The Circle of Home Repair

>> Friday, January 29, 2010

You have heard of the Circle of Life? Now let me tell you about the Circle of Home Repair. I know once you have read this you will agree completely with me.

I want to use my garage for its originally intended purpose. I want to put cars in it.

I can't do that.

Why can't I do that? Oh, the reasons, the reasons. The first is that the garage is "broken". The second is that it is a mess. Let's focus only on "broken" because I don't have all year and neither do you.

Problem: The garage is broken. By that, I mean the garage door opener is broken, taking the door neither up, nor down. Obviously, I cannot use said garage to park my car if I cannot get my car into the garage. I could raise the door manually, if I were a superhero possessing amazing strength, but I would not be able to lock it from the outside. So, if I want to pull my car into the garage from the driveway, I would have to get out, turn the car off, walk to the front door, unlock it, go inside, go to the garage, unlock the garage door, forcibly and with much grunting and puffing, pull open the garage door, walk back outside, get in the car, tell Toddler to quit screaming about turning the radio back on, start the car, turn radio back on to stop the screaming, pull car into the garage, then get out and extract Toddler and all packages and bags.

Okay, I got tired just writing that. Trust me, I won't actually do it. I'll just keep getting out of the car in the rain, get Toddler out, and run back and forth for the groceries until Houdini escapes, chase him for awhile, and then finish up with the unloading.

So ... I need to replace my entire garage door opener system, and then I can pull my car in.

"Not so fast, my friends."

The garage door is almost as old as I am, is in bad shape, is warping and rotting. If I replace the opener without replacing the door, I will need to replace the door, and probably the opener, very soon.

So ... I need to replace my entire garage door opener system AND my double garage door, and then I can pull my car in.

"Not so fast, my friends."

The sofiting above the garage is warped and broken and needs to be replaced. We would be foolish not to replace the sofiting while the garage door is removed.

But, if we replace the sofiting around the garage, it won't match the rest of the house, and the rest of the sofiting is broken and warped, too. So, if we replace part of it, we really should replace it all at once, especially since it probably makes sense to buy it all at the same time rather than piece by piece.

But, if we replace the sofiting, we will need to remove the gutters, some of which are turned upside down and doing no good, and the downspouts, in order to get at the sofiting anyway.

In order to fix the gutters at the back of the house, we will need to rent scaffolding or special ladders.

In order to assure that the scaffolding can be safely assembled, we will need to acquire some clean fill to correct the erosion problem in the backyard from the upside down gutters.

There is little point in filling the eroded areas if we don't intend to get rid of the problem, which is the excessive discharge from the gutters and the sump pump, so we will need to pipe water over to the county discharge stream.

To pipe the water, I need a permit from the State, an engineer, and a professional waterproofing company.

So, in order to get a new garage door opener, I need to regrade my backyard.

And then I need to clean the garage.

I think I'll be parking in the driveway for a good long time. Then again, there are two cords of wood on the driveway, so perhaps the front lawn is good. Hey, all I need is a broken car on cement blocks and I will have brought hicksville to the DC suburbs! I'll bet the neighbohood association will love that one.


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