Thursday, November 19, 2015

What is a Personnel Door?

If you own a business, odds are you have at least one or two personnel doors in your office or establishment. They are a type of commercial door but – typically – rather than serving the public’s needs, personnel doors are used most often by the employees who live and work in the building during normal business hours.

Examples of Personnel Doors

These doors are built much differently than the ones you use in your home for several reasons.
They are more heavily used. Doors that are used internally by employees experience more rigorous wear and tear than a bedroom or bathroom door. Consider the hundreds of times a day the door leading from a doctor’s or dentist’s office to the waiting room is opened and shut, for example. This level of use requires heavier-duty hinges and hardware than a residential or small office door might require.

There are building codes to consider. For health and safety reasons, personnel doors can have very specific design requirements. For example, depending on the building design and use a door may be required by law to have:

An automatic closer.
A fire rating for 30, 60 or 90 minutes (or more).
Special sealing or insulation to keep chemicals or toxins confined.
Other specialized features that increase the health and safety for both employees, customers and/or other building occupants.
Panic hardware that allows a door to be pushed open rather than requiring a harder-to-use handle.

These specialized versions of commercial doors may also require specialized security features preventing them from break-ins, vandalism or broken glass.

Door designs may be more varied. To accommodate larger or more unique design dimensions, a personnel door may not fit the standard commercial or residential door dimensions, requiring special sizing and parts accommodation.

Examples of personnel doors include doors that:

Include extra-large double-door systems
Provide style and security to an exterior entrance/exit
Offer corrosion resistance particular to their environment and daily exposures.

How to Choose the Right Personnel Door For Your Business

Choosing the right personnel door for your business can be tricky. Here are a few questions to consider:

What is required by code? The first step is to bring your building plans to your local building department to have them reviewed. Working with an experienced commercial architect and a licensed commercial door supplier can also benefit you as they are typically familiar with the commercial door codes in your area. This can ensure you install doors with the legally required fire rating, egress considerations, panic hardware and so on so you don’t have to replace anything you just installed as the result of a code violation.

Is the door visible to the public? Consider the huge glass revolving doors popular for big swanky banks and law firms. Even if these buildings are largely used by employees, rather than the public, these doors are still highly visible to passersby and can make a positive impression of the company. In this case, in order to add curb appeal, style is important. 

Will it be exposed to the outdoors? Personnel doors that are exposed to the exterior of the building will experience more dramatic temperature and humidity fluctuations, as well as serious weather depending on your geographic location. Even things like wind direction and sun exposure should be considered to ensure your door is designed to handle its environment.

What style is your commercial design? Personnel doors come in a wide range of materials and styles. Most doors are made from commercial wood, hollow metal, fiberglass, aluminum, glass, herculite glass and even bullet- and blast-proof materials. However, fabrication has come a long way so most of these “tougher” door types can be customized to blend with your business’s interior design.

For professional assistance designing, repairing or replacing personnel doors for your business, give us a call at R&S Erection. 1-925-671-7606. You can also contact us online to schedule an onsite consultation.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

8 Tips For Making Space in That Cluttered Garage

Are you having to suck in your belly every time you squeeze between the tool bench (or that stack of boxes) and an open car door? Sounds like it’s time to buckle down and create a little more space in the garage.

Driving into a clean, organized garage is good for the soul and makes coming home from work that much more pleasurable. Plus, it can open up room for your favorite hobbies or the design of your dream man cave. Most people find that spending a weekend or two adding more efficient storage also opens up closet and storage space in the home as well.

So, let’s get started.

1. Take it all out and analyze it. Regardless of which tips you opt to implement, you need to analyze/organize what you have - distinguishing between what’s needed and what needs to move on out. Put on your favorite music and start clearing everything out. Designate “trash” and “donate” piles and get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year or more. Odds are those items won’t be used this year either, and they can always be rented or purchased if you need them down the road.

2. Utilize the rafters. Are you using all that available space between the rafters and the underside of the roof? Throwing a large piece of plywood up there - creating a horizontal platform - is a cheap means of gaining accessible “attic”. It’s an ideal space for storing the holiday tree and decorations, suitcases, childhood mementos, sleds, seasonal sporting gear and so on. 

3. Make use of the high spaces. Continuing along this vein, install shelves up high on the walls so you aren’t wasting that last 12- to 24-inches between the ceiling or rafters and the highest shelf on standing storage racks. This is another place where you can store items you don’t use as often, things like serving platters and other rarely used dishware, camping gear or blow up mattresses for guests.

4. Install wire storage shelves. We love the stainless steel, wire storage racks and shelving units because they don’t collect dust and are less pest- and rodent-friendly. Maximize your mounting opportunities by first installing a layer of 3/4-inch plywood over drywall or bare studs. Now you have a continuous, reinforced surface for mounting uninterrupted shelving, and it will also come in handy for hooks to hang bikes and other tools or toys.

5. Suspend bikes, toys and ladders. The more bikes and toys that are parked on the ground, the less surface area and more cluttered your garage will be. Use designated hooks to suspend these items, the higher the better of course. Adult bikes can be suspended from the rafters. Ladder(s) can be stored out of the way there as well. Even low suspension hooks will be helpful with the kids’ bikes. While it doesn’t get the bikes very high off the ground, it does give them a designated place to be, and this goes a long way towards an organized garage.

6. Invest in a storage shed. If you have the space in your backyard, even a small storage shed can make a big difference when it comes to storing items that have filled up the corners of your garage. If you’re a gardener, make the storage shed your potting shed. If you are an avid camper or hunter, it might be a designated, weathertight location to store items related to those activities. It’s also an ideal place for kid’s toys, preventing the all-too-common occurrence of the runover bike or trike.

7. Neaten up the wires. Do areas of your garage look like a thick and colorful spiderweb, laden with criss-crosses of extension cords and other wires. Neaten those up by running them along your garage wall and/or ceilings by mounting metal or plastic wiring channels and outlet boxes right on the wall or a series of open studs.

8. Utilize unfinished walls. Use the consistent spaces between exposed studs in a garage’s unfinished walls to your advantage. You can connect bungee cords from the top of one section to the bottom, spaced a few inches apart to store balls and miscellaneous sporting equipment. Cover the back of any number of sections with plywood and then screw angled, 6-inch PVC pipe sections (between 4- and 6-inches high) to store shovels, rakes and other long-handled outdoor tools. 

Now that your garage is all tidied up, you might notice it’s suffering from random debris - in the form of dirt, leaves and miscellaneous litter. That’s a sign your garage door seal needs to be replaced. Not only will this keep your newly-organized garage a little cleaner, it will also enhance its insulation and interior comfort. 

Now your goal is to train the family with the idea that “there’s a space for everything, and everything in its space!” If you can do that, you’ll enjoy a spacious and organized garage for years to come.