How Much Does Welding Cost?

Typical Range:

$122 - $480

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 909 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated October 5, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The national average welding cost is $288, with a typical range of between $122 and $480. Depending on the project and type of metal, costs can be as low as $50 or as high as $900. Additional factors that affect the cost include the type of metal wire or rods used as filler for the project and the welding method you use.

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National Average $288
Typical Range $122 - $480
Low End - High End $50 - $1,150

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 909 HomeAdvisor members.

Welding Cost Breakdown

Materials and labor are the main cost components of most welding projects. Material costs include the base metal and additional supplies the welder requires to complete the project, such as filler. As for labor, welders typically charge by the hour. The hourly rate can vary depending on geographical location.

Materials

The cost for metal welding materials ranges from $140 to $230 on average. This cost includes the base metal, the flux or gas, the wire, and sandpaper. This price does not account for the cost of a small project or repair, where you only use a fraction of the material. In such cases, you (or the pro) would still need to purchase larger quantities of the necessary supplies.

Most professional welders will come with the supplies needed for a particular project. They will include this in the total price quote or the hourly rate, or they could charge you separately for the materials. 

Labor

Nationally, the average hourly cost to hire a mobile welder is $65 to $125. Most professionals have a minimum service charge to cover overheads and transport. Therefore, if patching a broken garden chair takes about 15 minutes, you’ll still pay the full minimum fee, which is usually one or two hours of labor. 

For minor repairs or jobs involving small items, you can save on costs by taking them to a welder’s shop rather than having the welder come to you.  Welding shop rates are typically lower than the rates of a mobile welder.

Metal Welding Costs by Project

Different welding projects require different amounts of materials and time to complete. Naturally, larger projects will require more time and materials, meaning a higher total price.

Welding Project Average Cost Range (All-In)
Metal furniture repair $35 – $100
Pipe repair $200 – $1,000
Small gates $550 – $750
Fencing $1,200 – $1,800
Fabricated sheet metal welding $750 – $2,500

Metal Furniture Repair

Metal furniture repair costs between $100 and $300. Where you fall in this cost range varies depending on the furniture type and the project size. Patching a couple of leg braces on a garden chair, for example, comes in at the low end of the budget, while fixing a large garden bench or dining table will cost closer to $100.

Pipe Repair

Pipe repair is another project that can require hiring a welder. The cost to repair a pipe ranges between $200 and $1,000. The actual price depends on the type of pipe, the damage's extent, the pipework's location, and the type of metal.

Small Gates

Small gates, like narrow garden gates or baby gates, cost around $550 to $750 to install. This price includes the cost of the base metal, the welding, cutting, grinding, construction, finishing, and installation of the new gate. 

Fencing

Fence welding projects typically cost $1,200 to $1,800. This cost includes the base materials plus construction and installation. The price you pay for fencing depends on the type of metal you're using, the height and length of the fence, and any ornate detailing you require.

If you're only repairing a fence, you'll pay considerably less. For example, the cost to repair a wrought iron fence is $250 to $780.

Fabricated Sheet Metal Welding

Fabricating sheet metal costs $750 to $2,500, although you can pay as little as $100 for a simple patch or seam repair. Larger jobs can cost more. For example, the cost of creating a custom metal structure or object can reach $7,500. The cost range here includes the fabricated sheet metal and the structure's construction alongside the welding. Sheet metal fabrication uses welding to join metal panels, reinforce joists and stabilize frames.

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Metal Welding Costs by Type of Metal

Your choice of metal will affect how much you pay for a welding project. The most common metals welders use in welding projects are low carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. Other types of metals that you can also use are aluminum, magnesium alloy, copper, cast iron, and titanium. Here are the average cost ranges for each type of metal.

Metal Average Cost Range (Per Pound) Average Cost (Per Pound)
Magnesium alloy$7 – $16$11
Low-carbon steel$10.50 – $11.50$11
Stainless steel$13 – $15$14
Aluminum$14 – $22$18
Copper/brass$24 – $29$26
Cast iron$38 – $79$58
Titanium$60 – $85$72

Magnesium Alloy

Magnesium alloy costs between $7 and $16 per pound and is suitable for alternating current (AC) Tungsten Inert Gas, or TIG welding. It’s lightweight, easy to cast, and vibration-absorbing.

Low-Carbon Steel

Low-carbon steel, or mild steel, costs between $10.50 and $11.50 per pound. Apart from its relatively low cost, it’s also a popular choice because of its ease of welding. This versatile metal alloy is highly cost-effective, doesn’t shrink much, is easy to work with, and is suitable for all types of welding apart from AC TIG.

Stainless Steel

The cost of stainless steel ranges between $13 and $15 per pound. Welders like stainless steel for its ease of use and corrosion resistance. However, it's important to know what you're working with; martensitic-grade stainless steel has a habit of cracking, so it isn't the best choice for welding. Instead, stick with ferritic and austenitic grades. Stainless steel works well with all types of welding, apart from AC TIG.

Aluminum

Aluminum costs between $14 and $22 per pound. It’s a little more challenging to work with than steel but still very versatile, corrosion-resistant, and lightweight. Aluminum is best for stick, Metal Inert Gas (MIG), and AC TIG welding.

Copper/Brass

Copper and brass alloys cost between $24 and $29 per pound. They’re popular because of their thermal and electrical conductivity and high wear and corrosion resistance. While high-quality copper and brass are reasonably easy to work with, some alloy mixes, including cheaper alloys with impurities, can easily crack, form craters, oxidize, or corrode. Lower-grade alloys also have weaker electrical and thermal conductivity. Copper and brass are best suited to direct current (DC) TIG welding.

