A blog to record my experience in getting a new garage built in Chicago by the company Garage King.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Construction is done

A new garage

What we see from the house

Water trickles in...

And puddles up
On Wednesday morning about 6:10a I was awoken by a loud thud out in the alley. A truck literally dropped off my garage material -- in front of my neighbor's garage. Fortunately he didn't need to get out of his garage that morning. My load was wrapped in a plastic sheath that said something like "Garage Builders Supply" although that might not have been exactly the name. And on the truck was another load, with the "Danley's Garage World" logo on it. (Danley's Garage World of course being a major competitor with Garage King.) More on this in a subsequent post.

The load was basically a garage kit -- the lumber, doors, shingles, siding, etc., all wrapped up and ready for assembly. The carpentry crew arrived about an hour later, and quickly set to work. One of the workers found a dead rat in the alley, and moved it across the alley, next to another neighbor's fence, and propped some scrap over it.

Most of the construction was kit assembly, although the studs needed to be cut, and the rafters for the hip roof needed to be cut (which takes some serious special reasoning). The whole job was done by 3 p.m. It was quite amazing to see how quickly they put together the new garage. I suppose garage construction is about as straightforward as construction gets -- very standardized -- and if the crew puts together essentially the same building every day, they will make it look easy.

A couple of notes: the side door is primed, but not a final color -- that is my job. Ditto for the side doorframe. (The main garage door is the correct color.) The workers tidy up after themselves, including picking up most of the nails left behind. The larger scrap went into the garage for pick up by someone Garage King sends over. (Which they did the next day.)

The quality of the work is pretty good I think. There headers are as the sales guy promised (these are the bigger boards over the doors and window to support the weight of the roof where there isn’t the normal support). I can see daylight in a couple places around the foundation, where the walls meet the concrete. The siding looks pretty good, but if I look carefully, there small inconsistencies.

Garage King wanted their final payment as soon as the carpenters were done. That's what I agreed to so...

After they left, I retrieved the rat, put it in a plastic bag and put it in my garbage bin. It was a good-sized one.

Now I am waiting for the electrical guy. I expected to hear something about when he would show on Thursday, but nothing, and nothing on Friday either. Until the electrical work is done, we don't have a garage door opener (well there's me, and I am amazed at how light the new door is compared to the old wood door).

One potential problem -- you can see in the photos -- we had rain in Chicago on Wednesday night, and I found a trickle of water coming into the garage. Now I can expect some water from the roof maybe bouncing off of the apron (since there are no gutters) and finding its way into the garage, but it should stay around the door, and be minimal at that. Water is predictable -- it flows downhill. The concrete slab is supposed to be pitched to allow water to run out, not in. And mostly it does that. But I mentioned the dip I saw in the slab after the concrete was poured. The fact that the dip is close to the main door means that there is a place inside the garage for water that might bounce under the door to go. There is a second picture that shows a spot on Saturday morning, after the big rains we had on Friday night. Today is Sunday, and the water has evaporated, but still...

I called Garage King on Friday to talk about this, but the construction manager was out, and was transferred to the head of the company? It was one of those classic conversations where the other person doesn't listen. After every sentence they need to reply, without getting the complete story first. First he said water in the garage was normal, it was because I didn't have gutters. Then he said I could push the water out of the garage. I tried to explain what I understood about floor pitch etc. He asked me what I wanted them to do. Which is an odd question -- I mean, I don't want water to come in the garage and stay there for a day or two. As to how they fix it -- how would I know? And then I was transferred back to the receptionist/office manager, who was very polite, and said she would have the construction manager call me on Monday.