Building materials shortages could delay UK construction work and DIY projects

 Building materials shortages could delay UK construction work and DIY projects

Shortages of building materials such as timber, steel, paints and cement in the UK are putting pressure on construction companies and delaying DIY projects. 

Access to some electrical components has also been hit, the Construction Leadership Council said, adding the shortages were mainly due to “unprecedented levels of demand”. 

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said some building firms may have to delay projects while others, particularly smaller companies, could be forced to shut down.

Prices for supplies have rocketed and people have been advised to put off home improvement projects until the autumn to try to ease the demand for the already scarce materials.

The Office for National Statistics has estimated a rise of 7-8 per cent in material prices, with prices for timber, expected to more than double during the course of the year.

FMB chief executive, Brian Berry, told the BBC: “We can’t build our way to recovery from the pandemic if we don’t have the materials.”

The supply problems have been caused by several factors in addition to rise in demand. Factory closures during the pandemic caused delays to supply chains, but the weather has played a part too.

The warmer winter affected timber production in Scandinavia and the cold winter in Texas affected the production of chemicals, plastics and…

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