Advice on potentially poor Door Hanging job please!!

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by davejones2, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. davejones2

    davejones2 New Member

    Hi all,

    1st post so apologies for starting off with a new thread rather than contributing first....

    In the process of having 6 new oak veneered doors hung in a 90s build house with slightly wonky door frames. The doors are prefinished Deanta 40mm width (non-fire) specifically chosen for the thick lipping so that they could be cut to fit (as one under the stairwell was fairly short). I purchased the doors myself along with some good quality new hinges etc.

    The joiner is charging £65/door (in the South East). He has some glowing reviews on checkatrade specifically for door hanging. He was aware of the door frames being a little askew and the doors we were buying. We initially commissioned him for redecorating the two rooms; saying all the right things about being a perfectionist etc. He said he was actually mainly a carpenter so would do a good job of the doors too. He wasn't the cheapest quote and seems pretty experienced.

    He took a day to hang 6 doors. The frames are definitely not totally square so it wouldn't have been the easiest job.

    They seem reasonably well fitted to the frames and the gapping is "fairly" even (about 3-4mm where the frames allow); Apart from one of the double doors between two rooms, where the bottom of one door follows a square line across the bottom of the two doors rather than having been trimmed to follow the floor-line one one side (where the floor slightly slopes).

    He's only used two hinges on some of the doors (using the original hinge locations) rather than the three we'd purchased on advice of the Door retailer (who have a great rep.)

    My issues are these and I'm not sure what to do as he's supposed to be adding the handles / re-finishing the trimmed sections with oil etc and then redecorating two rooms from Monday onwards:

    1) Main issue is that he has splintered sections of the veneer (approx 1cm upwards) in sections along the bottom of TWO of doors. I can see how this can maybe happen but assumed a Professional would never do this in a million years??!

    2) Would you normally trim the door bottom to follow the slight slope of a wonky subfloor or leave it level?

    3) Are two hinges acceptable for doors weighing 30kg?

    4) He clearly hasn't trimmed the doors evenly as the instructions on the doors imply; for example he's taken 16mm off (just within allowance) the bottom of one of the doors and zero off the top - is this normal??

    5) Some of the edges he's trimmed are very "grainy" and uneven; presumably he'll sand them down but there is mm's of coarse grain in places.

    Obviously I need to talk to him on Monday but I'd hugely appreciate some advice as to where I stand if he tells me the splintering can happen to anyone etc - I've no idea if the veneer is salvagable in any way?

    Should I ask him to leave it all as is and get someone to finish the job before he wrecks them any more, or is the above all acceptable?!

    Can't see a situation where I'd be able to get some new doors in compensation off him either!

    Huge huge thanks for any input.

  2. AlvyChippy

    AlvyChippy Active Member

  3. davejones2

    davejones2 New Member

    I'll add some later this evening (at work at the mo). The splintering (which is by far and away my biggest concern) looks a bit like the picture at the top of this webpage but less severe.

    He's coming back on Monday so might have a plan for it but short of lopping off another cm of door I can't see what he can do. I have zero carpentry knowledge but a web search for "repair of splintered veneer" doesn't come up with much!


  4. Allsorts

    Allsorts Super Member

    Hi Dave.

    Obviously we cannot judge properly as we don't have pics, but I have to say your post seems detailed, thoughtful and concise so I am anticipating a job that simply has not been done to professional standards.

    (1) Splintered cut edges?! Kryust NO! As you say, there are ways of avoiding this and every 'pro' should do this as second nature.

    (2) Yes. Provided the door has enough meat - which it must have, obviously - then, yes, the door should be cut to match the floor level. I think that's a statement of the bleedin' obvious - it has to 'look' right. I guess it all comes down to how bad - how visible - it is, and also whether this 'slope' in the lower door edge will cause issues on the floor/carpeting as it's opened?

    (3) Not sure, but if the supplier/manufacturer says '3' then three it is. I fit three on my ordinary solid-pine Wickes doors... There is NO excuse for not doing this. Other than laziness.

    (4) "Trim evenly from both sides" is also a mantra that even I - a DIYer - is fully aware of. Ok, I guess provided (a) he is still comfortably within the 'limits' and (b) the unevenness cannot be easily visibly noticed (tho' I fear it can in your case?), then it's probably 'ok' although hardly 'professional'. (Others will have even more severe views on this, I am sure...)