Cast Iron

The average cost range of cast iron costs is $38 to $79 per pound. While expensive, if handled correctly, it produces strong, durable welds. However, it does require a high degree of skill because of the high carbon and silicon content. If it isn't pre-heated, or if the temperature changes are too aggressive and rapid, it can crack or result in craters. Plus, the welds won't be as strong. Cast iron is suitable for stick welding.

Titanium

Titanium is one of the most expensive options, costing $60 to $85 per pound. Working with this type of metal requires the skills of a master welder. It's a highly effective, durable option but does require extra equipment and full coverage with shielding gas to prevent oxidation. Titanium is suitable for DC TIG welding.

Welding Cost by Type

There are numerous methods of welding available including:

  • Stick welding

  • Metal inert gas (MIG) welding

  • Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding

  • Gas welding

  • Forge welding

Typically, the nature of the project and type of metal will determine the welding method — not all methods are usable for all metals and projects. A professional welder will decide the most appropriate welding method for your project. Below, we’ve included welding cost estimation for some of the most common welding methods.

Stick Welding

Stick welding costs start around $100 and can climb to $1,000. Also known as shielded metal arc welding, stick welding uses extreme heat to melt two separate pieces of metal together. The heat comes from an electric arc created between a base metal workpiece and the tip of a filler metal electrode. The metals become strong as they cool. 

The equipment for stick welding is simple and inexpensive, plus it can work with most common metals and alloys. Also, this welding does not require flux—the gas is inbuilt into the electrode. 

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding

Hiring a MIG welding pro will set you back at least $250. Also called Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), this welding method uses a solid wire electrode to produce a weld. This wire is heated and continuously fed into a weld pool from a welding gun. The two base metals are melted together. Alongside the electrode, the gun feeds a shielding gas (usually argon or carbon dioxide, or a mixture of both) that protects the weld pool from airborne contaminants and prevents oxidation. 

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding

With Tungsten Inert Gas welding, or TIG welding, expect to pay at least $250. TIG welding uses a tungsten non-consumable electrode to weld two disparate pieces of metal together. A foot pedal controls the heat of the arc. Unlike MIG, which can use a variety of shielding gases, TIG welding projects require 100% argon gas as its shielding component.

Gas Welding

Gas welding costs start at around $150. It’s one of the oldest types of welding. Here, a flammable gas, such as acetylene and oxygen, is super-heated to weld two pieces of metal together. Gas welding has many applications and is a popular choice in many general repair shops. 

Forge Welding

Forge welders charge between $15 and $25 per hour (plus materials) if you take the item to their shop. This type of welding involves heating two pieces of metal, then using force, like hammering, to join them together. This type is a form of blacksmithing and is among the oldest types of welding. Its use is, however, restricted to a few metals such as low-carbon steel and wrought iron.

DIY vs. Hiring a Welder

Welding is typically a job best left to the pros. One reason for this is that welding is, in general, a hazardous job. It’s a process where you use extreme heat to join metals. Accidents can easily occur if you don’t have adequate knowledge or experience with this type of work. Some of the substances you may come into contact with during welding also pose significant health risks.

Additionally, if you decide to do it yourself, you’ll incur the cost of buying all the equipment, safety gear, and other supplies, which could outweigh any savings you make on labor. If you’ve got something that needs welding, it’s best to hire a welder near you.

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FAQs

What type of metal is used for welding?

Pros can use a wide range of metals for welding. The most common ones are:

  • Low-carbon steel

  • Stainless steel

  • Aluminum

  • Copper/brass

  • Cast iron

  • Magnesium alloy

  • Titanium

Each type of metal has its advantages and disadvantages. A professional welder can help you decide on the best type of metal, depending on the project and your budget.

What is the easiest way to weld metal?

Experts consider MIG welding the easiest type of welding to master for a beginner. MIG welding uses a continuously fed wire electrode that doesn’t require changing nearly as much as the stick electrodes that you use for stick welding. You can continue welding without having to stop and change your electrode. The process also produces a low amount of slag and spatter, which makes for a more pleasant welding experience. 

What is the hardest metal to weld?

Aluminum is the hardest metal to weld despite being one of the top three choices for welding among professionals (alongside low-carbon and stainless steel). That’s because in its ore or alloy form, it has several physical and chemical properties that make welding complicated. For example, aluminum oxide, which forms naturally in a thin coating on the surface of aluminum, is one of the hardest substances known. This coating makes aluminum difficult to weld.

Additionally, aluminum has high thermal conductivity. This means you must put more heat into it. Apart from making welding difficult, the large heat input can also lead to unwanted distortion.

What is the strongest type of weld?

TIG welding produces the strongest welds and is therefore the type of welding to go for if high welding quality is your goal. It has a slow cooling rate that results in high tensile strength and ductility. It also produces the least distortion of all welding methods. TIG welding, however, requires considerable skills to perform. TIG equipment can also be quite expensive.

Are bolts stronger than welds?

Welded connections are stronger than bolted ones. Welds offer better weight distribution of supported loads as well as greater resistance to rotational or shear forces. When done correctly, a welded joint is usually as strong, if not stronger, than the metal it joins. With bolting, the cutting of holes for the bolts naturally weakens the structure. Bolting is, however, less expensive and labor-intensive. It’s a technically acceptable alternative to welding if you’re on a budget.