Architectural projects hit by supply shortages and rising prices

Man laying the courtyard

Man laying the courtyard

Building materials are scarce in the UK, DIY projects remain questionable, and construction companies are under pressure.

Construction Leadership Council Warned Its cement, some electrical components, wood, steel and paint are all in short supply.

It blamed “unprecedented levels of demand” set to continue.

The Federation of Master Builders said some construction companies may have to postpone the project and others may be forced to shut down as a result.

“Small local builders have been hit hardest by shortages of materials and rising prices,” said Brian Berry, CEO.

“Without materials, we cannot pave the way for a recovery from a pandemic.”

Roland Glancy, managing director of design service PeekHome, advised people to postpone their home renovation project until fall.

“The last thing you want is to break through the walls, struggle to get a plaster bag and complete your vision, and let you live on the construction site when we should enjoy new freedom. That’s it, “he said.

Price increase

Supply problems come from many factors. Projects in the construction industry have skyrocketed since the blockade began to ease, and demand for materials that are already in short supply is skyrocketing.

There are also issues that can hit certain products, such as the warm winters that affect wood production in Scandinavia and the cold winter weather in Texas that affect the production of chemicals, plastics and polymers.



Noble Francis, economic director of the Construction Products Association, said transportation costs have also risen sharply.

“Transport costs have skyrocketed due to a shortage of empty containers due to Covid-19-related issues and a sharp recovery in global demand,” he told the BBC.

For example, the cost of shipping a 40-foot container from Asia to Northern Europe has skyrocketed from $ 1,500 (£ 1,061) in the summer of 2020 to over $ 8,300 (£ 5,873) by May 2021.

Due to growing global demand and the UK importing much of its raw materials, order lead times are increasing while prices are rising.

The National Bureau of Statistics predicts a 7-8% rise in material prices, and the rise in certain materials, such as wood, is expected to more than double throughout the year.

“My members are experiencing price increases of 10-15% across the board, rising to 50% for wood and 30% for cement,” says Berry.

Amy Archer, Swift Group

Amy Archer says her company has never experienced such a serious shortage

“Unprecedented demand”

Amy Archer, vice president of Swift Group, which manufactures caravans, campers and villas, said:

She said there were two problems: “Initially there is a shortage of materials and there is a delay we saw through the port due to a shortage of shipping containers.”

The second is the rise in prices. “The demand for goods is so great that the prices of goods are rising.”

She said the rapid growth in the country was not very helpful. “Many people are renovating their homes, such as new kitchens, which are all running out of available materials.”


Chris Husband of Bayram Timber states that timber prices are rising rapidly.

“This is truly unprecedented,” said Chris Husband, commercial director of timber supplier Byram Timber. “The huge amount of wood currently required is struggling to catch up with Scandinavia, which sources most of the raw materials.”

His company is competing with other companies around the world for timber and “has to wait in line,” he said. “It also has a significant inflationary effect on raw material prices and obviously lead times.”

Does the current situation stay here? “It’s almost certain that this will be with us for the rest of the year,” he said.

Brexit effect

Thomas Goodman, a construction expert at MyJobQuote, says Brexit is also affecting UK timber supply, as 80% of conifers come from Europe.

Steel is also in short supply as global demand exceeds supply. “Many steelmakers have stopped accepting orders because they are worried that the hoarding will be extremely low in stock,” he said.

According to Francis, shipping issues are likely to subside in the next three to six months, but global demand is likely to remain high for the next six to nine months.

Berry points out that unlike large companies, small builders can’t stockpile or plan jobs much in advance, so they need to get materials to the merchants when they need them. Did.

“Consumers must be aware that shortages are causing project delays, and that this pressure can change costs in the coming months,” he said.

“We will continue to work closely with our suppliers and partners to ensure a healthy inventory for our customers when global raw material demand and inflationary pressures create some challenges,” said building materials supplier Travis Perkins. Stated.

However, due to the high material prices so far, many homeowners and builders choose to postpone work until the resources they need are more affordable.

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