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External door warped - who is liable?

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doctor Bob

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I'm glad I work in traditional repair and not new build.
It's just a case of adapting, the real issue here is doing as the client asked, when it shouldn't have been done. Something should have been put in writing about the risk, however it's impossible on a forum to tell if this is the real reason the door has failed as it's all speculation.
 

Adam W.

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It's just a case of adapting, the real issue here is doing as the client asked, when it shouldn't have been done. Something should have been put in writing about the risk, however it's impossible on a forum to tell if this is the real reason the door has failed as it's all speculation.
My bold.

True, but that comes from experience and a willingness to tell the client that they would be better waiting, regardless of what they want.

And we're only getting one side of the story to judge from.
 

Bristol_Rob

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Can I ask:

Did you check the moisture content of the timber before you built the door?

If too wet, can later dry and warp.
Too dry from the kilm and take on moisture and warp.

Did you plan the moisture content of the project?
 

Distinterior

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About 20 years ago, I was scheduled to fit a kitchen in a newly built house.
I turned up on the Monday to find that the walls & windows were running with water and was told by the customer that the walls had been plastered on the Saturday & Sunday...!!
I refused to fit the kitchen for obvious reasons.....He said his wife was due out of Hospital within a few days with their newly born child and the kitchen HAD to be fitted by the time she came home.
I told him the likely problems that would occur further down the line but he was adamant he didnt want to postpone.
I put my protestations down on paper and got him to sign it and agreeing if there were any issues in the future, not to come back to me.

About 2 months later, he rang to say there were problems with the new kitchen. I popped by on the way home that night.....All the doors and cabinets had expanded, most of the hinges and drawer runners were showing signs of rust.....He asked me what I was going to do about it and I referred him to the paper he had signed.....I've never heard back from him since!

You just cant tell some people!
 

rafezetter

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My bold.

True, but that comes from experience and a willingness to tell the client that they would be better waiting, regardless of what they want.

And we're only getting one side of the story to judge from.
Having recently dealt with a client whom was the kind that just would not be told, no matter how many valid points are made as to why something shouldn't be done, I would imagine even if he had presented them with a written caution, they would not have signed it - they ARE lawyers after all whom know they would be bound by it, and the last lawyer I did work for refused to pay me AND refused to even have a conversation about how I can "remedy" the situation that wasn't even of my making (it really wasn't, I came in behind another builder whom had screwed up, I pointed it out, and then they used THAT as a reason to screw me at the end and wouldn't even take my calls.)

I'd have the conversation with them about the screed, and if they cannot (won't) tell you what type (though I'm sure then know) then ask which company did it and contact them, which is where you might find them being quite circumspect about thier answers, (and if they again say they don't know, gently remind them the company name will be on the invoice they paid). If you did warn them verbally about it, and even though it's not in writing, that would still be enough to be taken into evidence if they decided to threaten court - or is a lawyer going to purger him/herself in front of a Judge? Unlikely.

They have more to lose in court arbitration that you do, as it's where they work and will be bound to tell the truth, and quite a lot of "I don't know" answers from a defendant doesn't look great.

You've got indemnity insurance right? Tell them to make a claim on that - the prospect of it all going legal and thr drawn out process that can take, might make them back off.

I'm not saying get all in thier face about it, but at the same time if you did warn them about the possible issues, you shouldn't have to be out of pocket and time because the client didn't listen.

I'd also be very wary about doing any more work for them.
 

Kayen

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It's a hard lesson learnt, in future get people to sign something that says you are not responsible for any defects or problems caused by environmental issues.

Imho, it's far more likely that the outside conditions (sun and rain) have caused the problem.
 

Jake

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Having recently dealt with a client whom was the kind that just would not be told, no matter how many valid points are made as to why something shouldn't be done, I would imagine even if he had presented them with a written caution, they would not have signed it
At that point it's your duty to yourself to refuse the job and protect yourself.
 

Inspector

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It isn't likely going to help you now but for the future consider making up a contract for all work that specifies everything. The payments and when due, your liabilities, their responsibilities of what and when they provide, scope of the work, level of finish, materials, hardware etc, what you warranty and for how long. Also write and get signatures on change orders covering anything they want to add, subtract, substitute, etc. I had a buddy that did great work but always had problems with changes and misunderstandings with customers because he never had his bottom covered. Lost tens of thousands of dollars over the years. If the clients won't sign contracts and change orders then they are not the people you want to work with. With computers you can have generic content and specific items added as required and then print them out. After being signed you scan them so you have duplicate records. I know it seems like a PIA but if it resolves issues before they get out of hand they are worth it.

Pete
 

Geriatrix

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I believe it's a sound idea to take photographs at the beginning of the job and at salient points during progress to completion. Not just your work but also anything existing that might affect the outcome in the future. We all have a camera phone so it doesn't take long. I'm long retired now, but since digital photography we introduced before and after photographs. Initially for potential marketing, but turned out to be very useful from time to time resolving the "it wasn't like that before you did the job" or "it must have been damaged when you fitted it" try-ons.
 

LBCarpentry

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Nothing worse than being pressured by a radgy customer to install something and then getting angry when something goes wrong.

I stopped using sapele a few years ago for external joinery. There was just too much movement in the stuff. Fitting doors and half expecting them to bow within months.
How hard can it be to remake the door? Can’t you take it away and swap the bowed component?

in the future I would use either sapele WOODEX (laminated and finger jointed for extra stability)

OR

Accoya

that’s what I use. Not had any callbacks or war page since using Accoya
 

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