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How Much Does It Cost To Weld Metal?

National Average Change Location | View National
$296
Typical Range
$126 - $471
Low End
$50
High End
$800

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On This Page:

  1. What Type of Project Are You Doing?
  2. Determining Cost
  3. Cost of Supplies

Adding custom metal features to a home build or remodel or working with other metal-based structures such as barns and fire escapes is not always within the practice of general contracting professionals. Welding metal is a process that joins two metal pieces together by heating them to a melting point and then pressing or hammering them together. However, to many welders, their process is as much an art as it is a skill, capable of creating powerful and strong structures and, at the same time, allowing for the fabrication of delicate, detailed architectural elements. 

The cost to weld metal for a home improvement project involves more than it seems. Of course, the cost of materials such as the metal itself and the gas or flux used to ignite a heat source impact the final price of the project. However, the labor costs associated with skilled craftsmen versed in the safety and art of welding are far more significant contributors, often accounting for between 60 and 70 percent of the final project costs.

What Type of Project Are You Doing?

While most homeowners do not immediately think about metal welding when planning a remodel project or designing a new home, there are actually several applications for this type of specialized work. Metal welding projects range from aesthetic additions and architectural details to safety features, structural elements, and more.

Railings, Gates, and Fencing

Perhaps the most common application of welding in the home, metal railings, gates, and fences serve both practical and aesthetic functions. For larger properties, such as farms, ranches, and large homes, custom entry gates that include a design, pillars, and even words are popular choices. On smaller homes, custom fencing surrounding the property or rails leading up to a deck add personal style and historical relevance to the home. These types of artistic welding projects vary widely in price with factors such as the length of a fence, details of a railing, and height of a gate all impacting final costs, which typically fall at or well above reported averages.

Barns and Garages

Another popular application of welding skills is in the design and construction of metal buildings such as barns and garages. These large outbuildings may require welding services to reinforce joists and frame the building. Depending on the size of the building in question, the cost varies. Because this is just one element of a larger outbuilding project, however, the final costs for welding services for metal buildings are not very high.

Security Features

The final popular application of welding in the home is for safety features often found on urban buildings, including fire escapes and door and window bars, which are far more secure when made of welded iron. These features range from simple jobs to more intricate ones, such as fabricating and attaching fire escapes, which can cost significantly more on average than adding on window bars.

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Determining Cost

Estimating the costs of a welding job can be a difficult task because of the many variables involved and the various projects that require this skill. In barns, for example, design engineers must specify the type and size of each joint so that it can withstand the load weight of the final structure. Then, the welding engineer must use that information to select a process as well as decide on the best and most economical type of filler metal to use to secure the joint. Wages and the costs of operation are also a factor.

To simplify matters, it is easy to think of the overall costs of a welding job as falling into one or two categories. There are fixed costs, which homeowners incur no matter what type of metal is used or which type of process is used to weld it. Then there are additional specific costs that vary according to the project and materials selected. Fixed costs include:

  • Joint preparation
  • Preheating
  • Tacking
  • Fixturing
  • Cleanup
  • Inspection

While these costs are associated with most jobs, the cost of actually depositing the weld metal varies considerably based on a number of additional factors, including:

  • Type of filler metal used
  • Welding process selected
  • Labor rate
  • Overhead rates
  • Efficiency of the filler metal
  • Materials
  • Power and fuel
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Labor Costs

Most welders charge by the hour at a rate that can run the gamut depending on the job, the welder's experience, your location and the type of job being done. Homeowners contracting welders for custom gates and fences, for example, should expect longer labor hours given the delicate, artistic nature of this custom job. The process of welding joints, on the other hand, takes a more fixed amount of time, with these jobs more directly impacted by the number of joints to complete than the process of welding them. However, close to 200 homeowners reported an average cost of $334 for a welding job, with the range falling between $153 and $546.

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Cost of Supplies

The type of material used also has a major impact on the final cost of any welding project, regardless of its scope. The costs homeowners must consider include work-related consumables, such as the electrodes and wire, which are used to conduct current through a workpiece to help fuse components together. Larger jobs need more electrodes and wire and the efficiency of these tools impacts the amount of time it takes a welder to complete each task, affecting final labor costs.

The specific metal or metal fillers used in a job are also important. Stainless steel used for welding, for example, costs around $13-$15 per pound. This is much cheaper than cast iron, which can cost more than twice as much per pound.

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