The cost of FRP is the same today as it was thirteen years ago. This fact is reinforced by the comparison of an article from SSCWN over a decade ago and the current costs of FRP today. That is, of course, barring the costs of labor. The cost of panels chiefly varies across vendors. On the average, for a square foot, I was greeted with quotes between 55¢ and $1.25 by several suppliers. Such lofty margins!
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Before you settle on what might be a good or bad price, do remember that it takes more than mere panels to renovate a wall. Seams and corners, rivets and sealants among other items are just as important as the panels. Local lumber yards often offer very affordable sheets, with an estimate of $30 for a single 4 x 8 sheet.
But, I wouldn’t get sucked in just yet – FRP panels differ from one another. For a head start, here are three basic criteria that affect the FRP panel price.Color of Sheet: It’s a little perturbing when a sheet is more expensive than another because of color difference. I mean, it has to be a color, right? I got to learn quickly that some colors apart from the standard colors are customized and cost more to manufacture. So, lose no sweat fighting over this fact at the warehouse.
Thickness of sheet: FRP thickness range from about 4/100 ” to 12/100 “. Carwash facilities mostly patronize panels around 9/100 ” thick. It is just a few measures off 1/10 “. If you do want something thinner, the nearest size is the 6/100 “, at which point you still get a smooth and solid wall to cherish.
Quantity of Sheets: Buying sheets in small quantities can often set you up for a cut-throat price because then, you have no leverage to bargain for a discount. Buying in bulk often attracts even a voluntary discount from vendors without asking. So, what do they actually cost these days?
Buying panels in large quantities (of say 1000) would attract a handsome rivet rate of 6¢ a piece. If you consider that a 4 x 8 sheet requires 28 rivets it’s amazing how much you can save. Depending on type, the accessory pieces cost from $1 to $2 each. The gallons of adhesive required for a square foot sheet costs something in the 20¢ figure. The tubes of sealant required for each couple of sheets are priced at about $3 to $5.
I am familiar with carwash facilities so I’ll make an analogy from that market once more. A 4 bay carwash with 8 interior panels would require 2,000 to 3,000 square feet of material, 8 to 10 five gallon buckets of adhesives, accessory pieces and about half a dozen tubes of sealant. So, for a 4 bay carwash, we will be looking at a $2,000 to $4,000 cost range, about $500 to $1,000 per bay, work that into your own project. This is of course, without labor, I’ll let you negotiate that yourself.
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