French Doors Installed Improperly???

ohmmm_gwApril 11, 2010

Just noticed this the other week. House is 6 years old. I am the third owner. These are original doors that were installed when the house was built. Based on what I have seen with workmanship of other door installs in the house, this was not surprising. My question is, can it be fixed? Will I need to take the entire door our and attempt to reinstall it?

I checked the plumb and level on the interior side, and it seems fine. And looking at the doors from inside the bedroom, there is no major glaring errors. But when you go to the outside, this is what you see:






You can look right through that gap on the right side and see the insulation in there.

The metal support at the header for the brickwork is level. So I don't know what the issue was here. It seems like the doors should have fit in there properly, but clearly they did not.

Any ideas?

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Here are the images so you can view them.
It's not that serious. I see some poor miter joints and a need for some caulking where the brick mold meets the brick.

The brick mold could be easily removed and redone if it is a big concern to you. I would just caulk the joint and paint it.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:20AM
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I will wager(internet bucks) that the sill plate on which that door is installed is not parallel to the header and the walls are not perfectly plumb.

Can it be installed better? Sure. Is it worth the cost? Maybe not.

If the joining edges of the doors are even and the weather stripping areas have no gaps, then the doors themselves are square and plumb. That means the installer did square the frame and doors in an out of square opening.

If there are no leaks, my advice would be to install a thin strip of trim that covers the gap, such as a flat piece of wood/plastic about an inch wide, so it covers the gap.

The problem is caused by initial construction variences, which are quite normal. There has to be room for the wood/metal/drywall/etc. in a wall to be able to expand/contract. Allowances must also be made for small variences in the framing to be out of plumb/square. That means the opening for a door is built larger than the door frame so the door can be installed square and plumb. I have installed doors in an opening where the side gap at the top on one side was 1&1/2", while the bottom side gap was 1/4".

That is the major reason for trim, to cover the necessary gaps.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:36AM
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The gap is too large to be caulked. I can nearly fit my hand through it. I can possibly spray foam it and then add a trim piece and a bit of caulk if need be.

The doors line up fine, and the interior reveal seems okay.

I will have a better look at it all later this week.

I certainly am not impressed with the subcontractors who worked on this house, from the door guys, to the cabinet guys, and framers. It is clear that doing the job right was not a major concern in the process of building this house.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 11:48AM
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don't foam the crack. use backer rod to fill the hole
and caulk to seal the backer rod. foam will shrink, caulk
will expand and contract.

best of luck

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 9:44PM
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Well I checked the sill, and used a framing square to check the corners of the door jamb. It is all fine. So something got out of whack when they did the rough opening.

Too late for the spray foam, I already did it. I can trim the excess away and then cut and paint a board to fit right along that top edge.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 10:45AM
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Stuff the space with oakum, or similar material used for filling seams in concrete sidewalks. Paint the edge the same color as the brick.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 2:14AM
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