Door installation issue

eam44December 15, 2012

I ordered new prehung front doors (Masonite fiberglass 6' x 80" double door) based on measurements given by the handyman I hired to install them. I should have double checked myself - I really needed 60" x 80" to fit in the existing opening.

The installer and his helper cut out the wall and framed a new opening, and installed the doors with what he calls a "tight" fit. What I experience when using the left (from the inside), functional door is that I can close it and lock the handle, but I see light coming through at the bottom right corner of that door where it meets the other door, unless I give it a little kick to close.

So, what do I do? Do I live with it a while and let it settle in? Do I ask him to come back and correct the problem? If so, I'm not that confident that he'll do the right thing on his own. If the issue is the bottom right corner of the left door, does that mean he needs to make more room at the top left?

He also put a screw through the metal plate at the bottom (threshold?) which irked me because it was solid and completely waterproof, now it has a screw in it creating a hole through which water can get to the wood below. Any recommendations would be welcomed. Thanks.

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your first mistake, you hired a handyman. end of story.
should of hired a quality installer through a dealer. it would of seemed more expensive at the start but look how expensive it is now going to be in order to get someone over to fix the handmans mess.
NEVER use a handyman for doors or windows !

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 2:08PM
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I'm looking for advice on a correction. If anyone can offer some please chime in!

mmarse1 - your observation may be correct but it isn't helpful (although, if you're trying to live up the the "arse" in your moniker, you're doing well). I didn't save money by hiring this man. I hired him because he has done work for my family in the past and he is struggling, like many people are right now. He made a mistake. I am looking for information on how to fix it. If you have any useful input I'll be glad to receive it.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 2:21PM
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I really needed 60" x 80" to fit in the existing opening.

In shoehorning in the door assembly they may have knocked it out of plumb. Check with a four-foot level.

It's sometimes hard to find a tradesman who will come in to correct someone elses's work.

The installations I've seen by some trades recommended by one of the Big Boxes is atrocious.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 2:50PM
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im not trying to be harsh but when i see home owner complain about poor craftsmanship after hiring a " handyman", you gotta blame yourself. you chose to go with " the cheapest guy" and you got what you paid for. hopefully others viewing this post can learn something. enough with my rant..
you need to have the door installed square . i would call him and ask him to adjust the frame and let him know you should not see any day light. there is a chance that the weather stripping is defective but if you are having any trouble closing the door, its out of square and needs to be fixed.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 5:09PM
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Make certain the sill is now set in silicone and the screws siliconed in as well because those holes should never have been drilled and will cause more issues if not sealed properly (if you do not make him correct it with a new sill as that is the completely wrong way of installing a door)

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 6:00PM
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i missed the sill part.. never ever drill a hole in a sill. whetherva window or a door. millworkman is correct, at the very least use some silicone to cover those holes.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 6:28PM
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worthy - I don't have a 4' level but will get one and check. Thanks.

millworkman - As soon as I saw the screws I just gasped. I'm removing the screws today. Would that "FlexSeal" product be OK to use, or should I use silicone?

ARSE - I did not go with the cheapest guy, I went with the guy who has no health insurance, has a wife in hospice, and has to find a way to pay her medical bills. Your input is to tell me I shouldn't have hired him. That may be, but I can't jump in a time machine and change my choice, so how are you helping? You're not. I don't want to hear from you again.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 9:33AM
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I removed the screws that were put into sill and put clear silicone in the holes. I think what happened is that the "tight" placement of the door makes the sill bow in the middle as there is a gap along the bottom edge that I put silicone into, that is higher in the middle. Here are some images.

Screw hole in the sill

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 11:48AM
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Higher gap in the middle

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 11:49AM
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Light coming through the doors when closed with normal pressure. If I push I can get it closed all the way.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 11:50AM
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Additional view below.

When I used a level - I only have a small one - it looked like anything other than the middle is within the level lines (not perfect) and leaning slightly toward the direction of either wall, and the middle is askew depending on where the level is sitting.

Do I try to find someone to remove and reinstall? Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 11:57AM
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I definitely would have it removed a new sill put on and then reinstall. If you decide to not use a new sill at the very least make certain that the new installer uses a sill pan under the door. The problem is double doors are very much inherent to leaking and one not installed correctly will without a doubt cause you greater headaches. Think about it this way, is it less expensive to pull the door, repair the sill and have it installed correctly or less expensive to potentially replace flooring, drywall, trim and sheathing and siding, etc when it all rots from water infiltration?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 12:26PM
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My advice would be to have your installer come back and correct it. If you don't feel that he is capable of doing that, then hire someone else to correct it, whether that means completely re-installing it or not (and that could very well be the case). I can say that based on your description, it is a pretty high-level installation to start with. 1) Double doors are a major PITA. 2) Anything less than very high-end units just don't have the same manufacturing tolerances which makes the install that much more difficult. As such, sometimes you can have everything perfectly plumb and level yet you have to make a choice between smooth operation or a nice tight seal. Its the type of project that can drive a good installer crazy... Not commenting specifically about your product or installer, just that it is a complicated situation with a variety of potential reasons for your issues... But that is why you hire somebody: making it right is their problem, not yours ;)... I realize that you are looking for some more specific advice on what the problem is and the remedy to make sure that the installer does it correctly, but it is really difficult to say without inspecting it in person. It could literally range from a pretty competent install that needs a couple small adjustments, to a total hack-job that leaves the door unit itself nearly unusable. I've been called out to make "adjustments" on a door that someone else installed in the past only to find a hundred screws in the jambs that completely split them, and just about every screw in the hardware and hinges completely stripped out.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 1:53PM
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mill and Home - Thank you so much for the information.

I'll call the installer. I know he's not at his best right now, but even I (a total lay person who occasionally watches Holmes on Homes) knew he shouldn't have screwed through the sill. I put silicone in the screw holes and underneath, where the sill meets the PVC piece in front. Perhaps I shouldn't have done this if the door has to be pulled out, but I got it caulked and dried before a big rainstorm, so that's something.

I hope the door is still useable and it turns out to be a minor adjustment. I just really don't want to make the guy cry - and it'd be great if the front door closed properly...

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 12:47AM
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