LAPD architects lorry delivery

Self builders and SME housebuilders both need to be aware of potential shortages and interruptions to construction materials, which could have a knock-on effect on building schedules.

The latest issue with the Evergreen supertanker has added a new level to the complex picture of materials supply, which had already been impacted by Covid19 and Brexit delays.

While 75% of building materials are made in the UK, certain elements, such as plumbing and bathroom equipment, screws and machinery comes from across the world, with shipping prices rising. 12% of all global trade passes through the Suez canal.

Construction has remained resilient throughout the crises, but the combined wider forces are limiting access to materials, which impacts both supply chains and material prices.

While larger builders are able to absorb these shocks, many commentators acknowledge that it is the smaller builders and self builders who are most susceptible to their impact.

In January, the Builders Merchants Federation reported that timber prices had risen by 20%, with its members experiencing 9% year-on-year growth in demand at the end of 2020.

Products that are affected include: timber, concrete roof tiles, plaster, PIR board and paint, with roofing contractors reporting significant impact on their activity.

“We are seeing price increases across the board, specifically in products categories in high demand like timber and roofing materials and imported products. We anticipate the level of prices increases this year to average out at between 5-10%,” said John Newcomb, CEO of the BMF.

Image: LAPD Architects

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