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Old 09-04-2011, 03:33 PM   #1
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Reality check on interior doors recently delivered


I am redoing a MCM home built in 1960. There are three doors in the main hall that require replacement as the previous owner had accordion doors installed there. The other doors are plain oak doors with solid oak trim.

I have, after much shopping, bought replacement doors from a local lumber yard. These were a special order as the doors are oak faced, 1 3/4 inch thick with finished edges. I bought solid doors and they weigh a ton. The jambs are oak without a separate door stop, the jamb itself having a thickness cut out where the door comes to rest. Sorry I can't find the name of such an arrangement.

Well I ordered two of these doors prehung as the frame for the third one had already been made to receive a conventional door prior to the accordion door being installed.

The salesmen at the lumber yard told me that their own shop could build the frames.

I have now taken delivery of these doors and here is the problem:

1) The jambs are 5 1/4 inch wide and instead of being built with a wide enough piece of oak stock were actually made up of two pieces glued on edge. Three of the four sides are acceptable, in that the grain and color of the oak match up, but one clearly shows the demarcation line

2) In order to secure the doors to the frames in transit, the people at the shop put two screws on each of these door assemblies through the door handle side jamb so that I now have screw holes near the top and bottom edge of the doors and in the jamb at the back.


Obviously these holes could be somewhat hidden with filler, but they will always show even with the low lustre finish I want to apply.


So my question is in the way of a reality check:


Am I right in thinking that the frames should have been built with full-width pieces of oak instead of two glued pieces?

Am I right in complaining to the vendor and insisting on frames and doors that have not been damaged by transit screws?

I have to call the vendor when the store reopens in a couple of days and fear that I will be told that I am simply too demanding and that pros would just install the doors and patch them up and be done with it.

I paid $1000 for these three doors to make sure that they are in keeping with the quality of finish of the house.

How would you guys react and would you consider that insisting on replacement frames and doors that are perfect is the normal course in such a situation?

Thanks!

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Old 09-04-2011, 04:51 PM   #2
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Reality check on interior doors recently delivered


The jambs made of two pieces of wood is pretty much standard practice--

As to the two screw holes --are these pre-finished? If not I think you are making a problem where none exists.

Those are heavy doors---how would you expect them to ship without two screws to keep them safe?

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Old 09-04-2011, 07:11 PM   #3
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Reality check on interior doors recently delivered


Thanks.

BTW the frames were built at the lumber yard half an hour away so I think some plastic wrap would have been enough to keep the doors safe for that short trip.


Seems a shame to have holes in both the frames and the edge of the doors.


Two or three finish nails would not have split the wood the way it is now and would have left very small holes to fill.

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Old 09-05-2011, 07:58 AM   #4
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Reality check on interior doors recently delivered


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I am redoing a MCM home built in 1960.
What is an MCM Home? Is that manufactured housing of some kind?

Multi-pieced and finger jointed materials are common now days unless special ordered otherwise. A couple of tiny screw holes can be made to disappear and they are where they will never be seen to begin with.

Lookin' for a little discount after the fact are ya?
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:48 AM   #5
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Reality check on interior doors recently delivered


Thanks for your reply.

MCM = Mid-Century Modern.

No, not looking for a discount, if I was that type I wouldn't have asked the question here and would have proceeded directly to the store to haggle.

I just want the new doors/frames to look as good as what was built in 1960 as I am matching up two doors to another three down the same hallway.

in 1960: no holes in the frames, the oak stock was one piece, an inch thick. I knew I wasn't likely to get the original thickness, but I really believed the lumber yard would have stock a full 5 1/4 inch wide for something to be varnished.

The salesman at the lumber yard told me they could build up the frames in their own shop or order them directly from the door manufacturer. I didn't decide, he did. There never was any discussion about the cost of doing it one way or the other. One sure thing, I paid extra to have the edges of the doors in oak and didn't expect they would have holes in them!

The bottom screw hole could have been avoided altogether by putting the screw into the bottom of the door through the piece of lumber that is there only to insure the frame stays straight prior to installation. Like I said, the doors could simply have been secured to the frames with plastic wrap or a few finish nails.

Why is it details that make the difference between a nice and neat job or something that has to be touched up are disregarded?

BTW the oak frames are blind nailed at 45 degrees in the edge that gets covered by the trim around the door: that's the seamless look I was going after.

Why does everything look so perfect in Fine Home Building, whereas what I see on the ground goes from terrible to good, never great?

Thanks again and have a good day.


Now I have to call back the carpenter to see when he can install these doors!
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:08 PM   #6
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Reality check on interior doors recently delivered


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Why is it details that make the difference between a nice and neat job or something that has to be touched up are disregarded?
A sign of the times I'm afraid. I see it everywhere these days. Anytime someone can take a path of least resistance you can be assured they will.

Personally I think you should have been told about the joining process they used and offered an option. That and the holes is argument enough to ask for a little discount in my thinking.
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:00 PM   #7
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Reality check on interior doors recently delivered


everything you describe is somewhat standard practice. Most doors in fine home building magazines are way more expensive than $350.
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:21 PM   #8
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Reality check on interior doors recently delivered


Last winter I completed a large tile installation on a new home that cost around $550,000.00. When the doors and windows were ordered they were ordered "stain-grade". When they arrived on the job-site they were what you have. Even the wood itself had serious color mismatches at the joints. They were a big name in doors and windows. The builder wasn't there when the delivery was made but the next day he popped his cork when he saw the product. They offered him $6K discount to keep the doors and windows and go ahead and use them shoving the imperfections up the customers butt. He said no way come and get them out of my path and out of my sight. This guy is an up and up perfectionist and wouldn't put up with that crap. It took months to get the second order and then there was an up-charge for the higher quality. The window and door manufacturer is still waiting for their up-charges to be paid. I doubt they will ever see the up-charges or another order from this builder.

Serves 'em right!
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:36 PM   #9
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Reality check on interior doors recently delivered


Quote:
Originally Posted by PatBB View Post
I just want the new doors/frames to look as good as what was built in 1960 as I am matching up two doors to another three down the same hallway.
Good luck with that. I totally feel your pain. Except, with my house, I'm trying to match 200 year old woodwork that was made on site. I can't come close to matching the quality of the heart of pine they used (unless I salvage it) and I have to buy everything three sizes too big and cut it down.

There is a difference between renovation and restoration. Are you really trying to 'restore' the home circa 1960? Unless you are doing it with all elements of the house, I think you are splitting hairs. Go retro or go home.

BTW - I HATE it when someone else (vendor/dog/husband) causes a defect (intentional or otherwise) in some of my work. The reality of it is: NO ONE but YOU will notice. Most people who do notice won't care. And those who do notice and do care will understand why it is why it is.

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