On most new construction projects, the installation of the door assemblies begins with the masonry contractors erecting the door frames as they lay up the masonry walls at the very beginning of the construction phase. Later in the project the rough carpenters or drywall contractors set the door frames in place as they build the stud partitions. At some point in time, usually near the end of the construction phase, other personnel are charged with the installation of the door leaves and the door hardware. Consequently, the end result of this process is that many of the door assemblies are not correctly installed and some might not function as required by the codes and standards.
Installation of the door frames is the single most important step in the installation of the complete door assemblies. When the vertical jambs of a door frame are not installed plumb, square, and aligned (true), the door leaf will not fit the door frame correctly. In the case of fire-rated door assemblies, the door leaves are required to form a barrier that restricts the passage of flame, smoke, and gases—they need to contain the fire until it can be extinguished. When the door leaves do not fit into the frames properly, they are unable to form a suitable barrier to fire. The persons charged with installing the door frames need to be aware of the consequences that arise when the door frames are not installed correctly.
Another issue that affects the installation of the door assemblies is that many of the personnel responsible for the installation of the door leaves and door hardware are not aware of the applicable code and standard requirements that the assemblies are required to meet. Nor, are many of the installers particularly knowledgeable and skilled in the art of installing doors and door hardware. In some cases, door assembly installers take on the task of modifying door frames, doors, and door hardware components in order to correct errors without realizing that they have compromised the fire-rating and/or life safety requirements of the assemblies.
Fortunately, there are several industry standards that might be useful to the door assembly installers. Door assembly installers need to be aware of the type of work that is permitted to be performed in the field versus the work that is required to be performed under the manufacturers’ licensed service by authorized personnel.
General training for door assembly installers is available from Pardoe Consulting. Call or email me with your training needs for your installation team.
Note: Training is available by appointment via webinar-type presentations or in-person for larger groups.