Monday, January 3

My Garage

You can see part of the garage on the left.
Does anyone understand the purpose of a garage door that doesn't open automatically? Is anyone really going to take the time to park, open the garage door, pull in and shut the garage door? Or the reverse of that just to go anywhere? And what if it's raining? You might as well park in the drive and make a dash for it, you'd probably stay drier.

One of the selling points of my house was the spacious one-car garage. It didn't have an automatic door opener, but the previous owner agreed to pay half the cost for installation when I requested it. I've loved it. Extra security when I get home late, no chipping ice off the windshield in the winter, a lighted area to work on things like replacing headlights or adding oil.

The downside to my garage is that the door is so blasted heavy it takes two MEN to open it if the opener craps out (there is no way I can lift it myself). The only times I've had trouble with this is when the power was out to the house, so it isn't usually an issue with the garage door opener. I've always been concerned about the door though because whenever I open or close it the automatic opener sounds like it is barely able to complete the job.

On New Year's Day I discovered that the garage door wouldn't open more than halfway. I was on my way out to catch a movie with some friends, but after trying to open and close the garage unsuccessfully I shut it manually. At that point it was pretty clear I'd be staying in for the night.

As I usually do when something goes wrong and I'm not sure why, I called my dad. He came out to look at it Sunday and said he thought the door was binding and the spring that acts as a counterweight was broken. Neither of those issues are something my dad can fix, which meant calling a professional.

About the Door:
  • The door is an uninsulated metal door, according the the repairman who came out from Overhead Door of Tulsa it's one of the cheapest on the market. 
  • The previous owner added a decorative wood facing to the door. As you can see in the picture above it does look nice. However, the metal door is rusting and wasn't designed to bear the weight of a wood facing.
  • The facing added a ton of weight to the door and the previous owner didn't compensate for that. The repairman said that the spring should have been replaced with a sturdier one meant for more weight. 
  • The hinges and tracks were also designed for the lighter metal door, the additional weight will likely cause it to give out sooner.

What To Do
The repairman's advice was that I invest in a new garage door. Dad thinks I can probably hold out for about a year--especially if I clean and paint the door with a rust inhibiting paint. The long and short of this is that my pendant lights may have to wait a little longer.

The repairman did fix my garage. He told me to keep an eye on the bolts, etc. since I'll probably need to tighten them periodically. He also adjusted some of the parts that weren't installed properly and replaced the spring with a bigger one, I should be able to open the door myself now!

Share Your Thoughts
Anyway, with that exciting start to the new year, do any of you have advice about garage doors? Experience with types or brands that are worth buying (or not)?


  1. the most frightening thing in my life relates to having one of those springs break. The old kind didn't have a "spine" running through them, and when they gave out, they would spring across the garage like a wild hare! As for advice, getting a more powerful opener when you replace the door--like one designed for a two car instead of a one car door--can make a difference in how long it lasts. We did that on our first house which had a one car garage, and it made a big difference. Of course, we were replacing an old one, so who knows if a newer model would have sufficed. Pretty door, though.

  2. I don't know what I would have done if the spring had flown across the garage! From what the repairman said the main problem is that the decorative facing makes the door much heavier than almost any other door on the market, with a different door the opener would probably be fine.

    It's frustrating when silly decisions by other people mess up your plans.

  3. The Hubby wanted a wooden covered garage door when we replaced a few years ago too. He has had to deal with the weight issue, as you, but I think it is good now. We had to install a heavy duty opener and ramp up the springs too. The Hubby too had to watch those bolt thingys. Good luck!

  4. Thanks for posting! While I do worry about the weight, I think the rusting will be the bigger problem in the long run. I may have to get a new garage door just to fix that.

  5. I think your repairman is right. You’ve got to give your garage a new door. Investing on a new garage door will not just provide safe, secure, access to your garage, but it can also renew and refresh your property’s appearance. But before you shop for a new garage door, determine what type of door is most suitable for your garage. Aluminum doors are the most expensive type, but they are durable and can withstand extreme conditions like rain and snow. Wood doors, on the other hand, are the most affordable type and will give your garage a very natural look. But if you want to go for a light weight door, the best option would be a fiber glass door.

  6. Thanks for the tips Maricela! I would like to get a door that will still match my current door, but it will largely depend on price and what they have available for my garage size. I didn't realize that single car garages still came in multiple sizes until I called a few weeks ago.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...