Wednesday, November 2, 2011

More winterization - and gushing about a contractor!

I've been pretty crazy busy with work the last few days, training in a different department in addition to my regular 40 hours. That isn't stopping us from continuing to get the house ready for winter, though - Blu installed our new water heater blanket today!

Snug and warm. We should have no trouble
keeping our water hot this winter!
Other things we plan on doing are insulating the basement water pipes, putting covers on the basement wells, and tuning up the furnace (after it's done being fully fixed, that is - we're so cold!). We have baseboard heating in the upstairs half-floor, where our office and master bedroom is, and both those units are functioning well if a little old. Eventually we may trade up to newer, more efficient units there.

So then, we're almost done!

Today we also were able to get our garage door fixed. Previous to our buying the place, it was a rental with a bit of a storied history, if the neighbors are to be believed. After the last tenants were evicted, they took it upon themselves to take as much as they could and break the rest, including flooding the basement by putting the garden hose through the window and turning it on. This is the major reason why the furnace is borked - a lot of the electrics were shorted out and had to be replaced. At this point almost all the innards on the furnace are fixed, the last part of which is the blower fan.

One of the other things that was broken was our garage door opener. The opener motor itself worked, but one of the motion sensors was broken, the transmitters were missing, and the entire trolley and swingarm assembly were gone. I have no experience with garage door work, never having had one before, so I kept that in the back of my mind.

Enter Lincoln Door, who I found working on a neighbor's door in the alley while I was driving to work one afternoon. I asked him if I could have a couple of cards, and he gave them to me, and asked if I was having problems with my garage door. I explained about the missing swingarm, and he rummaged through his truck and handed me one, just like that! He told me that if I had any problems, to just call him and ask.

However, while trying to install the swingarm myself, I discovered that the entire trolley assembly was missing as well. While Blu and I are not exactly the most eco-conscious people on the planet, we do prefer to fix things that are broken rather than replace them. We do this for different reasons, but honestly in this economy I would rather my money stay in the community than go out of it, and giving a repair person cash to fix a broken item in my books is much better than sending it to some faceless mega-corporation somewhere.

The part circled in red was missing, but the rest of the opener system
was in good shape. Click to embiggen
Lincoln came by our house this morning (after a bit of a mixup, but he profusely apologized for the miscommunication) and fixed our opener very quickly and for a very reasonable price. All the parts we needed were available used (and therefore free of charge, very cool), so all we paid for were his service fee and the cost of two new transmitters.

Blu and I have been totally burned in the past by scammy contractors, so when we get a good one it's absolutely imperative that I share their business with everyone I know. So, I wanted to take a second and heartily endorse Lincoln Door for helping us out - the garage door was big, heavy, and hard for me to lift, so being able to have the opener take care of the job for us instead is beyond convenient.

Stay tuned for more blogging - tomorrow I am taking off work a few hours early so Blu and I can go to the 7th Street Entry to see the Blue Scholars, a very awesome Seattle hip-hop outfit. Until then - have a great week!

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