Answers to Your Garage Questions Answers to Your Garage Questions

Q. I am looking to build a 20x40 garage, which I would like to attach to the end of my house. Due to space limits I can only build it 20 ft.wide. I have a ranch home with a 4/12 roof. I was looking a freestanding garage from one company that a friend used. She built a 30x30 and the cost was $16,000. When I asked the same company for a quote they said $30,000. I understand that they will have some demo work but they will use 30 feet of my existing wall. Is it really that much more expensive?

A. If they gave you that bid on an attached garage 40 long, that is about right. It is very expensive to attach to a house. Not only is it expensive to hook in the roof and attach the wall corners, the garage and house joint wall must now be fire coded. It would be a lot cheaper to build your garage free standing.

Q. I am building a workshop/outbuilding out of scrap lumber that was on my farm. I have completed the carcass and two thirds of the rafters. I have run out 2x8 13 feet long rafter boards as a few were rotten; I need 5 more pairs or 10 more boards. I was wondering if I can splice two shorter boards together with a joint of some kind to make one whole board and would this be strong enough? The building is 25 feet wide by 50 feet long so each board runs a 12 feet or so span. Is there a joint that would be suitable, or can this not be done?

A. Don't splice rafters; buy some new lumber to finish up. You can use those shorter pieces to build some workbenches or shelves.

Q. The garage door is kind of noisy when I open and close it. I plan to use some lubricant. I have WD40 at home. Can I use it or do I have to buy some lubricant only for garage doors? Which part should I apply lubricant to?

A. WD-40 is not good for lubrication of a garage door because it dries too quickly. Stick with regular motor oil in a oil can. You can also pick up a bottle of 3-n-1 oil. Apply lube to all of the rollers on each end of the door, normally about 10 rollers. There are pulleys, two on each side that need lube also. You don't need to grease the track or anything like that, just the rollers and pulleys. It is easier to lubricate everything when the door is down and when done. Operate the door manually to see if there are any other spots that need lubing like hinges, etc.

Q. I have a sears 1/2 HP garage door opener and I need to replace the 9-volt battery. My question is, will my code be stored in the keypad if I remove old battery? I would think it should be or anyone could remove the battery and put in their code. Do I just remove and replace the battery?

A. Yes, your code is stored and should still stay the same as what the book says.

Q. I have a garage that is made out of cement blocks. The house and garage were built in the 50's. The garage is in good shape except for a couple of areas of cracking. What would I use to fix this, or is this best left to a professional?

A. As long as the garage is structurally sound, there is no reason not to do-it-yourself. Remove any loose mortar and replace with new. If you are only doing it for the look, you can caulk the cracks.

Q. The left side of the garage door closes nice and tight, but the slab is slanted which results in a 1-2 inch gap on the right hand side. I would rather not just add weather stripping as this will only result in a very noticeable piece of rubber on the bottom of the door. What is the best way to fix this functionally and esthetically?

A. You could put a small hole in the end that doesn't seal and put spray foam in it. This will make the seal thick.

Q. I have a hollow aluminum garage door the garage faces the west. My idea was to put insulation into the hollow parts of the door to reduce the heat and cold. Is there some reason why this wouldn't work?

A. Actually, it is a very good idea to insulate the garage doors. You might be better off contacting the manufacturer of the doors because not only do they make insert insulation for your purpose, but they are also designed to provided the most benefit. They are usually aesthetically pleasing and easy to install, and provide instructions and replacement parts if needed.

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