Building "off-grid"

- Garage Doors! -
(click pictures for larger view)

March 2007:  The long-awaited garage doors are finally installed.  I started getting quotes for these [again] in December (I did some preliminary shopping a couple years ago).  I took my time in the actual ordering, first because I requested quotes from 3 places (3-5 is my standard for best price and timeframe), and second because we had a couple big snowstorms late in an otherwise pretty snowless season, making my driveway troublesome.  2 of the 3 places sent reps out to see the construction of the framing, headers, etc., both of them telling me I had to fix a couple problems.  That was doubly helpful, because during the fixes, I noticed some areas where gaps had appeared because of loosening screws, shrinking lumber, etc.  I think if I had it to do over again, I would probably put a coat or two of paint on all the framing wood I used - even the manufactured lumber.  If you're going to build a house all in one shot, that's one thing, but if any of it is going to be exposed to the weather for a period of time, protecting the lumber is a good idea.  This is one of the mistakes I've made that I hope no one else makes.  It hasn't caused any problems that I know of - yet - but with an investment in lumber, do your best to eliminate that risk.

Anyway, back to the garage doors.  Installing garage doors, just like laying concrete block or a cement slab, is not something I wanted to learn, at the potential risk of screwing up everything involved.  If that sounds like a cop-out regarding the "build-it-yourself" theme of this web journal, just remember that if the price is right, there's no shame in letting a pro do what pros do.  Another major reason is that garage door springs are very powerful, and therefore dangerous to mess with if you're not experienced.  Enough said...

Cost:  Garage doors (1-18'x7' and 1-12'x7', R10 value, 1-3/8" steel 'sandwich door'), installed, with all hardware and weather stripping - about $1600.

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Sorry - not a link this time! :-)

I have been wanting to cover the gaps between the garage doors - the gaps I created to provide the correct dimensions for the doors.  It didn't seem like a good idea to do it before the garage doors were installed, so I waited - which was a smart move.  A big part of the information provided by the garage door reps regarding the framing, headers, etc., had to do with it being a flush plane for mounting.  If I had covered them before, I probably would have gone right to the edge, evenly along the door jamb (because I'm particular like that) and screwed up the installation guys.  It wasn't a big deal after the doors were on, and it was a nice, easy Saturday job to do.  I didn't take pictures of the step-by-step, but what I did was cover the inside part first, then cut out insulation pieces to fill the empty space, which was insulation left over from my halfway effective RV insulating attempts.  My plan is to finish the front block wall face, and maybe part of the block wall sides, with that stone look.  I think you buy the cut stone ends and the concrete mortar stuff at Home Depot or Lowes or wherever.  After some prep to the block wall and/or wood surfaces, you slather the mortar on thick and fit the stone pieces in like a puzzle, hence my lack of concern about the evenness of the front face (i.e. plywood over the block wall between the two garage halves).

Sorry - not a link this time! :-)

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