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Old 06-22-2011, 10:46 PM   #1
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Is this quality work? (Interior Doors)


I'm looking to get unbiased feedback on a project that was recently completed (by a hired general contractor). He replaced 1 single door and a set of double doors on adjacent bedrooms. I have my opinions, but to start I'll let the photos speak for themselves. I'd love to hear your honest opinions about the quality of work.

My photos are too big to upload here, but you can view them here:

https://picasaweb.google.com/1103117...eat=directlink

Thanks!

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Old 06-23-2011, 12:11 AM   #2
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Is this quality work? (Interior Doors)


I'm not a carpenter, and I didn't sleep in a Holiday Inn last night, but wow it sure looks like a mess to me. A few look like they aren't hung level at all.

P.S. - Nice toes btw.

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Old 06-23-2011, 12:24 AM   #3
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Is this quality work? (Interior Doors)


I am a carpenter. In fact I'm a trim carpenter... thats disgusting. I hope you paid him with a rubber check
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:28 AM   #4
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Is this quality work? (Interior Doors)


thats horrible.
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:44 AM   #5
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Is this quality work? (Interior Doors)


Shame. They were nice doors too!
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:26 AM   #6
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Is this quality work? (Interior Doors)


I hate to say it, but I agree with the other posters ..... it is substandard and sloppy work.

The hugh gap under the door is meant for NEW construction, so the door jambs could rest on the subfloor and the gap under the door is filled with hardwood/tile/carpet/etc. On your remodel, the carpenter SHOULD HAVE cut off the bottom of the door jambs to make the gap under the door equal with the other doors in the house.

IF the double door is higher/taller than your single door, you can fix it by pulling out the double door, cutting the door jambs at the bottom and resetting the doors back into the opening.
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:36 AM   #7
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Is this quality work? (Interior Doors)


I notice the floors are unlevel. When you open the doors, how much clearance do you have under them.
Usually, you put a saddle under the doors to make sure you can open them all the way. The 5/8" gives you clearance incase the the floors are off.
With the double doors, I would have put a regular door lock on the primary door.
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:59 AM   #8
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Is this quality work? (Interior Doors)


Did he supply the doors or did you? Are the jambs higher than standard? Was he to special order doors for any height above standard? Was he to level the crooked floors as well? It's easy to beat up the installer, but we don't know what his instructions were or what he agreed to provide. There are limitations when the customer wants to reuse existing jambs and specs out the hardware themselves. I don't like the surface bolt install. Did he provide the hardware or was he told what to use. Surface bolts on both doors into the casing would not be my choice for a french door application. Personally, before I make a judgement, I want more information.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:57 AM   #9
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Is this quality work? (Interior Doors)


First of all, thank you all for the feedback. I was in tears when I got home to see the finished product. When I questioned the guy he essentially told me my standards were just too high, that the threshold is the problem, not the door clearance, and that it's "common" to have an inch of space under a door. I was beginning to think I was crazy, but feedback seems to support my disappointment.

Here are the details:
We had Home Depot come and take a look and give us an estimate. I loved the guy that came out but the quote ended up being close to $2,000 because the doors were "custom sized" and their supplier charges $100 per cut to get them down to that size. (The doors are actually just a hair shy of the standard 30' x 6'6" and 4'x6'6" so it would only need to be shaved down a fraction of an inch on each door slab). Anyway, they told me the frames and trim looked fine so I only needed door slabs. We got a referral from a friend of ours and told him we needed to replace the door slabs and he came to do the estimate, took the measurements and quoted us at about 1/2 the price.

I will take responsibility for the fact that it was my live-in boyfriend that dealt with the guy (I was not able to take off work to be there during the install) so my communications with him were only over email and not in person. But, my boyfriend and I communicated every step of the way and I did put it in writing in an email for the guy to see what I wanted:

- Replace the door slabs, frame and trim are fine
- Solid pine with bronze hinges (all new to replace the hollow doors with brass hardware)
- Make sure double doors are such that the right side will be the active door and the left panel will lock into place and anchor the right one.
- Privacy strip in the back of the double doors to block out light

The guy had the doors delivered a few days early and they turned out to be prehung, not door slabs. Should have been the first red flag, but I trusted the guy.

