Specifying Steel Doors and Frames

Let A250.8 be Your Guide

ANSI/SDI A250.8 provides recommended specifications for steel doors and frames. Originally called SDI-100, it was written more than 40 years ago. This standard has evolved alongside new testing methods, and remains a cornerstone standard in the industry to this day.

When architects specify A250.8, their doors and frames will actually meet the requirements of more than 20 other standards. It will meet the physical endurance testing of A250.4 and the hardware reinforcement guidelines of A250.6, to name just a couple.

Levels 1 through 4

A250.8 assigns the physical performance of doors from levels one through four. It is important that design professionals stipulate the doors’ level in their specifications. A level one door is “standard duty” and is designed for applications with minimal wear and tear, such as an interior office door. Level four doors are “maximum duty” and are for abusive environments, or where security is imperative.

graphic showing how gauge translates into steel thickness

The gauge of the steel face of the door varies for these different level doors. Level one doors stipulate a 20 gauge steel face, while level four doors are 14 gauge (see graphic).

Underspecifying the performance level increases life-cycle cost since the door will have a shortened lifespan and will need to be frequently replaced. Overspecifying increases the up-front cost and results in additional expense for no added value.

A250.8 – The Gold Standard

SDI’S Technical Committee reviews the standards every five years per ANSI requirements. 

When an architect specifies to ANSI/SDI A250.8, their customer can be assured they are receiving a product that is well-constructed, tested, and evaluated to meet the specifications within that standard. Forty years after its creation, A250.8 remains the “gold standard” for hollow metal doors and frames.