How to Allocate a Tight Door Budget in a Commercial Design Project
Designing and building an office building, healthcare center, school, or other project requires creativity, vision, and expertise. It also requires the ability to budget appropriately to bring your vision — and your client’s demands — to fruition. While interior doors may represent a small portion of the overall project budget, the right doors make a huge impact on the success of the finished building. Doors affect both the aesthetics and the users’ experience of a space, including their safety. When you begin allocating a budget for interior doors, follow these five strategies to get the most benefit for the least cost.
1. Take a Holistic Approach to Hard Costs
Your client will not think of doors in a vacuum. The level of door they choose will fit into a grouping of features that they approach as basic, mid-range or executive. In other words, if they choose the lower end for lighting, millwork, carpet, and other features, they will want more economical doors. If they are spending more for these other features, they will anticipate spending more for high quality interior doors as well. Approach all of these hard costs as a package, and then be prepared to scale back here and there if the budget needs tightening.
2. Put Door Performance First
You can adjust veneers, finishes and other elements of your doors’ appearance more easily than you can sacrifice performance features. Building codes dictate whether to specify fire-rated doors or lead lined doors, for example. Other performance features are less necessary, although they may be just as important to the client. Think acoustic-rated doors or attack resistant door openings.
3. Place More High-End Doors in Select Locations
room, that doesn’t mean you can’t still use them in a few places. Pick and choose where you place high-end doors, such as executive offices or conference rooms.
In less visible places, you can make compromises, like painted MDF surfaces instead of wood veneers. In low traffic areas where durability is less of a concern, low-pressure decorative laminates (LPDL) offer a budget friendly choice.
4. Order Factory Painted Doors
In most cases, factory finishing costs less than using a field finishing contractor since you eliminate the costs of job site preparation, painting and cleanup. In addition, doors can be installed as soon as they’re delivered, helping to keep your project on schedule. Choosing a standard paint color can reduce costs compared with a custom color, and paint can be applied to a number of different door surfaces, allowing for flexibility.
5. Buy All of the Interior Doors from One Manufacturer
You can streamline your project and, in turn, some of your costs, by minimizing the number of suppliers and manufacturers on which you rely. When you can source all of your interior doors from one manufacturer, regardless of style, appearance or performance features, you simplify a whole portion of your project. With the high aesthetic and performance qualities of Masonite Architectural Aspiro series and the performance-based value of our Cendura series, we can meet a wide range of design needs and budgets for commercial projects. Explore our interior door solutions for offices, healthcare facilities, hotels, schools and universities, and more.