Most metal doors and frames look alike, but there may be significant differences among them. When estimating these items, be sure to choose the line item that most closely compares to the specification or door schedule requirements regarding:
If the drawings do not include a door schedule, it may be worth the estimator’s time to develop one, especially if the project is large or complicated. The schedule should indicate the opening number, door type, size, material, glass or louver requirements, and remarks. The quantity take-off process can be expedited by making a copy of the schedule and noting the quantity and hardware requirements next to each door type.
The door schedule should include a frame schedule listing the frame material; type; and jamb, head, and sill details. Fire-rating, ballistic, and pressure requirements should be noted.
When putting together a quantity survey for doors, combine all similar types and frames, checking off each as you go to ensure none has been left out. An easy and obvious check is to count the total number of openings, making certain that two doors and only one frame have been included where double doors are used, for example.
Hardware requirements should be listed on the door schedule as well. Keep in mind the fact that the hardware can, in some instances, be more costly than the door itself. The hardware schedule may be in the specification.
Handicap Access - While the drawings may not show it, local codes may require special hardware and opening systems to allow a structure to be accessible to the handicapped. Contact the local authorities for related codes and requirements.
Special Doors - Special attention should be given to any oversized or unusual type of door. Such items should not be priced on a prorated basis, as they are generally special ordered. The cost of special doors can skyrocket, especially if they involve exotic woods, special finishes, or special attention (which usually means higher labor costs). Note that special doors may require a considerable amount of lead time for ordering and shipping and may also require large equipment.
Fire Doors - The estimator must pay particular attention to fire doors when performing the quantity takeoff. It is important to determine the exact type of door required. For example, a “B” label door can be one of four types. If the plans or door schedule do not specify exactly which temperature rise is required, consult the architect or local building inspector. Many building and fire codes also require that frames and hardware at fire doors be fire-rated and labeled as such. When determining quantities, be sure to also include any glass (usually wired) or special inserts to be installed in fire doors (or in any doors).
Building Hardware - As a rule of thumb, building hardware for an average quality building can be expected to run in the neighborhood of 2% of the entire building cost. However, security requirements and wiring of the hardware may drive up the cost.
Read more estimating tips for openings.
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