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Thread: French door gap

  1. #1
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    Default French door gap

    I recently had french doors installed, and there is a good 1 inch gap underneath. When I asked the contractor, they came and installed big black wrap around door sweeps. I think it looks awful, but I have no construction knowledge. Is this the standard? Thank you! IMG_9571.JPG57569334626__409A5943-C16D-4569-A865-698F59C89884.JPG

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: French door gap

    Quote Originally Posted by brooke blumetti View Post
    I recently had french doors installed, and there is a good 1 inch gap underneath. When I asked the contractor, they came and installed big black wrap around door sweeps. I think it looks awful, but I have no construction knowledge. Is this the standard? Thank you! IMG_9571.JPG57569334626__409A5943-C16D-4569-A865-698F59C89884.JPG
    So are there gaps at the front exterior side too? If there is no shoe, water will enter right through that sweep. Residential isn't like PW projects where there are strict tolerances , for the most part, its really just subjective. That is, what looks good and what looks like crap.
    Do you have better pics?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: French door gap

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    So are there gaps at the front exterior side too? If there is no shoe, water will enter right through that sweep. Residential isn't like PW projects where there are strict tolerances , for the most part, its really just subjective. That is, what looks good and what looks like crap.
    Do you have better pics?

    Thank you! I will post a better picture in the daylight tomorrow. Yes, there is a 1 inch gap that you can see outside. I understand that there has to be some sort of shoe on the bottom, but all of the other doors in my home have a small sweep on the bottom exterior. The doors all come nearly to the threshold. These doors are about an inch from the threshold, and the slide on shoe is the black 2 inch thing at he bottom of the doors in the pictures. They fall off when i open the doors. He used some sort of door that is filled with a styrofoam inside. This guy was such a mess, i'm not even sure if those were the right kind of doors to install on an exterior door, but I can feel the styrofoam when I feel the bottom of the door without the shoe on it.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: French door gap

    Quote Originally Posted by brooke blumetti View Post
    I recently had french doors installed, and there is a good 1 inch gap underneath. When I asked the contractor, they came and installed big black wrap around door sweeps. I think it looks awful, but I have no construction knowledge. Is this the standard? Thank you! IMG_9571.JPG57569334626__409A5943-C16D-4569-A865-698F59C89884.JPG
    These doors are typically installed as a unit, so the doors would have been pre-cut by the manufacturer to the correct height. The sweep is a normally piece of hardware that is installed after the frame is set in place, squared and fastened to the wall frame. The sweep creates a weather seal and is needed. If you need more info, look at the manufactures installation instructions.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: French door gap

    If this was a prehung door, something is definitely wrong there. There should be a bottom sweep installed under the door and it should be in contact with the threshold when the door is closed. Some thresholds adjustable and can be raised to make a good seal with the door sweep but not that much.
    This is that you should have to give you an example

    Door trashold.jpg


  6. #6
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    Default Re: French door gap

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Levitt View Post
    If this was a prehung door, something is definitely wrong there. There should be a bottom sweep installed under the door and it should be in contact with the threshold when the door is closed. Some thresholds adjustable and can be raised to make a good seal with the door sweep but not that much.
    This is that you should have to give you an example

    Door trashold.jpg
    These were not pre-hung doors, they built a frame and just ordered individual doors. They had to cut the bottoms off of the doors, and I honestly think they cut them too short... IMG_9635.JPGIMG_9634.JPG

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    These doors are typically installed as a unit, so the doors would have been pre-cut by the manufacturer to the correct height. The sweep is a normally piece of hardware that is installed after the frame is set in place, squared and fastened to the wall frame. The sweep creates a weather seal and is needed. If you need more info, look at the manufactures installation instructions.
    Thats a great idea- there is a website on the edge of them I will contact them. They came in as a stack of doors, not pre-hung. He cut them down on the bottom, I can feel foam under them when I feel the bottom.
    IMG_9634.JPG
    IMG_9635.JPG


  7. #7
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    Default Re: French door gap

    Quote Originally Posted by brooke blumetti View Post
    I can feel foam under them when I feel the bottom.
    THAT is a problem.

