Thursday, September 10, 2009

Garage Door Done

My 2-car garage is quite old. I believe it was built around the time the Ford Model T became available. It's made of concrete block and brick with a poured reinforced concrete roof supported by a central large steel I-beam. It's built like a bomb shelter but the blocks are clearly made well before the atomic age. So the reason is likely related to the worries about gasoline fires. Fire codes around 1907 must have called for this kind of construction. The doors for the first auto garages were modeled on those for horse carriage houses. basically large out-swing hinged doors built out of wood with galvanized steel cladding.

Before I owned the house someone had replaced one of the doors with a "modern" spring-balanced overhead sliding door.Here's a before pic and some during removal of the old door. I purchased a new Clopay steel door. First the rails needed to be attached to the concrete.

I needed a good hammer-drill to make holes in the hard, old concrete roof and the concrete blocks.Here's a pic of the beastie. I love tools.

I mounted some PT lumber to the door opening to create an easy structure for the rail verticals. I used concrete compression anchors and construction glue.

I mounted the rail verticals using lag screws. Since the door weighs a 100 lbs, I had to change the assembly method for a one person job. Normally, all four door sections are assembled and lifted into place. I decided to mount each section to the rails, bottom to top, separately. This requires the rail verticals to be nicely prealigned as each section is placed.
After the door was fully assembled, I needed to place the extension springs, pulleys and cables. I slowly added tension to the system as I levered the door up (Archimedes style)