Why are there shortages of construction materials?
Even before the Covid pandemic and resultant lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, the manfacturers and importers of construction materials were only just meeting the demand from merchants and contractors.
The building industry in the UK has been far more buoyant for many years than the media would have you believe: The Government have set ambitious targets for new house building, and the construction industry are working hard to achieve them. There are also numerous refurbishment and renovation projects being carried out nationally, as well as large infrastructure projects such as HS2.
The global shortage of shipping containers, global shortages of raw materials, HGV driver shortages in the UK haulage industry, and increases in the price of gas (which affects roof tile and brick manufacturers in particular as they are the biggest industrial users of gas) over the last 12 months have also contributed to the situation.
How are the shortages affecting availability?
Construction materials suppliers such as builders and roofing merchants work closely with the manufacturers and importers: Orders are placed weeks or months ahead, to ensure that the merchant's orders are 'in the queue', and to help the manufacturers and importers to plan production, and to allocate the available stock.
However, if demand exceeds supply - as it has since 2019 - this results in backlogs, and decisions have to be made to prioritise production to favour certain products.
It is a similar situation with imported products: If orders exceed the amount coming into the country, backlogs are the result.
What are the construction materials suppliers doing about this?
Estimating future demand is an extremely challenging task as with thousands of products available and unprecedented levels of demand it is very difficult to know what to order and in what quantities.
We are forward ordering materials with the manufacturers and importers as much as possible, however we are also encouraging customers to place orders in good time to help us to help them: After all, a re-roof or extension are rarely if ever 'emergency' projects, and will have been thought about and planned for months if not years in advance, so planning that little further ahead and ordering in good time rather than a day or two before the materials are required, is common sense and is for many projects the only solution.
At About Roofing Supplies, we are working very hard to maintain our lines of supply, to carry large stocks of as many products as possible, and to supply backorders promptly.
Many of our customers are working closely with us and placing orders in advance which enables us to get their materials to site when required, and, in turn, enables our customers to start their projects in the planned timeframe.
Our website clearly indicates where there are issues with availability and we are encouraging our customers to talk to us about their requirements as we can often offer alternative products to those requested, which in many cases enable a project to proceed rather then being delayed because of product availability.
Roofing & building materials availability: What does the media have to say?
The following articles, which have been posted on various construction material industry websites, explore the issues discussed above, and add an extra perspective to many of the points made in this blog post:
If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this blog post further, or your requirements for your next project, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly, knowledgeable team who will be more than happy to help you. You can call our roofing experts on +44(0) 1737 763008, or if you would rather get in touch via email the address is: email@example.com - we’ll get back to you promptly. Need an answer right now? Simply use our handy chat box at the right side of this page, and a member of our team will discuss your needs and give you advice.
Where can I find roofing and building materials near me?
You can view and order roofing and building materials, as well as our wide range of clay roof tiles and concrete roof tiles in any of our branches listed below or we can deliver nationwide: