We exhibited at the Texas Society of Architects show last week. It was a great show and we will share more about our experience later. What we didn’t expect was to find a custom door company that is incredibly unique.

Hylda Rodriguez is an artist that designs and hand makes doors. Ms. Rodriguez stopped by our booth to look at our new stainless steel barn door hardware display. She extended an invitation to drop by her booth to see a few of the doors she custom made. Stunning. Beautiful. Unique. Those were just a few of the words that came to mind when we saw the two doors she brought to the show. The pictures below don’t do them justice.

To see how the 2nd door was created please click here


Bird_knob_CloseupDoor knob


Panel_Door_BeadIt looks like the door skin is peeled back to revel the glass


Craftsmanship still counts in this fast paced world and we hope you check out the Hylda Rodriguez website to see more of her designs.

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Hager Supports Memphis Revitalization – by Ginny Powell

This post was published in the November issue of the Door & Hardware Magazine, a publication of The Door and Hardware Institute.

According to Entrepreneur magazine, Memphis is the 15th hottest city in the U.S. for a startup company. For Eric Mathews, Founder and CEO of Start Co., staying in Memphis after attending school at Rhodes College made perfect sense.

Interested in enhancing Memphis’s entrepreneurial spirit, Eric moved his company headquarters to a renovated brick building in the heart of downtown. His not-for-profit business, described as “part venture development group, part accelerator, and all work” continued to grow; to the point where he needed to make a decision – move again or add additional space.

Because Eric enjoys being a part of the revitalization and urbanization that makes Memphis such a hot commodity, he decided to stay put, expand and reconfigure his existing space. His vision was to make the space something unique and modern while still giving a nod to the building’s history, which is why just the right doors were a critical component of this renovation.

Being a member of the Mathews’ family has advantages when designing doors. Eight years ago two generations of Mathews decided to purchase National Custom Hollow Metal Doors & Frames, of Little Rock, Ark. Each family member brings specific strengths to the business. Eric, being a tech guy, streamlined the warehouse stock by using bar coding on all the components. But the guiding hand is the family patriarch, Chris Mathews, who has 35 years working in the doors and hardware industry.

Eric started the process of designing his office’s custom doors by talking with his dad, Chris, and brothers, Shea, National’s Vice President; and Evan, Vice President of Operations and General Manager. Eric knew he wanted stainless steel doors, having installed a few stainless steel swing doors when he first moved to the downtown location. It was important to him that there was plenty of natural light throughout the office, so full glass doors were a must. Clear doors also mirrored his philosophy of transparency within the brand. Further, he thought a “barn door” style of sliding doors would be a better fit for his overall design rather than the traditional bypass or pocket concealed sliding doors.

DefendDoor, the stainless steel doors and frames division manufactured by National, has provided doors on several corrosive environments and food service projects. While they have manufactured sliding doors before, the material was typically painted galvanneal.


After numerous logistic discussions, it was decided to include Steve Foree, Door Division Manager for Pyramid Interiors. National has worked with Foree for almost a decade, and they felt confident that he could provide the missing components, such as developing the right solution for hanging the doors. When Steve received the initial call, he was quick to say he’d help them in any way he could.

Foree has installed quite a few sliding doors in his years in the door and hardware industry, but this project was truly unique – the weight of the stainless steel doors was a key factor. The doors were manufactured from 16 gauge #304 stainless steel with full stainless steel glass light kits by National Guard Products, and 1/4-inch clear tempered glass, and weighed approximately 250 lbs.

In deciding which sliding door track to use, Foree remembered receiving a brochure on the Hager 9710 sliding door hardware. The unique design and modern look matched the design concept Eric Mathews was looking for and would also support the weight of the stainless steel doors. Foree was further intrigued by the simplistic installation description. “I had been looking for a project to try this hardware out on and this was a perfect opportunity,” he said.

