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Construction Law/home builder problems


QUESTION: Sorry I reworded my problem to be more accurate....Hello, I am building a house in Rheinland Pfalz. Our house is almost finished and our builder put a sliding door in to the patio/terrace that can't be closed from the outside, from the terrace it can only slide to the kippen position. Which is open...we grill all summer long and I smoke in the evening. I certainly don't want insects, smoke and cold air coming into our house all winter and summer long. They never specifically told us they were putting in a door that you could not close from the outside. He has admitted that they have never used this door before. Now he is telling us we have to live with this door for the rest of our lives. He said "What, what, what's the problem all the doors are like this" I'm some idiot. We only have 3800 left to pay on the house, and I don't want to pay them until they fix our door. Who in the world wants a door to a terrace that cannot close to keep out the cold, smoke and bugs? Our neighborhood is all completely new and they've built 14 houses in our neighborhood and I thought I could go ask our neighbors what kind of sliding doors they have. Are we at his mercy in this situation? How can I get him to put a new door in? I never would have agreed to this dumb door if I knew it could not close from the outside. Thank you very much, I hope you can help me.

ANSWER: Dear Nicole
the problem is not in the door but in the lock. your contractor should replace the lock to be operable from both sides so that the door will be fit to purpose.
good luck

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QUESTION: Hi again, I was not clear enough...This is our back sliding patio door. It has no lock from the outside, it has no handle also. Sliding doors don't lock from the outside. This door gives us access to our backyard and patio. If you are standing on the patio/terrace, you cannot slide our door to the shut position. It slides to the point of the kippen window (which is completely open at the top and hinged closed at the bottom). There is no handle to pull it forward to the closed (sealed position) Therefore all the insects, grill smoke, and cold air could get in my house every time I go into my backyard. If I want my patio door to be closed, I would have to go out my front door and walk to my back yard. I will never be able to go outside and close my door from my patio. I never approved this door, nor was I given a choice to which door they would put in. This door needs a handle to pull it closed. Our builder admitted in writing that he has never used this door before. Will I have a case if I have to get a lawyer? We never approved a door that cannot slide shut. It does not need a lock it needs a handle to close it. Right now he is saying he's not going to do anything about it. Thank You again, Nicole

Hi Nicole
What is not clear in your description is the window problem in this statement :{It slides to the point of the kippen window (which is completely open at the top and hinged closed at the bottom). } but in all cases, sliding door handle / lock system is a not expensive and it should be supplied with the door . this is  a standard practice all over the world. please see attached photo of the handles in question.

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Wael Ghadban


Will respond to queries related to Engineering Contracts subject to FIDIC or other Conditions, tendering and contracting, project management, residential and commercial construction, and general Civil Engineering questions. Can answer most questions related to aviation and airports as related to the Airports, Facility management.


Project construction and Management Civil Aviation - Airports Airport Pavement Design and Use Residential and commercial construction ICAO and FAA regulation



MS Civil Engineering

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