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23 July 2019

We had pulled the car out of the garage, clicked the remote and rolled backwards into the street when we noticed the garage door going back up. Unconvinced, we insisted with another click. It came down a foot and reversed again.

Frayed. Canon XTi, Lensbaby Composer, +4 macro converter, Flexi LED macro flash at f4, 1/25 second and ISO 400. Processed in Adobe Camera Raw.

We parked the car to investigate, discovering one of the two cables that pull the door up and let it back down gently had snapped.

We felt just like the cable. Frayed.

Fixing things ourselves is in bold type on our resume. So our first impulse was to see if a replacement cable could readily be had (it could) and to watch a few videos to see how to replace it.

Which convinced us to call a garage door repair company. Two, in fact. The one that installed the new motor a few years ago was out of town but the other could come in an hour and did.

Getting the cable off took a power tool to convince the screws buried in the brace to release. Then the corner bracket came off. A new cable was installed on each end of the door. But just at the bottom end.

We felt just like the cable. Frayed.

To attach the other end of the cable to the roller on top, two guys had to persuade the door to come down a few inches at a time, one side after the other, using a vice grip to prevent it from slipping back up.

And to completely convince the door, they had to loosen the tension spring on top, which is a lethal weapon itself.

Once hooked up, they restored the tension, inspected the rails and checked the balance. If it's in balance, it should be easy to lift manually and it should stay where you lift it. It passed.

So they gave it a try to make sure it went all the way up and all the way down. Passed again.

Watching him and his assistant work was an education. Usually we learn enough watching a pro to do the job ourselves the next time. Assuming 1) we have the proper tools and 2) we take the proper precautions.

We'll call a garage door repair company next time, too.

As much as we admired his work, he admired our installation. In fact, he thought they had done it themselves. Which was a compliment.

We thought about that.

Praising someone else's work is all too rare. And by "praising" we don't mean gratuitous flattery. We mean demonstrating an informed appreciation.

The garage guy told us why he liked the installation, which (after all) had survived the cable break that knocked the door askew so it wouldn't close. It was well after close of business but we had a nice conversation about the finer points of garage door installation.

After he had gone, we realized he appreciates good work because he does good work. The garage door shut quietly on that thought as we went back to work.

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