Rework

GUEST ARTICLE: The true cost of rework in UK and EU construction

  • 8 Jun 2023

A new study by industry-leading digital construction management software, PlanRadar, has discovered that building errors are taking a heavy toll on UK and EU construction, amounting to 11% of total project costs.

The report, which surveyed over 2,500 customers from across its UK and EU territories, found the number one reason for remedial work was ‘poor communication amongst teams and stakeholders’. This was the case for 12 of the 15 countries who took part in the survey, including the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Rework

Quality control was also a major cause (11 countries), as well as lack of organisation (8 countries). Interestingly, despite the UK’s significant issues with quality (40%), it was Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia that found it to be the biggest problem (57%). However, ‘poor quality materials’ appeared to cause the most problems for the UK, over any other country, leading to rectifications.

Rework

As well as causing projects costs to spiral, the need for rework was also shown to cause completion delays. Relationships between contractors and clients were also tested, causing reputational damage and poor customer satisfaction.

‘Boost profit margins’

Ibrahim Imam, PlanRadar’s Co-Founder and CEO, says: “In this era of market challenges, avoidable rework is costing companies millions each year. 11% is a significant amount, indicative of serious issues. Better quality control would significantly boost profit margins for contractors and developers alike.

“There’s a compelling case for digital platforms that can capture and record quality control measures to lift building accuracy, boost bottom lines and reduce material waste. With the right digital tools, rework can and should be avoided.”

In addition to the financial hit, the study found that rework brought about legal complications – such as claims for contract breaches. Ethical questions were also raised around the impact of wasted materials on the environment and communities. Preventable rework was also linked to poor morale and job frustration, which could impact the rate of construction and how teams interact.

Sander van de Rijdt, Co-Founder and CEO, comments: “We all agree that time is an essential factor in any business strategy. This is particularly evident in the construction industry, where rework is pervasive, with consequences not only from an economic point of view, but for the entire project and business as a whole.

“The challenge of eliminating rework is daunting, however the rapid evolution of construction technology is cause for optimism. This is not a moment to bury our heads in the sand but a time for innovation and positive change. I hope these figures are a wake-up call for everyone experiencing regular rework.”

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