    The doors sound like they are possibly fiberglass skinned doors (or metal skinned), and those types of doors typically have a wood: top rail (at the top of the door); hinge side stile (from top to bottom on the hinge side); latch side stile (on the latch from top to bottom); blocks at latch and deadbolt height for the latch and deadbolt (on reversible doors there are blocks on both sides as the "latch side" could be either side); sometimes an intermediate rail; and a bottom rail across the bottom.

    It sounds to me like he cut the bottom rail completely off.

    That leaves nothing at the bottom of the door to protect the door from water, and completely cuts off the strength of the bottom of the door.

    Where did you buy the doors? Did they provide or recommend the contractor? If they provided or recommended the contractor, the place where you bought the doors may end up buying new doors for you, and paying another contractor to replace the doors and do it properly.

    If you bought the doors and hired your own contractor ... it will likely be difficult for you to collect the cost of new doors from the contractor who messed everything up.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: French door gap

    You are correct, he not only cut the door (perhaps both doors)
    to short but he cut the door rail off when he cut the door, as Jerry said. You have every right to call them, he, whoever installed those doors and firmly insist that they replace the doors and install them correctly. Be firm and if they don"t respond, turn them in to the state contractors board and prepare to sue in small claims, that will be your only recourse.
    Problem that crops up with that is if he was not a licenced contractor, then there is no recourse for you and
    I doubt you will ever see or hear from him again.

    But, they should not remain as they are now.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: French door gap

    Thank you, this helped so much! I was able to verify that they did cut the bottom rail off, and I let the contractor know. He was completely unaware that whomever he had hired had done that, and he had multiple different handyman working on the doors. I did not know that there was not supposed to be exposed foam, but the manufacturer told me that the warranty was voided. The supplier also told me exterior doors are usually cut to the bottom, and there is a kick on sweep that goes into a groove on the bottom of the door.

    We have a claim with the registrar of contractor due to an excessive amount of unfinished work and workmanship issues with our renovations. Unfortunately the process is long, drawn out, and ineffective. You wait a very long time for a meeting, they are given a month to correct issues, you have to refile if things aren't done correctly, things move to legal which takes months... So I am guessing that is the path we will be heading.




    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    THAT is a problem.

    The doors sound like they are possibly fiberglass skinned doors (or metal skinned), and those types of doors typically have a wood: top rail (at the top of the door); hinge side stile (from top to bottom on the hinge side); latch side stile (on the latch from top to bottom); blocks at latch and deadbolt height for the latch and deadbolt (on reversible doors there are blocks on both sides as the "latch side" could be either side); sometimes an intermediate rail; and a bottom rail across the bottom.

    It sounds to me like he cut the bottom rail completely off.

    That leaves nothing at the bottom of the door to protect the door from water, and completely cuts off the strength of the bottom of the door.

    Where did you buy the doors? Did they provide or recommend the contractor? If they provided or recommended the contractor, the place where you bought the doors may end up buying new doors for you, and paying another contractor to replace the doors and do it properly.

    If you bought the doors and hired your own contractor ... it will likely be difficult for you to collect the cost of new doors from the contractor who messed everything up.
    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you! That is exactly what happened. The rail was cut off. He is a licensed contractor and I filed a claim, but it seems to be a slow and ineffective process. The contractor used so many different companies to install; the doors, he doesn't even know who installed which ones. He doesn't want to be responsible for eating the cost on the doors. But I don't feel it is my problem either!

    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Chambers View Post
    You are correct, he not only cut the door (perhaps both doors)
    to short but he cut the door rail off when he cut the door, as Jerry said. You have every right to call them, he, whoever installed those doors and firmly insist that they replace the doors and install them correctly. Be firm and if they don"t respond, turn them in to the state contractors board and prepare to sue in small claims, that will be your only recourse.
    Problem that crops up with that is if he was not a licenced contractor, then there is no recourse for you and
    I doubt you will ever see or hear from him again.

    But, they should not remain as they are now.



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