Patio Door Question

dctonycJuly 30, 2014

We have an installer come to install a new patio door, but to my surprise, the door he brought is smaller in height than the door that is being replaced, with about 1-2 inches of space between the top of the new door and the wall above it. The installer used foam to fill the space, and he said this is normal for patio door installation. As a result, the molding has to be moved downward and the bare wall which was originally behind the molding now is exposed. See picture below. I seriously suspect they measured incorrectly in the first pace. Would anyone please advise if this is typical at all? Thanks.

This post was edited by dctonyc on Wed, Jul 30, 14 at 18:42

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Not normal at all in my opinion.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 7:19AM
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Thank you. Will see what the installer has to say about this.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 9:13AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

If you replaced a previous door that was a swing door (i.e. French of Atrium door) with a sliding glass door, the standard height on the sliding door is shorter than the swing door in a majority of the cases.

That being the case, you can pad down the height of the door and stay with a standard size door or use a custom height door. The custom height door will usually run you about a 150% premium on materials.

Most customers opt for the standard and what we will do is run a larger casing to cover the offset in size and reveal.

That looks like a 3.25" colonial casing so he/she would have to step up to the next size.

Most times they are covered with a 2.25" colonial so going to the 3.25" colonial finishes it off nicely.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:10PM
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Talked to the installer and here is what I was told. Our old sliding door is 82" high. The new sliding door only comes in at 80" high, unless it is "customize in size", which will require $1k more, although we were told at the time of signing contract that everything is "custom made" and they would come to measure the size after signing the contract. So apparently "custom made" does not mean the same thing as "customize in size" in the installer's language.

The guy who came to measure may have noticed that a standard size (80") would not fit well for my door, as he asked something about if we were going to "customize" and pay extra, which we did not fully understand and thought price has been agreed to for "custom made" door.

So the measurement guy put down on his paper the standard height 80" and they ordered for that, without us knowing it will be 2" short of our existing door.

At the time of installation, after the molding is taken off, it is clear to everyone that there will be 2" gap, and the installer put in spray foam (which I was told is premium stuff, costing $20-30 a can, and will harden like cement) into the gap. But they did have to move the molding downward to cover this gap.

The installer offer two options: 1. replace with truly custom made 82" door but pay $1k extra, or 2. live with this and they will give us some discount.

What do you all think of this? I feel like I was cheated in the sense that I was not fully informed about what I am getting, and "custom made" turns out to be not what I understood.

Thanks very much.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:32PM
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I don't buy that story. What brand door did you purchase? I hope it did not come from a homecenter/box type store? What sort of installer/measurer were they?

This post was edited by millworkman on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 15:29

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:58PM
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It's an Okna door. I don't know if it is true that it only comes in standard size, unless you pay a hefty premium. I thought "custom made" means truly custom made.

Installer does a lot of work installing Okna windows.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 3:05PM
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windowsonwashington, when you say most people will choose a standard size door, what do they fill into the gap in between the top of the door and the wall? I understand you can have a larger molding to cover it up on the surface, but what is put into that gap inside? Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 3:24PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd


The door can be ordered in a custom height and it does add considerably to the cost of the door as compared to standard.

Most folks prefer the standard door from the standpoint of ease of sourcing parts should there be a warranty issue down the road.

We typically pad that opening down some some wood and then spray foam the gap but there is nothing structural that requires anything but the foam. It is nice to have a nailing surface behind the trim though.

Foam is fine for the gap but like I said, we usually use 1x4 material.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 3:30PM
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windowsonwashington. Thanks. Would 2" of foam still be ok?

Also our old door is a sliding door too, so what do you think of the excuse the installer gives that he did not know the old door is 82" as the guy who came to measure only put down 80" on the paper? Would it have been obvious at the time of measurement to anyone in this industry that there will be a 2" gap?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 3:36PM
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As wow said, we order a standard 6 ft and pad down the opening a tad and then cover with wider trim/ casing; usually 3 1/4".
I do t think the installer is lying when he said its custom, thats basically windows and guys usually lump in doors as well.
That said, a true custom sized door is ridiculously expensive.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 6:05PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Unless they indicate and charge you accordingly, most guys will put in a standard sized door and pad it out.

The older sliders are different sizes many times and can run taller.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 10:41AM
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WoW and mmaserl are spot on. The standard patio door height from Okna is 79.5" (most manufacturers are somewhere in the range of 79-80"). The old 82" height is what you would typically find on a hinged door. Either way, as mentioned, it is highly common to install the standard size as it is pretty hard to justify hundreds more for an extra 1-2" in height. If the texture is consistent and you have the paint to do so, that line can be touched up. Alternatively, wider casing as WoW mentioned, or a piece of mull cap installed under the top piece of casing would work as well to fill the gap.
I also would use some wood to fill that gap as opposed to straight foam, but mainly for cost purposes as opposed to any structural deficiency.
Ultimately it would have been nice for your installer to give more options in terms of not looking "unfinished" like that, and some additional clarification upfront would have been nice, but he/she is not lying about the rest of the circumstances.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 4:12PM
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I'm curious how you like the Okna sliding door otherwise? I am currently considering one for my home and would like some feedback as to the quality of the door - particularly the sliding mechanism. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 9:35PM
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What do you mean by the "sliding mechanism"? That door, like most higher-end units, rides on brass rollers.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 3:06PM
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Sliding mechanism was probably a poor choice of words - simply meant how well the door slides on the track in terms of ease of use.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 3:40PM
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