Door Hardware Specification Review: A Walk Through

Excerpts from an Expert > Door Hardware Specification Review: A Walk Through

specificationHave you ever sat down and looked at your door hardware specification? Fascinating stuff, isn’t it?

(Can you sense my sarcasm?)

But, if you grabbed a pot of coffee and poured over your specs, my guess is you would notice a few things that needed improvement. We find multiple issues on every review we perform.

We often have companies ask us to perform specification reviews when they experience construction and/or maintenance issues.  However, we always recommend getting a spec review before the issues start. They are quick, easy, and—often times—free.

Here’s what goes into a door hardware specification review.

Up Front Questions

Before the review is performed, you will need to provide your current specs and some basic information. If you don’t want to turn over the entire specification, the reviewer will need sections 8100, 8200, and 8700.

These questions will help the expert know what type of hardware your facility needs in order for it to hold up without being overkill.

  • Are there any problems you are currently experiencing?
  • What are your future design trends? Is there a specific look and feel you would like your doors and hardware to have?
  • What is the lifecycle of your building? When you remodel, do you want to keep the current hardware?
  • How much abuse do your doors and hardware take?

Door Hardware Specification Review Discoveries

There is a lot to know when it comes to doors and locks. Hence, why there are Architectural Hardware Consultants (AHCs) trained by the Door and Hardware Institute. When an AHC reviews your specs, he/she will look for numerous things, but here are some of the heavy hitters.

Correct Hardware Grade

Hardware grade is something we discuss a lot on this blog, simply because it is one of the cornerstones of hardware selection. If you have the improper grade of hardware, you will either spend too much on the hardware, or too much on repairs.

Code Compliance

Code compliance is something all of our customers take very seriously. An AHC will review your door hardware specifications to ensure everything is up to par with ADA and NFPA 80 life-safety code.

Appropriate Applications

One of the main things an AHC will scrutinize is the application of the hardware. For example, you may have non-spring-loaded hinges, or standard ferrous hinges on an exterior door. To the layman, that wouldn’t seem like an issue; however, these hinges will break down and rust. It’s important to make sure each piece of hardware is doing the right job for each opening.

Completeness and Accuracy

Believe it or not, we have seen specifications where doors have been specified with no hinges, or with two closers. It’s important to take the time to get down into the weeds and ensure each opening has all of the appropriate hardware, all the way down to the proper number of door silencers. Failure to do so will result in change orders down the line.

It is also important to ensure none of the specified hardware has been discontinued. Failure to do so can leave you with a smattering of “like for like” hardware, which leaves you wide open for design, hardware grade, and application variances.

What’s in it for Me?

After the door hardware specification is completed, generally after a week or two, the door and hardware expert will provide a number of recommended improvements. These improvements address the issues discussed above and may also include recommendations for product style enhancements, keying, or new products that will fix any existing issues with your specifications.

Ultimately, a proper door hardware specification review will save you money, likely both in the short- and long-term. You will end up with a solid door hardware specification that will keep your doors and locking hardware in the best shape possible.

If you would like for LockNet to review your specifications, let us know. We’d be happy to discuss them with you!


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