Quantcast

Front door panels appear crooked

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Turbot

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
1
Location
Worcester
Yesterday, I had a new front door fitted by a carpenter. The carpenter had had it made by another firm.

Today, I realised that the door is very crooked at the top. All the vertical bits of the door seem to be truly vertical, so I don’t understand why the horizontal lines of the panels are slanted.

I’ve emailed my concerns to the carpenter and am waiting for a reply.

Does it look like the door has been poorly made? Or has it been poorly fitted? Or both?

If the carpenter can’t or won’t help (I’ve paid him), are there ways of levelling the top of the top panel so that it looks properly horizontal (e.g. with thin wedges of wood, or with wood filler)? I’m not really a DIY-er, so any advice gratefully appreciated.

I’m new to the forum, so please forgive me if I’m not doing this right. Sorry I can’t get the one photo to upload without it rotating.
 

Attachments

That would work

Established Member
Joined
29 Dec 2018
Messages
604
Reaction score
10
Location
Dartford
Are the top corners of the frame (not the door) 90 degrees? If not that's what it is, not much can be done about that.
 

Turbot

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
1
Location
Worcester
Sorry, I can’t check at the moment. But the original door didn’t look crooked like this.
 

Jacob

Established Member
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
16,119
Reaction score
0
Location
Derbyshire
It's a badly fitted door and that's all there is to it.
Get him to come back and do it properly, which he probably can't, then try somebody else.
If the frame itself is out of true then you wouldn't expect a new door to match but you would expect it to close properly without gaps - it'd have to be made slightly over size and then trimmed to fit the existing opening. Normal procedure in old buildings - often nothing is straight!
 

Turbot

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
1
Location
Worcester
Do you think a new door will have to be made? It closes properly, but just looks really crooked.
 

Jacob

Established Member
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
16,119
Reaction score
0
Location
Derbyshire
Turbot":28skkujc said:
Do you think a new door will have to be made?
From the photos it simply looks too small - wrong from the beginning. Anything can be bodged to fit but if you paid for a new door you don't want a bodge.
 

Turbot

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
1
Location
Worcester
The carpenter seemed to do a lot of cutting while he was here. I was upstairs working and I could hear his power tools going. I wonder if he got a big enough door but cut the wrong bits off. It closes properly, but just looks really crooked at the top.
 

Doug71

Established Member
Joined
28 Aug 2016
Messages
1,272
Reaction score
74
Location
Yorkshire
The door won't be out it will be the frame, the sides look quite parallel so it probably can't be improved much. Maybe the old door had a deeper top rail so you didn't notice it as much or the old door was out of square also, although if anything you would think the old door might have sagged and looked even worse.

The fitter should have picked up on the out of level frame when he measured and made you aware of it.
 

Turbot

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
1
Location
Worcester
Yes, I had wondered, too, if we just didn’t notice the crookedness before (because of a ‘deeper top rail’, as you suggest). The trouble is that it looks terrible now, in my opinion.

Is there any way of making the top of the top panels look more horizontal and parallel with the top of the door frame (e.g. by inserting narrow wedges of wood, or sculpting wood filler)?
 

Doug71

Established Member
Joined
28 Aug 2016
Messages
1,272
Reaction score
74
Location
Yorkshire
Looks a nice old place, do you think the old door was original, was the new one made to match it?
 

AndyT

Established Member
Joined
24 Jul 2007
Messages
11,830
Reaction score
220
Location
Bristol
Although it's hard to be sure from photos, I think there are several related issues.

First, the head of the frame is not square. It droops noticeably on the left hand side. So if you put in a new door which is properly straight and square, it looks odd. The new door looks straight to me.

Second, the door was probably a bit too tall for the opening and has been trimmed quite a bit at the top. This makes the top look weak.
The droopy frame makes it look worse.

On top of all that, you have a nailed on draught excluder with black rubber in it. The black line that shows from this frames the door strangely and makes it all look small and weak.

Solutions? If you could find something to whiten the black draught excluder, or swap it for an all white one, it would help.

Rebuilding the frame to straighten it might be a major job, if the house has settled unevenly, or it might be possible. Did you ask him to do that?

