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In our 18 years, we have enjoyed helping visionary architects and designers really push the boundaries of door hardware, but there are some hard and fast rules that should not be broken.
To help you avoid some obvious errors we have put together the list below. Alternatively, call one of our advisers who can help you save any mistakes or costly delays. We have a large number of unique products in our catalogue so we can help you specify the correct hardware to ensure your doors function in a way your require.
1. Different types of door handles either side of the door
Using a Mortice knob and a lever handle on opposite sides of the door will lead to problems. One requires the lock to be heavy sprung and the other needs a very light spring in the lock. They are, therefore, incompatible.
2. Using more than one hardware company on a project
It is definitely best practice to only use one hardware company on a project. We have seen many problems caused when hardware packages are split between different suppliers.
3. Designing bespoke doors without checking hardware compatibility
Receiving an order for door handles that you then discover won’t fit on a narrow door stile is going to be an expensive and time-wasting mistake. This is where speaking to us at the early stages will pay off as we will be able to advise on which handles from our extensive range will best suit, or to help tweak existing designs to ensure that no issues arise. Due to our scheduling service, the clients shouldn’t receive ironmongery that won’t work in the planned environment. Take 10 minutes to chat through your thoughts with one of our advisers.
4. Bespoke finishes that have not been tried and tested on hardware
Door handles get a very heavy usage compared to most other architectural products, especially when you take into consideration elements such as the impact that jewelry can have on hardware as opposed to a light switch. This is why we are always cautious when it comes to bespoke finishes that have not been previously produced and tested.
5. Cutting into bespoke doors without double checking the dimensions
Again, a ten-minute call to discuss the type of door you are designing and the type of handle that is being specified and you could save yourself a whole lot of time and money further down the line. Don’t assume that all fittings are the same, or that your joinery contractor is going to be double checking the measurements – make sure that it is part of the process that checks are done before the cutting starts. Contractors are advised to wait until they have the products before cutting out the doors or obtaining a cut-out sample from us if they can’t get hold of all the items.
6. Over complicated door numbering systems
The primary function of the door numbering is to serve as a way-finding tool for building users. No architect wants to cause frustration or worse still endanger lives because of complicated systems of numbering doors, floors, suites and rooms. Some simple rules include attributing a single number to a room regardless of the number of doors that enter it, maintaining sequential order which mirrors that on the other floors, and ensuring the process can be applied should additional rooms be created or new buildings added. We offer a door set packing and scheduling service which can help to simplify large scale projects.
7. Not involving a door hardware expert when producing a hardware schedule
On any construction project it is always best to get a competent door hardware company involved in the production of a hardware schedule. It’s best to get them involved as early as possible and ensure that they have all the correct information they need to enable them to do their job. This includes;
To ensure a project runs smoothly, keep the door hardware company up to date with any changes to the doors and always insist on at least one site meeting with the main contractor, joinery contractor and door hardware to do a conclusive check to the hardware schedule against the final and ‘signed off’ versions of the GA plans and door schedules.
8. Not leaving enough clearance from door details to enable turning a door handle
Scratching a lever handle across a raised door detail, such as bolection mouldings, or fitting a door knob so close to the door frame that you scrape your knuckles are both major failings. Make sure that you consider all the dimensions of the handle and lock/latch cases, including the depth and width of the handle. The backset and depth of locks and latches also deserves close attention when looking at these kinds of details. If in doubt, give us a call.
9. Not considering the impact of cladding
As in our previous article, adding cladding materials to doors can elevate a design. However, consideration needs to be given to the impact, for example the maximum cladding depth that can be used with concealed hinges is 8mm and there is a special hinge that will need to be specified. Additionally, cladding can make a difference to the weight of the door and fixing method of the door furniture. If you are thinking of going down this route, check with us first that you won’t run into any complications later.
10. Poorly fitted door handles
This can cause no end of problems … some factors are immediately obvious such as drooping lever handles, or handles that do not spring back to the rest position, these issues we have established are nearly always related to misalignment in the fixing of the door furniture, other issues may take longer to become obvious, such as misalignment of the door handle spindle, this can lead to levers becoming loose and potentially falling off. Ensure that your contractor doesn’t cut corners with door hardware fitting, in our opinion the most meticulous of carpenters should be chosen for the installation of door hardware, a very fine attention to detail is critical.
These are some overall guidelines for consideration, but we would strongly advise all our customers and specifiers take advantage of our years of experience – pick up the phone or drop us an email, we’d be really happy to help you make sure that you make the best choices.