A customer of mine wants to use solid core birch doors in his office. For some reason he wants to use 5/4" birch jambs. The doors are not pre-hung and he wants a price to hang the doors in the jambs that we have to make. This would of course include drilling the lock set holes and door stop. I'd like to get an average price per door. We're thinking around $80 per door. Does anyone have any ideas?
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor W:
Does this job include removal of existing doors, jambs, casing etc? If so, include removal and disposal charge. Installation of each door includes morticing hinges into doors and jambs. Also, there could be possible cutting of door bottoms for proper fit into existing rough framing openings.
Here is a list of what will be needed to be done.
Installation of 5/4" jambs.
Hanging of doors and stops.
Bore for locksets and strikes.
Installing locksets and strikes.
Making accurate adjustments for proper operation.
Finishing of doors, jambs, casings etc. (if required).
My charge would be in the ballpark of $250.00 per door (excluding finishing).
I stopped buying pre-hung doors when I found out that I was paying two and a half times more for the pre-assembled parts. Ever since, I have put those labor dollars in my own pocket. To pre-hang the doors yourself, rather than building them in the rough opening, will save you time and earn you more money. A simple shop setup is all you need to accomplish the task; whether you have a formal shop, a garage, or on the jobsite.
A little research into the cost of a pre-hung door of similar quality should give you a handle on what the labor is worth by the market standard.
A little pencil and paper work, a strip of plystock and a 1x2 will make you a jig for sixteen doors. I have made morticing jigs for every kind of hinge you can imagine. One anomaly I would caution you about; not all router bases, or the accessory bushings used for template work are centered on the bit. If you articulate the cut the same way each time, you can avoid minor discrepancies.
It takes about an hour per door for residential, stop and casing included adds about 15 minutes if you have to bevel the door.
As for hinge templates I wouldn't necessarily get Bosch or Porter cable templates. I have two PC templates that haven't been out of the case for 15 years. They take too long to set up, they're too easy to knock out of adjustment, or set up improperly adjusted and if you're machining a lift of doors you can ruin a lot of doors before you even know you are screwing up. I make my own templates and they are utterly foolproof. If you are new to machining doors and want a simple foolproof template I would suggest checking out the site below.
I have never used their hinge templates, but I have been using their strike templates for a couple of years now. They're dead accurate and I can buy them for less than I can make them.
Comment from contributor S:
I agree with the higher prices in this post. Scratch hanging doors is no job for amateurs and the potential for numerous trips to adjust disfunctional doors is there. Without a jig, you are looking at 3-4 man hours per unit - remember, it's birch and will use many screws in the process, and you'll lose some time fighting narrow rough openings. I guarantee you they are not framed properly to accomodate 5/4 stock in the jamb. Best bet is to check it yourself and if need be, mark the doors to the openings and trim the slabs to fit before you create the birch frame and hang the door.
Comment from contributor M:
I agree with the folks who are saying or implying you should charge a bit more to account for potential set-backs. I have hung a fair amount of doors as part of my painting and decorating business. Some go great; some are a pain in the rear. Expect some expanding to occur after they are hung. Often doors will expand when painted, and there's typically some movement of the door jams over time as a result of weather changes. Bottom line - cover your butt or you may be wishing you didn't get involved. Some clientele can be difficult concerning these things.