"Trades"-men - a six year (very) long story about a garage door.

A few years ago, (Oh goodness can it really be six?) I bought one of those fancy glazed garage doors of the panel lift type. It was stupid-cheap at the time, and the young guy who owned the company seemed like a good bloke. Sadly he went bust a few years ago, and perhaps this is one of the reasons:-

When he priced it, it was specifically on the basis that the acrylic “glazing” was to match the obscure glass in our entry door and sidelight, NOT the bright white that was standard, and I didn’t mind paying the extra cost. Naturally, when it turned up it was bright white.

Ever obliging, he loped happily off into the sunset for a few weeks, and returned with a full set of translucent green panels, which he installed behind the white ones, and through some sort of voodoo magic, it all matched.

Sadly the extra weight rendered the door inoperable, but we didn’t discover that until he’d long gone.

Roller doors aren’t Rocket Surgery, so a bit of extra tension on the spring cured that, and it was so much easier than trying to get him back to do it.

Then it rained, and since the panels had not been sealed, wet stuff capilliaried itself up the inside of the panels taking any dirt it could find on the way, and it would take weeks for it to dry, leaving a tide mark between the panels.

Now others may have been upset at this, but since the nice guy said he’d come back to fix it every time we phoned, we took him at his word.

Six years later, figuring he’s probably lost our phone number I decided once again to take matters into my own hands. What can be hard about removing a few panels of acrylic, bunging in a bit of sealant and putting it back together again?

Well for starters, when the idiot installer uses a rattle gun and drives the screws in so hard that they weld themselves to the frame, and then chew out the head for good measure, the degree of difficulty goes up.

Two hours with my antique impact driver, and with the ten year old next door pleased with his new vocabulary all 64 fixings were loose, and I was ready to pop out the first panel. My mistake, I thought it would be a doddle.

They’d cut the panels too big you see, by about a millimetre and a half in each dimension, failing to leave clearance for the angle frames they were to fit into. Instead of trimming them down there and then, they persuaded them into place, no doubt using a BFH.

Never mind, I eventually patiently worried each of the sixteen bits out of it’s frame and carefully trimmed 3mm off two sides. The rest of the job wen’t pretty smoothly, so it was done and dusted in a day and a half!

Then I thought I give it a bit of an adjust and service. My second mistake. It’s got a 3mm aluminium frame you see, and he’s just used those coarse threaded roofing screws meant to go into sheet metal. Admittedly he did try to make up for the lack of thread in the metal by cranking up the impact driver to the max. This would explain why half of the fixings were rattling. Screws hammered into threadless aluminium will do that.

Anyway, now they are safely tapped with new bolts and the sun is shining and I can go back to whatever it was I was doing before I decided to fiddle with the garage door.

Oh and Jason, if you are reading this, can you just pop over and clean up the mess for me?

Jaysus, I thought what the Japanese did to us in Naking was bad. :D

@wongo did it take you blokes six years to find the problem too? :D

No and it won’t be for another 600 years :D

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