Robert Lamoureux: Sliding doors, bathroom remodel

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected]
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Question No. 1
Hi Robert,

I am a fan of your column and read it any time I get hold of it. I even save the ones that are relevant to me. We have a vinyl sliding door leading to our backyard, and the problem we have with it is that the bottom track is worn out, and I mean worn out.

I have been looking all over where I could find a replacement for it, but there is no manufacturer’s name on the door I can use as a reference. The track is the kind made also of vinyl and has the kind of metal strip pressed over a “cam” in the center, that I saw they have at Home Depot, but as the whole thing is caved in I need to replace it all.

I was thinking if I could find an aluminum profile I could put in its place, but where can I find a business dealing with these kinds of metal products?

The second part is also that the builder made the installation so tight that even when the wheels are fully retracted the door will not come out from its track unless I shave off of the inner guide. The width of the track is 1-⅝ inches.

Do you think there might be something suitable to use?

I am the 24-hour handyman, but I don’t deal with stuff outside my capability, which I do tell my customers, and that they need to call for a contractor as you many times state in your columns.

Thank you for any hints you can give me to solve our problem.
— Claes G.

Answer No. 1
Claes,

It sounds like you’re not going to find this threshold anywhere. My strongest recommendation in a situation like this, given that the door wasn’t installed properly, and that the door is not identifiable, is to replace the entire door and jamb and not waste any more time fussing with it.

In my 38 years’ experience, I’ve found it easier and less costly to move on, cut my losses and replace an item like this door.

I don’t know any contractors who can do this type of repair, either. No reference offers on this one, I’m sorry.

Best of luck,
— Robert

Question No. 2
Dear Robert,

Our 1,000-square-foot house has two bedrooms and one bath.

We would like to remove the tub enclosure and replace it with a walk-in shower.

Since we only have one bathroom, should we keep it as a tub enclosure with an eye to the future resale of our home?

If you think a walk-in shower is a good choice, could you recommend a contractor who will do it all — tile, plumbing, etc.?

Thank you very much for your help with this.
— Sandra G.

Answer No. 2
Sandra,

Thank you for being a loyal reader of The Signal. As far as resale values are concerned, I’ll leave that to a Realtor for their opinion. I personally like a walk-in shower, myself. I’m sending you contact information for two contractors who you can contact for plumbing and tile. Between the two of them they will do a complete job for you. Good luck,
— Robert

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