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bella 12-07-2007 09:39 AM

Sub floor & Slider Replacement
We bought this house about 6 months ago and have discovered some damaged subfloor at the ends of the slider. We are fairly comfortable with DIY, we put down laminate in the rest of the house and converted a garage to a room on our own. However, we are intimidated by replacing subfloor as we know absolutely nothing about the job. We were quoted $1300 to replace the subfloor and door (not including the price of the door.) This is way more expensive than we expected and we are now considering doing it ourselves. 1) is this a reasonable estimate and 2) is this too extensive of a project for us to undertake with no experience?

The damaged areas are quite small, I would say 2X1 or so at the most.

Thanks for any advice.

XSleeper 12-07-2007 10:00 AM

Perhaps you don't understand what all is involved:

Assuming the subfloor is beginning to rot at the bottom left and right corners of the rough opening, it's very likely that the door is the culprit. Also, the subfloor is nailed/screwed to the floor joists. It extends underneath the sill plate of your walls. It also extends to the edge of the house, and is nailed/screwed to the rim joist. That means the door is sitting on top of the subfloor. You would not be able to replace 100% of the rotton subfloor without dismantling that entire area- removing the door and possibly some of the wall, because part of that damage is likely concealed under the wall.

Now here is the thing. You will have to decide if a 2x1 section of water damage is worth all the trouble and expense. I replace lots of doors and run into various degrees of water damage all the time. In most cases the water damage is not a big deal, you put the new door in and if there is no more leak, it won't get any worse. In other cases, the subfloor has TOTALLY rotted away, and even part of the wall sill plate is gone. In cases like that, you obviously have to do something before you put a new door back in.

When the door is removed, you will see the true extent of the subfloor damage because right now it is all concealed. So my suggestion would be to plan on replacing the door and let the door installers know ahead of time that they may run into some damage and you'd like them to repair it. Nothing an experienced installer would run into would be a big suprise to him. Maybe you can have written in the contract something about the cost of extra time and materials in the event that they do need to do any extra unforseen work.

Oh, and as regards the price, I think it's a little out of line. Installing the door should be no more than $500, and since I don't think the small amount of rot (2x1) is even an issue, I don't think it would add anything significant to the cost of installing the door. Certainly not $800 worth.

If you feel confident replacing the door yourself, I'm sure you could handle fixing the subfloor. It shouldn't be a big deal.

bella 12-07-2007 03:57 PM

Yeah, I definitely don't understand what goes into repairing a subfloor. Which is why we called a contractor in the first place. If I was aware of what went into it, I would probably have fixed it already. :wink:

Yes, the subfloor is rotting at either corner of the slider. It is old damage and the leaks have been repaired. The door is not currently leaking but we wish to replace it because it is old and a security risk.

While the areas to be repaired are quite small, they are, unfortunately, rotted all the way through. We are talking about 2 holes that are perhaps the size of a 20 oz. coke bottle in diameter. I have felt within the holes and all the other wood around them is solid.

I spoke to the contractor again, and asked him to break the job down for me. He hemmed and hawed a bit because the amount of labor would be the same either way- the door would have to come out and be put back in, whether the door that was put back in was a new door or not was irrelevant to the labor cost. I asked that he assume that the door was not an issue and that ALL he was repairing was the subfloor damage- and he quoted me $800 for that. So your guess of $500 for the door with the remaining $800 for the floor was right on.

At this point, I have visions of running the laminate to the door and pretending I never saw the floor damage. :censored:

XSleeper 12-07-2007 09:23 PM

If the damage doesn't compromise the wood between the sill plate and the rim joist, (under the king and trimmer studs) I wouldn't bother with it. Maybe screw a filler underneath it and fill it with floor patch so at least there's no hole.

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