Month: June 2015

Testing Old Doors for Safety

Safety Tips

Although June is just about over, we want to continue sharing door safety tips such as these. We are taking a look at what you can do to practice Garage Door Safety when you have older garage doors. In older houses or building, the garage door may be original or a replacement. Not sure of its vintage? You might be able to track the door’s manufacturing date through a model type listed in the owner’s manual. If not, conduct this series of tests in order to discover if the door does not have a reversing feature or is a modern model with the feature in need of repair.

Balance. To check balance, start with the door closed and trip the release mechanism so you can maneuver the door by hand. If the door is balanced (properly spring-loaded and running freely on its tracks), you should be able to lift the door smoothly without much effort and it should stay open about three or four feet above the floor.

If the door flies up or down when you let go, the balance needs adjusting. Because the springs store so much power, you should have their tension corrected by a qualified service contractor.

Force setting. Test the force setting of the opener by holding the bottom of the door as it closes. If the door does not reverse as you apply moderate resistance, the setting is probably excessive. (Consult your owner’s manual for specific details about adjusting the setting.)

Reversing test. Place a 2-by-4 block on the flat in the path of the door. If it does not promptly reverse on hitting the block, you should repair a modern opener or replace an older one that lacks the reversing feature.

Basic maintenance

The humdrum part is basic maintenance, mainly cleaning, oiling and a shot of graphite in the lock. Many manufacturers recommend cleaning the tracks and then applying a light machine oil, except to plastic parts.

One of the largest door makers, Genie, says to oil door rollers, bearings and hinges monthly, using a silicone lubricant or light oil.

There are some fixes any homeowner with a level and socket wrench can take on, such as aligning the tracks. Though door wheels have some leeway, if the tracks are not parallel and plumb, the wheels can drag and also wear out prematurely. The solution is to loosen the bolts in the track mounts just enough so you can realign the tracks before re-tightening.  Omega Door and Hardware encourages you to continue practicing garage door safety.

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Construction Estimate Mistakes You Can Avoid by Using Mobile Apps


Here are some helpful reminders when estimating jobs from a recent article from Canvas. Canvas is a cloud-based software service that enables businesses to replace expensive and inefficient paper forms with powerful apps on their smartphones and tablets. It enables users to collect information using mobile devices, share that information and easily integrate with existing backend systems.

Estimating the cost of a construction project is one of the most important, and challenging, parts of a job.  Estimates involve a number of variables and aren’t easy to calculate. The process can be complicated and time-consuming.

However, taking the time to prepare a thorough and accurate estimate is critical. An estimate that is too high will make your bid less competitive, while estimating too low can take a toll on your profits and the growth of your business.

What are some of the most common mistakes in estimating, and how you can prevent them?

  1. Failure to visit the project site. This may seem obvious, but this step is often overlooked by contractors who are either inexperienced or overly confident and assume that a particular job is cut-and-dried. However, visiting the proposed job site is crucial because it lets you check things that might not be obvious on paper, such as:
    • Topography, and whether grading or drainage is an issue
    • Whether existing structures have to be demolished or removed from the premises
    • Proximity to supply centers and sources of labor
    • Access to the site, and whether the roads/access routes can handle heavy vehicle traffic

    These are just some of the issues that may not come to light unless you visit the project site before preparing your estimate.

  2. Overlooking less-obvious costs. “Soft costs” like permits and inspection fees are frequently left out of estimates, and these can add up to thousands of dollars. There are also less-obvious costs like temporary power, dumpsters, and site prep. Even forgetting to add tax to your materials estimate can cost you plenty.
    Your best bet to avoid commonly overlooked costs is a good checklist and detailed plans and specifications. These are available as paper forms, but mobile apps make estimating more accurate and efficient. Some mobile job estimators, for instance, will do the math for you, so you don’t have to tally countless rows of services and materials — and risk leaving off something important. And unlike complicated software packages that you have to purchase and install on your computer, apps are much less expensive and easier to get up and running, and ideal for reluctant and savvy technology users alike.
  3. Job site surprises. Even if you visit the project site beforehand, some surprises are bound to crop up. Sometimes water or insect damage or structural issues aren’t apparent until you’ve started the job.
    While there’s no way to totally avoid these unwelcome surprises, your estimate should include both the probable scope of work as well as a reasonable pricing structure for the unknown portions — for example: X dollars for each linear foot of floor joist that needs replacement, or X dollars to install a sump pump if conditions require one. The idea is to list specific prices for specific conditions rather than having an open-ended time-and-materials contract.
  4. Underestimating labor costs. Labor is one of the most difficult costs to estimate. For one thing, you need to consider not only how many hours and workers the job requires, but also the workers’ experience and whether subcontractors will be needed. And, since hourly rates for construction workers vary throughout the country, you’ll need to verify current wage rates and fringe benefits for the building trades involved through local union offices, other contractors, supply yards, and other reliable sources. Don’t forget to include possible overtime rates.
  5. Not checking your numbers. Even if you’re sure you’ve got the right rates, measurements, taxes, etc., you should check and double-check your numbers before submitting your estimate. Common mistakes in this area include:
    • Math errors. Again, mobile apps can lower your risk of making a mistake. At the very least, use a calculator or have the calculations checked by another person.
    • Measurement errors. Taking the wrong measurements and dimensions from plans, drawings, and specs results in corresponding mistakes in the cost of materials. Consider using an app to calculate measurements, and have another person check your work.
    • Using incorrect units of measure (for example, square feet instead of square yards) can result in substantial cost increases or decreases.

For more info that can help you save time and improve safety on your next construction job, check out Canvas.


Article source: Jason Good 

A Look at Schweiss Aviation Hangar Doors

I recently had the pleasure of enjoying a ride in a custom bi-plane during the National Biplane Fly-in at Freeman Field, 3JC in Junction City, KS.  A biplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with two main wings stacked one above the other. The first aircraft to fly, the Wright Flyer, used a biplane design, as did most aircraft in the early years of aviation. Here is a shot of the view. There were hundreds of planes from all over the country that flew their biplanes in for the day.




snoopy plane

With 35 years experience, Schweiss hydraulic doors are sold nationwide and abroad. Key markets are agriculture, aviation, commercial, industrial and residential designer. Schweiss Doors has recently been chosen to provide decorative residential hangar doors to homes in a new Idaho neighborhood compromised of 44 spacious lots. The development set between Schweitzer Ski Mountains and Lake Pend Oreille, offers a rare opportunity in aviation real estate perfect for the bi-plane owner!

  • The Schweiss design uses large cylinders with spherical bearings on both ends of the cylinder allowing it to stay straight through its full range of motion.
  • Efficient, safe and powerful pumps designed to lift any size door. Built with reliability that gives you with low maintenance costs Schweiss saves you  money, long term.
  • Schweiss hydraulic doors offer three other backup systems.  Standard Hydraulic tractor fittings, drill-driven backup using a 7/16” hex head, or you can still close your large or small hydraulic door with just a turn of a screw on the hydraulic pump unit
  • Superior engineering by experienced craftsmen. Schweiss door frames have factory pre-located, extra heavy hinges to ensure proper alignment and performance.
  • schweiss hydraulic1

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