Builders in Lancaster district report increase in price and difficulty in sourcing materials

"Consumers need to be aware that the cost of their building projects may change in the months ahead."

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 1:11 pm

Builders and tradespeople across the Lancaster district are seeing price hikes for building materials, as the Federation of Master Builders warns of increasing costs for customers.

Some builders and joiners have reported the doubling in price of some materials, such as timber and cement, while the cost of insulation and plumbing items are also reported to be increasing.

Builders' merchant Travis Perkins, which has outlets in Morecambe, Carnforth and Milnthorpe has warned of price rises and shortages of certain materials in its quarterly update, and is asking customers not to "over order".

Builders and contractors say prices have risen on various construction materials

One Lancaster building contractor said: "We have timber, insulation, plumbing material for our subcontractor, plus radiator shortages, which are going up in price weekly, plus most other items and lead times on products.

"I think it’s just a way of putting the prices up and it's totally wrong."

A self-employed joiner, based in Heysham, said: "In some cases I'm paying double what I was paying this time last year.

"It's mainly raw timber.

"Sheet material hasn't gone up that much, but I've heard stories of other things like cement increasing in price.

"It's gone silly and it's going to get worse apparently."

Others are reporting price increases or lack of availability on items such as screws and roofing materials.

Lancaster City Council however said it hadn’t as yet experienced any issues with the supply of materials or increased prices.

Lancaster District Chamber of Commerce said it was aware of shortages during the first lockdown, but has so far not been informed of any more recent issues.

Chief executive Vicky Lofthouse said she was aware that the construction industry across the district was currently extremely busy.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), said: “Builders are struggling to get hold of basic construction materials like roof tiles, timber and insultation, with 82 per cent of Master Builders reporting increased prices.

"The pandemic has disrupted production and transportation of materials, and rising global demand is adding to the unpredictability.

"Consumers need to be aware that the cost of their building projects may change in the months ahead.

"But I would caution against homeowners compromising quality and customer service, and defaulting to hire the builder with the cheapest quote.”