RW Joinery | The Pros and Cons of Factory Finishing Your Fire Doorsets

The Pros and Cons of Factory Finishing Your Fire Doorsets


It’s always the same statement from a quantity surveyor,


“The client wants factory finished but we can’t afford it…”


The question is “Can you afford not to?”


When specifying a painted fire doorset, you have two options regarding the finish. Do you take it primed and finish it on site or do you ask the manufacturer to finish it and take the chance with protecting it on-site? Both have pros and cons which we will aim to highlight in this blog post.

For many specifiers, the obvious drawback is having the upfront cost from the door manufacturer to pre-finish the door leaves before delivery. Surely it would be cheaper to paint them on-site? However, there are numerous benefits to going down the factory finish route and cost is the greatest benefit of all. Read on to find out more…

Pros to Having A Factory Finished Door Leaf

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The obvious benefit of a factory-finished fire door is the overall quality you receive. Simply put, it is far more superior to that of a site finish.

Cleaner, Safer Environment

Finishing your fire door in a factory ensures paint application in a dust-free and environmentally controlled atmosphere with proper extraction, post-application drying and dedicated safe practices. This is not the case when completing a fire door finish on-site. Passing tradespersons, other trade activities, inadequately controlled environment and airborne debris and reliance on the paint to dry, do not lend themselves to achieving a blemish-free finish.


Not always measured within the cost is the enhancement of programme. Areas are out of action when the door leaves are painted and, in some situations -for example, high-rise living or student accommodation – the luxury of closing off a corridor whilst the paint dries can have a detrimental impact on other trades completing. Remember, you can touch up an architrave or skirting board. A damaged painted door leaf needs fully painting again. Factory painted leaves can have ironmongery fitted during the doorset installation. No first and second fix here. Handles, escutcheons, flush bolts, signs, push plates and door closers are fitted in the first visit. No revisits.

Take calculated risk with your programme. A factory-painted doorset needs very little follow on trade involvement. Mist coat your walls, fit your kitchen, install the doorsets at the end of the programme immediately before final decoration and flooring. Protect the doorset off-site for as long as possible in a safe and environmentally correct factory environment.


Factory painted door leaves cost no more to install than veneered or laminate faced leaves.

Peace of Mind

A factory-finished door will give the contractor comfort that the product is finished – and therefore, not something that needs to be worried about further down the line. No mad dash with the floor layer competing with the decorator to finish rooms in the final hour. If two trades regularly clash on-site, it’s these guys. Inevitably, this will result in a rushed scramble to get leaves painted, leading to an unsatisfactory end-result.

A Better End Result

When getting your fire doorset finished in the factory, it will be painted before the ironmongery is fixed in place. As we highlighted earlier, handles, escutcheons, flush bolts, signs, push plates and door closers are fitted after decoration. Therefore, there’s less risk of paint getting onto unwanted areas. Little things like not correctly cutting in against edges or getting paint on ironmongery will tarnish your reputation, so getting your fire door painted in-house not only reflects positively on the door itself, but on your business, too.


Re-Evaluating The Cost Of Your Factory Finished Doorset

When you consider the pros of getting your fire door factory finished, that little extra cost from the factory may be far outweighed by the many advantages and cost savings generated elsewhere.


Cons of Factory Finished Fire Doorsets

Of course, there are two sides to every story. Here we will explore some of the key considerations if you do choose a factory finished doorset.


When transporting your factory finished or any pre-finished doorset to site, it’s crucial that it doesn’t get marked in transit. Remember it’s not just the transport on the delivery vehicle. Offloading from the vehicle, loading into a hoist and distribution around the site is all transportation, and that’s before it is installed. In other words, factory finished doorsets are more susceptible to nicks and scratches. But remember, it is no different to a lacquered veneered door or a laminate-faced door. And we move them around without question.


Treat them as a veneered or laminate faced doorset. Apply suitable protection to exposed faces in high-risk areas. We have gained so much factory painting them, let’s not avoid the minimal cost of protection. If the door is vulnerable, a primed door would be also.


We hope we have provided enough to consider that cost is not just measured in pounds. Quality, installation of ironmongery, final finish and programme and measured against up-front cost and protection from others on site.

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Choosing a factory finish will depend on a range of factors. Every project is different: different time constraints; different budgets and, of course, programmed activities on site will dictate the best finish that is most suitable for you.

As always, the experts here at RW Joinery are on hand with any queries you may have. Don’t hesitate to get in touch or fill out the form below.

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