Category Archives: commercial

Blog posts related to commercial buildings. This includes, hardware, security installations, construction jobs, master key systems, access control and more.

Common Construction Mistakes with Locks and Users

Regularly we get called out to new construction projects or remodels towards the end of construction as the user is taking over their new space. This is a time of transition where the small things on a job are often overlooked and become noticed. One of these is the lock hardware and user needs of keys.

This blog post covers common mistakes that are overlooked by both contractors and users when remolding or adding buildings. We recommend working with us in advance to save you money by doing it right the first time. Here are some mistakes, examples and ways to avoid them.

Common Mistakes

  • Incompatible key ways
  • Incompatible hardware
  • Ignoring user function and access
  • purchasing pre packed master key systems

Incompatible Key Ways

Incompatible key ways are the most common mistake we see. For example, an existing building uses Russwin cylinders and the keys and the contractor installs Sargent cylinders. In order to get the building back to one keyway the customer has to purchase Russwin cylinders . The client ends up purchasing locks twice.

Ways to avoid it

Have the contractor or locksmith spec the new cylinders to match the existing cylinder type and manufacture.

Incompatible Hardware

Another common mistake we see is installing different manufactures hardware. This can cause incompatible keyways, additional hardware to have on hand for maintenance and additional keys.

For example, there was an apartment complex that used Best Interchangeable Cores (IC) for their residents. Then they added a club house where the contractor installed Schlage hardware, so not only was the keyway incompatible but the Schlage hardware would not accept a Best IC. In order to get the user back to one key system the hardware had to be replaced to accept Best IC.

Ways to avoid it

Have the contractor or locksmith spec the hardware to match the existing hardware type and manufacture and/or at least be compatible with the existing system.

Ignoring user function or access

A smaller issue we see is that when new locks are installed the most common function – entry (53) for an office or front door is used. But storage doors that should always be locked and only opened with a key, then need to be replaced.

Ways to avoid it

Discuss the function and use type for each door. The five most common functions are entry (53), storage (80), classroom (70), passage (10) and privacy (40).

Purchasing Pre Packed Master Key Systems

This issue is mostly found among multiple building complexes. The contractor normally orders a master key key system from the factory with the hardware, per building as each building gets built. But the problem you can have for example, is at a six building apartment complex the end user has six master keys (s)he has to carry that  are not compatible. When if done correctly the user should have one master key because they are managing the whole complex.

Ways to avoid it

Consult with locksmith and user groups to customize master key system to their specific needs.

These are some of the common mistakes that we find when we are called in to setup a masterkey system for the final users as they take posession and they are not happy to have to pay for items twice. The simple solution is to consult with us, your locksmith, at the beginning, during and for the final transition of occupying the space.

Ideally, we can order the right hardware and cylinders to match your existing system. Then only pin the cylinders to the master key or user needs – once. Doing the full job right the first time.

Let us know if we can save you money doing it correct the first time by calling 541.632.3968.

Access Control Options & Checklist

We regularly receive residential and commercial requests about access control options for doors. There are many options to choose from and we can make what you want happen. The locks range from $150 – $2,000+ per unit depending on the features you want.

Here is a short buying guide to help you choose the best lock for your needs and some basic recommendations we commonly make.

Features Checklist


Answer / Yes or No

# of User Codes Need
Lock Type
Mechanical Only
Access Options
Buttons / Pad
Swipe Card
Proximity Cards
FOBs / Remotes
Locking Options
Lever / Knob
Exit Device
Mortise Cylinder
Mag Lock
Blue tooth
hard wired
Advanced audit trails
Integrated systems



For residential homes we recommend Schlages Keypads, Touch Screens or Connected Devices. 


For commercial applications we recommend Kaba Ilco’s Simplex Series or Eplex Series.

We can supply any of the locks and install them. Call us at 541.632.3968 if you have any questions or would like to discuss options.

