Thursday, December 18, 2008

Garage Door

I define a luxury problem as a problem that can be fixed with money. I used to use the definition of any problem that is not related to food, shelter and clothing. My current trials and tribulations with the garage door certainly fit both definitions. To begin with a very small percentage of the world’s population owns a car. Second only a fraction of those owning a car have a covered garage to store said car. Finally of those having a covered garage not all can use the space due to storage constraints or have an automatic opener. Yes, there are people in the world who unlock and manually raise or lower the garage door.

I fondly remember becoming strong enough to be the designated garage door opener/closer in Memphis. It was a two car garage with storage occupying half the space. The storage items included the lawn mower, bicycles, and other sports equipment. This was a step up from Philadelphia when we did not have a garage or storage shed and my parents would haul the lawn mower and bicycles up and down the stairs from the basement every weekend, but I digress. The garage door in Memphis was a heavy wooden monstrosity with a weak balancing spring. It would require some force to lift and likewise care had to be paid so that it would not slam down.

I finally got my own vehicle after college and it always lived outside while I lived in a series of apartments. When I first moved into a condominium with a single garage space I was thrilled. When my wife moved in, my car again lived outside. There are only about 50-60 days/year that one actually has to scrape ice from the windows in Colorado, but nevertheless, our current home has a two car garage that we both park in daily.

The current drama stems from the door sticking occasionally when the weather cooled down. I lubricated the spring and checked for obstructions. This was the extent of my handyman efforts. The next step was having it serviced and the “garage expert” turned up the force on the ½ HP motor and replaced a couple of hinges and aligned everything. This worked great for 2 days and then the same thing started happening. Tonight a new ¾ HP automatic garage door opener will hopefully be installed and this luxury problem will draw to a close.

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