The Importance of Architectural Door Hardware
By Tony Gouverneur, Jan 27 2017 01:05AM
In a professionally designed home where attention to detail is everything, you will notice that even the handles and locks of each door have been carefully selected. The function, the level of security, the style, the feel, the finish, have all been determined by various people to achieve exactly what the homeowners want. They want their doors to look amazing and their handles to be a pleasure to use.
Door hardware projects can be a long process from concept to completion, especially if the hardware is custom made and comes from overseas. Some hardware orders can take 6-12 weeks to arrive! There’s a lot of pressure on the hardware consultant to measure and order everything correctly, because at the lock up stage of the job when it all gets installed, job delays can occur if something's missing or not right.
There is also a lot of pressure on the carpenter. Big homes normally have big heavy, custom made doors which require a very experienced carpenter to install correctly. Then they have to bore holes through each door and neatly install all the bolts, locks, handles etc. If a mistake is made in the installation process and the door can’t be patched, then a new custom made door has to be ordered, installed, sealed etc.
It’s becoming rare these days to find a carpenter who can hang doors, install locks and fit handle sets all correctly without any imperfections. It doesn’t sound like too much to ask for but unfortunately it is. I’m not so much talking about in an average home because most of the doors and hardware are from Bunnings and the homeowners aren’t paying top dollar expecting a perfect result. I’m talking about in the very large expensive homes.
You can tell if a door is hung correctly by the following:
1. The door sides and top should have a consistent 2-3mm gap in between the jamb.
2. The gap under the door should be a consistent 2-4mm above carpet and 4-6mm
above timber or tiled floors.
3. The door should not swing open or closed on it’s own.
4. The door should close parallel against the jamb.
5. The hinges, flush bolts etc should be neatly cut in.
You can tell if the lock and handles are fitting correctly by the following:
1. The lock latches into the striker firmly so the door doesn’t rattle when closed.
2. The turned levers or knobs should spring back to their proper position.
3. The key or snib easily turns to lock and unlock the door.
4. The tongue of the latch misses the architrave and glides easily into the strike plate.
5. The lock cut outs look neat and flush, with no visible holes or marks on the door.
If you are an owner, builder, designer or architect and you have gone to the trouble of selecting investment quality door hardware for your next project, then you must make sure that the carpenter chosen to install your door hardware knows what they’re doing.
Hardware such as door handles and mortice locks get used everyday by the people living in the home and they should continue to leave a positive impact.
Using an architecturally designed handle on an entrance door can feel like a good handshake to the house, but it can also feel cheap and nasty if it is badly installed.
“Architectural door hardware should be a pleasure to use,
when installed correctly!”
If you have any questions regarding door hardware or installation, please leave a comment below or contact me directly via the web form. I am always happy to help.
The Tidy Tradie - Lock Carpenter