Do Not Duplicate Keys Policy

We frequently receive requests to both copy “do not duplicate” key and/or to provide them for clients. This can be a controversial item so here is a short post on how we address it.

“Do Not Duplicate” or any similar wording, stamped on a key is a false sense of security. There are no laws stopping anyone from not copying it. Although, it does provide some psychological resistant as many hardware stores and some locksmith will not copy a Do Not Duplicate Key.

do not duplicate keys

Our policy is to explain this to the customers asking, and let them decide.

We do copy “Do Not Duplicate” stamped Keys. If you would like true key control, that is where no one can get a copy of it made, that exists and can be provided for your security.

Here is our full policy:

Do Not Duplicate Keys: Orders for keys stamped “Do Not Duplicate” or similar wording will be handled in the same manner as any unrestricted keys .  Team members should inform the consumer that the use of keys stamped “Do Not Duplicate”, or similar wording, is not effective security, and further that the use of such words is deceptive because it provides a false sense of security. Consumers who desire effective security should purchase a patented key control system rather than rely on a “Do Not Duplicate” marking. This does not apply to keys protected by law.

Aluminum Storefront Door Security Reinforcement to Prevent Break-ins

Over the last couple of months there have been a series of aluminum store front break-ins at night. The person(s) has been using a crowbar to bend, break and move back the single point of latching to clear the frame on single and double aluminum store front doors on multiple businesses in Eugene. From our perspective as locksmiths it may be the same person, or it is at least a similar style of break in entry. But we will leave this to the police. to decide.

In this post, we are going to cover the standard aluminum store front door sets, the common points of securities, followed by different ways to increase your doors security and the package prices to do so.

Standard Aluminum Store Front Door Sets

An aluminum store front door has an aluminum outside frame with glass covering the majority of the inside panel. This is designed for retail spaces, for window shopping and a transparent welcoming attraction. This differs from a traditional solid core wood or metal door and the type of hardware and security needed.

The standard aluminum store front sets are (a) single doors and (b) double or a pair of doors. See pictures below. They can be built with 1 to 5 points of mechanical locking (not including  mag locks or other electronic security). A point of locking is where the active door engages with the door frame. Single doors typically are installed with one point of locking while a pair of doors have two points of locking.

aluminum store front door single edited


aluminum store front door pair

Basic Ways to Add Security

There are two basic ways to add mechanical security to aluminum store front doors. The first is by protecting the point(s) of locking with bolt guard and the second is by adding additional points of locking.

Bolt Guard

A bolt guard protects the exposed latch on an outward swinging door. It protects the latch in two ways, one is from a direct attack such as cutting the latch and the other is by spreading the distance of pressure available by the latch up and down on the door away from the latch from a prying attack. Here are two pictures of the bolt guard: one with the door closed and one where you see where the bolt is activated.

aluminum store front latch guardaluminum store front latch guard showing bolt protection














Vertical Rod(s) – Additional Points of Locking

Aluminum store front doors normally come with the swing bolt lock as the initial point of locking. The following additional point(s) of locking can be added:

Single Door

1) Swing Bolt Lock
2) Bottom Vertical Rod (engages into the floor)
3) Top Vertical Rod (engages into the top of the frame)

Total: three points of locking.

Here are pictures of a vertical bottom rod being activated (a top vertical rod is the same except it is on the top of the door and frame:

aluminum store front bottom bolt

Pair of Doors

1) Swing Bolt Lock
2) Bottom Vertical Rod (engages into the floor)
3) Top Vertical Rod (engages into the top of the frame)
4) Opposing Door Top Vertical Rod (engages into the top of the frame)
5) Opposing Door Bottom Surface Mounted Bolt (engages into the floor)

Total: five points of locking.

Here are pictures of the opposing top vertical rod activation and locking point; and the surface mounted bottom bolt.

aluminum store front opposing door vertical rod activation point



aluminum store front opposing door vertical rod activated

aluminum store front opposing door surface mount bottom bolt

Package Prices

If you are interested in increasing your aluminum store front door security here are the following prices and packages for businesses in the Eugene area.

