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Soaring demand for construction and landscaping in 2021 - Top Tips!

During the nations lockdowns, our homes, once again became our castles with a huge percentage of the UK public deciding to renovate, extend or landscape their properties and outside spaces. According to this has led to a seven year high in these kind of activities and so demand for materials has increased exponentially.

As a local business, we've faced some unprecedented material shortages that began last year and have continued well into 2021 and it seems it's not changing any time soon. With cement, timber, aggregates, resin and steel more difficult to get and, in turn, more expensive, it's been a real challenge to keep projects running on time and at the costs we were used to. Construction News note that some materials have risen in cost such that some are experiencing 'double digit inflation'.

This coupled with the after effects of Brexit, meaning less hauliers and fewer companies able to deliver into the UK - you might find even your local B&Q is not as well stocked as it once was! Add to this the 'pingdemic', so many people self isolating and the blockages to the Suez Canal earlier in the year, it's no wonder that our job sourcing materials has become somewhat more difficult.

Many supply companies have raised their prices again this year with the average timber merchant increasing costs by an average of 16.9%. These companies include some of the well known places we all flock to on a Bank Holiday weekend to do those jobs we've been putting off, such as B&Q, Travis Perkins and Jewson - some of which mention this on their ordering pages if you've recently tried to click and collect those elusive bags of decorative gravel for the pots in your garden or an extra decking board!

We always try to go over and above for our clients and have travelled across the region to collect materials where delivery was not possible and shopped around to try and get the best prices we can but with shortages set to continue - delays have been inevitable.

If you have any worries, talk to your contractor. They will be able to talk you through any changes

If you're about to start working on that extension you've been waiting to plan or looking to redo the driveway - or indeed begin any construction project - our top tip is to be aware of these things and talk to your contractor. If you already have a project booked, check your paperwork carefully too. An honest company will always tell you before the work begins, or as soon as they become aware, if there is anything they're struggling to get. Hopefully, they will either offer an alternative or be realistic in the time it will take to get the materials required to do the work - but please do bear in mind that things are changing often day to day.

If prices have risen, this is also something to be mindful of. The company undertaking the work has no control over this but should be upfront if there are any discussions to be had over cost. After all, in our case, we don't want to increase costs where we don't have to but sometimes it is simply unavoidable.

We're always looking for new suppliers and, where we can, we choose to support local business like ours to stay afloat as part of their Covid-19 recovery. We think you'd all join us in wanting to keep family and independent businesses going? Who wouldn't? They're what make our communities great!

Above all, it's good to know that most companies are doing their level best for their clients. Being kind is the best tip we can give....we're all in this together!

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