Jul 12

How much does aluminium cladding cost?

A very good question!  A question that our sales team here at Bailey get asked probably more than once every day.   

However, it’s not a very easy question to answer on face value, and similar to asking “how much does a car cost?”  If I were to ask you that question, you’ll immediately start asking me questions back like ‘what type of car?’, ‘what model?’, ‘what spec?’ and so on.

Also, in the way that a certain model of car can start at £10k, once you’ve added on all the different features and accessories, it can easily cost you in excess of £25k, rainscreen cladding is similar.

So in this article, I hope to share with you the principles of how our prices are built up, and at the end, I’ll share an indication of square metre price ranges. 

These are obviously indicative prices, if you want some project-specific prices, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our sales team here.

Rainscreen cladding systems

The main elements that go into building up a price for aluminium rainscreen panels are:

  • Raw material cost
  • Number of folds required
  • Panel size
  • Wastage
  • Repetition
  • Geometry
  • Finish

Raw Material Cost

The grade of aluminium used will largely be driven by the finish. Simply put, if you have an anodised finish, you require a better grade of aluminium than if you were having a Polyester Powder Coated (PPC) finish.

When working on an aluminium rainscreen that will be powder coated, we would generally use 1050 Grade aluminium, whereas if it will be anodised, we will use J57-UP or 55HX grade which is quite a bit more expensive.

The raw material cost itself will fluctuate on a daily basis, largely driven by market demand and trading prices from the London Metal Exchange.  Trade tariffs and import/export duties will also have an effect on aluminium prices.

Number of folds required

Simply put, the more folds required, the more it will cost.  The cost of a fold is relatively minor, but a complicated profiled panel is obviously going to cost more than a flat sheet of aluminium face fixed to the building as it will take very little processing time in the factory.

Panel Size

Large areas of large format panels will be cheaper than large areas of small format panels.

If you think about it, there is less processing time per square metre on a large panel.  One panel could cover say 4 square metres, whereas if you have small panels, you will need to produce say 5 of them to cover the same area. 

Wastage

Raw aluminium sheets are readily available in standard sizes.   Some of these widths are 625, 750, 1000, 1250 and 1500mm.  If you have a panel that the overall girth is 760mm, you will be forced to use a 1000mm sheet, resulting in 26% wastage that you will be paying for.  If you can engineer the panel to trim away 10mm, so it is exactly 750mm, or make it larger so it is near 1000mm girth you will reduce the wastage immediately.

Repetition

Repetition and volume drive down costs!  The more aluminium panels that are literally identical, the lower your price.

Where there are very small batches, or if the building has been poorly designed so that every panel is different, the processing time through a factory is very slow, and therefore the price will be higher.

Geometry

If your aluminium rainscreen is flat and all on the same plane, great, nice and easy.  If they are curved, however, then the costs start to creep up.

Fully curved is your most expensive option.

If the radius is large enough then you may get away with faceting them.  This means lots of straight sections creating the curve (think 50 pence piece).  The larger the radius the less you will notice it.  Any radius over about 30m you will hardly notice it at all. 

Finish

One of the biggest drivers affecting the cost is the finish. See the list below of the most used aluminium rainscreen finishes, in ascending order of price:

  • Mill finish aluminium (no coating)
  • Standard Polyester Powder Coated (PPC) (over 200 RAL colours available)
  • Metallic PPC
  • Anodic PPC
  • Bespoke Colour PPC
  • Natural Silver Anodised (also referred to as ‘Natural Anodising’, ‘Satin Anodising’)
  • Bronze/Anolok Anodised
  • Gold Anodised
  • Dye Colour Anodised (blue, green, red etc)
  • Blue Grey Anodised

So, in answer to your question ‘How much does aluminium cladding cost?’, our answer is: It depends!

However, I promised to help you out, so here are some guideline prices below:

Natural Silver Anodised:    £100-130/sqm

Anodic PPC finish:                            £50-90/sqm

Bronze Anodised finish:                  £120-200/sqm

Large format panels PPC:             £50-90/sqm

Small format panels PPC:              £65-140/sqm

Fully curved PPC:                             £180-300/sqm

I trust this article has helped you to increase your knowledge in what goes into producing an aluminium rainscreen panel.  Please reach out to one of our team to discuss your project here.

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