    (5) What the hell did he use to cut these edges? Please don't tell me it was a jigsaw or similar...? Yes, it should be sanded smooth and sealed.

    You have double doors to a room and one of the new doors has a level bottom edge? If this is obviously a visible issue - which I suspect it is - then it's unacceptable - end of.

    NB: This really comes down to just how bad it is - all we have at the mo' is your written description. Keep photos to below 2MP to get them on this site.

    What a 'mare, tho'; if this is as bad as you say, then he's defectively wrecked a few of your doors and there's no easy way back from this.

    £65 per door sounds a decent earner to me; he took one day, so that's ~£400 for a day's work - that's ok. (Is it properly invoiced? Or cash in hand...)

    He should have done a job that you are completely happy with.
  5. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Right. I hang doors (amongst other things) for a living, so my opinion may or may not be helpful.

    1. He should have either masking taped the edge before cutting, scored the cut line with a Stanley knife, bought a new fine cut blade for his circular saw, used a guide rail with splinter suppressor rubber on it, cut the bulk out then planed to the line, or a combination of every one of these. If the bottom of the doors have tight gaps then he could plane a bit of the splintered area out, but obviously then you are enlarging the gap under the door, so depends how much you can get away with. Colorfill is a damage limitation option, though it's not ideal.

    2. Follow the slope by scribing to the floor.

    3. Actually, contrary to popular thinking as long as they're good ball bearing hinges, then yes they are.

    4. Yes, provided the strength of the door isn't affected, you having chipboard cores in the doors won't have an issue.

    5. It's good practice to rub the cut edges to take any sharp edges off prior to paint or stain, but not every carpenter does this, but your man is redecorating the rooms, so perhaps you are jumping the gun here a bit and assuming he won't do it.

    I do feel that you've assumed a bit much a bit early before he's had chance to finish yet, hanging 6 heavy veneers in a day is decent going, £65 per door is a pretty reasonable price he quoted you, especially if he's oiling them for that too. Wait to see the end results, then assess the situation.
  6. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Got the knives out a bit quick there I think mate.......
    PhilSo and Allsorts like this.
  7. Allsorts

    Allsorts Super Member


    "Obviously we cannot judge properly as we don't have pics..." and then you tended to agree with most of the important points I've made :p
  8. Talking nonsense again,how many Victorian 4 and 6 panelled have you seen still hanging with 3 hinges,none because all normal sized ones only had 2.
    Fit a decent quality timber door with decent hinges and only 2 is required.
    barbaricduck likes this.
  9. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Agree, the third hinge is debatable on its usefulness, it does restrict any slight warping in the door, and does take some of the weight, but it's the housing the hinge sits in that provides the strength and takes the weight of the door. The hinge is only as good as the accuracy of the recess it goes into.
  10. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Yes, but you were a tad dramatic in your response before we know the full spec. And you thought the carpenter earned £390 in a single day, rather than him returning and completing the job over two days :) bit quick to judge mate. Chances are he may have buggered them up, but let's be optimistic for a change eh? :D
    davejones2 likes this.
  11. Allsorts

    Allsorts Super Member

    Fair do's Jord - but I did make the proviso that it was based on what we have been told and have not yet seen.

    However, do you think the splintered veneer edges are going to be acceptable? Should they even have occurred - at all?

    As for the hinges, these are 30kg doors and the supplier - who the buyer rates - recommended three hinges. Again, I don't know if these are essential - and nor do you. All I 'know' - from being told in this post - is that the buyer was recommended three for these doors, bought three, gave the joiner three, paid him for the job, and got two fitted.
  12. Allsorts

    Allsorts Super Member

    This is not a solid Victorian door - it's a hollow veneered door of substantial weight for which three hinges were recommended - and purchased.

    Ie - I am going by the info provided, whereas you are a Leaver so the provided info means now't.
  13. davejones2

    davejones2 New Member

    Massive thank you for all the replies. Hugely appreciated.

    He is definitely not finished; apologies if I didn't make this clear; he's coming back on monday to fit the latches / handles and put *something* onto the edges (I had left him to chose as I thought he knew what he was doing). I'm guessing he will sand down / make good the exposed edges that are poorly finished but not 100% sure yet.

    It seems like the hinges / unequal trimming are not necessarily examples of bad practice, which is good to hear.

