Site-Made Pipe Boxing - Why Waste Time and Money?

Site-Made Pipe Boxing - Why Waste Time and Money?

There’s an old expression that says “Just because it has always been done this way it doesn’t mean it's right.” Clearly, this statement can be applied to many things, but when it comes to boxing in pipes, it’s surprising how often pipe boxing is still fabricated on-site rather than use a pre-formed pipe casing solution.

The UK market for pipe boxing is a multi-million pound industry, but it has been estimated that around three quarters of that is made up of joiners, carpenters, builders and plumbing and heating engineers, who still box in pipes by making it on-site from pieces of plywood or MDF, held together with nails, screws or adhesive.

Inevitably, this must beg the question: why?

In the UK, pre-formed pipe boxings have been available for more than 20 years. Many local authorities have seen the benefits in terms of speed and cost savings that can be achieved by using pre-formed casings rather than numerous trades-people knocking together pipe boxing from bits of wood and nails.

In addition, there’s an increasing body of contractors and other construction trades using pre-made casings, yet it seems the majority aren’t fully aware of the time and money that is wasted by making pipe boxing on-site.

Labour rates in the UK construction industry are increasing, which places an additional burden on contractors and builders to maintain competitiveness and maximise margins that are under pressure. Optimising the time that skilled trades are on-site has to be a key factor in delivering a project on-time and on-budget.

However, where pipe boxings are required to conceal runs of pipe work in buildings, it’s often thrown in as part of the carpentry or joinery package, as they’re already on-site. The main drawback with this approach is that making boxing on-site takes twice as long as fitting a piece of pre-formed pipe boxing.

This, in turn, means that the labour cost is doubled and the time spent by skilled trades people making the boxing could probably have been better spent elsewhere on the project. Also, the quality of finish is likely to be inconsistent from room-to-room or project-to-project as different people fabricate and fit the boxing.

To add insult to injury, not only has this effectively reduced the margin the contractor or builder has made on the job, but they now need to paint the casing, so that it matches the rest of the building’s décor. This only wastes more time and resources as n-case Riva and Versa pre-formed pipe boxings are pre-finished, so there’s no painting required either.

In addition, the cost of n-case pipe boxing is extremely competitive and a wide range of standard sizes can be ordered from stock for next day delivery to site, making it even easier.

It’s possible of course, that there will always be those that can’t see the real benefits or will resist change for one reason or another, but those who are seeking to reduce time on site, save money and improve the finish, Encasement is there to help.

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Encasement Ltd manufactures the n-case range of preformed pipe boxing, pipe casings, pipe protection, column casings and wall protection systems. Encasement's products have been used in countless applications from high-volume social housing...
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