Before you start shopping for picture frames, determine what will affect the cost. If you are on a budget, make some adjustments to pay a much lower price. Adjustments could include forgoing matting and choosing less expensive framing materials. Even if you are not shopping on a budget and want an expensive frame, you still should check with multiple vendors that provide picture framing before you make your purchase.
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Browse online picture framing companies to get an estimate on prices that are typically charged. Pictureframes.com and FrankenFrames.com are two online retailers you can start with.
Measure the picture. The larger the frame you need, the higher the cost will be. Measure in inches the full width and height of the picture. Once you have these measurements, select the frame size that is closest to the measurements. If you plan to use a mat for the picture, you need to add the mat's width and height to your measurements.
Compare costs of standard-sized frames and custom-sized frames. You will pay more if your picture does not fit in a standard frame. To fit a picture in a custom frame, give the retailer the dimensions of the picture to the nearest 1/8 inch. Your standard frame should measure within 1/4 inch of the picture size unless you plan to use a border or mat to help make it fit.
Include the mat price charged by the picture-framing company. Customized mats will cost more.
Inquire about how much the company charges for frame assembly. It also may charge for the hardware to hang the picture, which may include retaining clips, wire and screw eyes. Having corners customized will cost you more as well. Corner styles may include scalloped, angled and wide.
Add any surcharges. For instance, some companies will charge a fee for picture frames that have one edge that is longer than 42 inches.