The rising costs of building materials

The rising costs of building materials

The rising costs of building materials has had an understandable knock on effect to both home owners and businesses.  In this article, we take a look at the reasons surrounding the rise in building material costs and what we, as clients, can do about it in order to manage our improvement projects efficiently.  Costs of building materials are expected to continue to rise well into 2022.  In fact, prices have soared by a whopping 24.5% between October 2020 and 2021 and it doesn’t look as though this will change any time soon.

Here are some reasons for the rising costs of building materials

1.  Reduction in the numbers of HGV drivers

Due to Brexit rules now governing the UK, there was and continues to be a well documented lack of HGV drivers to transport building materials to their end user..  This exacerbated the shortages and disruptions in the supply chain, with increasing costs.

2.  High demand of building materials

When demand for building materials goes up, so does the cost.  Also, the demand for labour has increased to put more pressure on the supply chain. Both these situations have outstripped supply, which has put the costs of building materials up further.  Building companies have had to pass on some of their increases to their clients in order to maintain profitability, so it’s pretty obvious that if building material costs increase, the end cost will increase also.

3.  Covid-19 pandemic

The difficulties we’ve all seen in all labour markets due to restrictions and illness from the Covid-19 pandemic has seen an increase in demand which is outstripping the supply chain.  So, obviously, if there’s fewer people to actually do the work and keep the supply chain bouyant, their pricing structure will obviously increase.

4.  Brexit border rules

The full Brexit rules on imports were implemented in January 2022, and as a result, we’ll see more documentation requirements on imports.  This undoubtedly will have an effect of disrupting the supply chain further.

5.  Rising energy costs and inflation

Energy costs are expected to keep rising for the forseeable future, which means that the cost of productivity of building materials will rise also.  Also added into the mix is rising inflation, so therefore, it’s understandable that building material costs will continue to rise.

The effects of these issues on the costs of building materials and their supply chain means that longer lead times and more expensive raw materials and labour will continue.

The most affected products affected by the rising costs of building materials are:

Bricks and blockwork cement, timber and roof tiles have been in short supply and high demand for quite a while, but the recent shortages include concrete, steel, electrical components, insulation, kitchen carcassing, plumbing and sanitaryware, some plastics, screws and fixings, and shower enclosures.

Can you minimise and off-set the effects of rising costs of building materials?

If you’re planning on improving your home with an extension, cellar conversion or loft conversion in 2022, then we’d strongly recommend that you plan as far ahead as you can, taking into consideration that prices of building materials are anticipated to rise over the next 12 – 18 months, and try to build in a contingency plan for worst case scenarios that may arise.

We would also recommend that you work closely with your supply chain providers and builders.  They’ll be able to inform you of what shortages to expect on each material and the present lead times and when they’re anticipated to be delivered.

By planning ahead, you can communicate your requirements to your suppliers, distributors and builders early, which means that you may be able to lock in prices with them, or at least order your materials in advance, thus allowing for any  supply chain disruption that may occur further down the line.

We are Cotswold Contractors Ltd – a family run construction firm with a reputation for top quality work in the industry and local community. Whatever your commercial or domestic construction needs in Gloucestershire, give us a call today 01453 453990 or take a look at our website www.cotswold-contractorsltd.co.uk