Thursday, September 18, 2008

The joys of home ownership

I had quite the exciting morning yesterday.  I woke up and went through my normal morning routine.  Everything was According to Hoyle until I had actually left the house.  As I rolled out of the driveway I noticed that the garage door didn't close.  This isn't out of the ordinary.  The guy we bought the house from installed a new garage door opener, because his old one didn't pass inspection.  Being a typical home seller, he did a crap job of installing the thing.  As a result, every so often the garage door won't close.  Normally it's because the sensor that prevents small children from being crushed to death under the garage door has been bumped and is no longer in alignment.  When the sensor is out of alignment, the garage door starts to go down and then realizes there is a problem.  The door goes back up and the light inside flashes on and off as if to say, "Remove the small child from the door area!"  Being a lazy homeowner I just nudge the sensor back into true and tell myself I'll remount them "soon."
 
So as I started down the hill I noticed that the door was back up and the light was flashing.  I turned back and tried my lazy man's fix.  Same deal.  Only this time as the door went back up I noticed that the wheel was out of the track on one side.  And then as the door reached the top and jammed, I noticed a gap of about 6 inches between the bottom row of panels on the door and the next set of panels.  That's not good.  I screwed around with it for about 15 minutes before giving in to the realization that this is beyond my abilities.  So I left a voicemail for the garage door company that had serviced the door a few years ago when something similar happened.  Then I drove downtown to get my work computer so I could work from home to keep an eye on the garage (since the door was stuck in "please rob me" mode) and be available for the tech.
 
None of this was a complete surprise.  Our house is a rambler built in 1951, and I'm quite certain this is the original garage door.  It's a big, heavy wood one.  About a year after we moved in the door bound up, that time in the down position.  A guy came out and looked at it and was able to fix it.  But he warned us that it wasn't going to last forever and we should think about replacing it.  He had left a sticker inside the garage with their phone number for future service.  I called that number around 6am and left a voicemail.  I didn't hear anything back so I left another voicemail around 10:30.  And then at noon, I called another company.  They answered right away and said their tech would be out between 3 and 5.
 
True to their word, the tech showed up about 3:30 and started work.  He thought he could fix the door, but again said it needed to be replaced.  I sat in the house and listened to him bang on the door for about 45 minutes.  He came in and said, "I got it down, but it's not going back up again."  He showed me where several of the metal bolts had sheared off, and a few of the wooden pegs that hold the panels together had pulled apart and broken.  And a piece of one of the panels had broken off and gotten jammed in the track, which is probably what caused the issue in the first place.  He left us some literature on new doors and took off for his next service call.  I spend the rest of the evening helping the girls with some really complicated math homework and didn't give the door much thought.  We're going camping this weekend, and I figured I'll deal with it next week.
 
What I hadn't considered was how I'm going to get my bike out.  We had pulled the cars out of the garage while the tech was working on it, so they are out and available.  But all my bikes are trapped in the garage!  I'm sure I can figure out a way to work around this, but the old brain wasn't feeling ambitious enough to tackle the problem this morning so I took the car.  I'm not too excited about hauling a bike out of the garage and through the house every morning and evening.  I'm also not too keen on leaving it outside overnight.  I wonder if Nancy would mind having a bike in the living room for the next few weeks...

5 comments:

WheelDancer said...

I feel your pain! We had a similar experience earlier this year with our old garage door. The bolts had been dropping out allowing the panels to separate when the door was going up or down. I had been putting in progressively larger lag bolts into the rotting wood but even they were falling out one by one. Rather than have the door fall on the vehicles (which was becoming an increasing risk everyday) we replaced it.

bloodline said...

bikes in the house.....is is a nice looking bike or is the living room too nice? in chicago apt. the bike always stayed in the house even if it was 3 flights up...protect your investment!

rigtenzin said...

Cut a side door in the garage with your sawzall (you've got one of those right?).

Emeroz said...

Grease up the bike good before you bring it in the house-lots of moisture in a house...Maybe new carpet is just around the corner!

Smudgemo said...

Lock a bike up in your car until the door is replaced.