In thinking through the manufacture and design process, a finished look was decided upon. Instead of leaving the wall opening wrapped in sheet rock, cased open stainless steel frames were installed. Two-by-ten headers were also placed in the wall cavity to provide additional support to ensure the overall integrity of the opening long-term.

For the doors to clear the stainless steel cased open frame, one-half-inch shims were installed behind the 9710 sliding door hardware track. The shims can’t be seen and the doors look sharp sitting in the opening with the cased opening frame surrounding them. “The Hager 9710 sliding door track and hardware along with the Hager 25B US32D flush pulls really complements our doors,” said Shea Mathews.


While this project first appeared as a simple remodel, it took a lot of pre-planning and discussion. “Nothing like this would have happened if it wasn’t for the willingness of Chris, Shea and Evan Mathews with National Custom Hollow Metal Doors and Frames and Eric Mathews with Start Co. to sit down and talk it through,” said Foree.

Once all the components were on the jobsite, it took just a week to install the doors and hardware, and without issue. “Everything about this project was as simple and as cut and dry as could be,” said Foree. “The design, the Hager 9710 sliding door hardware, and the installation went great.”

Accolades were also expressed by Chris and Shea Mathews. “Without Steve and his team, this project would have been impossible,” said Shea. “It was Steve and Pyramid that selected the Hager 9710 sliding door hardware, custom look and the installation and operation details.”

Eric Mathews has enjoyed the compliments the doors receive when entrepreneurs, partners and business associates tour the office. Vistors often ask him where the doors came from. He tells us, “It’s nice to be able to share with them the family business and process of creating these custom doors.”

Special thanks to National Custom Hollow Metal Doors & Frames, Start Co., Pyramid Interiors and Phelan and Associates for their time and effort in helping with this case study. Photos courtesy of Demarcus Bowser.

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CONSTRUCT St. Louis CSI Chapter Host Party 2015

CSI Members know how to party and this year’s Host Chapter Event proved they love being big kids too!

Dubbed the Night of Mirth, Mystery and Mayhem, the St. Louis CSI Planning Committee did a fantastic job at choosing one of the most unique places in St. Louis – City Museum. If you aren’t familiar with City Museum, it is housed in a 600,000 square foot former international shoe company in downtown. Bob Cassilly, an internationally acclaimed artist, sparked the idea. He and his crew began constructing the museum from the nuts and bolts (along with tiles, chimneys, and planes) of the city, literally. Their motto “always building” has been true since their opening in 1997.

 2015-10-01 18.16.28  More …

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1st Annual CONSTRUCT Young Professionals / Student Day

There has been a lot of recent discussion on the sparsity of young professionals in the AEC community. This is evident when looking at the attendance of the Door and Hardware Institute (DHI) and Construction Specification Institute (CSI) monthly meetings and annual trade shows. We need to encourage more young professionals to enter the many fields offered in the architectural, engineering & construction industries.

Cindy Barrand with Informa, who presents the CONSTRUCT show in conjunction with the CSI Annual Convention, decided to do something about it. She created a special package for young professionals (max 35 years of age) and students that offered education, a full day specifically designed for them, networking events and a few social occasions, spanning 4 days of the convention all for a reduced price.

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SCIP – Specifications Consultants in Independent Practice

When CONSTRUCT announced last year that the 2015 convention would be held in St. Louis we were thrilled. We knew we had a great opportunity to show off our hometown and Hager Companies.

We were lucky enough to entice two groups to our headquarters for a tour.  The first was held yesterday and by all accounts it was a success.

Last year, through connections on Twitter, we were able to reach out to the President of SCIP, Dave Stutzman, to offer a tour of our facility and dinner for any interested SCIP members.  SCIP holds their annual meeting the day before CONSTRUCT opens. Our BHMA Testing Lab and Engineering Lab are located at our St. Louis headquarters and we felt both might offer noteworthy learning opportunities to the SCIP members.

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Introducing – Mark Hoialmen

Please join us in welcoming Mark Hoialmen as an architectural specification consultant for Hager in the Georgia area.


