The material wastage is the major problem in construction that affects the project cost significantly. Some material wastages like bricks that could be reusable for brick bat coba, and some can’t be reused again in construction.

brick bats

However, we can not completely stop the wastages from happening while working, but we can control it. Every quantity surveyor will add some permissible wastages while estimating materials to know the construction cost. 

But it does not mean that we could waste up to those allowable limits. These wastages are not only added for workmanship but also for environmental factors.

group of construction workers

The construction works are measured as per the IS code 1200, but the allowable percentage of wastages has not explained anywhere. There are no IS codes for estimating the wastages. 

The allowable wastages for major construction materials have been listed below for estimation as per practical experience. 

Wastage Permissible Limit of Construction Materials


Allowable Wastage

Possibilities of wastage

Cement 2% to 3.5% Due to the fineness of cement, it may fly away by air when cement mixes with the other ingredients.
Sand 8% to 12% The sand is sieved for plastering work and other finishing works. So some coarser sand will be neglected while sieving and some particles are dropped off during transportation.
Coarse Aggregates 5% to 8% During transportation, the coarse aggregates pieces may drop off.
Reinforcement Steel 3.5% to 5% The steel wastages happen while cutting and bending steel for reinforcement, but we can utilize those steel wastages. When the steel length is below 1m, then it is considered as wastage.
Structural Steel 10% to 15% The structural wastages happen when cutting and bending the steel plate or sections at fabrication.
Bricks 2% to 3% Some bricks may break during transportation. It also purposefully divided into two pieces for ease of work.
Filling Soil 3% to 5% The soil particles may fly away during transportation and filling.
Tile 2% Tile wastages happen rarely. Tiles may be broken while transportation and also may break while working.
Granite 8% to 15% The granite may be broken while transportation and may break while working.
Paint 2% to 3% The paint may fall off while applying on the wall, but proper work manners can control it.
Wood 5% The wood piece is carved for a smooth surface finish and fixed out correctly on doors or windows.
Shuttering Board 5% to 8% The shuttering boards are cut and carved at the proper shape to pour the concrete. It could be controllable. 
Concrete 1% to 5% The concrete wastage happens while pouring on the shuttering area, but well work manners may control it.
Mortar 1% to 2% The mortar may fall off while applying on the wall, and the wastage mortar should be cleaned after completion work else it may harden, and we have to chisel out to remove the mortar.

Happy Learning 🙂


Bala is a Planning Engineer & he is the author and editor of Civil Planets.


  1. susanta dasgupta Reply

    Dear Sir,
    Firstly thanks for shareing your valuable construction guideline. Now I need some code / spec referance to establish your guideline for Steel length less than 1mtr. considered as wastage.

  2. Good information. Could you pls share the allowable wastage in Toughened Glass works.

  3. Rajendra Gurjar Reply

    Good information. I feel that the wastage is not a fix criterion, it may differ as per the project type, location, pressure of the project, etc.

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