Well, that was embarrassing

After waiting in high anticipation, a new piece of equipment was delivered today and sits proudly in my driveway … because I can’t get it into my shop.

If you’re a regular reader, you know I treat the roll-up door in my garage-based shop as a fourth wall. I don’t hang anything on it, of course, but I do arrange stuff just far enough away that it won’t impede the door should I ever need it, which is rare.

I don’t like to open the door. Doing so lets any accumulated cool (or heated) air out of the shop. Rain, which almost always comes from that direction, blows right in. Plus not being able to see my neighbor while I work increases the odds that she’ll go unstrangled a bit longer. The last time I opened that door was sometime last year, maybe around Halloween or so, to bring in some full sheets of plywood. Since then, I haven’t brought home any lumber or sheet goods so large that I couldn’t just tote it in through the front door.

But the shipment I was expecting would be in a box too large for the front door, and too heavy to maneuver through the house. A straight shot to the shop floor is what I needed, so when the truck pulled up to my driveway I hit the door button.

The motor hummed. The gears meshed. The chain strained. The door didn’t move.

It’s stuck fast, and I have no idea where the sticking point is. Releasing the drive chain didn’t help – I thought maybe with the chain released I could lift the door by hand – and I can’t figure out why it’s stuck. Maybe the roller wheels have rusted or frozen with disuse or maybe the bottom of the door is literally stuck to the concrete, but I know nothing about garage doors so the last thing I want to do is force it open. Fortunately, the company that installed the door when the house was built is just a couple miles away and I can have someone here soon to take a look at it.

But in the meantime, I have an unopened new toy sitting in my driveway singing a siren song I can’t, for the time being, answer.



  • A.J. Hamler says:


    Turns out that the door WAS simply stuck to the floor! After at least eight months since it was last opened, rain, hot/cold cycles, general issues and what the heck have you had it stuck to the painted lip of the garage floor. Running a kitchen spatula underneath the door along its length did the trick.

  • Curtis Tritch says:

    Tis truly a sad day when you can’t open your own door. You are doing the right thing waiting for the door company. Me, I’m just stubborn enought to get out the breaker bar and 4×4 block, and slide it under the door and give it a pull! But, thats just me

  • R. Heines, Jr. says:

    Check to see if your side lock bar is engaged. If not, work each side of the door with a flat bar to see if the sides flex and are not stuck. Do the same with the top. Tap the bottom from inside and out with a hammer and block of wood to see if it is free. It should go up although it may be heavy and need extra omph. let me know. R

  • Well it sounds like we have the same type of shop. My detached garage is a totally dedicated shop. My roll up door rarely get opened. As a matter of fact, I am thinking of taking the doors off and building some wall across where the rollup doors go. I would allow for the wall to have a good 3/4 foot opening. I would not make this a permanent wall, but it would look permanent. If I ever move out of the house, I want to be able to easily take it out and put a garage door back up. It’s on my five-year plan. This would also seal up my garage a lot better.

  • Tony says:

    If you have a rubber bottom door seal: when wet or moister is present it can stick to the floor pretty strongly! Just a thought, if this is the case you may be embarrassed again if you have the garage door guy there.

  • Tony says:

    To break the seal slide a flat metal tool under the rubber: a large flat paint scraper could do it, a machette works for me..

  • Sounds like it’s time to build that extension onto your shop… you know you want to…

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