One of our school customers contacted us about installing a new door and frame for a classroom on the second floor of their building. I was taken to the wall seen in photo 1. The school recently had some construction done, some interior walls came down, others went up and in the process, a few door openings were lost. The principal told me he needed a door and frame installed at this location, as one was there prior to the construction being done. A fire rated hollow metal door and frame is considered standard for commercial usage. This job would be no different.
Because the door and frame needs to be fire rated, several other things must also be compliant for this opening. All hardware on a fire rated door and frame must also be fire rated. Think ‘a chain is only as strong as its weakest link’. If the door and frame were fire rated but the lock was not, in a fire the door and frame would hold up but the lock or components could fail possibly allowing the door to swing open in a fire. Also, ALL fire rated doors must close on their own. This means the door needs either spring hinges or a door closer. We almost always use a door closer as opposed to spring hinges because closers can be adjusted to allow the door to open and close faster or slower as needed. Spring hinges usually slam the door against the frame and do not last as long as a quality door closer will. A slamming door is not only noisy but can be a liability as fingers, small children and pets can get caught in the path of the swinging door. The hardware to be installed on this particular opening were a lever set, door closer, hinges and window panel, all of which were fire rated.
We determined the exact location for the door opening as well as the dimensions for the opening. Also recorded was the door and frame handing. Any existing electric in the area was noted as it needed to be relocated before we started to cut the opening in the wall.
In photo 2, you can see the opening in the wall was made. The opening was made to the size we determined on our first trip to survey. You can also see the 3 pieces of the knock down frame on the right side of the photo. This type of frame slides into the wall opening and overlaps the wall. We then installed the frame into the opening. Installing a door frame requires the use of a level to make sure the jambs are square and level. This is a critical part of the installation. If a frame isn’t squared properly the door may rub or worse not even fit into the frame. Once the frame is squared and secured to the wall the door is then hung and the hardware can be installed. Photos 3 and 4 show the inside and outside of the completed install of the door and frame.