When a newly constructed commercial building is for the most part finished and the builder is ready to turn it over to the owner for occupancy, the owner and builder typically “walk” the building and develop a punch list of things left to do.
Issues on this punch list must be addressed before the owner will accept the building. As motivation, a sum of money usually is withheld by the owner, payable to the builder after issues have been completed to the satisfaction of both parties.
Because the owner is not usually an expert in the construction of buildings, the owner will enlist experts to inspect the building in his behalf. In regards to Division Eight (door and locking hardware) requirements, the owner may hire a master locksmith to conduct a private inspection. Recently I accompanied a master locksmith on just such an inspection to document issue that would interest Ledger readers.
The issues that are reported here are typical of what is normally found on these types of inspections. By the nature of new construction, it is routine that many issues requiring change appear on punch lists. The general contractor has an army of sub-contractors to oversee and cannot catch everything.
Locksmiths who are involved with new construction sub-contract through the general contractor. Ideally, these sub-contractors would work towards quality results to avoid rework and call-back.
Here are some of the issues noted on the punch list:
Some labels were missing on 60 minute-rated doors. Labels are required to be affixed to fire doors. When a few door labels are missing from a group of doors that are labeled, it usually indicates that the labels were removed during the installation of the doors. Doors missing labels must be properly re-labeled by the manufacturer or replaced. Such doors were noted on the punch list.
On some installations of fire-rated hardware, the thru bolts that came with the hardware were not installed. In a rush to mount the door closers, wooden screws were used to partially fasten one side of the closer to the door, and then thru bolts were used to install the other side. (See Figure 1) The instructions from the manufacturer require the closer to be fastened to the wood door with two pair of thru-bolts.
Exit devices mounted to wooden (and fire-rated) doors require thru bolt support at the end cap side of the exit device. Many exit devices were installed without the required thru bolts. Again this is an indicator that the sub-contractor was in a rush to complete the work.
Every surface-mounted exit device in the building was missing screws that anchor the strike plate to the jamb. (See Figure 2) If the center screw isn't fastened, the strike plate will eventually move from position causing doors to be unsecured or even damaging the latches of the exit devices.
Every parallel mount closer was installed with the fifth screw missing. (See Figure 3) This screw keeps the closer arm from twisting and bending. Without it, the pivot base is likely to be pulled off the jamb or the existing screws will strip out.
Other indicators of poor workmanship relate to hardware that has been damaged in the process of installation.
Figure 4 shows an offset pivot that was installed using a non-clutched power tool. In this manner, support screws are “ torqued ” into place and each screw head is deformed, making it impossible to remove when replacement is necessary.
Several of the astragals on double doors were installed on the wrong side.
In Figure 5, the set of double doors protects the large office area from fire when closed. The astragal features smoke seal, intended to create a seal around the door if there is a fire.
Mounted incorrectly on the wrong side of the door, the operating temperature of the seal will not be achieved. Additionally, the astragal does not shield the latch when it is on the inside of the room.
I was invited to the retrofitting of the lock hardware on a pair of wide stile aluminum doors equipped with rim exit devices latching onto a mullion.