Who Should Supply Electrical Door Hardware?

Maybe this question has already been asked but I will through it out there anyway.

Who would you rather supply electrical door hardware on a large new building (i.e. 300+ Doors): The general contractor? or the integrator? Why?

What do you do when you get a service call and find out its the door lock that is the problem (assuming hardware is provided by others)?


If I were the integrator, I'd want to resell the hardware. No questions. I get whatever markup there may be, but I also can confirm everything works properly with the access system the GC or contract hardware company almost never is concerned with.

In terms of service calls, if I'm the integrator but I did not furnish or install the hardware, I still can fix it but it isn't covered by any labor warranty I issued. I'd be a fool to turn down the work, right?

Now, this answer changes if I'm the building owner: I don't care who sells it, as long as they're the cheapest and everything works right.

***and right there is where the rub begins...***

John. Why dont you take a poll??

A poll of whom though? Integrators will predicably vote 'integrators'.

That's what I want to find out? Integrators I have talked to say no, they don't want the hardware gig; another told me that if something goes wrong, they charge a service fee if the problem is traced to a hardware issue. Others tell me "...its not our core competency". I can deal with it either way, but I would like to know what the integrators out there think.

Sometimes the GC is clueless to door hardware, so the integrator ends up basically installing themselves. I've seen this happen a couple times to us, granted these were on projects with just 16 doors and under.

Most integrators are clueless about door hardware as well.

Which goes back to my original point of a "value proposition" for the guys who do get it.

Someone who knows hardware well. We would always prefer it be us, for the reasons Brian mentions, and also to assure proper hardware selection. Several of us have very strong hardware backgrounds, and this is an area that has allowed us to differentiate ourselves from other integrators. But if the integrator is not strong on hardware, let someone who knows what they are doing take care of it.

For new installations, we prefer that the door hardware company supply's the doors pre-cut with their choice of strike. Depending on the client we can influence the brand, but most go with Securitron which seems to work well enough. This is entirely to save us the hassle of fitting each door individually.

As the gents above said, it may end up falling to your company if the GC is clueless. Hardware mark-up is good and it keeps a few guys busy for many days.

Securitron for a strike? The Maglock kings? They only make one - the Unlatch motor driven device.

If it has a wire and it keeps somebody out... We're going to sell it.

Now you have stumbled onto a "value added" for those access control integrators that routinely do large new construction projects and locking hardware. They almost always inject themselves in the process.

The GC knows every door needs a lock set. No problem, whomever is supplying the doors usually gets that.

The company doing the ACS ends up working through the GC or EC as a sub and will get a wire there and a reader.

Then comes the decisions as small as electrified mortise, strike, mag lock, transfer hinges, or as BIG as "What color finish" since that also impacts every other lockset on the project.

Recent posts discuss using CSI 16 or 28 and while most small dealers won't understand the importance of this, guys doing large new commercial construction certainly do. This will impact the required information flow to the sub.

Anyway, that's my thoughts.

and so the death spiral of finger pointing begins...

The finger pointing will only get worse as integrated locks become more mainstream. When I specify an integrated lock, I call for the hardware supplier to provide, and the ACS integrator to commission and provide warranty labor, with the hardware supplier providing repair or replacement of the lock.

This is not an ideal solution, I would prefer the integrator to provide, commission and warrant the lock, but as stated above, lock hardware is not typically an integrator's strong skill set.

Many times, we limited to the labor union agreements where the project is located. So the carpenters will claim the lock and the electricians will claim the cabling to the lock.

We have taken two approaches, especially on large door hardware projects: (1) all hands meeting where a single matrix of hardware is developed and owned by the GC. Typically, between Div 8 hardware and div 28 security and electrical providing power, its rare for all to align properly. The matrix captures all this info into a single document and ensure the cross coordination. (2) mock-ups - on large projects, we have requested that each security door type is fully mocked up, so that its clear as to the installation, mounting, connections, etc. So that if there is an issue in the field, the install team can always review back to the approved mockup.