Or maybe he was just fat.
Drank the soda and gained weight?
 
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Old 06-28-18, 05:48 PM
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Before I got carried away tearing apart cabinets etc. I would buy a can or two of the spray foam and spray around all the penetrations you know of such as water pipes, electrical lines etc. That's a cheap quick fix that may solve your problem without getting heavily involved.
 
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Old 06-28-18, 06:07 PM
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Drank the soda and gained weight?
Nah, it was diet pepsi.
 
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