An architectural opening is an open space in a building that can provide ingress and egress, allow for light transmission or facilitate air flow. Examples of fabricated openings include entrance doors, glazed storefronts, operable and non-operable windows, skylights, louvers and vents.

Doors, windows, glass, and glazing can represent a considerable portion of a total construction contract. The more "upscale" a building or project, the more emphasis will be placed on the visible effects of the building, including doors, windows, and glass treatments. There is a wide range of door and window materials and hardware. Increasing the quality of these components can add a considerable amount to an estimate.

Most architectural plans and specifications will generally include a door, window, and hardware schedule that will describe the choices of the owner/architect and take most of the "guesswork" out of the estimating process. If no such schedule is available at the time the estimate is prepared, it becomes even more important to document the grade of each component used for the bid.

Elements to consider include:

  • Metal doors/frames
  • Wood/plastic doors
  • Special doors
  • Entrances/store fronts
  • Windows - metal
  • Windows - wood/plastic
  • Hardware/operators/seals
  • Glass/glazing
  • Curtain walls