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.

Access Granted

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.

Attention Architects! Win Prizes in SDI’s Photo Contest

SDI is having contests for the most attractive steel door opening and the most creative steel door opening. The winner of each contest will win a Waterman Expert Ballpoint Pen and be congratulated on our website. The runners up will win Starbucks gift cards.

Why are SDI Members’ Products Preferred?

They are the only manufacturers who have undergone an extensive audit to ensure their products and processes meet SDI’s rigorous ANSI standards.

Some manufacturers claim to meet our standards, but only SDI members have proved it.

Choose quality. Specify SDI.

SDI Installation Videos now in Spanish

It’s crucial that doors and frames are properly installed. Poor installation can result in doors that sag or have a shortened lifespan.

Collectively viewed more than 10,000 times per month, SDI’s frame installation videos are now available in Spanish. They include detailed instructions for both steel frame and masonry construction.

SDI installation guides