Door question

Common sense tells you that an entry door threshold should be firmly supported from below, right?

But, what if it is simply shimmed into place and has a significant degree of “bounce” (perhaps deflection is the appropriate term)? This is a newly installed door and - I know we are not code inspectors - but there is no code or safety violation I can point to in support of my recommendation for correction.

It is a horrendous installation (out of plumb, out of level, no support for the threshold) and the sellers are “offended” by my recommendations. Looking for a little backup here…

I have already cited the NAHB perfromance standards for plumb and level (what a bitc# to measure out of plumb when the walls are slightly out of plumb as well). Can anyone help with the threshold?

A few photos of this “gem”… oh and, yes that gap is open space below the threshold, no it’s not the original trim - it’s “new”, and yes that is about an entire tube of caulk at the top right corner of the trim…

door out of level small.JPG

door out of level small.JPG

varied spacing small.JPG

unsupported threshold small.JPG

packed out trim small.JPG

Geez is that a new house or is the door new to the house?

The crummy thing about pre-hung steel entry doors is that the adjustable thresholds are aluminum and are prone to bouncing when stepped on.

Care must be taken to either be sure it bottoms out during installation or if shimming is required under the threshold the shim should be solid.Not those silly little cedar shims but a shim cut out of a 2x4 or 6 the full width of the threshhold.That door looks like a 3/0 with a 1/0 side light… so a little over four foot of solid shim.

There should also be some type of support on the exterior where the threshold hangs over as a lot of deflection will occur there.Support would commonly be a 3/4 trim board.Could also be brick with no gap.(It looks like the home might be brick if you look through the side light).

If that is a replacement door it probably just didn’t meet up with the interior wood floor hence a big ugly trim piece.
If the whole house is new… just a really bad installation hence the big ugly trim piece.
A lot of caulking in just one corner tells us that the actual wall of the house could be wracked.Another way to tell is by looking at the exterior weather seal.The door should close tight all the way around.
Pre hung doors were supposed to make door hanging quicker and easier but people still manage to mess up the install and in some cases especially in really old homes I prefer to install doors the “old fashioned way” skillfully hand built.

I was called by a homeowner who had the contractor install a new front door. I looked at the door and told the homeowner to get the door manufacturer out to take a look. Sure enough the manufacturer confirmed the door was installed incorrectly and problems with the threshold and not to manufactures specifications.

If you can I would get the manufacturer out.

Raymond Wand
Alton, ON

Good call, Cheremie, on the home construction. It is an older brick home with a new door. The threshold is indeed poorly supported by some thin shims. Is there a performance standard that would relate to your recommendation?

It is a 3/0 and 1/0 sidelite, but the installer “adjusted” the aluminum post on the sidelite and used clear silicone caulk to cover it. Some small area of light can be seen from the interior to the left of the post.

The wall is a little out of plumb, but nothing compared to the door, which does sit adequately when viewed from the exterior (where they used a lot of trim and capping ot cover their tracks.

I think I may make the recommendation to get the manufacturers standards and specs for installation and suggest review by the manudfacturers rep.


One more thought…

If the installer altered the factory seal on the aluminum post separating the door and sidelight, and caulked it, it may invalidate some kind of warranty, no?

The more I think about this, the more I would like to see a manufacturers rep on site.

Get the manufactures findings in writing. Ask the manufacture to recommend another installer or factory trained installer. It is not installed correctly.

Raymond Wand
Alton, ON


I would report the indications of improper installation along with the recommendation for further review and repair by a qualified carpenter.

The trim is a mess too!

Raymond Wand
Alton, ON

Yeah, it was completely unprofessional. When I pulled out a 4’ level to check for level and plumb, the client said that the installer did not use one or have on present.

I made the rec for repair by the installer to plumb and level, and to have the work reviewed by a manufacturers rep to ensure that the door is installed according to specifications, and that any warranties have not been voided.

So remember their names because they will be calling for an appointment to have you inspect their new house. :smiley:

Looks like from picture # 3 that there is some H20 around, sub standard handy home owner installation

Unfortunately, it isn’t a homeowner installation. It was put in by a professional door and window contractor (total cost $3500 for this and a set of windows - I saw the receipt.)

The contractor will not return the current owners calls and the client is (rightfully) demanding some repair or compensation. Clearly the owner doesn’t want to foot the bill since they had this put in as an upgrade to sell the home!!

What a mess.


Apparently your clients are not overwhelmed with intelligence.

Being offended by your recommendations in your first post…:shock:

Call the manufacture and report the contractor. The door manufacture will not like to hear their product is being installed correctly. Screw the contractor, not acceptable behaviour.

Raymond Wand
Alton, ON

I recommended contacting the manufacturer to get a review of the installation by the representative to detrmine if it was properly installed. I have no idea who the manufacturer is, though and I could not see any information on the door itself…

Sorry, Dale I think I confused the issue - the sellers are the ones who indicated that the installers did not use a level. The clients, obviously weren’t present for the installation. The sellers are the ones who were offended since they dumped $3500 into this upgrade figuring it was a selling point!!:smiley:

All you can do is report what you find and your recommendations. I would`nt wast time reporting to the manufacturer, that is the sellers problem. An inspectors job is to find, identify, and make recommendations.

Paul, I understand. It is actually my clients that are asking me for manufacturer information so that some process can get started. Teh sellers (obviously) don’t want to pay the buyers for work they already paid for once. (neither would I). The buyers don’t want to foot the bill.

The manufacturers rep might set things straight by putting some pressure on the installer, but we don’t know who the manufacturer is and my clients wanted to know if I had any help for them in that regard.

This isn’t going to end well, I think.

Well there is always small claims court

Yeah, what a complete mess - all over a crappy contractor.