Single Door(s)

1) Bolt Guard – $78
2) Bolt Guard + Bottom Vertical Rod – $148
3) Bolt Guard + Bottom Vertical Rod + Top Vertical Rod – $228

Pair of Door(s)

The above single door packages plus:

1) Opposing Door Top Vertical Rod – $ 114
2) Opposing Door Top Vertical Rod + Bottom Surface Mounted Bolt – $144

Note these price quotes are valid as of 1/3/15, prices may change. If you are interested in having us install an increase the security of aluminum store front doors call us at 541.632.3968.


Providing Quotes for free?

Recently there has been some confusion about surveys, quotes and taking care of customs needs. I figured it would be appropriate to publicize and lay out our guide lines for providing quotes and surveys. We hope that this will make it clear for both our customers, and ourselves in building better relationships.

The main topic of the post is for clarifying when quotes or surveys are free and when they are not. Here is a short list and I will go in depth lower.

Quotes are free:

  • Over the phone
  • Email or chat
  • with specifications sheets for the job

Quotes are not free:

  • when you want us to come to the site and help you figure out what you need


Over the phone

We quote jobs over the phone everyday. We ask a lot of questions to best understand your situation so we can quote you accurately. Work with us over the phone and it helps us better serve you.

Email or Chat

We have customers email or chat us for quotes weekly. Again we ask a lot of questions to better understand what you need to help. Note, that emails are checked once or twice a day. If you need a quote sooner call 541.632.3968.

Specifications Sheets

In Oregon any job that is over $1,500 is technically required to have a specification sheet laying out the details of the job, hardware etc. Albeit many jobs do not provide a specification sheet therefore we have no problem assisting you over the phone or internet to help you build one.  A specification sheet is helpful because if you are getting multiple quotes it allows everyone to compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges and bid appropriately. It also minimizes our time to help you figure out what you need, which we charge for in the field.  We do accept non numerical quotes from other competing companies covering the items and hardware to quote the same items.

In field Quotes and Surveys

If you want us to come to your site, survey what you have and help you figure out what you need we can do that. But we charge for our time to do that. We not only have out trip time, our labor time and research time but more importantly our opportunity time cost of assisting other customers who want us to take care of them.

Note, we do not bill upfront if we are finalizing a phone or email quote, or are continuing to do the job you have called us for. The service call and labor is included in the jobs we provide.

If you are uncertain of whether a quote is free or if there will be a charge please ask over the phone. If you call and ask us to come over to help you figure out what you need and take care of your needs, we will do just that and charge for it.

We hope this posts helps clarify when and where quotes and surveys are free and when you will be charged.

Identifying – Left Hand Vs Right Hand Doors

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Have you needed to identify the handing of a door before? This is common when ordering or looking at hardware that is not multi handed or field changable. Below we will walk you through the different handing options and how to identify which handing you need.

There are four types of door handings:

– Right Hand (RH)
– Left Hand (LH)
– Right Hand Reverse (RHR)
– Left Hand Reverse (LHR)

The easiest way to identify which handing your door has it to do the following:

(1) Standing / Viewing Position:
(a)Stand in front of the door, building or room as you are going to enter, or go inside the space. This should also be the keyed side, where you can put in a key.
(b) Stand where you can put in the key.

(2) Identification- Right or Left – Hinges
(a) Look at the location of the hinges. Are they are on your left side or right side?
(b)If the hinges are on your left side, it is a left handed door.
(c)If the hinges are on your right side, it is a right handed door.

(3) Standard or Reverse Handed – Push in or Pull Out
Following #1: make sure you are entering not exiting.

(a) If you push in the door as you enter, it is a standard swinging door.
(b) If you have to pull the door towards you to enter, it is a reverse swinging door.

Here is a diagram illustrating the above:

Image credit: Cal-Royal

If you need additional assistance in identifying the handing of your door, just call us at 541.632.3968.