I’m a big believer of do-it-yourself home repair. Whether we’re talking plumbing, electrical, flooring, or HVAC, most of the costs are tied up in labor: paying someone to come out and do the work. With the right tools and a good YouTube search, however, you should be able to handle most household repairs and many automotive repairs.
After that it’s just a matter of weighing the cost of your own time against the cost of paying someone else to do it.
A little over a week ago, this happened:
That’s an extension spring for a garage door. It snapped in half, which meant the garage door opener couldn’t open the garage. Fortunately whomever installed it had the foresight to run a safety cable through the spring, so I found it hanging in place rather than punched through a wall or window.
Most garages have a single torsion spring above the center of the door; the rest have a pair of extension springs. Torsion springs are not easy to replace, and they can hurt you if you don’t know what you’re doing or don’t have the right parts.
Extension springs, on the other hand, are easy to replace with nothing more than a socket wrench. Disconnect one pulley wheel, thread the cables, reconnect the pulley wheel, and you’re back in business.
Assuming you can locate the damned things. I hit three of the big box hardware stores and a Farm & Fleet looking for the right size springs, but they only stock springs for up to 160-pound doors. My door, apparently, is closer to 200 pounds. I ended up calling an overhead door company instead, and they were able to find me a new pair. The bigger springs cost almost three times as much as the 160s due to their size, but at least I still wouldn’t have to pay for installation.
I finally had enough time today to get to work. Half an hour later, this happened:
Score. Saved me a couple hundred bucks in labor, I’m sure. It works better than before, too; the newer springs pull the door open a few inches higher, even with the top of the doorway.
And because I was able to get the garage door open, I was able to make this happen at last:
It’s good to be the king.