Doors & Frames

HMMA 850-14: Fire Protection and Smoke Control Rated Hollow Metal Door and Frame Products

The Hollow Metal Manufacturers Association (HMMA) is a division of the National Association of Architectural Metal Manufacturers (NAAMM), and publishes more than two dozen reference documents related to hollow metal doors and frames...

By |2016-07-20T10:56:10-04:00January 15th, 2015|Doors & Frames, Fire Doors|0 Comments

Decoded: Calculating the Egress Width of Door Openings

A common question when replacing doors and hardware during a renovation is whether one leaf of a pair can be “fixed” in place, or whether an opening can be eliminated completely. It’s very risky to make this decision without consulting the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), but it is helpful to understand some of the factors that could affect the location, size, and quantity of required exits before preparing your request for the AHJ...

By |2022-02-04T15:13:29-05:00December 31st, 2014|Articles, Doors & Frames, Means of Egress|12 Comments

Steel Door Institute: Tornado Doors

Last year I wrote a couple of blog posts about tornado doors - one called Tornado Safety in Schools, which included articles and other information about tornadoes that had recently occurred in Oklahoma and Texas. The other post was Shelter from the Storm, which described changes to the 2015 International Building Code...

By |2014-10-27T10:17:21-04:00October 27th, 2014|Doors & Frames, Windstorm|5 Comments

6 Accessibility Changes to Watch Out For (November 2014)

The 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design went into effect in March of 2012, but there are several requirements that continue to surprise architects and specifiers as well as door and hardware suppliers. These issues can be costly to resolve if they’re discovered after the doors and hardware are on-site, so it’s important to stay current on the requirements...

OTU (Openings Terminology for the Unenlightened) – Frames

This is SO COOL. I LOVE it. I know it probably seems like it doesn't take that much to excite me, but when this hit my inbox, it really made my day...all because Dan Dateno of BR Johnson combined his sketching ability with his career in doors and hardware to illustrate alternate definitions for common door and hardware terminology.

By |2014-10-02T23:13:59-04:00October 2nd, 2014|Back-2-Basics, Doors & Frames, OTU|13 Comments

Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle

Today's winner of the 5th-birthday gift card is Dan Droker of CCI Automated Technologies, who sent me some great photos from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. It makes me happy to imagine some of you embarrassing your spouses and kids by taking door photos during family outings. My family has begun to automatically sense when a door piques my interest, and they make themselves scarce. Except the little one who wants to be in every picture...

By |2014-03-28T16:45:32-04:00March 4th, 2014|Beautiful Doors, Doors & Frames, Push/Pull|6 Comments

Universal Studios Orlando

When I was in Florida a couple of weeks ago for the IAPSC conference, it also happened to be school vacation week so I brought the kids along for a visit to my parents' house.  They all survived while I was in Miami Beach, so when I got back from the conference I took them to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in Orlando.  One of our Florida specwriters, Steve King, had written the hardware spec for the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and I couldn't pass up the chance to check it out.

INNadequate Closer (& More!)

I spent last weekend in Stowe, Vermont with one of my BFFs and we stayed at an "inn," which seems to mean bigger than a bed and breakfast but not as modern as a hotel.  As my friend said, "I got the keys...they're real keys - how quaint!"  I won't get into how the lock on our room had to be unlocked with the thumbturn before you could turn the knob for egress, but I will share the completely inadequate mini-closer on the exterior door adjacent to our room.  The door never closed and latched, and the kitchen staff hung out on the landing smoking butts (not the hinge kind).  Good thing we had the high-security privacy chain on our room door.

By |2012-01-27T21:57:29-05:00July 26th, 2011|Beautiful Doors, Door Closers, Doors & Frames|5 Comments

Doors in Pockets (not Pocket Doors)

Every time I specify hardware for a door that swings into a pocket, a little alarm sounds in my head because at least 50% of the time there will be a problem that urgently needs to be fixed at the end of the job.  This application requires coordination between the architect designing the pocket, the contractor building the pocket, and the distributor supplying the doors and hardware, and that's a lot harder than it sounds.  The other problem is that when one pair on a project goes south, in most cases ALL of the pairs are a problem.

By |2013-12-04T23:51:34-05:00June 23rd, 2011|Door Closers, Doors & Frames, Fire Doors|7 Comments

Hospital Stops

Every so often, I wonder what I'm going to write about on this blog after I've covered all of the code requirements for doors and hardware.  I mean, it's a very specific subject area so at some point I could run out of questions.  And then something comes up that I've never looked into, and I stop wondering.  There will always be more questions.  If hardware was easy, it would be called "easyware," right?  :-)

By |2017-10-10T16:27:26-04:00February 3rd, 2011|Doors & Frames, Fire Doors|24 Comments

MGM Grand Theater

As promised, I have some photos to post from my recent trip to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.  I don't typically mention the locations of the photos I post, usually because I don't want to get in trouble for showing their code violations.  Well, I'm not a gambler so I had plenty of time to look at doors, and I have no non-compliant door photos to post.  I was pleasantly shocked.  I saw two propped-open bathroom doors that had labels, but that's it.  I don't even know why those particular doors were labeled, but in a facility with thousands of doors, thousands of building occupants (one website estimates over 40,000 visitors per DAY), and special security concerns, they're doing a great job with their fire and egress doors, as well as accessibility.

By |2013-09-29T19:23:21-04:00January 10th, 2011|Beautiful Doors, Doors & Frames, Road Trips|1 Comment


When I started this blog, my goals were to organize all of the code information I had into a searchable database, and to offer a more painless way to learn about hardware.  I think one of the hardest things about starting out in this industry is the way most of us learn about it - at the School of Hard Knocks.  There are some great classes available through DHI and other sources, but it can take a very long time to attend them all, which gives us plenty of opportunities to make mistakes.  I know I've made my fair share over the years, so I wanted to help people learn a little bit at a time and hopefully make it as painless as possible.


I'm having a couple of days of R & R in Burlington, Vermont, but the Doors of Burlington post will have to wait for a day when the weather is less inclement, or at least when I have a designated driver so I can hunt for doors from a moving vehicle. It has been tough to go door hunting when I'm on my own with three kids, a dog, and our two new Christmas kittens. In other words, I've got my hands full and I'm headed off the deep end (in my case, R & R does NOT stand for rest and relaxation!).

By |2012-01-27T22:08:05-05:00December 28th, 2009|Doors & Frames, Funky Applications|0 Comments

Hollow Metal Standards

I recently needed to refer to a copy of HMMA-850, the NAAMM/HMMA standard for fire rated doors and frames.  I was pleasantly surprised to find this standard on-line as a free download.  Upon further digging, I found that almost ALL of the HMMA and SDI publications can be downloaded for free from their websites.  There is a wealth of information there, including free downloadable specifications and ANSI standards.  If you're an architect or specwriter, you can even request a complimentary bound copy (or CD) of the SDI Fact File which includes all of their publications.  Click the links below to check out the list of standards available for download.

By |2016-07-20T10:57:31-04:00June 29th, 2009|Doors & Frames|3 Comments
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