Choose Your Frames Wisely: The Importance of Selecting Quality Frames
When was the last time you heard someone walk through a door opening and say, “That’s a nice frame!”? Probably never; frames don’t get much attention from end-users. Perhaps that is why some people skimp on quality when selecting frames for their project. This article will explain how poorly designed frames can impact the security, appearance, and performance of an opening.
Frames that meet SDI standards are welded or locked together to be self-supporting. Other frames have the jambs and header as separate parts to be individually screwed into the wall. Once the frames are installed, clip-on casings are snapped on to cover the screw holes and clips.
Other than being unsightly, a big drawback with snap-on casings is that they can easily be removed. There was an issue at a school recently where kids were prying off the casings to play with and swing around. All of the frames in the school had to be secured with one-way screws to keep the trim in place. This would not have happened with an SDI member’s frames because their frames are monolithic. The casing is formed as part of the frame, which is securely fastened to the wall in accordance with ANSI A250.11.
Raising the Standard
SDI standards were developed by experienced engineers to ensure that frames are constructed to withstand the abuse of schools, hotels, hospitals, and more by self-supporting the weight of a commercial door. The table below compares the construction and performance of frames that meet SDI standards versus the common characteristics of those that do not.
|SDI Member Frames||Common Characteristics of Other Frames|
|Frames lock to themselves and can stand alone vertically||Jambs and header are individually screwed to the wall|
|Standard gauge is 16; light gauge is 18||Standard gauge is 20; heavy gauge is 18|
|Reinforcements welded to frame||Clip-on reinforcements|
|Up to three hour fire rating||Generally do not exceed 90 minute fire rating|
Choose frames from an SDI member for your next project. Who knows, someone might just tell you how nice they are.