The rising costs of building materials have had an understandable effect on both Government, businesses and homeowners alike.  In this article, we take a look at the protagonists surrounding the rise in costs of building material and what we, as clients, can do about it in order to manage our building projects efficiently.  The rising costs of building materials are expected to continue well into 2022 – in fact, prices have soared by a whopping 24.5% in the last quarter of 2021, which is difficult to contain.

Some reasons for the rising costs of building materials are

1.  High demand of building materials

When demand for building materials goes up, as does the cost.  Equally, the demand for labour has increased to put more strain on the supply chain. Both of these situations are outstripping supply, which in turn contributes to the rising costs of building material.  Building and Construction companies, understandable have to pass on some of these increases to their clients so as to maintain profitability, so it’s pretty clear that if building material costs increase, the end cost will increase also.

1.  Reduction in the numbers of experienced HGV drivers

New Brexit rules now governing the UK means that there was and continues to be a well-documented lack of experienced HGV drivers to transport building materials to their end users..  This has exacerbated the shortfalls and disruptions in the supply chain, with increasing costs.

2.  Brexit border rules

The full Brexit rules on imports were implemented in January 2022, and as a result, we’re seeing more documentation requirements on imports.  So, if components are entering the UK from Europe, this will have an effect of disrupting the supply chain further.

3.  Covid-19 pandemic

The difficulties we’ve all seen in all labour markets due to restrictions and illness from the Covid-19 pandemic over the last 2 years, has seen an increase in demand outstripping the supply chain.  So,  if there’s fewer people to actually do the work and keep the supply chain strong, their pricing structure will obviously increase.

4.  Rising energy costs and inflation

Energy costs and inflation are expected to keep rising for immediate future, meaning that the cost of productivity of building materials will rise also.  Add into the mix the rise in inflation, it’s understandable that building material costs will continue to rise.

The effects of these issues on the costs of building materials and the supply chain we can expect longer lead times, more expensive raw materials and labour.

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

Blockwork and cement, timber and roof tiles have all been in short supply and high demand over the last 2 years, and these were joined by recent shortages of concrete, steel, electrical components, insulation, plumbing components, kitchen units, sanitaryware, some plastics, screws and fixings, and shower enclosures.

How can you off-set the effects of rising costs of building materials?

If you’re planning a home improvement project –  an extension, cellar conversion or perhaps a loft conversion in 2022, then we’d recommend you plan as far ahead as you can, and take into consideration that building materials price rises will continue over the next 12 – 18 months, so try to build in some contingency plans for worst-case scenarios that may arise.

We would also suggest that you work very closely with your supply chain providers, builders and architects, who will be able to keep you informed on product shortages to expect and the current lead times.

Communication is key here and by keeping in constant contact with your project team, you’ll be able to keep ahead of the game with your suppliers, distributors and builders.  This may mean that you could possible secure some prices at current levels with them, or at the very least,  order your materials in advance in order to allow for any  supply chain disruption that may occur further down the line.

We are MP Groundworks –  one of the leading construction companies in the Gloucestershire area with a reputation within the industry and local community for excellent professional workmanship and first class personal service.  If you’d like to know more about what we do and how we can help take a look at our website or give us a call on 01452 380 887.