Odear. Perhaps my builders were a few mm out!

17 April, 2019
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><md>Hi all,

So after a long 4 months of decisions and discussions I am finally ready to spend some money on things that I will actually be able to see and won't be covered by plaster!!

Having had the conversation about what sort of flooring I'm going to use months ago I am a little frustrated to see that either my sliding door is too low or my suspended floor is too high.

You can see from the photograph (with the aid of a plaster bead) that the subfloor is in line with my sliding door. Who knows what happened... But this is the situation I am in. Ignore the gap inbetween as it'll just be made flush with the rest of the floor.

The length of the door is approx 5m long. So a substantial part of the extension.

Now the problem... Once I go directly on top of it my flooring will be higher than the door as it meets the door..!

What should I do?

Comments (24)

  • tonicuk

    Looks like there's gremlins at work. Here are the photographs!

  • rinq

    Oh my..

  • Benn

    Have you spoken to the builder about it yet? Surely it will be down to them to sort this out

  • Monica

    I am so sad to see this, poor you it must feel horrid after all that time and money invested. I would speak with them and demand they come with a solution. Someone, somewhere made a mistake and they need to sort it out. Please keep us posted and good luck.

  • tonicuk
    Thanks for the responses! I have had a brief phone conversation with my builder in which I explained the problem. My response was "I'll call you back" ♂️

    On the edge of my seat to say the least.

    The only solution I can think of (that won't cost £1000s) is to replace my 22mm subfloor with something at least 15mm smaller.... Meaning I would end up with something like 6mm Plywood or so...

    6mm Plywood is probably half of what I would expect to be the bare minimum for subfloor, right?

    What to do...
  • Gerty Werty
    It may be possible to jack the doors up as we had that done on ours. It maybbe worth contacting that door installers in case that is an option?! You certainly wouldnt not want 6mm as a sub floor...definitely not as it would flex.
  • PRO

    Re fitting the doors a bit higher is the best solution but this will only work if there is enough clearance between the top of the door frame and underside of lintel/steelwork above. I’ve seen a trick where a long aluminium L shaped trim painted in the same RAL colour can be fitted to the lower section of door frame/cill as a kind of upstand which would be level with the finished floor level, when viewed from outside it looks like part of the door frame. Reducing floor board thickness risks excess deflection but you could go to 18mm chipboard if the joists are 400mm centres. Last resort could be plane down top of joists by a couple of millimetres and then fit 18mm flooring but check they are correctly sized first or oversized!

    Or, bin the chipboard and fit hardwood flooring directly to the joists as a finished floor. Hope it works out!

  • Pavan123
    Too late to change your flooring to maybe a glue down vinyl? Would be much thinner....
  • kwg kwg

    Sorry to hear about this. To me this sounds like a fault of the door company, they did the measurements on site so they should have taken into account of the subfloor plus the flooring thickness for tiles or wood floor. Have you also been in contact with the door company? Was the door company recommended by your builder? If so get your builder to speak to the door company to come up with the solution between them and make sure they don't charge you for doing the extra work, someone got it wrong and it wasn't you.

    My husband was just talking about someone having the same issue today and apparently they managed to shift the whole frame upwards.

    Good luck and keep us posted of the outcome.

  • tonicuk
    Thank you for the responses.
    I spoken with my builder, who made the measurements and fitted the door. They are accredited by the door company to carry out the work.

    It seems the error was made during measurement... They forgot to subtract the thickness of my proposed flooring (20mm). I intend on having engineered wood flooring that it typically 15-17mm.

    Understandably mistakes happen and I am not willing to pay for a new set of doors. I also think it is a little harsh of me to demand a new set of doors for the sake of 20mm. Especially considering the cost of them.

    So, the cheapest solution is to dismantle the door and frame, cut out the 8ishmm expanding foam and move the door up. Secondly, replace my 22mm caber board to 18mm.

    This will leave me with about 14mm to fit my flooring.

    I did intend on having something thicker but the question is should I settle for this solution?
  • PRO
    Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman

    I would say no, it's not acceptable for you to have to amend anything at all. It is the builder's fault, they measured everything and they are responsible. It is not for you to have to be accommodating and change your flooring at a cost to you. I would say, change the doors at the builder's cost.

    15mm ply is standard for a sub floor, it depends on what the substrate is.

  • tonicuk

    You are a harsh customer.
    The doors cost around £5000 and took 8 weeks to have made and fitted. I do have a personal timeline looming as well so an additional 8 weeks would mess things up quite a bit!

    I do intend on using the builders for future use, so would like to keep on good terms with them.

    Here's a picture of the suspended floor beneath, approx 400mm centres built with 8x2". The door itself sits on a concrete step made by the builders

  • kwg kwg

    In principle, I agree with Man About the House and it's not being harsh. If the builder measured up ( and this is something he does day in day out as part of his job ) there should have been no mistake, presuming he had already asked you the thickness of your intended floor when he measured up. What if you had already ordered your 20mm wood floor, would he expect you to re-order a brand new floor to accomodate the error and would you do that? The cost of fixing the issue definitely has to be with the builder whether it be a brand new set of doors or Plan B as you mentioned. Was Plan B a suggestion of the builder?

    By changing to the sub floor to 18mm chipboard and cutting into the expanding foam, will it definitely give you at least 14mm? Could they shift it up further? Are you having them glued or floating as you will have to take this into account too so that might take another 2-3mm. Most engineered flooring are at least 14mm/15mm so you could be looking for around another 18mm. If you are having beading where the wood floor meets the door you will also need to take this into account. Rather than have a flat beading perhaps there is an L shaped beading so corner section can sit in between the wood floor and door so even if there is 2-3mm higher then the door, it will give a nice finisher if you are outside looking in?

