Sunday, January 9, 2011

17. Garage doors and 2016 Update

House from Northwest

House from Northeast

Well, it's January of 2016, and I see that it's been quite some time since I made an entry so I thought I'd spend a chapter bringing everyone up to date. While I continue to do most of the work myself, I hired a retired contractor to do odd jobs whenever I can afford him.  This guy is my age and we have a lot of the same interests, so it's great to have someone to bounce ideas off of.

I spent the majority of the year doing drywall, but I plan to devote the next chapter to that, so I'll skip it for now.

One major addition has been the garage doors. If you recall, there are doors at each end of the garage so that you can drive straight through. The rear doors are seldom seen except in your mirror as you drive away, so I bought inexpensive steel doors for that end.


These were under $500 each, but the supplier wanted to sell me a door opener unit for each door. The openers I wanted are the type that mount on the wall above the door and directly wind the roll-up shaft, instead of the usual ceiling-mounted chain-and-pulley type. Being a fairly new invention, these cost about 3 times as much as the old-style openers. Besides the price, the thought of 4 units with 4 remote-controls was simply unacceptable. I saw no reason why a single opener at each end of the garage couldn't open two doors simultaneously. The supplier was against this, but since these openers can handle a single double-wide door, I saw no reason why they couldn't handle two single-wide doors.  After all, the coil springs carry most of the weight.

So I bought two extra collets on eBay, mounted the opener units between the doors, and connected the wind-up shafts going out both directions. They work great! Each set of doors goes up and down in perfect unison. A single remote control has separate buttons for the front and rear sets of doors.

Since the front set of garage doors are much more visible, I decided to splurge and get handsome fiberglass doors for that end.  Though the outer surface is weatherproof fiberglass, they are wood-grain, and most people are fooled into thinking they are actual wood.  My supplier had one of these doors in his warehouse, where it had been gathering dust for the past few years, so he let me have it for half-price. I then ordered another identical unit for its twin.


The second door took about 8 weeks to come in, and when it finally did it had no windows! So my supplier had glass cut to the right sizes locally, but I still needed fiberglass frames. We ordered those, but they sent the wrong size. On the final try they sent the right size, but the wrong color.  At that point I decided to just give up and paint them. After cutting window holes and mounting the glass and frames in the door they ended up looking great, but why can't anything ever be easy?




The roof is now done, except for a few trim pieces.  One word of caution when doing a slate roof -  watch out for iron deposits in the slate. I've got a few rust streaks running down the roof from tiles with bits of iron embedded in the stone. I noticed some of these when putting up the roof, but didn't think anything of them. The rust can be taken off with rust-removing chemicals, but I'm still looking into ways of preventing the streaks from coming back.


17 comments:

  1. Awesome job. I've been visiting your blog over the years many times and re-reading your older posts. I'm 23 and its been my dream to to build my castle house since about i was 13 years old. I really enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the good work. :)

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  2. How much of the inside is done? Been a fan from way back in the Amiga days! Still have about 9 boxed up. Even a few 1000's.

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  3. Yippee, so glad for your update, I have been back several times to check on updates. Looks great!!!

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  4. Yippee, so glad for your update, I have been back several times to check on updates. Looks great!!!

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  5. Great work on the house. I wish land with building permission was easy to obtain in England!

    Loved your AMIGA work back in the day. Defender of the Crown was one of our first games for our A500.
    Great 'The Retro Hour' interview. Shame about the 30th event and how M$ treated you.
    I recognise the Screensaver now seeing it but never knew you were behind it.
    It was great to see you featured on Bedroom to Billions. You are an important AMIGA family member.

    All the best.

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    1. Thanks Sean - Always nice to hear from an old Amiga fan.

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  6. The new roof looks amazing, the wood color definitely contrasts the grey in the rest of the house. It makes the garage doors the focal point of the house and helps to give it some real character. One big advantage of that wood type garage door is the color and material doesn't weather like you would see in traditional garage doors.

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  7. Your home is absolutely stunning, it looks like a place I would never want to leave. Although I believe the house was perfect, these new features and updates you have added only make it more beautiful. It's awesome that you were able to get the fiber glass cut for the garage door instead of having to exchange them and wait another 8 weeks. Great job!

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  8. Thanks, Owen. I've done quite a bit more on the house this year, and hope to post a new chapter soon.

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  9. Hi Jim, thanks for the fascinating and educational blog. Are you living in any part of the house yet, or do you have still have more to do before you can occupy it?

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  10. Nope, not living in it yet. Haven't even started on the kitchen. One thing slowing us down is the enormous property tax bill ($1000 per month) that's interfering with my ability to afford materials.

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    1. That's one of the downsides of doing things yourself (slowly) - in addition to simply eating up the months (years), there are a lot of fixed costs that start adding up. Also, if you take long enough, you might end up having to redo/repair things (or deal with side-effects of unfinished mechanicals). Plus there's the danger you might not be able to finish it yourself, leaving you with an unfinished albatross (or having to pony up the money to have someone else finish). Still, it's awesome, and if you can afford the risk and the time, more power to you.

      I'm a closet reader of Fine Homebuilding on and off for years, though I rarely do anything myself - too little time; too busy at work and especially now with young kids (6 and 8). We have a 4000 sq ft rambling contemporary house looking over the Great Valley in suburban Philly (near Valley Forge Park), with 25 mile views to the city. 30's hunting lodge, 40's a cottage, and '70-73 extended into a contemporary. Done lots of work to rescue it from various bad decisions and designs; bunch more to do - someday.)

      Too bad you didn't sign a contract to document this all with DIY or HGTV or some such...

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  11. Yeah, after over 10 years of building, there are definitely things that already need re-doing because of age. My wife has given me until next June to get at least the master bedroom and kitchen habitable.

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  12. I love the work of your home, it looks amazing! I can't say I've ever dealt with similar issues that you had in putting in your garage doors since I typically hire a garage door company to do the work. I have had to have help a few times when my garage door broke and we couldn't get the door open.

    Ralph @ coolroofing systems ca

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  13. An expansive percent of natives in America depend on a carport way to keep their vehicles and their homes secure. Clarks Garage Door & Gate Repair Chatsworth

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  14. The tagline of your blog is super accurate. That’s a breathtaking home, and a breathtaking photo from the Northeast as well.Those are some truly gorgeous garage doors. Just look at how much they add to your house's curb appeal!

    Terence Warner @ Brunwin Roofing

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