Garage Rebuild Complete

A whole lot of work you’ll never notice

A few days ago I put up a quick post about how I was putting in a garage door opener. I wrote how I had to repair the boards used to hang the existing garage door, and how I built sockets to support the newly T capped double 2x4 that the builders had used. They did a shortsighted job, and over the years the nails had pulled out and caused one side of the door track to collapse, at which point some other brainwave did a cheap fix of nailing another board on to hold things together. Well, that was a nice repair, but it was wasted effort.


Inlet into the drywall, this wooden socket supports the T capped doubled 2x4 from which the garage door tracks hang.

It was a nice bit of rough carpentry, and it did the job quite well. Except there was a small problem ...


Oops! Hanger support board runs across the garage and blocks the travel of the door opener tram. No good.

Aw crap.
Now what do I do? Hmm. Ok, I can see what I have to do: I have to screw some boards into the joists above the ceiling and attach the hangers to them. Shouldn’t be too hard; after all, there’s a whole line of spackled nailheads showing me where the studs joists are, right?


Well, not exactly. For some reason unknown to me, the previous owner installed a double layer ceiling. The little strip of metal you see between the layers is called a “top hat” and the lower layer of drywall hangs from that. This is how you build a sound insulated double wall. Why on earth would anyone build one of those here ( guaranteed to not be something the original builders would do ), when the floor above the garage has the old school fireproofing 2” thick concrete slab poured in it. No sound gets through that at all.

But what it really means is that all the drywall nail spackle spots I can see only line up with the top hats. The joists can be anywhere. Ach, crivens!

So now I have to go through 2 layers of gypsum board, and find the joists. Then I have to carve my way through to the next joist, so my boards will be supported at both ends. I can’t just pray I hit one, nor can I rely on the builders going a perfect 16” OC like the building codes specify. Besides, screwing through both layers of drywall would require very long screws, and while they would support things they would tend to wobble, since 1 1/2” of the screw would just be in the drywall layers. It’s much stronger to go wood-to-wood with the screws. Plus then I can put a squirt of glue in there too for extra holding power.

So that’s what I did. Twice for the tracks and twice for the opener hangers. And I had to do the whole job with the old cross boards in place, so that the door tracks would have support until I was ready to switch them over. And I needed a heftier piece of angle iron, plus half a box of deck screws to attach everything with. And away I went, cutting the holes out above my head with a utility knife, getting a face full of drywall dust. Of course! I can’t have a project that DOESN’T give me a face full of dust. It’s just not allowed, I swear.




After that it was “simply” a matter of cutting new angle iron straps, screwing them onto the little dependent blocks with lag screws, cutting out the old but newly reinforced cross board, removing the side socket wood, installing the safety electric eyes, running the wires for that, installing the wall button and the wire for that, installing the wireless remote on the outside of the garage, hanging the bracket for the lifting arm, adjusting the lifting arm for proper door lift, adjusting the door opener drive unit for opening and closing distance and strength, and replacing the old ceiling lamp socket with a new one that has a grounded outlet in it so the door opener has somewhere to plug in. Oh, and programming the outside wireless remote.

Pretty easy, but it sure as heck ate up a lot of time. Someday I’ll buy a little box of insulated staples and finish pinning the wires down, all nice and neat.

Job well done, and now I can get back to moving my stuff from one condo to the other. Let’s see ... where should I mount the loading bench in the new garage?

Posted by Drew458    United States   on 11/12/2012 at 05:14 PM   
  1. I had a similar problem with a post-WW2 tract house I bought in Costa Mesa. The “Kludge” done by some numbnut was still up there but the garage door opener (GDO) had been removed. It took mucho work to remove all the crap, repair necessary fastening points, and re-do it right.

    Posted by ooGcM taobmaetS    United States   11/13/2012  at  11:39 AM  
  2. Im exhausted just reading that.Time for a Nap.

    blank stare

    Posted by Rich K    United States   11/13/2012  at  09:39 PM  
  3. We’ve got a saying here at work. “All you gotta do......” Usually it turns to crap the moment you start.

    Posted by harleycowboy58    United States   11/13/2012  at  10:14 PM  
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