how much should widening a doorway cost?

modelageOctober 20, 2011

We did a kitchen remodel and we have a disagreement with the contractor about widening a doorway into the room. Basically it involved removing an old door frame (the moldings and hinges) into the room and widening the opening about 8 inches. It involved drywalling and repairing the base of the doorway.

After the fact, the contractor wants to add $600 to the invoice for doing this job. I don't necessarily want to extract free work out of the guy but that seems excessive.

What would be a reasonable price for this?

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GreenDesigns

It should have involved pulling off of the wall covering, installing a new wider header, and then the cosmetic stuff you've quoted. If all of that was not done, then you have created a structural issue. I'd expect that a properly done job, complete with cosmetics, would cost between $500-$2500, depending on the loads involved and the engineering needs for the header. $500 would be if this were a very simple unloaded wall with minimal need for header support, flooring repair and drywall repair. His $600 quote is on the cheap side for such a project, if all of the correct work was done.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 6:55PM
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HandyMac

He probably had to extend the header over the doorway---or should have done than. That means taking off the drywall about a foot further than the new opening, reframing, reinstalling the drywall, finishing, and repainting. All that was close to 15-20 man hours, plus material and handling. 20 man hours at $15 an hour is $300. Materials another $100. Add in expendables and you tack on another $50.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 7:05PM
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brickeyee

Bearing wall or curtain wall?

The framing in a curtain wall is easy, bearing wall can be a real PITA (especially in old work).
You must be sure that the load still has correct support.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 8:11PM
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modelage

Sorry, I should have clarified that this was a curtain wall so there was no work done on the beam at all. He just trimmed the drywall a few inches after removing the molding/door frame and added a little bit of hardwood flooring and molding at the base.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 8:39PM
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brickeyee

"He just trimmed the drywall a few inches after removing the molding/door frame and added a little bit of hardwood flooring and molding at the base."

Even a curtain wall has framing and a header to support the drywall.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 9:45AM
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brusso

Why didn't you ask for a quote before he started the door job? How many hours did it take for him to do this job? Was the new door a solid one? or Hollow. Get a breakdown of materials and labor. $40 -60 an hour is not unreasonable. Add the material and voila!! Next time ask before you give a go ahead.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 10:51AM
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Sophie Wheeler

The job is not acceptible as is described. He needed to go in and install a wider header, even if it is not a bearing wall. The job was done incorrectly. He needs to come back and do it correctly. Then he can charge you the $600.

And brusso is correct. Why would you even have him do this job without a price on the front end? You'll know better next time.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 1:14PM
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