A door which was a better fit for the height could look less weedy but would be much more expensive than a stock size. Trimming top and bottom might have looked better.

Overall, I expect your carpenter has made some compromises to keep the job quick and affordable. Whether he ought to try again depends on how much you paid.
 

Turbot

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
1
Location
Worcester
We think the old door was original. The new one isn’t exactly the same; we asked the carpenter for one that was similar and this is what he brought us. It looks cheaper, sadly. We’ve kept most of the original fittings (letterbox, keyhole, numbers), but the centre vertical on the new door is too narrow to place the numbers side by side.
 

That would work

Established Member
Joined
29 Dec 2018
Messages
604
Reaction score
10
Location
Dartford
In theory pieces could be planted on to make the top rail look wider but that would have to be pieces that matched the moulding on all edges. It would become a botch unless skillfully done though. Not ideal.
Edit: your carpenter did not have it made, it's just an off the shelf job, if he had the proportions of the rails would or should have been quite different.
 

Turbot

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
1
Location
Worcester
I paid £850 (and live in Worcester). I don’t know if this is a lot or not for a new wood front door & lock. He is a carpenter who has done work for us before, so we asked him.
 

Jacob

Established Member
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
16,119
Reaction score
0
Location
Derbyshire
Cheap. An exact copy of the old door plus fitting would be nearer £2k. If it fits the hole and open and closes properly you've got what you paid for.
I thought the black line was a mysterious, I didn't spot it was a draft excluder as Andy pointed out!
 

Turbot

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
1
Location
Worcester
The carpenter said he had to have the door made because it wasn’t a standard size. We waited months for it to be made, with him having to chase the factory up, etc. So it’s a mystery to me that it isn’t better proportioned (e.g. the rails). Something doesn’t add up; but I trust the carpenter.
 

Doug71

Established Member
Joined
28 Aug 2016
Messages
1,272
Reaction score
74
Location
Yorkshire
The door looks like it was made for you but it has just been made their standard way with basic mouldings etc, would have been nice to have wider rails with more interesting mouldings and panels etc. Any idea what the door is made of?

The door has been made the right height but had a lot trimmed off one side of the top, the combination of this, thin rails and draught strip just make it look wrong.
 

Turbot

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
1
Location
Worcester
I don’t know what wood the door is made of, I’m afraid.

It makes me wonder if the carpenter has the ability to do a better job, even if he agreed to. Maybe it’ll look better when the door is painted (navy blue). Otherwise, we might have to start again and swallow the loss, because I’m not sure I can look at this for the rest of my life!
 

owen

Established Member
Joined
5 Apr 2013
Messages
434
Reaction score
6
Location
Buxton
I was going to suggest swapping the black draught excluder for a white one, but Andy beat me to it.I think that would help a lot.
 

Trevanion

Greatest Of All Time
Joined
29 Jul 2018
Messages
3,499
Reaction score
328
Location
Pembrokeshire
owen":3ia1pqkh said:
I was going to suggest swapping the black draught excluder for a white one, but Andy beat me to it.I think that would help a lot.
Then it'll stick out like a sore thumb when it's painted navy blue! :lol:

The carpenter should have checked whether the frame had sagged out of square (or whether it was just like that from the outset) or not when doing the initial measuring. There's no real right way to fit a door to match exactly to the frame other than making a crooked door with the same amount of out-of-squareness. If you're trying to fit a square door into a crooked hole there are loads of trade-offs, You could keep the edges parallel to the frame but cut the top and bottom rail to suit the angle which is what has happened here, you could keep the top and bottom rail parallel to the top and bottom of the frame and cut the stiles to suit the crookedness which sometimes is quite a bit less noticeable than an out-of-square top rail. Alternatively, you can do a mix of both which means everything is slightly out relative to the frame but it's all evened out so that nothing really stands out too obviously.

I do sympathise with the carpenter, especially if he doesn't specialise in external joinery. It's quite a complex subject and far more involved than putting in internal joinery. I hope you ran the project by the proper authorities because in some areas they really do not like you replacing external joinery unless it is like for like and they might get you to tear it out and put the old one back in/have one made exactly the same as the rest of the street.
 
Top