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Setting up shop.

10th January 2007

Dave

Most of the heavy demolition and cleaning had been done by the time the foundation was repaired. I had three to four weeks to kill before I could begin full scale renovation so I decided to begin to organize the garage. I built a long work bench from the plywood and 2×4 used to board up the doors and windows. After taking another load of junk to the dump it was time to assess the situation in the garage.

It was obvious that some repairs were required on the garage door. All of the windows were gone and several of the wood panels needed replacing. I had hoped to get a sheet of plywood and repair the existing doors but it would not work out that way. The doors were 9 feet wide x 8 feet high. I may have been able to find sheets of 4 x 9 x 1/4 inch plywood, but I began to think that it would be much more work than I wanted to do. New doors were the way to go this time. Lowes and Home Depot had 9 x 7 garage doors in stock but the 9 x 8 would have to be be special ordered. I had time to wait for delivery but there was a catch. The special order doors were almost twice as much as the stocked models. It appears that the in stock sizes are bought with quantity discounts that the price is kept very low. I decided to go with the smaller door and re-frame the door opening. The only extra materials required would be four nine foot 2×4’s to frame in the 1 foot gap on the top. I planned on using a section of the existing door as siding but that plan would change later. This way would save almost $400.00 so it was a no-brainer.

I decided to go ahead and install the garage doors. The tracks could always be adjusted if any settling did occur. Besides that it would let the neighbors know that the neighborhood eyesore was going away. I had replaced several garage doors before, but it had been so long it didn’t help much. Even though the instructions that came with the doors are geared towards the novice and do-it-yourselfer, it still took me the entire weekend to install the doors. The main stumbling block involved installing the brackets on the center steel post. It was much more difficult positioning and aligning the brackets on a curved surface, not to mention drilling through steel rather than wood. I also discovered another minor problem. Both sides of the garage were about 3/4 inch lower than the center post. The sides rested on foundation while the center post was mounted directly on top of the floating slab. The difference only showed up when the gap on top was framed in. A 3/4 inch drop over 9 feet is pretty noticeable. It wasn’t a big deal though I simply shimmed the 2×4 frame to compensate. Once covered with siding it looked fine.

There were a couple of old 1970’s Genie screw type garage door openers in the garage. I could only find a single transmitter and receiver, but I decided if I could get one working opener out of the 2 it would be all I needed. I spent several hours over the next few days installing, cleaning, adjusting, removing and repeating. I finally got an opener to work for the most part but
the operation was a little erratic. The bottom line was that these openers were just too old. The receiver comminication with the transmitter was fine, but the operation seemed to have a mind of it own. It was time to update to a newer model.

The new door helped a little on look of the exterior. The largest part of the eyesore was gone, but the new door also accentuated the deterioration in the rest of the exterior. Even though it was January, I decided to concentrate on the exterior. Partly to make the neighbors happy, but I was really anxious to see how it would look once renovated. At least the garage was secure, and I would have a place to work and store tools and materials.

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