Members of the Federation of Master Builders have reported shortages of a variety of building materials, with some – notably bricks, windows and roof tiles – having lead times of up to and including a year.
However, builders merchants trade association the Builders Merchants Federation, says it is “not aware” of such long lead times for any product.
The BMF told BMJ: “Builders merchants have experienced price rises in materials due to issues such as current inflation and there have been extended lead times for certain products. However, we are not aware of any product being on a year’s notice. Merchants are doing their utmost to keep costs down and keep the building materials supply chain flowing.
“Our members are also making significant investments to boost the production of vital materials here in the UK, for example Ibstock investing £54m in a new brick manufacturing plant in Leicestershire, which is now commissioning and despatching up to 100m additional bricks per annum.
“Looking ahead, the Government has a big role to play in getting the supply of materials flowing. For essential building material supplies, such as the timber we import from European countries, we need to see a viable customs system post-Brexit. Without this, we are concerned we will see an increase in delays, extra costs, administrative burdens and shortages that threaten the building of new homes that we so desperately needed.”
In the latest FMB State of Trade Survey, small and medium-sized (SME) building firms were asked which materials are in shortest supply and have the longest wait times. The average results were as follows (in order of longest to shortest wait times):
1)Bricks were in shortest supply with the longest reported wait time being more than one year;
2) Roof tiles were second with the longest reported wait time being up to six months;
3) Insulation was third with the longest reported wait time being up to four months;
4) Slate was fourth with the longest reported wait time being up to six months;
5) Windows were fifth with the longest reported wait time being more than one year;
6) Blocks were sixth with the longest reported wait time being up to four months;