    We also bought a pairmaker on the door suppliers recommendation and he didn't fit that either: he let us know prior to starting he didn't want to use it and to be honest I reckon he was right looking at the doors now. Hence my confusion with the hinges.

    Photos to follow later of the splintering of the veneer; perhaps there is a chance its just splintering of the finishing lacquer (or whatever is used on these pre-finished doors) or something more explainable than him just messing up? Seems too deep for that to me, as I said looks like the picture in the link. I did hear him muttering about a blunt blade of some kind though before I left him to finish.......

    The lack of scribing on one of the doors between rooms sounds like it probably is an issue, but we weren't expecting perfection as we knew the frames and floor were wonky; a picture will reveal all I'm sure.

    It's really the splintering issue thats got me concerned.

    The guy seems really genuine and pleasant, as I said made all the right noises when he came round to quote for decorating originally (looked genuinely ****** off at the quality of some prior plastering / corner beads failing etc in a "why can't people just do things properly 1st time around" type of way). Quotes seemed reasonable in a not-too-cheap not-too-pricey region.

    We had very high hopes that someone would finally come and do something properly after a succession of dodgy jobs in the last few months; highlights being some utter dire rendering and damaged granite hearth around a new stove and a floor fitter who i had to ask to change and make good 6 tiles immediately after laying 2k worth of LVT. My 2 year old niece would have spotted the problems these guys were happy to walk out the door and leave without a second thought.

    I genuinely have no idea how to find a decent tradesperson in an area where we don't know anyone who's been having similar work for recommendation! Checkatrade seems next to useless. Any tips?

    Hence my desire to get my bearings with these doors to try and suss him out; he's already bought all the paint etc so if I tell him to pack up I need to be sure of what I'm doing! Not to mention I'll have to find someone to finish all the doors and a new decorator too.

    Few further questions if I may; what treatment should the edges actually be finished with on a Deanta pre-finished oak veneered door? And should the areas cut out under the hinges etc also be treated as the manufacturer implies?

    The gist I'm getting is that if he has damaged the veneer is it's:

    a) Unfixable without cutting the door down further and
    b) not an error a professional should be making?

    Not to mention almost certainly voiding any guarantee on the door too.

    Thanks again for all the help,

  14. nigel willson

    nigel willson Screwfix Select

    So, from what I have seen . You got a decorator to fit ur doors, is that correct!?
  15. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Sometimes, and it's a big sometimes, a splinter is unavoidable. You take every precaution and try to prevent damage by doing all I suggested earlier and even with all that a small nick may occur if you're really unlucky, he does sound a bit sloppy though so I'll wait until you put up photos before I pass judgement. The edges can be finished with oils, waxes, etc whatever is suitable for the look of the door. The hinge cutouts can live without being treated, really they can.

    The manufacturers of doors state things MUST be adhered to in principle, but in reality they're just covering their arses against every possible scenario should one in a thousand doors become a problem they can be claimed against. Reality is that most things they state don't HAVE to be done, but in an ideal world you would do.
  16. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    I think we'll judge the splintered edges when he puts up photos, but more than likely they won't be acceptable, with regards to the hinges the doors don't need three, but if that was what was quoted for then that's what should have been fitted, otherwise he's trying to cut corners and I don't agree with that.
  17. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    Multitrade is the term!
    blarblarblarblar likes this.
  18. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Depending on the results of photographs, Tosser may be the correct term.......
  19. davejones2

    davejones2 New Member

    Sorry not quite; found him on checkatrade as his details included decorating, he came round to quote, seemed to talk the most sense of everyone I met. The topic of our new doors came up and he said "actually my main role is a carpenter" and gave me a quote for these after a discussion. He even recommended some door brands on the basis of his experience and the internet appeared to agree with him. About 75% of his checkatrade reviews are for joinery, with quite a few specific for door hanging.

    Perhaps the warning signs were obvious in retrospect but without personal recommendation it's impossible to tell; it seems even with some significant prior research I dont seem to quite ask the right feeler questions to suss people out.
  20. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    In fairness there's not much you can ask carpenters regarding hanging regular doors to suss them out before they start, you can either hang them acceptably, or not acceptably, you wouldn't have been able to determine whether he was any good or not from him telling you he's hung thousands, he could have done them all poorly. Personal recommendation is the best way to source someone, or viewing previous work they've done and trusting they'll do the same on your job. Whereabouts are you based out of interest?

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice