Friday, 3 June 2016


I'm always in admiration - but not envious - of Andrew and his Do It Yourself attitude and abilities. He solves many problems with his own hands and no doubt also saves himself considerable maintenance costs.

I've never had an aptitude for DIY. It has never interested me, although I have noticed that DIY types are often rather delicious looking.

This morning I was ready to depart for my volunteer work at the hospital. It was 6.20am and it was dark. The sun was still to rise. Sitting in my car I pressed the remote control for the garage door to open. It rose several centimetres and then froze. I pressed the remote again and the door closed. I pressed the remote once more and it opened only to again freeze several centimetres up.

In a scene fitting for a Marx Bothers movie I repeated this loop - open and close, open and close - another four or five times finally conceding that something was wrong and someone must fix it.

It took a while for me to find the documentation for the garage door. Actually, I didn't find it. I noted the name of the garage door device and looked the company up on the internet. There was a 1300 number to call. I called it and a recorded voice told me (in effect) to wait for their business hours which commence at 8am. Only on weekdays. Bad luck if your door jams on a weekend or worse still on a public holiday long weekend.

At 8am, I called the number back. I was offered the choice of two repairer/dealers. One located 49 kilometres away and the other 16 kilometres away. Guess which one I chose. I rang his number. He asked me numerous questions about my device including colours of buttons on the remote and the wall pad. I dislike these questions. I have colour defective vision (colourblind) and always have a sense of uselessness when a tradie or call centre asks me (for example) 'is the displayed light red or green'?

'I'll be there by 12 noon', the repairer assured me. Filling in time I noticed a rusted spring on the garage floor and nearby a small ring which seems to have snapped away from it. Looking further at the door itself and I noticed one newish looking spring at the eastern end of the door and no spring at all on the western end. Even my non-DIY mind registered that the problem may be a broken spring.

The repairer called from his car to announce his arrival around 11.15am. Good sign, he was on time, even a little earlier than promised.

A quick examination of the 'crime scene' and some chat about his latest golf holiday to Las Vegas and Palm Springs followed and within about 20 minutes my garage door had a new spring on its western side. My forensic assessment had been correct.

$231. Yep, a new spring and 15 minutes labour plus the holiday chat.

The door works better (smoother) than ever now.

I took the repairers business card. He was on time and he fixed the problem. That's all I need to become a loyal customer.

He wasn't as good looking as the DIY man in the photograph nor was he better looking than Andrew either.


  1. Oh Victor, too much! I am better looking than your tradie and I am adept with tools? Funnily, just last night R and I were sorting the world when I mentioned the power points I had added to our apartment, two. I just drilled through the walls, mounted the power points and connected the wires. This was when we first moved here and I have no idea how I did it and I have no confidence that I could do it again to the point where I would not even try. I really have lost confidence in my ability to do anything like that, or maybe it is laziness and I can now afford to pay for such things. The price of your repair seems on the high side, but not excessively so. Maybe the spring is expensive. Good that he had one on board, at least. Note to other readers, Victor has a private garage, not a mass parking version as we do. The tradie is nice looking but I don't like the look in his eyes as he holding that drill with his finger on the trigger.

    1. You are still miles ahead of me on the DIY front.

  2. I hate it when tradies charge for the time they spend having unsolicited conversations. It should be deducted from the cost (or perhaps we should be charging a fee in return).

    1. It was such a short visit I expect that even with the holiday chat we didn't reach the minimum labour period.

    2. Ad Rad, how do you know if you paid for the chat? We had a long chat with our electrician who installed our oven about various things, but his bill does not state his time spent here. The price seemed reasonable. If it is clear that the unsolicited conversation was charged for, you have a strong point, but it is ever clear?