Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Beware the Teenage Driver

I think somebody replaced my Wednesday with a Monday.  Or maybe switched the two of them around, since this week I had a great Monday.  Maybe that's why today is not going well.  Perhaps I'm doing penance for having an enjoyable Monday this week.

Let me start this story with a little info about this little place here.  We have a long driveway, about 500 feet or so.  It comes off the road, then after about 300 feet, it splits and makes what we call the Circle.  The Circle allows you to approach either the barn or the house at a pretty straight shot to make backing trailers to either one fairly easy.  At the house part of the circle, you can pull straight into either of the two garage doors.  Or, if you go right on the Circle instead of left, when you get to the house area you can pull forward onto a gravel pad that is 3-vehicles wide that we call the Teenager Parking.

It's called the Teenager Parking because that is where we have our teens park.  Because both of our garage doors have dents in them from teenaged sons.  DS1 hit the east door from the inside when he was backing out and didn't check to make sure the door was up all the way before he began.  So it dents out at the bottom.  DS2 hit the west door from the outside when he was backing up to park in front of it.  He was 17, and pretty new to driving a stick shift, which was what we'd recently purchased for him to drive to his dual-enrollment classes at the community college.  Being a teenaged guy in a cool red car, he thought he'd try backing into place.  Only he didn't quite have clutch, gas, and knowledge of his rear bumper mastered yet.  Ever after, that door has dented in at the bottom.

So, all teens were banished to the Teenager Parking alongside the cement approach to the garage, in order to make it a) easier for them to pull or back straight in and out, and b) prevent further damage to the garage!  As an added bonus, DH and I can park in the garage, and can go in or out without having to shuffle vehicles first.

Okay, enough background, on to today's story:

This morning.  DD1 was driving the new truck--yes, the one we bought 11 days ago--and for some reason backed the sharp corner from the Teenager Parking to the cement approach instead of backing straight up, then pulling forward around the Circle to leave for school. Since I wasn't home at the time, I don't know exactly what speed she was going, but it was fast enough that when the truck hit the pillar between the east and west garage doors, she did some major damage.

From the outside it looks like this:

See the black smudge on the 5th 'board' of the siding?
That's a bumper mark.
Look at the bottom of the siding.  Doesn't it look a bit crooked?
It is.
Note how the two garage doors don't appear aligned.
They aren't.

What it looks like from the side.
OSB sheathing cracked and bent outward, taking siding and trim with it.

Very close up.
You can see inside the wall.
Which you shouldn't be able to do, as it's OSB & siding on the outside, and drywalled  on the inside.
Stud is broken off  the sill plate.
At least the block foundation appears unmoved.

This is what it looks like on the inside:

East side of west door--left one in picture--is pushed forward by broken stud inside wall. 
Hence the bright white on the lower edge of the door, that's the sun coming in.
Door track is attached here, so no way is this door operable as is.

Close up of bottom of damaged area.
Door track should be back where the other door track is in the far right of picture.
Pushed out of position 4"? 
Or more.

Sigh.  Count to 10.  No, make that 100.  Or 1,000.  DD1 is long gone to school by now, leaving me to break the news to DH, who is currently in Colorado for work (and having his own not-fun issues to deal with there, from what I hear.)

So, I thoroughly examine the damage so that I can explain to him precisely what it looks like and he can get an idea of what we will need to do to repair it.  Good thing I have a construction background, sort of.  At least as much of a construction background as a person can get gutting and remodeling one house, then designing and building from the ground up another house and a barn.  So I know a few technical terms, LOL.  I also know I'll be involved in the deconstruction then reconstruction of this particular area of the garage.  And so will DD1. 

As per DH, she will also be riding the school bus for at least the rest of the week.  A very stern punishment for a high school senior.  She might die of embarassment.  But at least she'll be more careful driving from now on.

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