During the installation (my bf was home with him), he removed the double doors from the frame and cut 1.25" off the bottom. I spoke with him on the phone after seeing the result and he said "the threshold was installed to a point where it was difficult to get an accurate measurement as to where the door would lie" ... so you made a mistake?

Also on installation day he told my bf to go to Home Depot and pick out the door knobs. I was on the phone with him at the time and sent him some pictures and told him to make sure to get the active door knob for the right panel and a dummy for the left. He hung up, and the contractor told him that they both had to be dummy door knobs, that he couldn't drill a hole into the inactive door for the active knob to lock into place. That kind of set up only existed on "expensive French doors" and that he could try to "jerry-rig" something but that it wouldn't look good. My bf took him at his word and he put 2 sets of dummy knobs on.

Lastly, I guess when I said I wanted the doors to "lock into place" he took that to mean "install deadbolts on the backside of the doors" which personally I think looks awful and I never would have approved it. (Again, I know I should have been there and I could have prevented that).

And yes to some of the previous posters, my floors do slope so the single door isn't installed crooked, it's actually the floors that slope down. Would have been fantastic if he had shaped the doors to compensate for that, but I never asked him to do so, so I can't complain.

Now, the clearance under the doors is as follows:
- 3/8" on the hinge side of the single door
- 1/2" on the knob side of the single door (due to floor slope)
- 1" visible from the hallway under the double doors
- 1.5" visible from inside the bedroom under the dooble doors
There is a drop off from our hardwood floor to the carpet which is about a 1/2" but I was told you should always measure door clearance from the PULL side of the door, which for us is inside the bedroom.

So the guy initially said he'd come back and reattach a piece of the door to the bottom to minimize that 1-1.5" gap. I've waited patiently for 6 weeks now and finally sent him an email asking him to give us a firm date that he can commit to coming back and that I was growing increasingly frustrated and that I was not pleased to begin with. He really let me have it in a series of emails and informed me he would not be coming back.

I bought a t-shape astragal to install (probably have to shave down the doors another fraction of an inch) on the inactive panel and hook up an active knob on the right side. My only issue is, how do I fix the gap under the door? I'm not skilled enough to mess around with the frame. Can I add a piece to the bottom? Or do I have to shell out more money to another professional?

Thanks again for everyone's help. It's refreshing to hear that I'm not the only one who thinks it looks awful.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:57 AM   #10
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Is this quality work? (Interior Doors)


I agree with Ron, the floors look to be unlevel. The double doors can be fixed with a "T" strip and if you don't like the surface mount latches edge mount can be installed at the top and bottom. A good trim carpenter can still come in and straighten all that out. It just looks like the carpenter didn't have enough experience to fix all the things that went wrong.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:14 AM   #11
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Is this quality work? (Interior Doors)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maintenance 6 View Post
Did he supply the doors or did you? Are the jambs higher than standard? Was he to special order doors for any height above standard? Was he to level the crooked floors as well? It's easy to beat up the installer, but we don't know what his instructions were or what he agreed to provide. There are limitations when the customer wants to reuse existing jambs and specs out the hardware themselves. I don't like the surface bolt install. Did he provide the hardware or was he told what to use. Surface bolts on both doors into the casing would not be my choice for a french door application. Personally, before I make a judgement, I want more information.

Sorry, I missed a few of your questions...

