Keen to Save Money? Overhaul Your Garage Door.

Keen to Save Money? Overhaul Your Garage Door.

Investing in a garage door will provide service and satisfaction over many years. Yes, it will at some point break down and may even have to be replaced. But with a few simple precautions there’s a lot you can do to extend its life and so save you money over the long haul.

 

Even if you are on the verge of concluding that a new door is the only solution to your problems, consider calling in a specialist to overhaul your existing door. Sometimes this much lower-cost option can extend a door’s life by years. A specialist can repair a broken door if that’s what’s needed but regular maintenance can save money in the long run and keep your door in good working order, longer.

 

Keep your eyes and ears open for early signs that something isn’t working right. Slow or noisy gears for example might suggest replacing the gears. Then call a specialist to arrange an assessment an quote for an overhaul.

 

What’s Involved

Basically: Inspection, replacement and lubrication covers most of it. Inspection is obvious so I’ll not explain that here. The inspection usually throws up items that should be replaced, but a good garage door specialist on a maintenance contract for your garage door will take note of any parts reaching the end of their lifetime but which have not yet failed and plan to replace them later.

 

Your garage door is a largely mechanical device. It is comprised of mechanical parts which in common with any other mechanical systems which should be lubricated for effective working over the long term: Rollers, springs, hinges, bearings etc.

 

Safety

All modern doors come fitted with safety features nowadays — such as the widgets that prevent a door going into free fall. So it’s a sobering thought that despite these features tens of thousands of injuries a year result from accidents involving garage doors.

 

To ensure that you or your loved ones never become part of that statistic, you should take pro-active steps to encourage the safe use of your garage door. Actions such as the preventative safety measure of maintaining garage door cables. You might also consider explaining to your children that the garage door and the remote which operates it are not toys and should never be played with.

 

Value Enhancement

Don’t forget that garage door maintenance can increase the value of your home — handy if you’re thinking about putting it up for sale.

The 13 year gap – History of the garage door

The 13 year gap – History of the garage door

Did you ever ponder the age-old question: “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” You did? Well, what about this one: “Which came first, the motor car or the garage?” Easier question, huh? But there’s some facts to go through before I confirm the obvious answer. So pay attention, we’ll need to go back to Henry Ford’s day to start telling this tale.

 

Time was that the only way to travel involved one or more horses and a carriage. Unfortunately the invention of Ford’s Model-T automobile put the skids under the horse and buggy industry — big style. Anyone with horse and buggy stocks and shares had thrown themselves off a high building years before the Wall Street crash.

 

Despite the outbreak of automobile fever this invention brought about, forward-thinking drivers who yearned for an outbuilding in which to house their new toys would have to wait 13 years before their wish came true.

 

The horse and carriage — the previous hot fashion accessory, status symbol and whizzo mode of transport — were usually housed in the same barn. Which sort of made sense. However the rich, who were the only class that could afford a Ford, didn’t much fancy their shiny new contraptions smelling of horse poop! So a market opened up for dedicated outbuildings to keep the iron chariots of the well-to-do out of the rain and away from horses altogether.

 

The earliest garages were barn-like. No surprise there. With barn-style doors that opened outwards. Drivers — lazy as always — had to get out of their cars to open them and for this reason, didn’t like them. There had to be something better. Something easier. And there was!

 

Early garages were basically single level parking lots, some in public ownership, some privately-owned, charging $5 a week for a space along side another bunch of cars, in a garage maintained on the owner’s dime. This worked out great until, around the end of the first decade of the 20th century demand overwhelmed supply and there were far too many cars for existing garages to cope with. Dedicated garages adjacent to homes became the norm.

 

Drivers had to wait until after the First World War before they could open a garage door remotely (via a key pad located on a post at the end of their driveway). I don’t mean they waited at the foot of their drive for the duration of the war. It’s just that you couldn’t get one until then. Was it worth the wait? Who knows.

 

However, electric garage door openers, invented by C.G Johnson did not become popular until the Era Meter Company of Chicago marketed the sectional overhead door in 1921. Its popularity led to Johnson’s Overhead Door Company adding an electric garage door opener to their 1926 catalogue. After which, drivers who once had to man-handle heavy wooden doors before parking their cars under cover could now return to being lazy for ever.

 

Finally, though opener technology has progressed over the years, door openers can still malfunction. See Let me in! After all, it is my house for a funny take on this subject!

Let me in! After all, it is my house

Let me in! After all, it is my house

Joni Mitchell, in the chorus to her Big Yellow Taxi, used to sing: ‘don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’till its gone?’ Amen to that, brother. For my money she could have been talking about the battle I had with my automatic garage door.

