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Door Install Hell - Customer Angry

 
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:40 AM   #1
 
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Door Install Hell - Customer Angry


This is part asking for advice and part ranting just to get this nightmare off my chest. Right now I am trying to figure out how to rectify things with the customer. I also want to find out if anyone has had problems with Masonite brand doors. I have had good luck with them until this job. I know they closed down one of their manufacturing facilities recently, so I am curious if what I experienced is a trend in reduction of quality control.

I have a customer where I have insulated his home and replaced about 4 windows (all went well). The last part of the project was to replace an entry door.

This is about the 6 or 7th Masonite brand exterior door we have installed. This is the first time I have had problems. The door is 7' fiberglass raised panel with 1/2 glass. Its a non-stock item and takes up to 7 weeks to get it. The door is pre-hung in an expandable steel (expandable jam depth only) frame with an integrated threshold plate. I normally insist on using the steel frames since they hold up much better. Side note: I already had a thief try to break in my own place. He only flexed the door frame but wasn't able to break it. He ran off when he set off the alarm.

First attempt: The swing was wrong. I checked my order and I did specify the correct swing. Thankfully, the door could swing either direction for this particular install. So we went ahead and installed the door. Next problem: No matter how hard we tried, we couldn't get the door to close properly against the seal. The frame was plumb. Turns out the door was warped about a 1/4+ inch on the handle side. Before mounting the door, we tried staining the door cherry with the stain kit provided by the manufacturer. One of my guys stated that the door wasn't taking the stain. I looked at the stain kit. They didn't give us gel stain but regular Zar wood stain???

Second Attempt: After weeks of waiting for a replacement door (it was supposed to be in first week of April, but I wasn't able to get it until first week of May) and getting angry emails from the customer, the door arrived. Swing was correct. I gel stained the door and we then installed it. There was a very large space, about a 1/4+ inch on both the hinge side and the door handle side. The door deadbolt and latch barely catch. Again, this is a pre-hung steel frame. We can only adjust the depth of the jam, not the width. The frame was plumb. Its almost like the door was cut a bit too small! Masonite is supposed to be sending out a factory rep to look at the door. I don't have a date yet though when that is to happen.

So I have a customer that is really unhappy. He had some complaints beyond what happened above (i.e. my gel stain job was not great which it wasn't). Other complaints:

The door threshold sits above the floor and he was afraid his kids would trip over it. To compensate, we fabricated a piece of oak and mounted in front of the door to allow for a more gentle rise to the door threshold. The homeowner complained we didn't stain the oak threshold (other than the door stain kit, we were not painting / staining anything). This is a contract issue.

Another complaint was that he was feeling too much air come through the threshold. I checked the seal and it was fine, but no door is 100% airtight. If you get a lot of wind, you are going to feel a bit on the edge where the door bottom seal meets the frame. I guess I have to be VERY specific now on door performance in my quotations.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:15 AM   #2
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Re: Door Install Hell - Customer Angry


I can't say anything good about the brand. Someone, you or the homeowner found what you thought was a cheap solution and now it is backfiring. 90% of the doors on the market are garbage since the home centers continue to drive down prices and the quality is inline with the price.

For the issue with the bottom weatherstripping, take a $1 dollar bill and place in on the sill and close the door. Now try to pull the $1, if it rips the weather stripping is to tight. IF you can take the $1 and move it in and out the weather stripping is not tight enough. Did you order a sill with screws so it goes up and down?

As far as the sill sticking up from the floor it's just part of life, they are generally 1.25" tall. If it makes your client any happier the Andersen patio doors are 2.25" tall. The oak threshold is a good idea, I would put a couple of coats of poly on it to make your client happy.

Gel stain....... it's just hard to work with. On your next job order the door pre-stained. For your current job I would bit the bullet and hire a pro to stain it.

Under the assumption that you purchased the door from a home center I would ask them for a little $$.

EDIT: BTW, you should use the foam pads where the sill meets the side weatherstripping. Even a crappy door will keep out the wind if it is installed properly. (rain is another story)

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Old 05-20-2008, 11:19 AM   #3
 
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Re: Door Install Hell - Customer Angry


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Originally Posted by dougchips View Post


Under the assumption that you purchased the door from a home center I would ask them for a little $$.

EDIT: BTW, you should use the foam pads where the sill meets the side weatherstripping. Even a crappy door will keep out the wind if it is installed properly. (rain is another story)

Not a home center purchase. I have an account at a local supplier. I will try the foam pad idea.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:34 AM   #4
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Re: Door Install Hell - Customer Angry


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Originally Posted by HellisLikeNewrk View Post
Not a home center purchase. I have an account at a local supplier. I will try the foam pad idea.
Get 2 sets of them. Depending on your gap you might be able to install a full one if not you will have to trim some off of the fat side. In some cases you might have to cut the bottom so a little piece extends down to the sill if you still see daylight. Be careful about setting it to low, in some cases the foam pad will wick water and rot the jamb.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:23 PM   #5
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Re: Door Install Hell - Customer Angry


Quote:
Originally Posted by dougchips View Post
I can't say anything good about the brand. Someone, you or the homeowner found what you thought was a cheap solution and now it is backfiring. 90% of the doors on the market are garbage since the home centers continue to drive down prices and the quality is inline with the price.

