Building materials supplier, Travis Perkins, has warned of price increases to the cost of building materials as a result of supply chain problems with several products. As a result of factors including high demand, Brexit and even the weather, the costs of building supplies are rising. Depending on the product, increased costs will vary from an extra 10% to as much as 50%.
Travis Perkins is the UK’s largest builders’ merchant and was demerged from DIY store Wickes in April 2021. The company now focuses on the distribution of building materials to large contractors and house builders, its plumbing and heating division, and the expansion of its Toolstation business, through which the company supplies goods to small-scale tradespeople.
The increasing cost of raw materials, as well as problems in the supply chain of electrical components, timber products and steel, threaten to result in an industry-wide shortage that will increased prices for building materials.
Demand has not come from house building and big infrastructure projects alone – surging demand has also come from homeowners making home improvements throughout the pandemic and particularly since the Covid lockdown restrictions have eased.
In addition, some unusual fluctuations in worldwide weather have been responsible for variations in the supplies of timber products supplied from Scandinavia as well as chemicals and plastics from the USA.
Shipping costs have also risen drastically through the pandemic.
The Federation of Master Builders has warned that supply problems may lead to building contractors finding it necessary to postpone building projects and has said that some builders may even be forced out of business. Those who have been most badly affected are small builders. The Federation says the biggest rise in costs is likely to be on timber, which is set to rise 50%, and the cost of cement is likely to go up by 30%.
The Office for National Statistics has already estimated that the average cost of materials will rise by 7% to 8% in 2021.
If you’re planning a DIY or building project this year, make sure you have the materials you need to complete your project before you begin.