Garage Nightmare: Let Me Out!


Well, it never really ends does it?  As I was preparing for my first annual memorial day BBQ at the new house, I hopped in my Acura to head to the store to pick up some meat and alcohol for the big party.  I got out my garage door opener, hit the open button, and then screamed in frustration.  My door started to open like usual, and then it happened.  I heard a loud POP and then the door fell back to the earth.  Damn it!  My garage spring just snapped.  I got out of my car to assess the damage and sure enough, the spring was split in two.  I went to open the door manually and it wouldn’t budge.  What!!??  I hopped on my cell phone to call Dad (…yes, sometimes father does indeed know best).  However, I forgot that they were out of town on vacation, and of course, there was no answer.  I had to get that car out of the garage.  My guests are going to be pretty upset if there’s no food or booze at this party.  I was going to have to call a garage door company.

I fired up google and read some reviews on local garage door companies.  I found one that looked promising and gave them a call.  Not open on for the holiday weekend.  Boo!!  Tried another one.  Same result.  I called one more and sure enough, third time was a charm.  This company said they could have someone over in 2 hours.  I could live with that!  So I waited…and waited some more.  4 hours later, they showed up.  I really didn’t care that they took so long.  I just wanted my car out of the garage.  I really felt like a dummy when the garage guy simply pulled a release cord on the garage door opener itself and opened the door right up.  Ugh.  All I had to do was pull that little cord and I could have got my car out and dealt with this later.  Oh well.  So if you learn anything from this article, all garage door openers have a release cord.  Just pull it and you should be able to manually open the door.  Live and learn!

The garage guy quoted me $150 to replace the broken spring.  Hey!  Thats not bad.  I agreed to the $150 and he began the repair.  It took approximately 2 hours for him to remove the broken garage door spring and replace it with the new one.  I felt bad for him because it was so hot out.  I even brought him some lemonade at one point.  Anyway, once he left I had to race to the store before they closed.  I had to buy the “cheap” beer after spending all of that money on the new garage door spring.  Oh well, my guests will live.  I am just glad to have the door fixed.  The repairman recommended replacing my actual garage door opener at some point as he said it was “aging” rapidly and would at some point shoot craps.  I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.  In the meantime, feel free to share your garage door stories in the comments below.  Happy memorial day!

My Crack(ed) House

While prepping my garden for the spring season earlier this month, I glanced up at the eastern wall of my house and noticed something. Something I was not too happy to see. A giant crack had developed down the entire length of the two story brick house. I was freaking out. I jumped on google and tried to figure out just what might cause a crack such as this one. The first thing I came across was that their might be a problem with my home’s foundation. Yikes! I was really hoping that this was not the case as the cost of repairing a foundation was sky high and I certainly had better things to spend several thousands of dollars on. Luckily, I have a friend who is in the foundation business. I had him come over and assess the situation. I was jumping for joy when he told me that my homes foundation seemed to be just fine. What a relief! But I was still stuck with a giant crack going down the side of my house. My “foundation” friend recommended I call a tuck pointer. A tuck pointer?? What does that even mean? He explained to me that I needed to have the mortar replaced in the brickwork of my house. Apparently, all brick homes will need to be “tuck pointed” at some point. Just another wonderful part of home ownership.

So, I asked around to see if any of my friends knew a good tuck pointer. My good friends Pam and Jake recommended I call St. Louis Tuck Point Co. So I did. They had someone come out and inspect the brickwork on my house a few days later. He said that yes, in fact a good tuck pointing job was all that was needed to get my house looking solid again. It took him about 20 minutes to do a thorough inspection and then he wrote up the estimate. He said he could just repair the crack in the side of my house but it wouldn’t look right if he didn’t do the whole wall. I thought that might be a bit of a sales tactic, but in the end I agreed with him. I decided to go ahead and have my whole home tuck pointed as I’m sure at some point all the mortar could use a little help. He quoted my $2700. Yikes. Not cheap, but what has to be done has to be done.

Here’s an informative video:

For those who aren’t familiar with tuck pointing, the process involves removing all of the old mortar in your brick work and basically replacing it The tuck pointers use a hand grinder to remove all of the old mortar. They then place fresh mortar in the spaces in between the bricks and smooth it all out with an awl. To get all of the old mortar out, the tuck pointer uses a garden hose to power spray all the small bits of mortar that didn’t come out in the grinding process. It is very important to have cracks in your home fixed ASAP. If you don’t your leave your home open to all kinds of problems. Moisture can cause a lot of problems if it gets into those cracks. Tuck pointing is the best way to keep it out. It took the tuck pointers most of the day to complete the job. I was happy to hear it was only going to take one day as that grinder was awfully loud! The completed job looked fantastic. I highly recommend a fresh tuck pointing job to restore the beauty of your brick house. My house looks brand new right now and I could not be happier. The best $2700 i’ve ever spent…well maybe. Ha.