 

I came back from the mall with all the ingredients for my signature dish of Spaghetti Bolognese. The kids love it. The largest factor in the success of the dish isn’t as you might think, the sauce, rather it’s getting into the kitchen to start cooking it! That day, with the kids and my wife visiting her mom for her birthday, and me without keys because I intended to enter the house through the garage when I got back from shopping — that day turned into an epic contest of man against machine, on a scale not seen since Terminator Three.

 

There was a lot of whirring and grinding. But the door stubbornly refused to budge an inch. I pressed the button on the remote until my thumb went numb. Nothing. I took out the batteries, shook them and re-inserted them (why I thought this might help I don’t know, but at the time I thought it worth a try). Nothing.

 

The battle between me and my delinquent garage door escalated rapidly. I got out of the car and squared up to the rollered rogue, mano a mano. I spoke to it, softly. I told it my best joke — not even a smile. Finally, I shouted at it (I’m sure I used the word ‘heck’ at one point — I’m a monster when I’m angry). Absolutely nothing. I don’t know what I expected; the door wasn’t voice activated or anything, but I was willing to try anything by that stage.

 

Because now it was a point of principle: I had to find a way to get this badly behaved door to realise that I was in charge around here. If it had had a room, I would have sent it there without supper to teach it a lesson.

 

I decided, in the end, to try brute force. I bent double and curled my fingers under the foot of the door. A tornado of leaves swirled around me in the gathering October gloom. On a count of four I heaved with all my might and just like that, a disc between two of my lumbar vertebrae left my spinal column faster than a thrown Frisbee, causing me to emit a wolf-like howl of pain that must have been audible in several adjacent Zip Code areas.

I couldn’t move. My hungry family returned to find me in the same hunched-over stance. My wife has never been one for sentimentality so it was no surprise when she called the paramedics on her cell before telling me to stay exactly as I was until the ambulance arrived and that she was taking the boys for pizza.

 

I’m on the mend now. And much better at battery management when it comes to remotely controlled garage doors. The doc says that with a few weeks bedrest I should be able to wield a skillet without feeling as if I have just been tasered in the butt. I can’t see me cooking Spaghetti Bolognese however. It’s a dish that will forever be associated with my battle against a machine in which I placed second. Out of two. Oh the shame!

 

(For those of you who find that repair of the garage door opener is the leat of your worries — that more repairs are required — you’ll find helpful information at Keen to Save Money? Overhaul Your Garage Door

A Day in Chandler, Arizona

A Day in Chandler, Arizona

What do I like about Chandler? Well, it’s my home town for one thing. For another, the sun shines for a glorious 330 days a year and the average temperature’s around 85 degrees. How’s that for a good start?

 

Chandler is situated in Phoenix’s east valley and the surrounding mountains light up a brilliant crimson at sunrise and sunset. As a nature lover that’s hard to beat in my book. And none of it costs me a cent.

 

Chandler is a highly popular suburb of Phoenix which has been growing for decades. The population in 1960 was under 10,000. Now it’s citizens number almost a quarter of a million. Since its creation in 1912, Chandler has changed from a small agricultural community to a dynamic technology hub and business centre. Intel has a satellite operation here with Paypal and Wells Fargo amongst a number of other prominent employers. It’s a young city with 80% of the population under 55. As a young person myself, that’s appealing.

 

Then there’s golf — my idea of heaven (Isn’t it everybody’s?) Seven golf clubs — 5 of them championship quality — covering 153 holes. The first grass course in the state was in Chandler. Not bad for a town that originally consisted of three wooden shacks: the town site office, a dining hall and Morrison’s Grocery. My how she’s grown.

 

The thought occurs to me as I walk through downtown with its vintage lanterns and covered walkways, that Chandler is a beautiful place to live and work, The area resonates with activity and excitement. Walking here is a distinct pleasure — there’s everything from boutique shops to art galleries and museums, including the Chandler Center for the Arts. And all tied together by wonderfully well-designed public spaces and public art.

 

Apart from golf, I like to eat. When I’m hungry here in Chandler I am spoiled for choice. I like all kinds of cuisine and here I can easily find eating places where you can enjoy food from an awesome array of countries. I might grab a burger, sure. But Japanese, Mexican, Italian and Greek food are all available from downtown within walking distance.

 

Truth be told I sometimes like things to be a little more out of left field. In Chandler, I’m not disappointed. I usually attend at least on of the fun community events held in Chandler each year. Chihuahua racing for example, or the Ostrich Festival.

 

And If you’re an outdoorsy type like me you will find plenty to do to keep you fit and healthy. You’ll love Chandler’s numerous parks and park trails for instance. In addition, there’s tennis, hiking, horseback riding, BMX, and swimming — all available in or near Chandler.

 

I guess everyone loves their home town but I honestly can’t see me moving away from Chandler. All my friends and family are here as well as everything I like to do. The weather’s great, the golf’s even better and the food’s divine. You should come down sometime and see for yourself.