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Old 05-21-2010, 10:54 AM   #1
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New Wood Doors - Ruined


In November, we had our exterior door (front double door) replaced. We had a wood door custom made, and our contractor painted and installed it upon delivery. Recently, I noticed separation at the seams/joints along the bottom of the door, and even a crack in the wood (see pics). The door manufacturer sent someone to inspect it for warranty. He inspected the door and informed my wife that the top edges (and likely the bottom, though he couldn't inspect it) were left unpainted, and as a result, moisture has wicked into the door causing the problems we are seeing. He said the doors are ruined, but the responsibility is with the contractor who should have made sure that all edges of the doors were sealed.

I just don't know enough about this, but it makes sense. Can anyone confirm his assessment? Do I need to go after the contractor now to refund the entire cost of the doors/painting/hanging?

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Old 05-21-2010, 11:11 AM   #2
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New Wood Doors - Ruined


Every contractor and painter knows "there are six sides to a door!". They all are supposed to receive a finish. This is one of the first things you learn as a young helper.

Lazy or careless contractor. Period... if indeed it is as the mfg rep stated.

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Old 05-21-2010, 11:14 AM   #3
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So do you feel the contractor should refund the entire cost of the door, painting and hanging?
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:23 AM   #4
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New Wood Doors - Ruined


This is where the wording of the contract can become very important.

Personally, I would say, "Yes, he owes you a new product (door) and installation." However, if your contract was vague and ambiguous in the area of specifics on exactly what was to be done, it may be difficult to do much about this unfortunate situation.

Still, most contracts have text referring to delivery of a "workmanlike installation". ( SEE HERE ) This installation sounds like it fell short of that definition.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:18 PM   #5
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New Wood Doors - Ruined


If the painter was to paint it hung, you are probably SOL. If it was painted then hung, I would hold his feet to the fire.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:44 PM   #6
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"If the painter was to paint it hung, you are probably SOL. If it was painted then hung, I would hold his feet to the fire."

Why the distinction? The edges of the door on a pre-hung door are no less accessible...
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:02 PM   #7
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"If the painter was to paint it hung, you are probably SOL. If it was painted then hung, I would hold his feet to the fire."

Why the distinction? The edges of the door on a pre-hung door are no less accessible...
What I think he meant was if you had simply hired a painter to come in and paint a door which was already installed some time ago, you might not get the top and bottom painted...... although you SHOULD get the proper job from any painter worth his wages. There is really no excuse for a good painter not automatically removing your doors to do the job right.


But your case is an uninstalled door which could have easily been painted on all six sides.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:10 PM   #8
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I was just mentioning this to my wife (who knows very little about building), and she said "Of course you paint all sides of a door... to keep it from absorbing moisture." "And what painter doesn't take off all the doors?"

Little gal kind of surprised me. She keeps her eyes open.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:32 PM   #9
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I would first call the contractor and have him come out and see the problem. There may not be a fight here. He may remedy the problem for you. Only the door needs to be changed not the enitre frame assy.
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Old 05-21-2010, 02:03 PM   #10
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I would first call the contractor and have him come out and see the problem. There may not be a fight here. He may remedy the problem for you. Only the door needs to be changed not the enitre frame assy.
Yes, definitely going to do this and approach the situation as nicely as possible, give him the opportunity to do the right thing - and as you say, there may not be a fight here. I just wanted to seee if others felt I was justified in my expectation that he should be responsible for the cost of replacement.

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Old 05-21-2010, 05:41 PM   #11
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New Wood Doors - Ruined


no reason for the top not to be painted, that was just lazy
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Old 05-21-2010, 08:24 PM   #12
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New Wood Doors - Ruined


The door looks to have minor damage that should be repairable.
The painter should have painted the entire door, but as a trade, they have a tendency to disappoint when it comes to doors. Interior or exterior.
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Old 05-27-2010, 01:31 PM   #13
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New Wood Doors - Ruined


Does it make sense that if the top of the door isn't sealed that the damage would be at the bottom? The manufacturer's inspector is saying that's how the water wicks - towards the bottom until there's no place left to go. My contractor says if the damage were because of the top not being sealed, it would be at the top (he thinks the manufacturer didn't properly seal the bottom, though right now, I don't see clear evidence of that).

Ron - if the damage is being caused by the door absorbing moisture, how is the door repairable? Once the woods has been compromised by moisture, how could it be repaired?
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Old 05-27-2010, 02:03 PM   #14
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Does it make sense that if the top of the door isn't sealed that the damage would be at the bottom? The manufacturer's inspector is saying that's how the water wicks - towards the bottom until there's no place left to go. My contractor says if the damage were because of the top not being sealed, it would be at the top (he thinks the manufacturer didn't properly seal the bottom, though right now, I don't see clear evidence of that).

Ron - if the damage is being caused by the door absorbing moisture, how is the door repairable? Once the woods has been compromised by moisture, how could it be repaired?
Neither the top or the bottom of the door was sealed. It looks as though the door skin has separated and lifted off the door core. You remove the door from the hinges and lay it on some saw horses. After you're sure the door is dry you inject some wood glue into the separation and clamp it closed. After it's dried you sand the door to level any high spots. You then refinish the door and rehang it.
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:31 AM   #15
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New Wood Doors - Ruined


Sparky:

The door manufacturer will blame everyone but themselves. Don't forget that they built the door and the jamb.

It appears that they may not have used any sort of sealer on the wood, which they really should have done.

The door is still usable, is it not? What you are talking about is a cosmetic issue.

As for the manufacturer suggesting that water getting in to the top of the door caused a problem at the bottom, I doubt that very much.

Everyone seems a little too quick to lay the blame on the painter - especially the manufacturer.

The materials in the door itself may well be partly to blame. If the manufacturer is not too far away from you, perhaps you should see if you can go to the factory to see the assembly process. It might be of some value to you.

Is the door itself - as installed - in any way protected from the weather?

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