For the issue with the bottom weatherstripping, take a $1 dollar bill and place in on the sill and close the door. Now try to pull the $1, if it rips the weather stripping is to tight. IF you can take the $1 and move it in and out the weather stripping is not tight enough. Did you order a sill with screws so it goes up and down?

As far as the sill sticking up from the floor it's just part of life, they are generally 1.25" tall. If it makes your client any happier the Andersen patio doors are 2.25" tall. The oak threshold is a good idea, I would put a couple of coats of poly on it to make your client happy.

Gel stain....... it's just hard to work with. On your next job order the door pre-stained. For your current job I would bit the bullet and hire a pro to stain it.

Under the assumption that you purchased the door from a home center I would ask them for a little $$.

EDIT: BTW, you should use the foam pads where the sill meets the side weatherstripping. Even a crappy door will keep out the wind if it is installed properly. (rain is another story)


good advice doug, the only point i disagree with is the purchasing of a pre stained door, with the industry in its current state, as evidenced by the problems that the OP is having. by the the time a pre stained door makes it to the job, 12 idiots have handled it, and a couple of idiots packed it. most often i find, that finish does not stand a chance. i have a painter that comes in and does a great job with the gel stain, it is to easy to mess up to trust it to a carpenter. good luck OP , because of the delays and problems, it might be time to send flowers, and through yourself on the mercy of the client.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:44 PM   #6
 
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Re: Door Install Hell - Customer Angry


I've had the same problems with these fiberglass entry doors. Never used them again. Even level, and plumb in both directions, you can still have a problem with them. The one and only one I used, I returned and got my money back, after a whole bunch of talking with the manufacturer. I'm sticking with wood doors. They can be a problem sometimes, but at least you have a chance of adjusting things to make it right. Not so with all steel or these fiberglass jobs. As for stain....does anything stain better then good old wood!
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:25 PM   #7
 
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Re: Door Install Hell - Customer Angry


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Originally Posted by Rick Moretti View Post
I've had the same problems with these fiberglass entry doors. Never used them again. Even level, and plumb in both directions, you can still have a problem with them. The one and only one I used, I returned and got my money back, after a whole bunch of talking with the manufacturer. I'm sticking with wood doors. They can be a problem sometimes, but at least you have a chance of adjusting things to make it right. Not so with all steel or these fiberglass jobs. As for stain....does anything stain better then good old wood!

All the previous doors have been steel, not fiberglass. Haven't had a single problem in the past.

As for order pre-stained. I did a search on this forum and found out Therma-tru was offering pre-painted doors (not stained). I talked to my Harvey rep and he stated they are getting away from pre-staining doors. The color never get right and its a mess. Too much hassle.

I think I might approach this by getting another replacement door (Masonite's rep is supposed to be out this week to look at it) and offer put in the door at a reduced price (sans gel stain). Also fix the other minor complaints the guy had (like putting going ahead and putting a finish on the oak threshold extender we installed).
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:35 PM   #8
 
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Re: Door Install Hell - Customer Angry


The trick to gel stain is to use very very little. Just dip the tips of the bristles and dab it in a 6" area (or so) and and keep brushing over it until the color is spread evenly. If you use it like regular stain or paint you are screwed. I had a customer once who was too cheap to buy actual wood interior doors so they bought 6 panel hollow core, pre-primed doors and wanted me to stain them, 20 something doors later I was gel stain pro.
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:19 PM   #9
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Re: Door Install Hell - Customer Angry


Quote:
Originally Posted by HellisLikeNewrk View Post
All the previous doors have been steel, not fiberglass. Haven't had a single problem in the past.

As for order pre-stained. I did a search on this forum and found out Therma-tru was offering pre-painted doors (not stained). I talked to my Harvey rep and he stated they are getting away from pre-staining doors. The color never get right and its a mess. Too much hassle.

I think I might approach this by getting another replacement door (Masonite's rep is supposed to be out this week to look at it) and offer put in the door at a reduced price (sans gel stain). Also fix the other minor complaints the guy had (like putting going ahead and putting a finish on the oak threshold extender we installed).
Hellis, where are you in Harvey territory? And why arent you just using thermatrus to begin with?
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Old 05-21-2008, 04:47 AM   #10
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Re: Door Install Hell - Customer Angry


I've used therma trus from Harvey. Harvey has a lot of sruff, but they f things up a lot. I ordered 3 classic crafts for a job i was doing
all non stock. Ordered them in november, got them the 3rd week of jan.
One of them was supposed to have 2 quater round windows, it came with one. looked stupid, how they thought that was right i have no idea. So 4-6 weeks later the new slab comes in, which by the way I have to change out, I change it out, the homeowner is cleaning the glass. She is wiping and wiping, can't get the finger prints off the glass, you guessed it. They're on the inside. 4-6 weeks later, the new glass arrives. So on april 30 the doors I ordered right after thanksgiving are done.
I have 2 stock therma trus coming from harvey now, I hope it goes smoother.

