How do I set up a project for renovating doors and card readers?

Advice for hotel managers wishing to renovate their rooms

Installing card readers in hotel establishment is a significant investment, where the cost differs greatly from one supplier to the next and which will have to be offset over many years. It is therefore important to analyze the project before starting it.

Each case is different and must be treated as such, however there are two main scenarios:

2 scenarios

Readers will be installed on an existing door to replace the current locking systems:

  • The doors were already fitted with hotel card readers which now need to be renewed or replaced: this scenario is the one which will require the most work.
  • The doors were fitted with mechanical locks which the hotel manager now wants replaced with electronic readers: this scenario means the least amount of work for them.

The readers will be installed on new doors: the hotel manager (e.g. if the building is new) wants to install a completely new room access system, including new doors and hotel card readers on these doors.

Work out your budget: new or existing door?

Whether the door having the hotel card readers is new or existing, several important points need to be addressed when working out a budget for this project. This will help you nail down the true cost of the project.

Readers on an existing door

  • The state of the door must be taken into account: the cost will vary depending on the amount of work needed to update the door and any new specifications required (sound-proofing, fireproof PVC, ...).
  • The door will have to be drilled and mortised as the standards change from one manufacturer to the next.
  • The installation of a cover plate under the reader will often be required. This has two functions: cover any previous holes in the door and produce a good aesthetic result. This also helps reinforce the door if it has been weakened or drilled numerous times. The cover plate can also be a decorative element if its design is matched to the door's environment.
  • More often that not the strike plate will need to be remodeled: it won't be suitable for the new system and in some cases will need to be custom made.

These numerous steps will result in a total labor cost which is higher than for locks installed on a new door. Because of the complexity and specific issues they present, this work on existing doors also requires more know-how.

Readers on a new door

  • The chosen model of reader will have to be specified to the door manufacturer, as the machining work involved in installing the reader will need to be done during manufacture.
  • The installation of a minimum 30-minute fire-door set will be required.
  • Please note that this work and the costs linked to installation of a new door (and associated readers) are higher than for the renovation of an existing door.

Prepare for installation of your IT equipment

The issue common to all these scenarios remains the IT equipment and the choices linked to it, as all the readers are controlled via the IT system:

  • Access control software: the installation of a card reader access system involves the prior installation of a corresponding access control system, with a possible link to the hotel's PMS/HOS system.
  • Possible replacement of existing PC: the software in question requires a suitable PC. It is therefore a possibility that the existing PC will need to be replaced with a newer model.
  • Installation on one or more PCs: depending on the number of workstations which will be used to manage access control, you may need to plan for the purchase of one or more licenses.
  • Encoder: you will need to acquire an encoder in order to make management of the various cards easier, especially in the event of loss or theft which can occur in hotels.
  • Access cards, passes or keyrings: from a logistical as well as security point of view, the number of cards or passes to be used to open access points must be carefully planned, along with the amount of stock required.
  • Internet connection: if the system includes the ability to open room doors from a smartphone, a reliable Internet connection into the premises will be needed.Where necessary, a change to your level of service or Internet service provider will need to be considered.
  • Reader programming tool: this component needs to be considered as some manufacturers will require one.
     

Prepare the installation of doors and locks

Several points need to be kept in mind during the door and lock installation phase:

  • Take time to compare the products offered by the different manufacturers: the quality of the installation and services included can vary widely from one manufacturer to another.
  • Prepare the site in coordination with the installer:

- Each installer will impose a certain number of limitations, e.g. in terms of working hours.
- Noise pollution needs to be expected.
- If a PMS/HOS is in place, set up a meeting between the publisher of the PMS and the engineer who will be installing the access control software so that the two systems can be integrated and can work together as well as possible.

  • Carrying out testing on each door during the site handover process is absolutely essential to ensuring the entire installation works as expected.

Think about maintenance

Despite only being needed later, maintenance needs to be considered right from the project preparation phase as it will ensure that your new security system lasts a long time.

Dény Security offers hoteliers a maintenance contract, as well as a 24-hour telephone call-out contract (in the Paris region only), for repairs in the event of a malfunction with the card readers.

The replacement or installation of hotel card readers is a technical operation, with prices varying widely from one manufacturer to another, depending on their own criteria. However, the project is no less simple as a result: the secret to its success lies above all in good preparation of the site prior to starting!

Contact our expert!

Do you need advice? Our experts are on hand to answer your questions and support you in every step of your project.