Huge Antique Frame to Hang/Install


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jun 13, 2002
Fingerlakes Region of NYS
I have a customer who possesses a large antique frame with a religious image (I don't believe it's an oil.. ) to be hung.

It is approximately 44 wide x 64 high and weighs about 20-30 lbs. It currently has hangers on the back, as you would put on a large mirror to hang with wire loops attached.

This needs to be hung on a wall in a stairway. The landing has ample space to access the wall which is about 12-14 feet tall at that point.

Any suggestions!? How to hang? How to charge?



PS I am probably going to farm this out.... since I can't really do the physical part of it myself...
How high off the floor of the landing? It is either a one or 2 person job depending in the height off the floor. I use a small portable scaffold for hanging these things rather than a ladder. The scaffold is more stable and is 60" long and 18" wide (the bottom uprights are 30" wide) with a weight limit of 1000 pounds.

As for charging, we charge portal to portal (door to door) our shop rate with a 1 hour minimum per person.
I would go with Wall Buddies or Z-bar. 20 - 30 pounds is not all that heavy. You can get one of those ladders that folds 4 ways. I would suggest one of these if you will do a lot of hanging. You can fold it into an L and have a level platform to work on stairs. You should charge at least one hour of your shop labor charge.
Full time installers in our area typically have a minimum charge of $125 per visit
Our base rate is $75/hr for installs - door to door. Big, heavy, mirror, and/or stairwell each has a surcharge (and yes, we combine them when appropriate). Something like you describe would go for $125 - $175.

Oh, yeah, the stairway ladder Jerry mentioned is great - we use ours all the time. They're not cheap, though, so that's why we charge extra for stairs.

Roz, Charge until they squeel, but don't back off. I'm with Kassandra & Tony. I'd start it at about $150, and if I wasn't in the neighborhood, it would hit $250 real fast.

I'm not a mercenary, just know that a 15 minute job, 5 miles away is 2 hours of lost shop time.
Add anothere hour per 10 miles until you hit lunch, then I charge double.

Customers squeel, but they understand and they want it done correct the first and only time.

If you've got D-rings with wire loops on the back all you probably need are a couple of 75lb hooks to hang it from. No brainer. Just get your hooks level.

As far as height goes, if it's going up in the landing area I typically hang at eye level and ignore the space above it. The temptation is to try to center it vertically but this tends to look awkward. Also people tend to look down when coming down the stairs and up when climbing. Putting the artwork lower keeps people from trying to look up at it and tripping while coming down the stairs. Or at least that's what I tell the customer so I don't have to go out to the truck for a ladder.

Charges? It's a 10 minute job. Figure 1/2 hour to be safe. Add in your driving time and take it times your hourly shop rate.

Ladders? I'm down to 2 that I use regularly. One 4' just because it's light and easy to handle and my Little Giant Ladder which does just about anything else I need from a ladder. I have other ladders but since I bought the Little Giant they've just been gathering dust.
Many thanks to you all... I appreciate the input and will move forward accordingly.

And Frank, that ladder looks really good. I currently use a "stubby" and I also have one at home. It is a great little ladder - for shorter installs!! But what is great about it is that when you set it up, unlike a step ladder which is only as wide as a typical ladder rung - this has rungs on both sides - so you can step on the top, or use 2 and make it into a mini-scaffold with a heavier piece of wood.

Thanks everyone!