Friday, 2 December 2011

A door that opens

Here's another little tale in the saga of the imported windows.

Actually it's a door, but I think as far as the construction goes it's a window, and anyway we got all our external doors and windows from the same place. This is the entrance to the upstairs room and we were hoping, actually expecting, that it would be able to open to about 90 degrees. 

Once again, it's difficult for me to decide whose fault it was, so I hold everyone responsible.

In terms of construction, the door has a strip of wood sticking out around 5 centimetres on the outside across the bottom. This seems like a great idea for keeping rain off the bottom of the door. Unfortunately, when the door opens, the strip of wood is in line with the edge of the door frame. This looks fine at first, but normally, the outer finish of the wall overlaps the door frame, to stop weather getting in through the edge. 

It looked fine at first, opening to 90 degrees, but when the wooden finish went around the edge of the door frame, the door stopped opening beyond around 60 degrees. Not ideal. 

I was most annoyed with the architect, who has been scornful of these windows since we suggested using something from outside Japan, and has been trying hard to find fault with them, and rubbing his hands with glee every time something has gone wrong. The windows arrived a year ago, and were installed into the house four months ago, and he only noticed this problem last week, when the carpenter pointed it out.

It would have been possible to change the wall construction and finish, for example putting the indent diagonally, but clearly the window was not suitable for normal construction, in which the wall finish overlaps the window frame to cover the gap.

The solution was to cut the corner off the wooden strip, so it now opens pretty close to 90 degrees. The wooden strip is not structural (I hope!) so this should not be be a problem. It may even be painted to match the rest of the door, or get a rubber stopper on as that is what hits the frame now when the door opens