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We have drapes(drapes and rod are not heavy) across the sliding glass door. When open, they are pulled to one side where the rope to open them also sits. When the drapery rod was first professionally installed, anchors were used. After several years of opening and closing the drapes, these pulled out of the wall.

We replaced them with bigger anchors that pulled out of the wall. Last attempt, we put in a toggle bolt, that has pulled out of the wall, creating a very large hole as the toggle pulled out the wallboard material. How do we repair the wall? How do we hang the rod back up?

  • Can you post photos of the situation please? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 7 '17 at 15:37
  • Whatever repair method you choose, you should ensure that the drapery carrier assembly (the piece that the cord attaches to, that moves to pull the drape across the opening), the glides, and the track are functioning properly. Toggle anchors should have been sufficient for light drapery equipment; I suspect there could be unneeded force being used to open and close due to malfunction, causing stress on the anchor points. – Jimmy Fix-it Jan 7 '17 at 20:12
  • It boggles my mind that anyone expects drywall to hold anything at all. Take a close look at a piece of cut drywall. It's chalk. Like chalkboard chalk except more crumbly. It cuts with a boxcutter. It's structurally useless, except for being dirt cheap and a pretty good firestop. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 8 '17 at 1:39
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    @Harper - actually, it's a stressed-skin panel, albeit a small one. The paper is an important component. While I'm also personally fond of finding studs to screw into, with proper anchors and loading of those anchors (down is better than out, force-wise,) drywall can support quite a lot. – Ecnerwal Jan 8 '17 at 15:31
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See any of the sheetrock/drywall repair questions for how to fix the hole in the sheetrock/drywall. Here's some:

first time drywall repair

How to fix a large hole in drywall

But you might first want to make a much bigger hole in the sheetrock (no worries, a big big hole is no more trouble to fix than a big small one - in fact the typical method to fix a fairly large small hole in the sheetrock is to cut a square that reaches to the framing on both sides of the hole) and insert some wood framing to take the screw, since you are clearly putting on a lot of force with these "not heavy" drapes and rod, if it keeps ripping out.

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I agree with Jimmy Fix-It, there's a problem with the drapery mechanism that is making it drag, and someone rather than finessing or fixing it, is just applying excessive force even after the first incident. You might want to have a word with that person; better yet, task them with the drywall repair so they can develop a healthy appreciation of just how fragile the stuff is.

Now as far as a longer-term repair. I was surprised you'd have a problem, because all my windows are framed in wooden trim right where the curtain rods need to go. So I'm going into real wood.

I would find the studs, mark em with masking tape or something non-marking, then go one of two ways.

  1. Attach the curtain rod to the studs directly with longer screws. It's not that you need 1-5/8" screws to hold a curtain rod, but you do when the first 5/8" is chalk. If that position is too awkward, then...

  2. Figure out where to put a 1x4 so it'll bridge across studs in all the right places, and not have much of a cantilever where you attach the curtain rod. Let's say you want to attach the curtain rod 2" from the end. If it hits a stud 4" from the end, that's fine. If it hits the stud 12" from the end, that's a problem, because you'll have 10" of cantilever and it'll bend and break. In that case, extend the wood 3 more inches so its end is on a stud.

Then I'd trim out the 1x4 with a router to give it a rounded appearance, i.e. a 3/16" radius to help it look professional/built-in if that makes sense. Sand it smooth and prep it for prime and paint.

Then bolt it to the studs with countersunk screws (predrill so you don't crack the wood, and countersink so the screws are flush).

Then prime it and paint it to match the room so it looks built-in. Which it is now.

Then hang the curtain rods off the 1x4.

If you want max strength, go oak.

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