Hanging doors is quite a regular job here in Handyman Land.
Hung some today, usual 6 panel Georgian white wood effect jobbies. These
were from Homebase and they actually seem better than B&Q or Wickes. The
frame was made from some kind of close grained hardwood instead of el crappo
Much easier to machine hinge rebates etc. Probably stronger & more stable
too. Customer said they were about £16 each?
The 'Door Packs' still included those cheap & nasty slotted brass plated
screws that shear off if you so much as look at them. No change there. Why
don't they put decent screws in?
Any ideas on what is a fair price for hanging an internal door? I reckon I
might be too cheap. Lot of work involved.
I can't really answer the question - I always hang my own, and don't charge
But it occurred to me to wonder how someone like you goes about pricing -
and quoting - generally. Obviously the prices need to yield a reasonable
living for what you do (or you'd do something else instead) and they need to
represent value for money for your customers (or they wouldn't employ you).
It seems to me that there are three possible approaches, and I wonder which
1. Purely time & materials. You quote an hourly rate, make an estimate on
how long a job will take, but charge for the time it *actually* takes. This
way, the customer carries the risk - and people may be put off if they don't
know how much it is going to cost them, up front.
2. Fixed price on a per-job basis. You visit the customer, size up the job
and quote a fixed price based on how long you think it will take. You stick
to the price even if it takes longer (or, indeed, if it is shorter). The
risk is transferred to you, but the customer is generally happy.
3. Fixed scale of charges based on job type. e.g. £30 (or whatever) for
hanging an internal door regardless of where it comes in the scale of
difficulty. This is the most risky for you, but has the advantage that you
(or someone else, on your behalf, even) can quote over the phone without
needing to see the job - thus reducing the overhead of touting for business.
Prices would have to reflect the win some/lose some approach.
Do you identify with any (or maybe a mixture, even) of these?
Sometimes if there are a variety of jobs to be done. Usually I will say
'between 2 and 3 hours, so that's between £75 & £100' or whatever. Almost
impossible to judge the time exactly.
Trouble is people are happy to pay less if it takes less time, but not so
happy to pay more if it takes longer.
I use that method as well, especially if it's a job where I can mark up the
materials a bit, like decking.
I'm thinking of doing that for some jobs as I gain more experience. It does
save the visit & estimate. Trouble is you can lose heavily.
Job I did yesterday & today is an example. Change 6 doors. I quoted a
price, job was full of snags. Lady had painted 4 of the doors thus
obliterating the markings for the lock blocks - had to scrape the paint away
to find them. New doors were thicker than the old ones, so all the jambs
had to come off & be refixed. Two frames badly pissed.
I qouted a day & a half, took me two days. The lady appreciated the snags
and we agreed there would be an extra charge. When I finished she gave me
£20 more than I was going to charge!
By contrast a few weeks ago I worked for a Nigerian lady who was opening a
shop. I mention that she was Nigerian because culturally Nigerians love to
barter, even after a price is agreed.
I quoted a reduced hourly rate because there was a lot of work. At the
finish of the day she complained that I hadn't done one or two things. I
replied that I had agreed to charge her a good hourly rate and had put in
the hours. I explained that I hadn't charged for the jobs I hadn't done.
It got so bad that (after she had paid) I told her not to call me anymore as
I wouldn't do any more work for her.
One day I will find the perfect system :-)
On 2007-02-03 20:48:51 +0000, "The Medway Handyman"
hourly rate for job type?
Only do work for ladies. They never discuss the price.
Don't do work for shopkeepers.
Keep this maxim in mind:
A fellow approaches an attractive girl and says "would you sleep with
me for a million dollars?" and she says "Well, sure!" Then he says
"Would you sleep with me for a dollar?" and she says "Certainly not!
What do you think I am?" and he says "We already know what you are.
We're just haggling about the price."
Have to agree with that. Friend of mine, time served cabinet maker, did some
work on a table for the owner of an angling shop. Did it as a favour. Few
weeks later said cabbie needed some fishing hooks and some line for a
contest, went to shop owner and was charged full price for the items. Once
bitten etc !.
If you can remove the door stops without too much damage then I find
that is often the best way to work anyway. I usually hang the door,
wedge the frame to get nice even gaps, fit the latch etc. The two last
jobs are fitting the stops and the architraves. By leaving the stops
until last, you can get a nice snug fit on the latch without spending
any time making fine adjustments to the rebates etc. You can also lose
any minor warping of the door into the process.
Well, it sounds as if your "horses for courses" system is about right.
Just had a look at your website - very impressive! Are you a one man band?
If so, some of those jobs can't come round very often - otherwise you'd be
working 1000 hours a week!
Incidentally, the decking photos don't seem to want to appear.
I thought you charged on a time basis anyway?
A mate of mine is a very good apprenticed chippy, and is quite swift
with doors, being able to knock out at least six a day including fitting
the lining, door, stops, furniture, and architraves etc. So I suppose if
you took a reasonable work rate for a basic door as being four or five a
day, and divide that into a suitable day rate you have an answer.
It is probably also worth noting that there can be more work in
re-hanging a door, than doing one for the first time...
You certainly can't change 5 or 6 doors a day that's for sure. Taking the
old doors off, trimming new doors to height & width, adjusting for pissed
frames, fitting door sets, removing & planing jambs etc. Surprising how
much time it takes just unwrapping stuff & carting it about.
I had to remake two doors today. They both needed more taken off the height
than was reccommended and it couldn't be taken off the top as adjacent doors
would have made it look odd.
I had to saw the bottoms off exposing the hollow core, remove the mdf skin
from the waste peice so I could re insert it into the bottom of the door &
glue & pin it.
I think so, in terms of time saved and I only had one house to do. I would
certainly invest in them if door hanging were an important part of my
Once you have the hinge jig set up, which doesn't take long and probably
won't need changing between most jobs, you can do a whole set of doors. Each
only takes the time it takes you to drive a couple of bradawls in, run the
router around the guides and chisel the rounded corners square. I have the
Trend corner cutter for that, but a good wood chisel is all you really need.
Unless you need to make good first, the door frames take no longer and the
gap at the top is created automatically by the jig. The lock jig needs a bit
more measuring, but definitely speeds up fitting most common mortise locks.
I keep the 16mm x 75mm lock rebate router cutter permanently set up in one
1/2" router, as it is an incredibly useful general purpose cutter. That is
what I use to cut the doors to size, if they need it. I then use a second
1/2" router for other cutters - only one should be needed to cut hinge and
lock plate rebates - and a 1/4" router for lightweight jobs - for the doors
that was a 3mm radius bearing guided cutter, to round off the corners,
making the paint less likely to chip.
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