Welding is used for automotive, structural, plate, decorative, pipe, restoration and other metalwork projects. Professionals work with aluminum, wrought iron, stainless steel, carbon steel and galvanized steel to create custom fences, gates, interior decorative metalwork and safety features such as baby gates or window bars. Several factors affect the cost of welding projects.
The overall cost of a welding project depends on the price of the materials used. Essential elements of welding include flux (gas), wire, type of metal used, grinding wheels, sanding stones, UV and high-heat resistant paint, and all of these contribute to a shop’s overhead. These costs in turn affect the cost to the customer. Here’s a breakdown of material costs from North Dallas Wrought Iron Doors in Frisco, Texas:
Sanding paper: $64 per week ($16 for a 25 pack and 100 pieces used per week)
30-pound roll of wire: $40 every one and a half to two weeks
Three bottles of flux/gas: $120–$150 every one and a half to two weeks
Type of metal
The type of metal used for a project affects the final cost. According to North Dallas Wrought Iron Doors, the most affordable metal is steel, with aluminum and stainless steel one and a half to two times the cost of standard steel. Every time the cost of steel fluctuates, the overall cost of welding also fluctuates. For example, North Dallas Wrought Iron Doors typically charges $44–$50 for one 25-foot stick of 2x6 14-gauge steel. However, that price has fluctuated as high as $125 per stick during a recession.
Minor repairs such as cracks or broken parts can often be repaired either at the client’s location or in the welding shop. Welders who must bring equipment to a client’s home often charge a travel fee or minimum service fee to cover their extra time, transportation expenses and labor. Customers can save money by bringing smaller items, such as metal chairs, to the welding shop. Some welders charge a starting rate, say $60, for any welding work no matter how small the job. Others, including North Dallas Wrought Iron Doors, charge based on the amount of work to be done. Here are a few pricing examples for small repair jobs from North Dallas Wrought Iron Doors:
Small repairs and tack welds on items such as metal patio chairs: $25–$30
Larger (but still minimal) welding repair jobs on metal furniture, etc.: $35–$100
North Dallas Wrought Iron Doors’ pricing includes paint touchup after repairs are made, which is not generally a service included in welding work.
Some welding shops may have an hourly rate for services, particularly if they’re doing straightforward jobs or pipeline work. Hourly rates for welding services can range from $65–$125, often with a minimum service fee to cover overhead and transportation time and costs. Some professionals charge by the square foot. For example, North Dallas Wrought Iron Doors charges $125 per square foot for front entry doors made out of steel.
Some welders provide quotes based on the specifics of the job, type of metal to be used and other considerations. Having photos of the project location or related examples greatly increases the accuracy of cost estimates. Here are a few pricing examples from North Dallas Wrought Iron Doors for common interior welding projects:
Baby gate for top of stairs: $550–$750 for one full day of cutting, one full day of welding and construction, one to one and a half full days of grinding and painting, and a few hours of installation
Room temperature wine cellar gates: $1,200–$1,800, depending on how much scroll work or vines and grapes are requested—grape clusters are $10–$15 each
Chilled room wine cellar gate: $2,200–$2,800, including labor for three people for five to seven full days of grinding, painting, finishing, cutting, design or CAD work, welding, ordering materials, and other tasks.