Contractor help re: Door Frames

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by GoatGoat, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. GoatGoat

    GoatGoat Brown Belt

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    A couple of years ago, I replaced a sliding glass door with french doors. I hired a contractor who I respect and did a good job I believe. He pulled out the sliding glass doors and plugged in the french doors (I'm simplifying it, of course) making no additional changes other than to the area immediately around the door.

    We are now in the process of selling our home. When the inspector came out for our potential buyers, he put an ambigious note on the report of "wall shakes when back french doors are closed". This led to the buyers wanting to send a contractor to look at the wall (understandably they were concerned) because I said I was not going to pay for the wall to be fixed or even looked at.

    The contractor came out, opened and shut the door several times, moved his stud finder around a little, and then asked me what the issue was. I told him all I knew was what was in the report, that the inspector stated the wall shakes. He did more of what he did previously, again asked what the deal was, and then left when it was clear he couldn't find any issue.

    He came back a little later when I was not home. My agent was there as we agreed that the buyers could look at the home that day. This was after speaking with the buyer's agent. The second time, he said he found a problem. He said he couldn't find any studs supporting the door, and that because we switched door types, the wall doesn't support the to and fro motion of the door since it was built to support a side to side motion of the sliding glass door.

    I think he is full of it. I can find the header above the door frame, approximately 10-12 inches. I know enough to know that this is the board (3 x 8? or something) that runs from side to side a full foot above the frame. Additionally, I am able to find the studs that run from the header up to the ceiling, spaced 16 inches apart across the entire header and width of the door frame. The outside of the frame appears to be appropriate as well (not sure of the terminology, but the cripples? etc)

    I'm certainly not an expert, but believe a couple of things and was hoping someone with knowledge would correct me if I am wrong.

    First, door frames are built to code, not to fit specific door types. For example, you would not build a door frame into a wall, header, etc one way for a sliding glass door vs a french door.

    Second, if a door frame that is downstairs on a two story home were built incorrectly originally by the home builder (as he is saying out of one side of his mouth) it would show it after 9 years since slamming of a door doesn't come close to comparing to the thousands of pounds of weight on a load bearing wall so door type wouldn't mean anything.

    Third, when replacing a sliding glass door with a french door, you do not have to break into the wall/frame and reinforce them. (This is what he is saying out of the other side of his mouth).

    I greatly appreciate any insight!!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  2. MicroBrew

    MicroBrew Steel Belt

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    Not a pro contractor but do have DIY expereince. I tend to agree with you that it seems like BS. If there is a header then there are Jack Studs and King studs on either side of the door opening .

    I don't anyone who would install doors or windows without studs, after all you need something to fasten the frame to, can't just fasten it to drywall.

    Did you show him with a stud finder that there are indeed studs? If that isn't enough , drive a nail or drill a small hole where the stud is to prove it.
     
  3. Kevin Rudd

    Kevin Rudd Banned Banned

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    the door frame is built regardless of the door type as far as I am aware the sliding door is set inside the door frame, same with the french door.

    But in all seriousness if this is going to prevent a buyer from completing a sale then you probably don't want to be selling to them because this will be just the beginning of the nitpicking bullshit.
     
  4. GoatGoat

    GoatGoat Brown Belt

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    Thank you. It was after the second time he came out (when I was not there) that he said he found the problem, so I did not get to show him because when I was there, he didn't find a problem. I pretty much told the buyers that he isn't welcome in my house anymore anyway, since he isn't competent enough to find the studs that an idiot like me can find. I think it borders on fraud.
     
  5. Wylian

    Wylian Guest

    Sounds like BS to me.
    I'd feel more comfortable seeing pictures.

    Usually it's a stud and a jack on each side and the header on top, and that's it.
    Unless the door is extremely long, there would have to be stronger support.

    If there is a jack and a stud on each side of the door, and from there the stud is at least 16" on center, it's how it should be.

    I'm not a master carpenter, but I'm a carpenter regardless.
     
