The effects of rising costs of building materials has had a knock on effect to home owners and businesses alike.  We look at the reasons why costs have risen and what we can do about it to manage the cost of our improvement projects.  Prices of building materials are set to continue to rise well into 2022.  In fact, prices soared by 24.5% between October 2020 and 2021, with costs rising every month.

There are many reasons for the rising costs of building materials

1.  Lack of HGV drivers

Due to new Brexit rules governing the UK, there has been a well documented lack of HGV drivers to transport building materials to their destinations.  This exacerbated the shortages and disruptions in the supply chain, with consequent lack of supply.

2.  High demand of materials

When demand for product increases, so does the cost.  Equally, the demand on labour has increased as demand has outstripped supply, which  has put even more pressure on costs.  Building companies have to pass on some of the increase in costs to their customers in order to maintain a profit, so it stands to reason that if material costs increase, the end cost will increase.

3.  Covid-19

The difficulties we’ve all seen in the labour market due to illness from the Covid-19 pandemic has seen demand outstripping the supply chain.  So, if there’s less people to actually do the work, their pricing structure will naturally increase.

4.  Brexit uncertainty

Now that the full Brexit rules on imports have come into effect on January 2022, we will see more documentation requirements on imports.  This will have the knock on effect of disrupting the supply chain further.

5.  Rising energy costs

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 high octane mix is rising inflation, so it’s understandable that building material costs will increase.

The effects of these issues on the costs and supply chain mean longer lead times and more expensive raw materials and labour.

The main materials that are affected by these market forces are:

Roof tiles, bricks and blockwork, cement and timber.  These have been in short supply for quite a while, but recent shortages include steel, concrete, insulation, electrical components, kitchen carcassing, sanitaryware, plumbing, plastics, screws and fixings, and shower enclosures.

What can you do to minimise the effects of rising costs of building materials?

If you’re planning on improving your home with an extension, cellar conversion or loft conversion, then we strongly suggest that you plan as far ahead as possible.  Take into consideration that costs of building materials will rise over the next 12 months or so, and try to build in a contingency plan for the worst case scenario.

We would also suggest that you liaise closely with your supply chain providers.  They’ll be able to inform you of what shortages to expect on each material and the current lead times of when they’re expected 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 CellarTech – Providers of Basement & Cellar conversions – supplied & built, We also undertake new build basements, underpinning, surveys, general building and home extensions.  Based in the South West, we service clients in and around the Gloucestershire region.  If you have any queries or need more advice on how to manage the rising costs of building materials, take a look at our website or give us a call on 01452 619 871 – we’d be happy to help!