Hard Knocks: Weighing in on Some  
of their Biggest Hardware Issues  
ardware is a significant project tions that always need answers,such as: door to unlatch as though it were being  
concern for many contract If the door operator is in a slab, is it a pushed open by a person.  
glaziers. Considerations such  
as coordination and compatibility, as  
slab that can receive one (the opera-  
tor), etc.?  
Tracy Robbins, a sales manager with  
Walters &Wolf in the firm’s Seattle office,  
well as costs and lead times, can leave How do all the parts and pieces go says instances when the hardware does-  
installers frustrated as they work to  
complete their portion of the job.  
• If it’s electrified, are the surrounding  
n’t fit in the framing are not uncommon.  
“Most glazing contractors have their  
Anthony Callas, a senior project  
manager with Metropolitan Glass in  
Denver, says one of his biggest hard-  
walls ready to have wiring brought to ‘door mechanic’who should review both  
them? the hardware schedule and door/frame  
Callas adds that how the door hardware extrusions to assure compatibility prior  
ware concerns is compatibility. He says relates to the environment is important as to submittal for approval,”he says.“Typ-  
the installation is not just about the well.For example,if the door operators are ically, this specialist will also fabricate the  
hardware, but how it works with the sensitive to wind pressures, high winds extrusions and install the hardware prior  
door as well as surrounding conditions. potentially could push the door open. In to field installation.”  
He has a list of some common ques- other words, the wind might trigger the  
Lead times and budget can also be a  
“You might be ordering from your  
supplier’s standard catalog and think  
you’ll get [the materials] right away,but  
then you find out it’s not in stock or that  
the [lead time] was actually the manu-  
facturer’s standard lead time and your  
supplier has to go through them to get  
it …” says Callas.  
Robbins agrees that lead times are  
often a problem. He says in order to  
work through such challenges,it can be  
helpful for contract glaziers to provide a  
comprehensive hardware schedule as  
part of the shop drawings/door sched-  
ule early in the process.  
“Effective collaboration with the  
owner, architect and hardware consult-  
ant prior to establishing the budget is  
key,”says Robbins.“As the hardware re-  
quirements evolve, update the budget  
so that there are no surprises.”  
Callas also points to the importance of  
communication with the hardware sup-  
plier and/or manufacturer,particularly in  
cases where a wrong product is specified.  
“Sometimes you might just want to  
For the occasional self-installed hardware package (shown left), the blank door switch a hinge, but you can’t do that,”  
is set up on temporary saw horses. On the right, some exit devices come Callas says.“There are implications for  
packaged with the required components and installation instructions.  
each step along the way.”  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | May 2016  
He continues,“I think it’s honest ac-  
countability; take account for every  
part and think it through … working  
through it all takes communication and  
a spirit of cooperation.”  
Jason Wroblewski, vice president of  
Haley Greer in Dallas, says when it  
comes to hardware,it all starts with the  
architect’s specifications.  
There are a lot of avenues you can  
A lightweight, moisture-resistant panel with  
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take … we can make recommenda-  
tions, but it’s up to the architects to de-  
cide what they want,” he says.  
Wroblewski says that in some cases,  
the architect will work with a hardware  
consultant, which can be helpful  
“… You have to make sure the hard-  
ware works on the right door,”he says.  
And in cases of an incorrect specifica-  
tion, Wroblewski says he will typically  
submit a request for information (RFI) to  
question the hardware that was specified.  
This could be a case where hardware was  
specified for an aluminum door, but the  
project actually calls for a glass door.  
These challenges aren’t unique to ex-  
terior applications. Lance Howell, sen-  
ior project manager/estimator of the  
Admiral Glass interior division in  
Houston, says hardware is just as much  
of a concern on interior jobs. In many  
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instances, he says, improper specifica- aluminum door and they need to spec- that work. The hardware has to be de-  
tions can be an issue. It all stems from ify what’s needed for a glass door.”  
signed for big (thicker) glass.”  
the architects who do not fully under-  
The use of increasingly larger sizes of Whether the project is an interior or  
glass is another trend he’s seen. exterior one, maintaining solid com-  
“Architects are specifying larger munication with both suppliers and the  
minum doors when what we need is pieces of glass, almost to the point you architects is critical to making sure the  
hardware for a glass door,” says Howell. can’t get the glass in the building at the project ultimately is built and operates  
He says in some cases it’s a simple error size they want,” says Howell. “So you as it’s intended.  
stand the hardware products.  
They often spec hardware for alu-  
in the spec writing and the glazier might have to [cut] the glass into  
“The key to a successful hardware  
knows what to do to correct it (i.e.,using smaller pieces, and that means [a need installation is good communication  
the proper materials).“Other times we for] more specialized hardware. Rather between all the stakeholders from ini-  
will have to talk to the contractor and than a 10- to 11-foot door it might be tial budget through final installation,”  
have them write an RFI that would ba- 9-foot door with a transom, and then says Robbins.  
sically say the hardware spec’d is for an you need different hardware to make  
—Ellen Rogers s  
May 2016 | USGlass, Metal & Glazing