Help Needed With Composite Door!!

Discussion in 'Windows and Doors' started by shoes4pigeons, 21 Jan 2014.

  1. shoes4pigeons

    shoes4pigeons

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    Hi guys and girls,

    thanks for reading. i have just had a composite door fitted to my home along with a new porch. the porch is very good, however the composite door to the main entrance to my home seems not quite rite.

    first of all there is a gap of about 25mm either side of the frame (between the door frame and the brick) this has been filled with expanding foam and i have been assured that this will be good enough to secure the door.

    last night there was a terrible draft coming from where the handle is enough to blow out a lighter! today when the guys came back i told them and they have adjusted the door and it is much better but still not rite! the door into the porch is perfect and there are no draughts at all. if i stand on the outside of the door and close it i can see the rubber seal is not touching the door properly.

    my question is, is this door too small for the opening? and could this be the cause of the draught? or even if the door was to small and it was fitted correctly there would be no draught?

    in the company's defence the old frame was huge, much larger than i would have thought, and its obvious the surveyor didn't know this. but surly once i have agreed the order and paid the deposit he should have drilled through the old frame until he it brick and then measure from the brick??? or am i over thinking it??

    i paid the deposit on a credit card and the outstanding balance will be paid on the interest free deal they had. i have not signed the finance paper to say i am happy with the work.

    what should i do? i will get some photos up asap. also i am totally open to the idea that i may be expecting too much or unrealistic with my expectations.

    http://shoes4pigeons.co.uk/Door/door3.jpg
    http://shoes4pigeons.co.uk/Door/door1.jpg
    http://shoes4pigeons.co.uk/Door/Door.jpg

    http://shoes4pigeons.co.uk/Door/OldFrame.jpg


    thanks for reading
     
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  3. conny

    conny

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    Not a builder so someone else will probably come along later and advise you better but my opinion is;

    You do not 'secure' a door frame with expanding foam, especially an exterior door that will be subject to various weather conditions. It may have stood up to a strong wind once, doesn't mean it will do it again. It also means if someone wanted to break in they would probably knock the whole lot out before getting through the door itself!
    It needs to be securely attached to the surrounding brickwork with bolts/screws. The expanding foam is one way to stop the draughts but it needs to be complete all the way around the frame/opening. It should then be covered with a matching trim fascia. Does it look like this from the outside?

    There should be no draught coming through anywhere around the door. The lock itself is not the old mortice type that you can peep through so this will be pretty air tight and where it meets the jamb, (locks into the frame), should also be draught proof.

    Don't sign the finance agreement until you are perfectly satisfied with the job, after all, its not as though it is a cheap thing to change your door every 12 months! You expect these things to last a good number of years without too much maintenance. Write the company a letter stating calmly your grievances and that you will not be signing for any finance until the work is completed to your satisfaction. If they start to dispute it then suggest that YOU call in an independent surveyor and if he finds in your favour then his costs will be deducted from the bill and the work must be put right to his satisfaction before the contract is signed for.. If, however, he says it is ok, (highly unlikely going by what you have said), then you will bear his costs.

    Curiosity, is this a big national firm or a small local one?
     
  4. Gazman16

    Gazman16

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    How wide is the new door frame? Some doors are only manufactured upto a certain width (normally 950mm-1000mm) so that could be the answer to why its a tad small.

    Foaming around the edges is for thermal and sound insulation mainly but it also helps to make a solid fixing. There will be proper screw fixings through the frame to the brick, Just look inside the frame they might be covered with plastic caps.

    When measuring to fit windows and doors the inside and outside sizes can vary wildly depending on how thick the plastering and rendering are. You have to make them a bit smaller to be able to fit them. If you were to make them the same size as the old door or window you would have to take off all the plastering/rendering to be able to fit them.

    Things like cables and skirting boards can also mean having to make the door smaller. Can you show a pick of the outside. If you can show that pic I might be able to tell you if it could have been made a bit bigger (assuming it isn't the maximum size they make).

