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Estimating Doors: Tips from the Experts

07/15/2010 by RSMeans


A proper door schedule on the architectural drawings will identify each opening in detail. Define each opening in accordance with the items in the schedule and any other pertinent data. Installation information should be carefully reviewed in the specifications.

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.

Important details to check for both door and frame are:

  • Material
  • Gauge
  • Size
  • Core material
  • Fire rating label
  • Finish
  • Style

  • Wood & Plastic Doors

    Where local work rules permit, pre-hung doors and windows are becoming prevalent in the industry. For pre-hung units, locksets and interior casings are usually extra. As these may be standard for a number of doors in any particular building, they need only be counted. Remember that exterior pre-hung doors need casings on the interior. Leave space in the tabulation on the Quantity Sheet for casings, stops, grounds, and hardware. This can be done either on the same sheet or on separate sheets.

    Special Doors

    There are many types of specialty doors that may be included—for example, sliding glass doors, overhead garage doors, and bulkhead doors. These items should be taken off individually. The estimator should thoroughly examine the plans and specifications to be sure to include all hardware, operating mechanisms, fire ratings, finishes, and any special installation requirements.

    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).

    Excerpted with permission from Unit Price Estimating Methods, 4th Edition, published by RSMeans.

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