Architectural Design Phases

The Door and Window Schedule Process Explained

A comprehensive guide to the door and window schedule process for AEC professionals.

What is a door and window schedule? 

Door and window schedules are critical components of an architectural drawing set. They provide an itemized list of all the doors and windows within the project. 

Door and Window schedules provide a central location for detailed information including head and jamb details or hardware sets. A mistake within either schedule can be costly or cause delays during construction. A common challenge is long lead times for door and window components.

What do door and window schedules look like?

At their most basic, door and window schedules are a list of the doors and windows in the project. The list will include detailed information about each door or window and often reference standard types for each. Reference tags in your plans and elevations connect the information in the schedules to a location in your project.

In older drawing sets, door and window schedules were hosted in Excel and copied into drafting software. Today, they’re most often an auto-populated schedule hosted directly in the BIM model. Flexible databases, like Layer, give designers an intuitive interface to manage and quickly pull information from these schedules. 

Who does the door and window schedule?

Door and window schedules are completed by the architectural team. Yet, it is not uncommon for larger projects or specialized programs to include a door hardware consultant. Door hardware consultants will review the drawing set and provide a specification section with hardware sets for the project. 

When is the door and window schedule done?

When working with BIM software like Revit, it is easy to begin populating the door and window schedule during design development. Determining the door’s size, rating, panel type and frame type during design development gives the team an opportunity to review with the client and end users before issuing the drawings for bid. Similarly, the window’s dimensions and frame type should be identified during DD.

It is best to wait for Construction Documents to put in detailed information such as the hardware sets and detail markers for doors and windows.

DD’s - basic information

    • Size

    • Material

    • Frame type

    • Rating

CD’s - add in

    • Hardware set

    • Jamb, Head, and Sill details

    • Specialty information

How do Door Schedules differ from Window Schedules??

Door and window schedules share many similarities, but several key differences.

1. Doors each have a unique tag and windows do not.

Doors are typically tagged with the same number as the room they lead into, making them easy to locate on the plan. Within a project, no two doors have the same number.

In contrast, the same window tag can be applied to multiple windows within the project. The tag is not specific to a single window, but rather a type of window.

2. Where they're tagged

Doors are tagged in plan. Windows are tagged in plan and elevation.

3. Components of the schedules

Door schedules have three main components: an itemized schedule, a legend of door types, and a legend of frame types. The schedule includes each door, its dimensions, panel type, frame type, rating, and hardware set. The door panel legend includes the material, dimensions, and locates view windows within the panel. Frame types include the material of the frame, dimensions, and jamb and head detail markers.

Window schedules have two main components: a glazing schedule and a legend of window types. The glazing schedule lists each type of glass included in the project. Typical types include: 1” insulated low-e glass for exterior windows and ¼” tempered glass for interior windows. The window type legend includes dimensions, sill height, glazing type, and detail markers for head, sill, and jamb conditions.

What information should be included in a door schedule?

    • Dimensions: rough openings

    • Material selection: Glazing types

    • Fire rating requirements

    • Hardware sets

    • Jamb and head details

What information should be included in a window schedule?

    • Window type: Fixed, Single Hung, Double Hung, Storefront System, etc.

    • Dimensions: rough openings, sill height

    • Glazing types

    • Fire rating requirements, where applicable

    • Jamb, head, and sill details

What are common pitfalls for door and window schedules?

Door and window schedules require special attention since mistakes can be costly and long lead times are common items. Further, mistakes can have significant implications for building life safety and egress. The most common pitfalls happen with changes made late in the design process. Documenting changes and reviewing schedules before issuing drawings avoids errors and omissions.

Here are the top 3 most common pitfalls: 

    1. The first pitfall is not coordinating the fire rating of doors and windows with life safety drawings.

    1. The second is not assigning the correct hardware sets in the door schedule. Even on small projects, there can be a wide range of hardware sets within the specifications. It requires careful coordination to have the correct door hardware sets listed on the schedule. Each set must capture a range of user requirements including: egress, rating, and security.

    1. The third is navigating schedules for renovation projects that have a blend of new and existing doors and windows. Scheduling existing doors and windows to receive new hardware or be refinished is often a challenge. BIM software is designed to create a clear distinction between existing and new elements. It doesn’t lend itself to including existing elements on the same schedule as new work.

Taking a few moments to review your door and window schedules with a fresh set of eyes is always time well spent!

How BIM streamlines the door and window schedule process

BIM software has liberated architects from managing an excel spreadsheet of door and window schedules! Schedules are no longer hosted in Excel, but integrated into the model. Don’t take my word for it - ask a veteran colleague about their first experience managing door and window schedules.

As you model, schedules are automatically updated. You can quickly modify the information in your schedules with field options. Most firms have a standard template for their door and window schedules, but these are often customized to fit the needs of each project.

Tools for Creating Door and Window Schedules

Process 1: Excel

Pros of this process

BIM software is also extremely easy to export. Door and window schedules can be exported into excel. Making collaboration and communication with consultants and clients seamless.

Cons of this process

Exported files are not linked to the live BIM model. If changes are made to the BIM model after exporting the schedules, it requires constant management from the design team to ensure clients and subconsultants have the most up to date information. 

Referencing information such as the hardware schedules and details requires flipping between program and pdf sheets. 

Process 2: Flexible Database Tool (like Layer)

What is a Flexible Database Tool?

The advantages of using a flexible database tool for door and window schedules

    • Link product cut sheets for hardware, glazing, panels, or frames with Layer! So long to flipping through different pdf’s and folders searching for the relevant information. 

    • Easily pull quantity takeoffs for door panels, windows, and hardware sets. This can be a great way to confirm your model is accurate and a powerful tool for cost estimating. 


Door and window schedules allow you to succinctly organize detailed information for your project. Even though BIM software has improved workflows for managing door and window schedules, they still require careful attention. Flexible databases ease the burden of managing this crucial information throughout design and construction! 

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