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If you're a door vendor, you've likely heard the phrase, "furnish housings only to receive small format interchangeable cores." General Contractors usually ask door vendors to provide "housings only" for a few reasons. First, they often have to provide locks for the entire job, so it's easiest to order cores master keyed all in a single order. Second, different housings are required for each door type, so door vendors can order housings just for the specific doors they're providing and GC's don't have to worry about compatibility.
If you need to provide housings only, there are just a few things you need to know:
- Rim or Mortise? Depending on what type of lockset they’re going in, you’ll either have a small vertical tail (mortise) or long horizontal tail (Rim). Mortise housings are most common for all different types of locksets which have levers. Rim housings are used specifically for door pulls and some deadbolt applications.
- If mortise, what type of cam? The cam is the tail that goes on the back, which interfaces with your lockset. Generally it will be the name of the brand you’re using for the lockset. This is something that we regularly help our customers determine. If you're not sure what cam type you need, just shoot us an email at email@example.com and we'll help you figure it out.
- Small Format (SFIC) or Full Size (FSIC)? Small format is the same for any brand of interchangeable cores, but if you need to accept full size interchangeable cores, you will need to know the specific brand of cores that will be used.
- Which length of housing? Depending on your lockset, you might need a certain size of cylinder. In the case that the cylinder sticks out of the front of your lockset, you’ll also need spacer rings, which can be ordered in the same finish in various sizes. For example, if the depth of your locking mechanism is 3/4” and the minimum housing size you can get is 1”, then you will need a 1/4” spacer. Often these come with spring rings so that they fit snugly and you don’t have to worry about getting really specific sizes.
- Which finish? Most common is the satin steel finish aka US26-D. The D stands for “dull” and it’s that basic satin steel or brushed chrome. Sometimes if you’ve got a special color finish for your lockset, you can specify a specific finish for the housing to match. The core might still be steel, but the colored housings can lend something to the final look.