Xbox1 - CoOp - What exactly does the circular build status mean?

I see no visual change in the structures i’m building past 4 whacks of the fancy metal hammer. Takes 6 whacks to complete that onscreen status circle. What exactly does those last 2 whacks give you?
Lately i’ve been getting more building done with less hammers getting eaten by NOT whacking my builds those last 2 times. I have seen no ill effect from this yet. What kind of disaster awaits me in the future…? hehe

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I do the same thing with my builds, only going to 4 hits on stick buildings and 8 hits on everything else.
As far is i’ve seen, there’s no danger of environmental damage to the builds so i’m not worried about leaving the build progress circle partly unfilled.
And yes, it saves some durability of the hammers so that’s a bonus.
The only thing to worry about is if you accidentally hit the build piece and damage it a bit, but the build progress on the bar is enough that a single hit doesn’t completely destroy the section and can be repaired with the hammer.