Laura's Backyard Renovation: Trial and Error

Renovation Diary

The boys came up with a DIY pulley system to keep the 85kg roller door in place for installation.
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Name: Laura Watson
Type of Project: Outdoor renovation
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Type of building: Semi-detached shop front/cottage with 1200 sq. ft. backyard

The Renovation Diaries are a collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. See all of our Reno Diaries here.

The first job to be completed this week was to replace a section of the fence where the outside toilet was previously located. The toilet formed part of the boundary with our neighbor’s property, so when we removed it, it left a gap in the fence. It wasn’t too difficult a job since there were existing fence supports. Rather than just patching the gap, we took down all the old colourbond sheets in this section of the fence and replaced them with new sheets so there wouldn’t be any difference between the old and the new.

Removal of the outdoor toilet left a hole in the fence which needed to be filled in.
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Rather than patch it, we replaced this whole section of fence with new colourbond sheets.
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Finishing the new section of fence.
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The second job which we tackled this week was installation of the roller door. I think this was probably the most difficult process so far. The roller door weighed 85 kg and was therefore quite difficult to maneuver. The boys used a pulley system to keep the roller door in place (maybe not the “proper tool”, but it was effective!). As per the instructions, the roller door was placed on the hanging brackets and the floating axle was held in place by two U-bolts, but the U-bolts appeared too long to fit, so they were trimmed to a smaller size and then installed. On looking back, this should have been a clear warning that we were on the wrong track.

U-bolts that didn't fit should have been a good warning sign.
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The wooden chock was cut to allow the roller door to be unwound a little (it came spring loaded) and the protective plastic was removed. Up until this point it was all good… but when we tried to operate the door (by closing it), thus loading the spring further, the roller door axle started to spin on the brackets and the roller door unwound itself and crashed to the ground… because the bracket saddles were not installed!!

Something doesn't look quite right here.
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Now we understood why the U-bolts appeared too long at first; they were designed to screw through the saddles and then into the brackets, firmly holding the door in place. Luckily they sold replacement U-bolts at the local hardware store, so this was a problem we could easily fix!

The missing saddle bracket which caused the roller door to unwind uncontrolled.
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The roller door came through mostly unscathed, with only a couple of minor scratches on the painted side. After another inspection of the instructions, we installed the offending bracket saddles and managed to get the roller door installed and functioning perfectly! Phew!

Let's try this again.
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Slowly, slowly!
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TA DAAAAA! A functional roller door!
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Estimated time for project: 8 weeks
Time remaining: 1 week

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to check back next week for installment #11 of Laura's Backyard Renovation.

(Images and diary text: Laura Watson)

(Image credits: Laura Watson; number)

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