    Another trick that my floor fitter told me ( as he said some of his clients had a similar issue ), was that when he was fitting the planks near the door, he would shave off some of the wood floor underneath so that once the planks were fitted, it would meet the door height but obviously this was done in a very subtle way so that you wouldn't notice the gradient. That could also be an option. Obviously the quality of the underside of the wood floor and the floor fitter skills would also be important. When the floor is being fitted, you could choose the planks of wood that would want near the door for shaving off as some of the underside of the floor boards are not that great all the time.

    If you save a few mm here and there it might be ok. If you decide to go with Plan B due to your reasons above, make sure your bulider knows you are extremely unhappy about the situation and you are now having to accomodate for all your plans for his mistake to save him money. At the end of the day, it's your decision.

    That's a huge opening by the way, will look lovely when it's all finished!

  • Gerty Werty
    Just remember they cost 5K to you... but probably not to the supplier or manufacturer. Thats not harsh... we spend our hard earned livings on these projects and expect the job to be done properly. But i guess if you are happy to live with something you arent happy with for the rest of your life because someone you have paid a fortune to has made a mistake, then thats fine. But not me... we did our extension ourselves and had a few jobs done for us such as doors and final flooring etc and as we paid for that to be done, i expected perfection...otherwise we would have done it ourselves.
  • Monica

    It's a tough one isn't it? I understand your dilemma as you sound like nice people and most likely the builder are also nice people , so you must feel trapped and torn about demanding that they re order them. The truth is the builder made a mistake and he needs to do the right thing and put it right. Right now, only you can make the decision, the one that would work best for you given the circumstances. Its going to look fantastic though :)

  • PRO
    Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman

    What is above the door? I know you said you have around 8mm expanding foam. Normally I would suggest 18mm your 15mm flooring. Just wondering if the builders can hack out further above?

  • tonicuk

    Thank you for the responses. A very comprehensive explanation of options.

    The door sits underneath a large steel beam, unfortunately!

    I have had a lengthy discussion with my builder and explained that I need at least 19mm for a decent quality engineered floor.
    His response was that we will:

    1. Reduce floor from 22 to 18mm
    2. Raise door frame by 4-5mm
    3. .... This one is questionable. Dismantle the frame, take the head of the frame back to a factory (not the one it was made in) and cut 10mm off the head of it.
      He explained that it would be cut through a wet diamond cutting machine so there should be no chips or damage to the aluminium frame.

    He said that it won't affect overall integrity or warranty.

    So overall I will end up with 19mm additional.

    Here are some pictures of the head of the frame to see what you guys think...

    The thickness of the head is 40mm and the sides are 35mm.

    Odear indeed.

  • rinq

    If you decide to go that route: Make him sign some sort of guarantee to deliver an impeccable and undamaged endresult. And if he messes up, it's on him.

    If it was mine, I'd rather wait for 8 weeks for a new door (but I'm the DIY type, so time is free) and he can use the 'old one' for a new project or however he pleases.

    I'm a kitchen planner and we sometimes make mistakes too, we offer solutions on site, but if a customer declines, it's on our bill (customer 'just' has to wait for the new item). Nothing personal, just business.

  • PRO
    Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman

    Hi, that all sounds like a very sensible resolution to the problem. Just a quick suggestion:- As the top of the frame looks like it's less deep than the bottom already ( that's what it looks like from the pics ), why don't you cut the bottom of the door instead of the top to even it out a little?

    If this is a process that the builder says is possible, then maybe as the top and bottom differ quite a bit, not raise the door at all, just cut the total 15mm off the bottom?

  • Jonathan
    Do the floor joists have to stay at that height? Could he lower the floor? (there does appear to be a void underneath after all). Surely this is a similar time and labour implication to his solution of shaving the top of the door off.
  • kwg kwg

    Regarding the door frame, I guess if a small section of it was taken off from the top or the bottom no-one would really notice. It only becomes an issue if your doors don't work properly after a while, they don't slide as smoothly after a couple of years due to settlement, movement etc, then you want to use your warranty to get it fixed but the door company says no because the frame has been modified etc. When we had our sliding doors installed, the door company was very specific in how the opening was prepared for the door installation otherwise the warranty would be invalid.

    If you do go down this route, as rinq suggested, make sure he signs something with full details of what he has done and that any future costs to labour and parts to fix any future issues will be at his cost.

    Where do those joists lead to at the back of your photo? Is it an L-shape and are the joists at that level so that you can have the same floor height has the rest of the existing house?

  • kwg kwg

    May I ask who the door manufacturer/ company is?

  • PRO
    Brandler London

    Personally I would not advise cutting the frame of the door down as I cannot imagine that it would not affect the manufacturer's warranty or the aesthetics.

    WIth a thought on time I would suggest that you get the builder to remove the sub floor and drop the joists by the required dimension. I notice that they are floating so it is only the uprights that need to be removed and cut down depending on how he installed it.

    An interesting point was raised about the L shape of the room and I assume that there is an internal doorway. Do you have the same conflict there as well? If not at presenbt then this can be dealt with by a very slight gradient meeting the internal door opening.

    In my view this would be a relatively cheap option as all materials could be re-used and the amount of labour time required should be short.

    Best of luck

  • Gerty Werty
    I would also be very hesitant to trim the door frame as it would most likely affect manufacturers warranty. Please do check the conditions of the manufacurers warranty as these doors are not straightforward and you may need things sorted on them in the future.

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