Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Interior Improvement Center > Doors, Skylights and Windows
Reload this Page >

Exterior Pella door installed "out of plumb" deliberately

Exterior Pella door installed "out of plumb" deliberately

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-24-16, 05:31 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Illinois
Posts: 101
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Exterior Pella door installed "out of plumb" deliberately

Hopefully I will not make this post too long for all. Please note that all of my attached photos (after I attached them) are rotated 90 degrees to the left from the correct positioning. I don't know why that happened. I just want to know how many contractors on this forum deliberately install an exterior entry door "out of plum".
The situation I have is this:
I recently had a certified Pella contractor recently install a Pella Encompass fiberglass 6 panel door in my house. After the installation I noticed that the brick molding of the door at the top of the striker side of the door did not contact the exterior face of the wall (see photo below)
Name:  IMG_0996.jpg
Views: 1069
Size:  15.5 KB

When I saw this, I also noticed that the vertical face seal and the horizontal face seal of the door were barely contacting the door for about a 1 1/2 feet in this area of the door (see photo below).
Name:  IMG_1002.jpg
Views: 981
Size:  16.8 KB

After seeing this, I got my 2 foot level out to check plum of the door (I realize that I really need a 6 to 8 foot level, but this is all I have) and found the top of striker side of the door is pitched outward. The hinged side is plum. (see photos below)
This photo is of the 2 foot level placed against the striker side door frame.
Name:  IMG_0989.jpg
Views: 778
Size:  20.3 KB

This photo is of the 2 foot level positioned against striker side of the door frame and then moved outward at its bottom to center the bubble of the level so you can see how far out of plum the door is.
Name:  IMG_0991.jpg
Views: 915
Size:  22.3 KB

I contacted my contractor that installed the door and he came by to look at it. After looking at it and checking my walls on the outside and on the inside, he told me that he installed the door "out of plum" to get the "best fit" because the walls of the door opening were bowed.
I am just curious as to how many of the contractors on this forum install doors out of plum in order to get a "best fit" due to "bowed" walls.
I am not insinuating my contractor did anything wrong. I have a machinist's background and therefore a thorough understanding of straightness, perpendicularity, flatness, etc. and I just don't understand how deliberately installing a door out of plum compensates for wall irregularities.
Thanks in advance to all that reply to this thread.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-24-16, 06:03 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 23,130
Received 194 Votes on 180 Posts
If I understand everything correctly, the top latch side of the door does not make contact with the weatherstripping?

A door should always be installed so that it contacts the weatherstripping evenly. Open your door about 1 1/2" so that you can just start to see a 1/8" gap between the latch side of the door and the jamb. If that isn't straight from top to bottom, you have an installation problem. Report back what you see. (Such as zero gap near bottom... 1/4" gap near top)
 
  #3  
Old 02-24-16, 07:24 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Illinois
Posts: 101
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the response. I know that the door is out of plum vertically and the contractor told me he did this deliberately to compensate for bowed walls. I did what you said and here are the results:
When the face of the door is flush with the jam at the bottom of the door, there is a little over 1/4 gap between the door face and the jam at the top, which shows that the door frame is pushed outward at the top. This is exactly what my "little" 2 foot level shows. I am attaching a picture of the gap at the top of the door when the face of the door is flush with the jam at the bottom.
I am asking if installing a door out of plumb is common practice by contractors to compensate for bowed walls? I am just having a problem understanding how a bowed wall requires a door to be installed out of plum.
Thanks for the input.

Name:  IMG_1006.jpg
Views: 582
Size:  17.0 KB
 
  #4  
Old 02-24-16, 08:58 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 3,138
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
A bowed wall, or one that is straight but out of plumb is always a challenge for installing doors or windows. The door has to be installed plumb or it will not seal or operate properly, and this means it will not line up properly with the existing wall surfaces. Dealing with this properly requires shimming or trimming the wall surfaces and perhaps framing, and then adjusting the interior and exterior trim as necessary to blend in the misalignment.

There is no doubt that it takes more time and effort to do a difficult install properly, so unfortunately some will just fudge it as best they can.

Assuming someone came out and measured prior to your ordering the door, the bow should have been detected. A top notch contractor would have explained the problem to you, and what would be required to correct it. And what it would cost to do it properly.

I would not accept the installation you show.
 
