How Much Does Architectural Mesh Cost?
Architectural mesh provides a unique aesthetic that is modern yet industrious, which no other material can provide. The level of customization that it provides is exactly what architectural designers need to implement their vision.
That said, with several mesh options available, we’re sure you are curious as to the price ranges associated with the different weave types.
Here at W.S. Tyler, we are committed to providing you with the knowledge needed to ensure your architectural design process utilizes the best materials while staying within budget.
In this article, we will cover the cost of each weave type available, what’s included in the cost, the factors that dictate the cost, how the cost can be reduced, and how wire mesh cost compares to perforated plate.
What Weave Types Are Available?
When it comes to architectural mesh, there are four weave types that can be applied. These types are wire mesh, cable mesh, fine mesh, and specialty mesh.
The following reflects the price range of each type:
1. Wire Mesh
Architectural wire mesh is simply a group of wires woven together to form a mesh blanket that is interlocked together. The thickness range of these wires is 2mm to 6mm on average and are woven on a specialized weaving loom.
Architectural wire mesh provides architectural designers with a tremendous amount of customization value. With wire mesh, you can change the opening size of the mesh a lot easier, wire diameter in both the weft and warp direction can be customized, flat wire can be used.
The approximate cost of wire mesh is $20-25 per square foot.
2. Cable Mesh
Cable mesh is, for the most part, similar to wire mesh in the fact that materials are woven on a weaving loom. The major difference is that the wires that run vertically, known as the warp wires, are actually cables.
when it comes to using cable mesh, the main advantage over traditional wire mesh is its flexibility. To put this into perspective, let’s say you want to incorporate a facade that requires a lot of bends and curves.
To accommodate this aesthetic, you would more than likely be limited to cable mesh, as you risk damaging the rigid wires used in a traditional wire mesh facade.
The approximate cost of cable mesh is $30-35 per square foot.
3. Fine Mesh
Fine mesh weaves are easily identifiable as they employ wires that are vastly finner than a standard wire mesh weave. Its cloth-like characteristics provide a unique aesthetic that are unlike any other solution.
That said, this particular type of mesh is typically used for interior applications, such as wall coverings and elevator cabs. This is because the fine wires are very delicate and may be damaged when exposed to natural elements like gale winds as well as hail.
The approximate cost of fine mesh is $15 per square foot.
4. Specialty Mesh
Specialty mesh is best defined as mesh that has an ornate pattern and possibly utilizes the look of several different wire types. While these mesh weaves provide a one-of-a-kind aesthetic, there are size limitations associated with it.
Typically, Specialty mesh is used for very specific applications and is seldomly used on an entire facade system. With that, the price for these weave types are on a project to project basis, as the weaving process is a lot more intricate than any other weave type.
What’s Included in The Cost?
No matter which material you choose for your project, you will be provided all the material and metrics needed to get the job. When purchasing mesh, the price includes:
- The Mesh
- Standard Mounting
- Standard Hardware
- Structural calculations
- Shop Drawings
- Engineering services
- On-Site Delivery
What the price does not include is the substructure that attaches the mounting to the building or the installation. Both the substructure and installation are handled by a miscellaneous metals contractor, subcontractor, or general contractor of your choosing.
It should be noted that the structural calculations that we provide are based on the worst-case scenario. This provides the structural engineers of the architectural firm or contractor the information they need to design a substructure that is strong enough to withstand all potential loads that will be subjected to the building and material.
What Determines The Cost?
When it comes to the overall cost of mesh material used for a project, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration. These factors include quantity, dimensions, and fabrication.
So, for example, the smaller the quantity of mesh needed for a project, the higher the cost per square foot. On the other hand, the higher the quantity of mesh needed for a project, the lower the cost per square foot.
In other words, mass production allows for a more cost-efficient project.
Now, if pricing was originally based on an initial set of drawings and the needs of these drawings change anywhere in the buying process, the price per square foot is subject to change. If the right information is sent at the beginning of the process, the price that is quoted is what you should expect to pay.
With that, you should also be aware that Warehousing fees are separate from the mesh cost and are applied in situations in which a project was finished or ready in time yet the mesh was ready for delivery based on the time frame that was initially discussed.
As architectural mesh is strictly for decorative purposes and provides no structural benefits, designers often look for ways to make mesh implementation cheaper so they can reallocate funds towards structure stability.
This is where valued engineering comes into play.
Valued engineering refers to the process in which architectural designers begin eliminating certain elements of a structure to make the overall project more budget-friendly. While omitting architectural mesh all together seems like an obvious remedy to funding issues, designers must take the fact the architectural mesh does provide weather protection, fall protection, and security into consideration.
Luckily, architectural wire mesh is extremely customizable and can be manipulated to fit almost any budget. The wire diameter and mesh openings can be made larger or smaller while also maintaining the aesthetic vision and price point of the designer.
Take our Dogla-Trio 1033 mesh weave for example. This particular weave typically carries a price range of $22-25 per square foot.
When applied to a project where the architect and building owner liked the way the lights of the building reflected off a wire mesh facade at night, there were some hesitations as they felt the project was becoming expensive. To make it more cost-effective, the mesh was manipulated in a way in which the facade was denser at the bottom with mesh openings being expanded at the top of the facade.
This modification proved very beneficial as not only did it reduce the cost by using less stainless steel, the less dense mesh at the top allowed visitors to see outside the windows of the building’s ballroom with little interference from the facade.
This level of customization is what will allow an architect’s vision to become a reality.
How Does Architectural Mesh Cost Compare To Perforated Plate?
Perforated plate is a very popular alternative to Architectural Mesh, as it is seen as an inexpensive material. However, when you factor in the overall cost of the final product, perforated plate typically ends up being more expensive as it is a panelized system.
With a perforated plate facade, there has to be substructural support at the top and bottom of each perforated panel. Each of the panels must also be fabricated.
Architectural wire mesh, on the other hand, only requires a single panel to be fabricated and installed with the only substructure that is required is located at the top and the bottom of the panel.
To put it simply, a wire mesh system is far more cost-effective and efficient than perforated plate when looking at the overall cost, not just the cost of the material.
Step Into the World of Architectural Mesh
If you are interested in applying architectural mesh to your projects, you have the option to select wire mesh, cable mesh, fine mesh, or especially mesh. Each weave type provides it’s on benefits to the architectural design process.
Naturally, they also have their own price range that is dictated by quantity, dimensions, and fabrication the project calls for.
Regardless of the weave type or price of your mesh configuration, you can expect to receive the mesh, standard Mounting, standard Hardware, structural calculations, shop Drawings, engineering services, and on-site delivery. That said, the substructure as well as the installation are not included in the cost.
As architectural mesh is mainly for decorative purposes, there are instances in which architects must cut back to stay within budget. To accommodate this, the mesh openings and wire diameter can be manipulated in a way in which the project uses less material, thus reducing the cost.
Now, it is a common belief that perforated plate is a cheaper alternative to architectural mesh because there is a significant difference in material cost. However, when fabrication and installation costs are taken into consideration this is not the case.
W.S. Tyler has worked in the world of architectural mesh for over 20 years and is here to provide insight into what materials will work best for your particle project.
To learn more about architectural mesh and the benefits that it can bring to your architectural design process, take a look at our Architectural Wire Mesh product guide.
About Ronnie Brown
Ronnie is the Content Writer for W.S. Tyler and has four years of experience as a professional writer. He strives to expand his knowledge on all things particle analysis and woven wire mesh to leverage his exceptional writing and graphic design skills, creating a one-of-a-kind experience for customers.