Hi Lads and lassies,

I have been asked to quote to fabricate a three sided panel type box in GFRC to cover block pillars on the out side of a newly built house 8 feet height there is 5 of them a total area of about 177 sq feet half inch thickness Could any body give me an idea of what people are charging presently per sq foot for this type of application I was thinking about 50 euro a sq foot I cant imagine making it work for less then that.

Darby 

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Darby, I think you'd be selling yourself short at 50 euro. For panels that's fine. But for three dimensional form work the cost must go up.

The euro has dropped significantly lately so I don't want to rely on a conversion calculator and my limited knowledge of world currencies. So I'll refer to US  dollars.

You also have to consider the market you are in and what it will bear.

In the Seattle area concrete counters should be around $100 sf. Oversized pieces, radius shapes, textures, etc. will raise costs.

Three dimensional pieces, like fireplace surrounds or column wraps, go up according to difficulty and design.

Years ago we did a large fireplace surround for a builder's personal home. He was a great client that sent us lots of work back then. He jumped at the cost of $12,560 which was at least $6-7K short of market value. That put his project in the $80 sf range I believe. Install costs were additional.

I'll attach a picture. As a point of reference, I believe the upper columns were about 9' tall, 30" wide, 10" return.

Today we would charge more even for a good client like that. 

Consider your time, materials, and make sure you account for profit. We are not in business to work for wages. Also account for value. There are still relatively few in the market that do what we do. There are even fewer that are doing it really  well.

How "finished" do these need to be? Can you do a quick spray job that's a little rough and skip the slurry? Or do these need to be highly refined? Are they being sealed? What sealer?

Take everything into consideration.

I would say $55 to $80. Do you need to sand and seal them?

That is so true that charge what the market allows.  In my area I wouldn't get a job like this over $30 a square foot.  That is why I'm not doing this.  I had a regular contractor that I did a bunch of stamped concrete for.  He wanted an outdoor kitchen so I did the walls and tops.  Gave him a bill and I never get another project for him.  Everyone says concrete should be cheap.  Mennonites are Jews.  They want a good product but don't want to pay.  

A friend of mine started doing exposed aggregate concrete for $1 a foot more than broom finish 16 years ago.  To this days that is all that people will pay extra for exposed.

I would like to thank every one for their help I am sorry that I tool so long to get back but unfortunately we had a death in our family and so to say the least I was distracted for a few weeks thanks again

Darby

I think Vince's comment "Consider your time, materials, and make sure you account for profit" is spot on. On the profit front you may want to factor in how efficient you are at this type of work. Given that you are asking, it sounds like you don't have a lot experience doing that type of work. If that's the case, maybe you take a hit on profit as it will take you longer but you gain some new skills that will allow you to be more efficient with this type of work. On the other hand, if you are keeping busy with other work, then you may to ensure your profit per hour for this job is the same as it for your other work.

Gidday,

  Jim

Vince,

Can you comment on how you attached the panels to the walls? Thanks.

Gidday,

  Jim

Morning

Relative cost is always an issue, the comment above encapsulates many client's perceptions on concrete, here in South Africa you can get a 40Mpa ready-mix for less than R1500/cubic meter ( i will not imperialise not Dollerise, still too early here and the brain is still asleep). My GFRC mix costs me upwards of R6000/cubic meter. Four times the price. 

In saying this it is seldom the material cost that makes our work pricey, it is our time, experience, knowledge etc that makes the difference. 

My wife has a similar problem, she does some of the most amazing crochet work, a project will take her 3 days, the wool cost say R250 and some people complain at selling it for R1000, she just asks the question "Would you work for less than R250/day?"

I work my costing differently to most guys here, add u all my costs, then work out roughly how long it will take and then apply a daily fee to cover my overheads and profit. May not be perfect but seems to work.

Regarding fixing panels, i generally cast my panels at 15mm thick using s version of a RPC mix, they thin enough to be light weight and i use fast set wall tile adhesive for most projects. You could use quick set epoxies (expensive) of high strength high tack silicones.

Pete



Jim Spallin said:

Vince,

Can you comment on how you attached the panels to the walls? Thanks.

Gidday,

  Jim



Jim Spallin said:

I think Vince's comment "Consider your time, materials, and make sure you account for profit" is spot on. On the profit front you may want to factor in how efficient you are at this type of work. Given that you are asking, it sounds like you don't have a lot experience doing that type of work. If that's the case, maybe you take a hit on profit as it will take you longer but you gain some new skills that will allow you to be more efficient with this type of work. On the other hand, if you are keeping busy with other work, then you may to ensure your profit per hour for this job is the same as it for your other work.

Gidday,

  Jim

Thanks Jim for your reply I have decent enough experience with GFRC my problem is that this market I am in is just emerging so I must be careful and I suppose be responsible to the Industry in that I would like to keep the prices decent for people who will come after me in this industry 

Hi Jim and Darby,

Sorry for the delay. I've been busy and I forgot to respond.

There are different fasteners or brackets that you can cast right into panels or pieces.

On this project we just  used some long, thin metal straps from the framing department at the local hardware store. They were laid into the backcoat with lots of length left hanging out. We screwed off to the framing wherever needed and snipped off the excess strap. 

This project was a real pain. The fireplace had originally been framed for stone work. The owner resisted our request to tear out the framing right at the start. We instead cast the pieces to fit around the framing. Quite a bit had to be cut out along the way anyway. 

If you can stack larger pieces where they sit like boxes, instead of just on the thickness of the edge, you  can cast in holes to bolt the pieces together. I like to cast in t-nuts for fasteners when it makes sense.

Depending on the clearance above something, I love to cast in French cleats. You need at least a little clearance above finished height because the concrete piece must slide down onto the cleat. Gravity is often sufficient to hold things in place. But adhesive is always cheap insurance. This has been very successful for everything from wall panels to fireplace mantels.

For Darby's project straps would be easy and work well. Two at the bottom sides. Two at the top side. The fourth panel/side hopefully can be secured at the top and bottom as all the other sides will be installed/covered. I'd still use a few spots of adhesive. 

It comes down to what you have to work with. We often just have to get creative.

Hope that helps,

Vince

Jim Spallin said:

Vince,

Can you comment on how you attached the panels to the walls? Thanks.

Gidday,

  Jim

Thanks Vince.

Gidday,

  Jim

Sounds good Darby!

Please note - regarding my "experience" comment. I wasn't suggesting a lack of experience in GFRC in general but more specifically to the unique issues associated with the type of box you described. Sounds like a fair bit of planning could be required with regards to mounting options and installation could come with its own unique set of challenges. Hope you get the contract and appreciate the desire to preserve a market price.

Gidday,

  Jim



Darby Crowley said:



Jim Spallin said:

I think Vince's comment "Consider your time, materials, and make sure you account for profit" is spot on. On the profit front you may want to factor in how efficient you are at this type of work. Given that you are asking, it sounds like you don't have a lot experience doing that type of work. If that's the case, maybe you take a hit on profit as it will take you longer but you gain some new skills that will allow you to be more efficient with this type of work. On the other hand, if you are keeping busy with other work, then you may to ensure your profit per hour for this job is the same as it for your other work.

Gidday,

  Jim

Thanks Jim for your reply I have decent enough experience with GFRC my problem is that this market I am in is just emerging so I must be careful and I suppose be responsible to the Industry in that I would like to keep the prices decent for people who will come after me in this industry 

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