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Question DetailsAsked on 10/27/2013

After damaging my storm door during installation, what is a fair discount from the contractor to cover the damage?

My contractor's crew damaged my double storm doors during installation. The company owner has now asked me to come up with a "number" to compensate us for incidental damage to the door, stating that if it is too high, he will take us to court.
This door was $1200, including installation. In addition, $6,000 for a fiberglass double entry door, frame, threshold, etc. The damage includes scratching the threshold of the entry door beyond repair unless the whole frame is removed, scratching both front and back sides of the door (taking chunks out of the metal and covering it with paint) having to re-cut the astragal to fit properly, needing to drill larger holes to correct the new spot for the re-cut astragal.

What is a fair percentage to ask as a discount? The contractor doesn't want to replace the door.

Thank you!

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5 Answers


It depends on what the goors themselves cost and how much of the price was labor. I'd guess the materials for the job cost about $2500-3000 depending on how nice the doors are. Plain fiberglass doors aren't that expensive. So assuming a $3000+ labor & profit I'd think anywhere from $500-1000 knocked off is fair. It is still cheaper than replacing the doors for the contractor and if you can live with the scratches makes the install a good deal for you, assuming he charged you fairly in the first place. I'm thinking his charges were a little high unless reframing or vinyl siding were involved. Offer to sit down and go over his costs for the job and copare those to his bill to determine his profit. Then ask for that amount. Let him break even if it was truely an accident.

Alternatively, ask him to buff and paint the threshold where it was gouged so it doesn't show that much. Scratches in the doors can be touched up to barely show as well. Then ask for about $500 off as a compromise.

Quite simply, he doesn't have a leg to stand on in court if he delivered a flawed or inferior product. Most judges will likely rule the contractor is responsible for installing the doors properly and without damage. At best (for him) the judge might rule a partial payment, taking into account the costs to the contractor but will probably make him lose some money on the job as a consequence. If the job was done poorly it is your right to demand new doors be installed properly. You'll have to be able to prove the damage was the contractor's fault and not yours in some way. it is common for customers to mess something up and then try to make a warranty claim so you'll need evidence, or an admission of guilt, to show that the damage occurred during installation and not afterwards.

Answered 6 years ago by Todd's Home Services


Thank you so much for your help.

To be more specific, this is an 80 x 72 french- entry door.

They are Signet Series Provia Fiberglass 1/2 beveled glass french- entry doors with

Provia Deluxe french- storm doors.

Some reframing was required as it was not a standard opening. The width was okay, but the top of the frame needed to be raised slightly.

The damaged Provia threshold is anodized aluminum and they tried to cover the scratch with paint which actually made it look worse. The scratch was caused by the unsecured bottom pin from the astragal upon installation of the frame. I witnessed the scratch occur and the installers were made aware of it immediately.

The only information I have from the contractor is that the double storm door was $1200 including materials and labor. I have little confidence that the contractor would be honest with us if we asked him his cost.

We are trying our best to be fair to all parties involved. This is a difficult and unfortunate situation as a customer/homeowner.

Any additional advice or insight would be very greatly appreciated.

Answered 6 years ago by CJK


You could get a firm quote from ANOTHER contractor to replace the damaged parts, but your contractor should replace this with new - flat out, you paid for new and got damaged - and I think he is bluffing about suing if you refuse to pay (and be sure to hold back further payments till fixed right) because he does not have a leg to stand on, and would hopefully get thrown out of court and slapped with a contempt of court penalty as well for bringing a frivolous lawsuit. Assuming he is insured and/or bonded,, you could also remind him that if he refuses to make good on it, you have recourse to those.

Your need to document this very well (with written and photographic documentation as well as eye witnesses to the damage - neighbors or whatever, preferably NOT close friends), and I would bring in an attorney if he refuses to replace with new.

This should not be a big thing - if the door is $1200 (assuming this was installed cost), the threshold can usually be replaced without taking out the frame for about $100-150 or less, so he should just bite the bullet and pay the cost for sloppy workers by replacing threshold and door.

Oh- and the cost to get another contractor to replace the damaged parts will be MORE than the amount in your contractor's bid, where it was a small part of a larger job, so $1300-1350 might not cover it.

Of course, once this is all over, it would be prime time to do an Angie's List review.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


Thank you both so very much for your help.

Today we received a certified letter from our contractor with a Notice of Intention to File Claim for Lein. (Which is required in my state to begin legal procedings.)

The contractor sent this letter on the same day that they deposited an $8,000 check from us.

This is a $47,000 siding, windows, gutters, soffits, facia, doors, plygem stonework job for this contractor. We have now paid him for every aspect of this job except for the damaged front doors.

This is all such a shame. I thought this contractor was so much better than this.

His product and craftsmanship when done correctly is wonderful. That which is not has led to this.

It is to the point where he cannot make this whole and it is sadly not the experience we were hoping for.

Answered 6 years ago by CJK


So sorry to hear this - obviously your choice on how to proceed from here - dispute resolution (with Angie's List or otherwise), sue, file claim against his bond or insurance (both might apply here), etc.

Personally, I would immediately bring in an attorney, both to bring in "the big guns" in your dispute, and to make sure the lien request is fought to the hilt - because if a lien in enforced against your house your loan - either construction loan OR mortgage - can be deemed immediately due and payable in some states - a MAJOR disaster for you if that happens, not to mention that or a lien hurts your credit report. In most states you DO have the right to fight the lien in court BEFORE it can be filed - that is the purpose for the advance lien notice, so do NOT let that deadline go past.

If you have a lender on the construction loan, you and your attorney need to talk to them also - especially if they are making the payments to the contractor out of a construction escrow account. They may also be able to put pressure on him.

Clearly, immediately document the damage with photos and any written / eMail communications - I have also recommended to people that they have an uninterested party date and sign a package of photos and correspondence/eMails to establish the "before" case facts. I did this once with my mother's house using a notary to stamp (every page) of a package of photos and a couple of pieces of printed paper (bid sheet and a letter) as proof of the date of documentation that the work was not done as bid - stopped the contractor cold and his bonding company immediately put another contractor on the job the next day to rip his work out and do it right (was a roofing job).

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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