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10 Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Money From Your Reinforcement Project

We've all seen in the last decade or so that the UK construction industry is constantly having to dig deeper and deeper in order to just stay afloat. 

Steel reinforcement isn't the smallest material cost in any build, so it's worth looking into ways to control your expenditure where possible.

Here are some basic tips for getting the most out of your money and time when organising steel reinforcement.

  1. Bending steel costs money. Every single bend adds extra cost to the project, so make sure that you are using the most efficient shape codes for your bending schedule. If there are ways to simplify things, investigate them.
  2. Additions and alterations cost money. Before submitting the schedules for bending double check schedules against your drawings, as any further work, or alterations, will increase costs.
  3. If you can, order all steel items in one single batch, from one supplier, to reduce transportation costs, and maintain site efficiency. All additional deliveries will cost money, and keeping everything organized on-site will save a lot of time locating materials.
  4. Where possible, order stock lengths of rebar. But weigh this up with any on-site labour costs associated to cutting steel. In fact, bespoke cutting and bending may end up being cheaper in the long run.
  5. Prefabricating steel cages for ground beams, reinforcement for raft slabs, diaphragm walls, columns, and so on, saves a lot of time and labour on-site, reducing your managerial burden. The constantly mounting cost of steel fixers fabricating steel reinforcement cages on site vastly outweighs the cost of having items prefabricated. Save yourself time, money, and stress by having them pre-assembled before delivery.
  6. If you have a large raft to lay, and limited labour on-site, consider carpet reinforcement. Learn more about this technology here. Suffice to say, studies have shown a decrease in reinforcement preparation of 80%, and a reduction in necessary on-site manpower of 60%. It clearly makes a lot of sense if you’re people-limited.
  7. You need to be 100% certain on the method and process of laying out steel reinforcement before you begin and, ideally, before the steel arrives on site. Poorly organized materials leads to unnecessary time delays. Experienced site managers know this, and will spend time working out the most effective process before anything arrives.
  8. Re-locating steel that’s been delivered on the other side of the site is a waste of time and labour. Speak with the all parties, including the delivery drivers, to ensure the most appropriate location is chosen for off-loading.
  9. Good steel fixers work quickly, and efficiently. But good steel fixers with cordless rebar tiers work even faster.
  10. It’s a cliché, but yes, the most important part of your project, even before materials and plans, are your employees. Keep your people happy and they will thank you by working faster, with fewer mistakes.

With some of these suggestions, you're going to see an increased initial cost, that won't be realised until after the project is complete.

One example is carpet reinforcement. Yes there is an initial cost to cover, but in having your steel assembled in this way means that you need fewer people laying and fixing the steel. In many cases you can get away with just one crane operator, and two groundworkers positioning the reinforcement.

Another example is using cordless rebar tying tools; the initial cost is high, but if you have 500m² of steel raft reinforcement to fix, the money you save will be visible within a day or so, as the process will be a lot faster.

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