Mark began his career in Atlanta in the advertising industry working with manufacturers from semiconductors to apparel. Later, as Director of Marketing for a production software firm, he delivered the company’s newest Windows conversion in manufacturing software to the dental lab industry. An opportunity to start a business as a group health insurance benefits broker was presented and Mark began providing group insurance coverage to software companies and a few architect firms in Georgia for the next 9 years.

Mark decided on a new course after selling his company to a national brokerage firm and opened his own representative company in the acoustic treatment industry. Now working for Hager, Mark has nine AIA accredited presentations for architectural firms and a specification writing team behind him to help with door hardware specs.

Mark lives in the North Atlanta area with his wife Mady and their 14 year old son Wyatt.

If you are in Georgia and need to catch up on AIA CED/HSW credits before the end of the year or would like to learn more about our products, give Mark a call at 678-215-2859 or email: [email protected]


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September – National Preparedness Month

Watching the news this week we’ve seen it all: fires, floods, tornadoes and watching tropical systems coming off the coast of Africa. It can be overwhelming! Being prepared and keeping an eye on the news is the best thing we can do to combat these stressful feelings.

This month is National Preparedness Month and there is a lot of information to help all of us get ready. Here is a great website with tons of information!


First make a plan. We do it for our finances, work, school, vacation, etc. and yes, for possible disasters. If you need help with a template, several can be found here.

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Archispeak – A podcast for architects

There are a lot of publications and trade groups who would like us to advertise in their magazine, either digital or print and sometimes both! While we think all are worthwhile our goal is to support our partners while broadening the Hager brand.  Our partners include distributors, facilities managers, end users, general contractors and architects.

Through our social media platforms we follow several architects in order to promote and share their services and projects. However there are three architects that caught our eye when they decided to try something new. They started a podcast called Archispeak for “all things architecture” by architects, in late 2012.  The hosts are Evan Troxel, Neal Pann and Cormac Phalen.  We’ve been following them for a while.


They talk about everything! Really – from premature renderation to architects and egos, nothing is sacred. They also work hard to provide a resource to emerging architects. We were thrilled when they picked up a steady sponsor in ARCAT.

ARCAT, in case you don’t know, provides free building products specifications. We hear from architects all the time how difficult writing hardware specs are so in order to try to simplify their work load our specifications are listed on ARCAT’s website.

We had been thinking about sponsoring a few shows for a while but needed it to be the right time. For the next few months we have a convergence of events happening so we felt this was it. Episode #70 is out now. There is a special opportunity for listeners of the show if you are attending CONSTRUCT or the Texas Society of Architect trade shows but you have to listen to the podcast to find out what it is.

In the meantime thanks Evan, Neal and Cormac for providing great content that everyone in the AEC community can learn from.

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Project Profile: Muirfield Village Golf Club (Renovations)

The golf course is often times considered the outdoor office.  It is a great place to network with customers, business associates and team members. Hager team members love getting out on the golf course as our Pinterest Golf Board can attest too.

Project Name:            Muirfield Village Golf Club (Renovations)
Architect:                     Peacock & Lewis Architects & Planners
General Contractor:  Ruscilli Construction
Distributor:                 Ott, Inc.
Door Openings:         200

When we were presented with the chance to be part of the team that renovated the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin Ohio, we jumped at it. This golf course is one of the top ranked courses in the world and has been home to the Memorial Tournament for 40 years. It also has hosted the Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup, President’s Cup and the U.S. Amateur.

Rendering provided by Peacock & Lewis Architects & Planners

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New Products Announcement

4500 Series Exit Device Decorative Lever Options

The decorative lever options on our 2300 Series Tubular and 3800 Series Mortise Locks are now available with our 4500 Series Exit Device. Now you can complete the elegant look on door openings requiring exit devices.  Available in US3, US4, US10, US10B, US26 & US26D. Additional information is available here.

4500_Exit_Trim Charles_LeverJohnston_Lever


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