SR Timber director Sean Revill believes that the housebuilding industry may go into catch-up mode between now and when the UK is due to leave the European Union on 31st October and that that will benefit the rest of the sector.
“I think house-builders will pull out all the stops between now and the end of October to get as many new houses completed, or at least tiled in to be water tight – to hit their figures in Q3, then completing the interior works during Q4,” he said.
“I suspect house-builders may want to hit their numbers before Brexit due date and get the biggest area completed before any possible further shortages of labour and of course any possible raw material increases due to Brexit in Q4.
“A means that the availability of materials and the ability to be responsive will be even more important to support roofing contractors and merchants.”
“We’re expecting it to be busy, but, as ever, we’ll keep calm and carry on.”
Revill says that this ‘keep calm and carry on’ approach to the first half of 2019 has enabled SR Timber to see a growth in sales and create new jobs.
“I’m very pleased with our half-year performance – given the circumstances – because we have remained focused on what we do well, and this has enabled us to see an increase in turnover on sales of roofing batten over the first half of the year,” he said.
“It’s not all been plain sailing – there have been monthly fluctuations caused by issues such as bad weather – but, overall, we’re ahead of where we were last year, and that’s something the team at SR Timber should be very proud of.”
Revill says that the key factor behind the growth and success has been winning back some customers and merchants.
“Understandably, when times get tight, customers are very focused on the cost of materials, and we have had situations where we’ve lost out on orders because companies have bought elsewhere – but they have actually paid a high price because of hidden costs and dubious quality.
“We’ve seen cases where customers have bought batten that clearly isn’t compliant with British Standard BS5534:2014 – which was revised to BS 5534:2014 + A2:2018 – but they’re taking a big risk with that. We’ve also come across situations where roofers and merchants may be able to get a cheaper price, but the lead times can be as long as three weeks, meaning that, in some cases they lose the work.”
“SR Timber can typically get roofing batten materials delivered to most places in the UK between 48 and 72 hours after an order is placed, as either a full or part load – and this reliability has really become an important factor this year.”