-He supplied the doors, I picked them out (I didn't measure, I just looked at the pictures and said "I like this one")
-As far as I know everything is pretty much standard size. Again, the actuall door panels were "custom" meaning 29.5" x 78" and each panel of the double doors was 23.75" x 78"
-He was not asked to touch the floors. I didn't even ask him to compensate for the slope when cutting the doors (although that would have been a good idea had I thought of it)
-He provided all of the hardware. All I specified was bronze, not brass.
-I agree with your opinion on the surface bolts. Had I been there or had I known that was the plan they would not have been installed.

Essentially I put a lot of trust in this guy. I did specify a few important things (in my post below), but I have no expertise in the realm of door installs so I trusted the everything would turn out "normal." If he had asked me about jams and frames I wouldn't have had the answers so I let him do what his "professional" gut told him to do. Therefore I've tried to be somewhat understanding of a few aspects (the "crooked" look of the double door which isn't his fault, the surface bolts, etc), but I am still just so hung up on the large gap under the door. I just don't see how anyone could think that would be acceptable.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:40 AM   #12
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Is this quality work? (Interior Doors)


thats a mess, that wasnt a carpenter. there are things that a carpenter does because of experience and he did none. I would want my money back or everything done correctly. that wasnt done by a carpenter
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:46 AM   #13
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Is this quality work? (Interior Doors)


Is he licensed, bonded, insured? If there is a bond, contact the bonding company. You got an estimate that was 1/2 of home cheapo, you got 1/2 of home cheapo quality.

I am always surprised when the owners is surprised the cheap guy does crap work. Bad signals when hiring a contractor, in no particular order
1. No license, insurance, bond
2. More than 10% of difference in estimates from other contractors
3. Material is not what was specified
4. Does not show up on time, does not call when delayed
5. Unable/unwilling to supply references of other work completed
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:02 PM   #14
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Is this quality work? (Interior Doors)


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Is he licensed, bonded, insured? If there is a bond, contact the bonding company. You got an estimate that was 1/2 of home cheapo, you got 1/2 of home cheapo quality.

I am always surprised when the owners is surprised the cheap guy does crap work. Bad signals when hiring a contractor, in no particular order
1. No license, insurance, bond
2. More than 10% of difference in estimates from other contractors
3. Material is not what was specified
4. Does not show up on time, does not call when delayed
5. Unable/unwilling to supply references of other work completed

Not totally disagreeing with you, but just to clarify: The Home Depot estimate was $1800 ( I rounded to $2000 for argument's sake). Home Depot told me specifically that $600 of that was the cost for Brosco (door manufacturer) to cut the doors down to size. They charged $100 per cut. So it was $100 to cut a 1/2 inch off the width off of EACH of the 3 door panels and then another $100 per cut to cut 1/4 inch off of the legth/heigh of each of the 3 panels. My cousin who is an amazing GC (unfortunately lives 3 hours away) quoted me within $100 of what the guy we hired charged. The guy we hired was $1000 for installing the 2 sets of doors. His fee on top of the cost of doors was $300. That's not exactly the cheap end is it? More than $50 per hour?

We didn't hire him to cut costs, we hired him because he was referred to us and we saw the work he did in our friend's kitchen and a custom shelving unit. So we hired him based off of his references. I didn't do a license verification so for all I know maybe he was a fraud... is that something that I should do moving forward? A background/license screen? (That's an honest question, no sarcasm). I've only been a homeowner for 3 years so this is still a learning process for me.
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:14 PM   #15
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Is this quality work? (Interior Doors)


I would check license information to see if a contractor had one, was "borrowing" one or otherwise pulling something off. The State maintains a complaints database too. I don't know how I feel about Angie's List and know of one person who got massacred for no reason there but that an ex wanted to get her.

You were diligent in checking references but maybe should have seen the work if you did not. As I understand it this referral came from a friend. Put's that person in an awkward position hugh?

I was not totally clear that the contractor was no sent your way along with others off some HD list though? I know people are hungry but I would be skeptical of contractors subbing out door hanging projects for a box store.

Let's hope there is enough insurance or some other way to get all this fixed for you.

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