  6. GoatGoat

    GoatGoat Brown Belt

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    Thank you. And you have my thoughts exactly. This is one of many of the nitpicking things we've had to deal with. I just want to make sure before I counter offer with an "Ain't doing nothing". I kind of feel sorry for the home buyers. They are first time buyers and their agent is a moron, so it is the blind leading the blind. Honestly, I'm not even sure that this is coming from the contractor....I wonder if it is the other agent as someone who would make these claims would be such a horrible contractor that they would not be in business long.
     
  7. GoatGoat

    GoatGoat Brown Belt

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    I appreciate the insight. The door is standard size and believe the jack and studs are as you mention.
     
  8. Noxab

    Noxab Orange Belt

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    If there are studs on the sides you're fine. People do cut corners A LOT though so I don't blame people for checking.
     
  9. Kevin Rudd

    Kevin Rudd Banned Banned

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    My mother recently went through a similar experience but it was the buyers lawyer who was being a dick. Asking for numerous contract variations which were ridiculous. In the end my mother said the contracts stays as is if you don't like it then fuck off and we'll find another buyer. The actual buyer got wind of it and the signed contract came through the next day.

    I think you'll find it is the agent being the tool here. They need to be seen to be earning their money.
     
  10. Wylian

    Wylian Guest

    Now, what can happen is, the frame be a big too wide, and then the frame of the door barely catches the studs, that makes the door a bit flimsy, not the wall though.

    Could be a case of a realtor finding a contractor's friend of his b.s. work to make money off of.
     
  11. GoatGoat

    GoatGoat Brown Belt

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    There is so much incompetence going on...it's hard to figure out who the tool is, but would put my money on the agent as well.
     
  12. GoatGoat

    GoatGoat Brown Belt

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    Thank you. I agree. I think it may be the contractor, but have a pretty good read on the buyer's agent being an idiot so feel sorry for the buyers.
     
  13. GoatGoat

    GoatGoat Brown Belt

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    I think are right. I can't tell though, if she's trying to make money off of it, or is so much of an idiot that she believes he is right. Sometimes it is hard to separate stupidity from ignorance.
     
  14. Josh

    Josh Guest

    Is it a concrete slab by any chance, or is it a plywood floor on joists?
     
  15. GoatGoat

    GoatGoat Brown Belt

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    Concrete slab. The door and frame are on the foundation of the house.
     
  16. Josh

    Josh Guest

    Ah, I wondered. Perhaps the plate on the bottom of the wall isn't anchored as well as it could or should be. Is the 'shaking' in the wall closer to the ground than the ceiling?
     
  17. Josh

    Josh Guest

    Depending on the quality of the concrete pour, the nail length, the charge size of the powder-actuated tool used to fasten the plate, etc. you can end up with a bit of movement in the wall. It generally won't be apparent due to the fact that it may be a load bearing wall, it may only have hollow interior doors swinging on it, or whatever. But if the concrete slab isn't true, as is often the case, sometimes you can actually shake or move the wall at the bottom of a door frame due to the plate being loose. Using a power-tool to cut a door jamb can also loosen off a poorly fastened plate.
     
  18. GoatGoat

    GoatGoat Brown Belt

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    No, not at all. It's the top that shakes, if anything. I say "if anything" because I don't believe it shakes anymore than the door to my garage for example. If you slam a door, the wall is gonna shake. I think what originally drew the inspector to it was a metallic piece of art that I had hangling above the door. I didn't put it in studs because it was so light so it shook. The guy that did the door is very solid as he's done a ton of work for me on other houses with zero issues. Unfortunately, I know he's on his honeymoon for the next week so can't get in touch with him to answer.

    Thanks for the insight!
     
  19. genecop

    genecop Red Belt

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    O brother, there all crazy,,,,,2x4 wall, sometimes you get a little flex, no big deal, some of the exterior sheathing may not have been nailed off PER CODE, that would cause a little flex,.....Not a shear wall...
     
  20. GoatGoat

    GoatGoat Brown Belt

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    Thank you. I don't think any of that applies, but will investigate further. The inspector did say in his report that he saw no issues with the foundation and his original comment was very ambigious which made me feel as though he was grasping for anything to put into his report.
     

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