Harvey also sent me a roofing order, 24 square. 12 of one lot number 12 of another, thank god I caught it. When you put the 2 side by side it really showed.

Last edited by mikec; 05-21-2008 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 05-21-2008, 06:31 AM   #11
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Re: Door Install Hell - Customer Angry


Quote:
Originally Posted by mikec View Post
I've used therma trus from Harvey. Harvey has a lot of sruff, but they f things up a lot......... So on april 30 the doors I ordered right after thanksgiving are done.
I have 2 stock therma trus coming from harvey now, I hope it goes smoother.

Harvey also sent me a roofing order, 24 square. 12 of one lot number 12 of another, thank god I caught it. When you put the 2 side by side it really showed.
I can empathize with that.
One of our old lumber companies lately
can't find their ass with both hands
and a head start.
Won't return calls, nothing's in stock
anymore, order something, they send
something else.."That's what I thought
you meant."
No better than a Box.
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:02 AM   #12
 
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Re: Door Install Hell - Customer Angry


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Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
Hellis, where are you in Harvey territory? And why arent you just using thermatrus to begin with?
NY Metro area. I only signed up with Harvey recently for wood replacement windows (i have a lot of demand for them). I have been using Masonite because that is what my local supplier carries. I have a net 30 day account (they let me run longer than that when a customer pays late) and I like the personal service. Again, I have had zero problems with any door from Masonite, both interior and exterior until this damn custom fiberglass door.
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:07 AM   #13
 
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Re: Door Install Hell - Customer Angry


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I can empathize with that.
One of our old lumber companies lately
can't find their ass with both hands
and a head start.
Won't return calls, nothing's in stock
anymore, order something, they send
something else.."That's what I thought
you meant."
No better than a Box.
My local paint store got that way recently. They have been undergoing a lot of downsizing to compete with the Lowes and HD. Plus, they got hurt by a lot of big builders going under while owing them money.

The owners are splitting up and now the paint base stock is coming from different factories. It used to be, I could order their pre-mixed colors on their in-house paint line; it was ALWAYS the same color.

Painting one of my rentals, they gave me six gallons of paint made from three different base stocks. Of course, I ended up with three different shades of chalet white.

Nothing matches!!! Plus, they keep running out of stock of stuff like paper rags, nitrile gloves, 1 quart containers of spar varnish, etc. I keep finding myself at Lowes to pick-up what the don't have. It never used to be this way.
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:51 AM   #14
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Re: Door Install Hell - Customer Angry


Can't agree with you more on the many issues that I face on a weekly/monthly basis with vendor's that have or don't have quality control issues which result in major production problems that then in turn become mine and my customers problems ie delay of products, completely different product than originally ordered, trying to pass the fault to you-if you would have ordered this sooner on and on with excuses blah blah blah trying to pacify me now is not even an option, I want it NOW cause you have turned my mild minded delight down to earth customer from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hide ... Had many issues with Escon fiberglass doors (pre hung,pre stained and pre F'up) after 3 attemps.
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:59 AM   #15
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Re: Door Install Hell - Customer Angry


We do a ton of doors every year and most of them come from Harvey. Once in a while we get a bad door and we sent it back. We did try the Masonite doors and we would have to re-mortise hinges or re-set the slab all the time because they couldn't get them right. As far as your door setting to high sometimes you can cut back the plywood under the sill if there's a sub floor with plywood on top. I wouldn't want a big threshold sticking up.
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:02 AM   #16
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Re: Door Install Hell - Customer Angry


Well I called Harvey yesterday to find out where my "stock" door was. The door was ordered on May 2. I was told(when I ordered it) I would have it in a week to a week and a half. They told me they ran out of the glass used in my door and had to order it, so now my "stock" door will take longer than a non stock!
This is the fith thermatru I ordered from harvey, and the fith one they screwed me up on.
The lumber yard I deal with, which used to be Strober General,but is now Pro build east, sent me out a a set of thermatru double steel doors. Got them quick like 2 weeks, and they were a custom cut down, but, when they showed up they were all dented. Do I have a Therma tru curse or something? I mean granted I have only ordered six of them, but all six have encountered problems. It doesn't appear to be Thermatru, but the vendors.

Last edited by mikec; 06-04-2008 at 05:05 AM.
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Old 06-04-2008, 08:50 AM   #17
 
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Re: Door Install Hell - Customer Angry


The rep from Masonite finally showed up. He noted the hinges were not mortised on the door slab and the reveal is well over the nominal 1/8". The frame size was correct. The door is undercut. Hopefully Masonite will honor the warranty and give me a credit. Customer threw me off the job anyway. I had two chances to get the door right and well... crap...

So I am taking a hit on misc materials, travel, trim, and labor on this one...

Last edited by HellisLikeNewrk; 06-04-2008 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:40 AM   #18
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Re: Door Install Hell - Customer Angry


That sucks!

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