    General observations from what I can see so far.
    Good points:
    I can see that the right hand side couldn't have gone much further over other wise the door would bind on the skirting.
    The gaps between the door and frame look good and straight.
    There should always be at least about 5mm gap all around for expansion and contraction.
    From what I can see on the inside they couldn't have made the door much bigger, Maybe could have gone 5-15mm bigger before the door wouldn't have gone in or would foul on the skirting.

    Bad points
    The amount of plaster they knocked off on the inside, Its possible that the old plaster was blown though. I hope they are coming back to plaster that up for you?
    They haven't trimmed and sealed it yet to cover the foam.
    There is still a draft so they will need to come back and adjust it some more.
     
  5. shoes4pigeons

    shoes4pigeons

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    Hi and thanks for your replys,

    sorry i didnt make myself very clear. they have used bolts on bot sides of the frame so it is not just the foam holding the door in place. and they have also been back to put the trim over the foam today. i took some photos last night before the job was finished so i had photos of how big the gap is.

    with regards to the plastering i dont have problem with that the plaster is old and was coming off anyway, so i expected that i would have to re-do that.

    the other side of the door leads into a porch that was a kind of extension to the house if that makes sense, so both sides of the wall were plastered the outer wall was done about 18 months ago and is in good condition so it was my choice to remove the internal plaster work. it is for this reason that from the outside the door frame looks fine, in fact if was made any wider it would probably look silly.

    i think the frame should have had some sort of addition plastic fastened to it if that is maximum width? like a permanent packing strip??

    i honestly think that the surveyor has measured up and not realised how thick the old frame was, the door has been made to the size the surveyor has guestimated and the fitters have made the best of a bad situation.

    i am in no way a builder and have encountered very few external door frames but you can see the thickness of the old frame in the photos in the first post. even the fitter said it was huge. that said i am quite an accomplished diyer, performing the usual diy tasks, bathroom installs, radiators, boiler, kitchen, partition wall removal and installing, chimney removal that sort of thing so i am not lacking common sense. but when it came to doors and windows they are what secure your home and keep it safe and warm. i didn't want to attempt this myself in case i made a mess of it so i called in the professionals.

    as for the draft i think that the right hand side of the fame needs pushing forward a little?? in total i have had 2 doors fitted, the actual external door that lets you into the porch, this one is fine no drafts at all. you can see the rubber seal on the outside compress when it is closed and all is good. the door inside the porch that leads into the house you cannot see the rubber compress and you can fit things in the gap paper and card for example. the fitter had adjusted the hinges and even put packers behind the metal part of the frame where the lock goes in in a hope to stop it but it is still drafty. my argument is, if its drafty with a porch protecting it from the outside world how bad would it be if i did not have a porch?

    i also paid more for the composite doors for security, surly if the only thing between the door frame and the brick wall is foam the foam will give quite easy and this will make the bolt/screws take all the force, whereas if there were a solid point of contact from the frame to the brick this would be much better. as it stands now the screw bolt things will bust bend and the door and frame will come out??
     
  6. Gazman16

    Gazman16

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    As I said its hard to say without actually seeing both sides. The door has to have been able to fit in at an angle from either the inside or the outside.

    The old original door frame would have been fitted before any plastering and rendering were done. The surveyor will have had a good idea of how far in the old frame went but the only way to get a new frame in is to make it slack on either the height or width (sometimes both) otherwise it would mean having to remove all the plaster on both sides and the head and ripping off peoples skirting boards (which may get damaged and be un-replaceable as they don't make the old moldings anymore) to fit it and we cant just go around messing peoples houses up like that.

    You can get addons that clip onto the sides of the frame but again you have to be able to get the door in with them fitted. Im not a fan of addons foaming is better in my opinion most of the time.

    In a few days when everything has gone off sealant, foam etc you could remove all the fixings and the door would work fine (wouldn't be great for security so I don't advise it though) it is amazing how well foam grips to frames and brick.
    Also the fixings we use extremely strong and should extend at least 50mm into the brickwork.
     
  7. shoes4pigeons

    shoes4pigeons

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    hi,

    thanks for replying i really do appreciate your comments. as i said i am open to the idea that maybe i am expecting a little too much.

    i will get some more photos taken of the outside and the inside to give you a better idea as you said.

    but for now i have just measured the gap between the brick and the frame on the left hand side (as viewed from the inside) and that is 32mm and the gap on the right hand side (hinge side) is 20mm

    i will take some more photos and get them uploaded so you can see both sides.

    thanks again
     
  8. shoes4pigeons

    shoes4pigeons

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    As promised, here are some more photos of the door

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  9. Gazman16

    Gazman16

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    The gap to the brick is irrelevant. The gap to the plaster is what you have to go by.

    Try to think of it this way.... You have one of those kids toys where you put blocks in the holes, The door is your block but it weighs about 100kg costs upto £1500 and if you twist or force it into the hole it could damage it.
    Now take the hole that is the exact size for the block, Make the sides and top smaller by gluing and nailing some wood to the sides (make sure this wood is wonky and out of level like plaster is) now add some more blocks to the bottom as skirting board.
    Now fit the block

    And for some extra fun make the block a door that opens, Make sure it dosnt scrape on the floor or foul on the skirting s or cables. Throw in the possibility of anything that could be hidden behind the old frame (I have seen earth cables, phone cables, bell wires even mains cables from the street).

    What is the width of the new frame and what is the width of the plaster to plaster measurement? I would expect the door has been made about 10mm smaller than that measurement.
     
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  11. Gazman16

    Gazman16

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    Thanks for the pics.
    From that I can now see they had to fit the door from the inside (If it was from the outside it would have had to have been alot smaller).
    Its possibly even a bit too big judging by where the frame molding meets the skirting, If the door was a bit narrower the skirting s would have looked neater on the outside.

    Overall an ok job apart from them not having plastered it all back it and adjusting the keeps correctly.
     
  12. shoes4pigeons

    shoes4pigeons

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    i cannot measure the exact frame size now as it has had the plastic beading silicone'ed on top but for a rough guide the gap between the plaster to plaster is 850mm and i still have the paperwork the fitters left it says 830 on there. so i can only assume this is the correct size.

    surly the surveyor should have drilled through the old frame and measure from the brick? as they had removed all the plaster from the right hand side of the wall anyway the door could be slotted in at an angle could it not??

    either way the job is done now and i need to make a decision on if 32mm of packing/foam on the lock side and 20mm of foam/packing on the hinge side is acceptable. in my opinion the hinge side is fine they could not really of done it any other way but the 32mm on the lock side i dont think is acceptable?????
     
  13. shoes4pigeons

    shoes4pigeons

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    here are a couple of videos i have done to demo the draft




     
  14. s60tsy

    s60tsy

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    looks ok to me, its hard to know exactly whats behind the old door till you rip it out, with doors its better to be a little to small than too big. foam is good for the gaps as long as it it fixed too. looks nice :cool:
     
  15. shoes4pigeons

    shoes4pigeons

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    hi guys,

    thanks for all your replys. i am sure it will look fine when it is all plastered up, from the outside it looks ace. i was just concerned about the fixings really and if they would hold. as the gap between the brick and the inside of the frame is about 90mm how much of the screw/bolt securing to the brick work is actually in the brick?

    and then once that is delt with it is still really drafty, am i correct in thinking that there should be zero draft from the door?

    you hear so many horror story's about this sort of stuff
     
  16. Gazman16

    Gazman16

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    There should be no draft. It is an easy 2 min job to adjust the keeps to pull it in tighter that should be done by the fitter, Just call them back to do it.
    Its a bit of a delicate balance between having a nice tight seal and not being so tight that the handle it very hard to lift.
     
  17. shoes4pigeons

    shoes4pigeons

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    he has so far,

    adjusted the hinges, so that they now look a little wonkey, he has removed the central keep and used a packer behind it and some silicone and there are 2 screws in the middle of the keep that you can loosen and slide a bar side to side and he has moved that over as much as it will go. this is why he used packers behind the keep he said.

    from what i can see the hinge adjustment only moved the door side to side not forward and backwards, and it needs moving forwards.

    as you look at the door from the outside, the bottom right rubber seal is tight and as you go up the door the gap gradually gets bigger and bigger until you get to the top right corner where it is large enough to get a piece of card folded in half into the gap with no problems.

    thanks again for you advice i really appreciate it.
     
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