  #5  
Old 02-24-16, 09:59 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Illinois
Posts: 101
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for your reply, CarbideTipped. I was always of the understanding that a door should never be installed out of plumb. I personally believe (and I understand I am not a contractor and could be wrong) that if the top striker side of my door had been pushed in to where the exterior brick molding was flush with the wall (or closer to being flush) before it was nailed, everything would be just fine. When it warms up this spring, I will probably just go ahead and remove the interior trim, run a saw down thru the nail/nails at the top, push the top of the door in, renail, and reinstall the inside trim. Thanks again for your reply.
 
  #6  
Old 02-24-16, 10:13 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 3,138
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
If it's really bowed out in the middle, what you will find when you push the top in, is that the bottom will move out and it will still be out of plumb, just in a different way. You can just install it plumb, which will probably mean a gap behind the brickmold top and bottom (and then shim and caulk the brickmold). Or you can shave off enough of the brickmold in the middle so the whole door slides in plumb. Sometimes it's easiest just to remove the brickmold, get the door centered in the r/o nice and plumb, and then shim or trim the brickmold as needed to fit.

Good luck!
 
  #7  
Old 02-24-16, 10:19 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Illinois
Posts: 101
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks, CarbideTipped. I will probably not do anything right away until it gets warmer outside. This door is actually an entrance door from my garage into a utility room, so is not exposed to the actual outdoors.
 
  #8  
Old 02-24-16, 10:27 AM
Handyone's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: U.S.
Posts: 5,451
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I think the installer is not totally to blame, but should fix it to your satisfaction.
Obviously the price for installing a door doesn't include fixing everything that could be wrong with the house.
What I would have done is give you options such as the door closes evenly to the stops, but you have large trim gaps, or you split the difference.
 
  #9  
Old 02-24-16, 10:41 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 23,130
Received 194 Votes on 180 Posts
Its true that you can only do so much when installing a door in a wall that's not plumb. That being said, I would say he didnt try real hard. The fact that the jamb needs to go back on the same corner where there is a gap is fishy to me.

Number one, if the wall is wacky, the factory applied brickmould should have been removed. Plumb up the door as needed. Then rabbet the trim, ripping the back side as needed to fit the wall.

As for your question, generally doors should be plumb. In a few rare cases you can install them out of plumb provided both sides are in the same plane. But most of the time you start with plumb, see how the door slaps... then adjust the door out of plumb if needed to make it slap right. In your case, the installer did neither. Not throwing him under the bus, just stating the facts.

A door that slaps 1/4" out of plumb like yours would need to be fixed, imo. If pushing that top left corner IN toward the house is not possible for some unknown reason, it can still be fixed by adusting each corner a minute amount. If the top left corner and bottom right corner could get pushed IN 1/16", and the top right corner and bottom left corner could get pushed OUT 1/16", that would give you your 1/4" of adjustment you need. The door would not be plumb, but the door would slap correctly because everything would then be in the same plane. See how that works?

That being said, when you put your level on the wall, how does you wall seem? Plumb?
 
  #10  
Old 02-24-16, 11:05 AM
Handyone's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: U.S.
Posts: 5,451
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Not throwing him under the bus, just stating the facts
I'll go ahead and change my mind and throw him under the bus.

Sleeper knows his stuff about doors and it's also about customer satisfaction.
 
  #11  
Old 02-24-16, 04:42 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Illinois
Posts: 101
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I believe you hit the nail on the head with this statement, XSleeper.

"The fact that the jamb needs to go back on the same corner where there is a gap is fishy to me"
 
  #12  
Old 02-24-16, 04:58 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 23,130
Received 194 Votes on 180 Posts
Well, the wall could very well be bowed on the exterior, preventing that corner from going back tight... but cutting the back of the brickmould to match is the obvious solution if that's the case.
 
  #13  
Old 02-24-16, 05:49 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Illinois
Posts: 101
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
XSleeper, when I put my little 2 foot level on the wall, the bubble on the level is nearly perfectly centered on the inside wall and slightly off center on the outside wall (wall leaning outward, which is another reason why the brick molding should be against the wall rather than leaning outward in the same direction the wall is). This door simply needs to be pushed back to where the brick molding touches the wall and any gaps between the wall and the molding caulked and I think the problem would be solved. After I contact Pella to make sure I don't void any warranties if I work on the door, I will take care of this and report back on how the door seals after the adjustment. Thanks to all that responded.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: