How Much Does A Card Access System Cost?

The cost of a card access system depends on a variety of important details. We’re going to walk you through all that will influence this cost. First, let’s look at the best way to think about the price of a card access system. A crucial metric: Cost Per Door. 

Cost Per Door:

When speaking about the price of a card access system, it is useful to talk about the average cost per door. Each project can vary significantly in size, and thus in the overall price. This Metric helps you to decide whether or not you are being quoted fairly.

To calculate the cost per door is quite simple. We take the total price you have been quoted for the system and divide that by the number of doors which the system will be connected to.

For example, if you have been quoted ‘Price X‘ and your system will include eight doors, your Cost Per Door will be: Total cost divided by 8.

On average, the cost per door can range anywhere from $1500-$2500 when installed in Toronto.

However, there are some edge cases (such as all-glass doors requiring maglocks and maglock permits) that can go all the way up to $12,000 per door! This is extremely rare, though.

Where you fall on this scale will depend on the following factors.

The Scale of The Project:

The fact that a more substantial project will cost more overall than a smaller project is undeniable. However, the size of a project also has an impact on the cost per door. This generally corresponds in the opposite direction.

What we mean is that while a smaller project will cost much less overall, the cost per door for small projects will be slightly higher. This is because larger quantities of doors allow for efficiencies that are not possible with only 1 to 2 doors. For example, the company will already be set up on-site and have started running data cables though the same general directions within the building.

Number of Fobs:

It’s a good idea to consider:

  • How many users will need access to these doors?
  • How many others could potentially need access in the near future?

We recommend calculating the estimated number of users and then adding about 10 % buffer for future staff, contractors and to replace lost fobs.

Door Hardware:

The hardware used on each door creates a considerable variation in the price per door.

Factors to consider include:

  • What type of hardware is on the door now?
  • Will it need to be changed?

For a card access system, the door hardware must:

  • Allow the door to close on its own.
  • Always be locked from the outside.
  • Allow free egress/movement from the inside.
  • Be compatible with electric strikes.

If the hardware needs to be changed, this can increase the cost by 20 to 50 % on each door.

Electric Strikes:

To allow the fob system to electronically unlock the door an electric strike would be required for each door as well.

Electric Strikes can cost anywhere from $300 to $700 each installed and will vary due to the right strike that is compatible with the door hardware and the expected volume of traffic.

Type Of Building:

The type of building also affects the cost per door.

For example, a simple commercial office is much easier to wire than a warehouse with a high ceiling or multi story office tower.

Conduit Requirements:

Another example of something that can drastically affect your cost per door is the need for conduit. In cases where cables would be otherwise exposed or accessible to the public we always recommend and include metallic conduits to protect theses cables. These conduits add significantly to material and labor costs. Longer runs of conduit can increase per door cost anywhere from 10 to 200 % (twice the initial cost per door) depending on the length needed and complexity of the installation.

What’s Not Included In The Quote?:

Be sure you verify the total project cost when comparing quotes. Many companies will intentionally not include any additional contracting needed like locksmithing, or even the electric strike cost, in the quote!

This means that you will still need to factor bringing in a locksmith to complete the work. Generally, working with multiple companies on the same scope of work will create additional headaches and potential warranty issues down the road.

At Square, we include all locksmithing and contracted services within our quote as a turnkey solution. 

If you are looking for more details on card access system pricing, reach out to Square Security by clicking here or calling 416-460-7218. With some basic information (by phone, email or a site visit), we will help you determine what a card access system will cost for your business. 


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