Thursday, July 3, 2014

So Expensive: Part 3

Part 3:  Install New Garage Doors

(read part 1 and part 2 of our adventures in expensive house fix-ups)

As is fairly established by now, Husband likes spending time in the garage taking a certain vehicle apart.  The new house has a stand-alone garage.  The old house had a connected garage, and the washer and dryer were in the garage, so I would go into the garage on occasion (and inevitably manage to bash my arm on a tailpipe suspended, improbably, four and a half feet in the air).  But the new one is all on its own and literally jammed to the brim with the Old Car.  I never go in there.

Haunted by rusty ghosts.  Really, just rust.
But Husband is in there all the time.  He shimmies around the edges in the narrow path he's made to get to whatever rusty part of the Old Car he is disassembling at any given moment and doesn't even look like he minds it.  When he isn't working, or sleeping or baking pies, or hanging out with me discussing plot inconsistencies in the Transformers franchise, he's out in the garage working on his car.

Husband:  I think we need a new garage door.
Liz:  Why?  What's wrong with the old one?
Husband:  The springs are really old, and the door is really heavy, and I'm worried the garage door is going to collapse on me and kill me.
Liz:  We're getting a new garage door.

He wasn't delusional: the old garage door had no automatic lift and was made out of solid wood, and every time Husband lifted it, it made a terrifying dying-badger sound.  It was just that a) I knew it would probably be a bunch of money and b) after the heinous floor experience, I didn't know if we were ready to deal with another upgrade.  But Husband's life was at stake this time, so it had to be done.

Miraculously, this time, finding a service provider was easy: Husband found a guy on Yelp and called some people, and one of them was remarkable:
  1. He actually replied
  2. He seemed reasonable on the phone
  3. He was willing to come out the very next day to give a quote...
  4. ...even though the next day was Sunday.
It was amazing.

He came out on Sunday and brought a brochure of doors we could pick from.  He showed us the one he suggested, which was one of the cheapest ones, and a very good door as well, because it's really just a garage door and who needs...

Liz:  I want that other one.
Garage Door Man:  Oh.  Well, that one is a fair amount more money... 
Liz:  I don't care.  I want that one.

The Garage Door Man seemed baffled that I was willing to spend more money to have a better-looking garage door.  Or maybe he was trying to be sensitive: on the weekends, I generally dress like a twelve-year-old and I'm not old enough looking that when I'm dressed like a twelve-year-old that people can see, ahem, another sixteen years past that.  
Aside:  One time, right after I had taken the bar exam, I sat on a plane next to a director at a company I really like and chatted very intelligently with him about the directions his industry was taking (as I'd done a 120-page paper on that industry my last term of law school).  Mr. Director kept doing double takes / expressing incredulity that I had a JD - because I was wearing jean shorts and an old t-shirt from a mock trial tournament.  Whatever!  It was summer!  I had just taken the bar exam.  I'm not some person insistent on throwing back to the 60s by dressing up to sit on a sweaty Southwest flight.   
Machine washable clothes save the world, too.  Down with dry cleaning.
So the Garage Door Man probably through we were stone cold broke and I was some sort of 18-year-old bride.  Instead of what I actually am, which is a stubborn lady who intends to buy new garage doors only once in the rest of her existence and is thus going to get attractive ones that look like carriage doors.

(Which Husband also wanted.  I'm not some kind of garage door tyrant wife.  Which is going to be the title of my next blog.)

The Garage Door Man nicely acquiesced, and began telling us about his nine (nine!) children and beloved wife while he went to inspect the current door.  Which was the best part, because our garage door was no regular garage door.  As you can see, within the door was another, regular-style door, complete with glass panes and a locking doorknob, though you have to step up over the ledge to enter through it.  Also, the garage door had in it a separate cat door.

This was part of the reason it was so heavy and why Husband and I were genuinely concerned he could get smushed under it.

Garage Door Man, admiringly:  You know, I've seen doors in a garage door before, but I've never seen a cat door in the garage door before.  Two doors within the door.  That's a first.

We were pretty proud to have a garage door unlike any the Garage Door Man had seen before.

We agreed on a price and signed the contract.  After he left, though:

Husband:  I'm sorry - I forgot to negotiate with him at ALL.
Liz:  Don't worry about that - he has like a million children to feed.  I don't want to negotiate with that guy.  

The very next day, Garage Door Man sent the oldest of his million children over to install the new garage door, which did require Husband to roll part of the disassembled Old Car out of the garage.

But other than that, the garage installation was easy and quick - the guy worked outside on it for half a day, and by 5 p.m. we had a brand-new garage door that went up and down by itself and had a nice keypad on the outside.  Just like regular people do.  No cat door.

Which is really a loss in case Husband ever trains a cat to help him put the Old Car back together.

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