Homeowners in the UK have to bear a heavier burden of rising home improvement costs due to builders facing increased costs of materials and supply shortages in a thriving home-building business. Contractors and builders are struggling with surging supply costs and scarcity of materials, including everything from cement and lumber to composite decking materials. Lee S, marketing manager of Ultra Decking, explains what to expect in the home improvement sector following price increases.

Reasons for the price rise of home improvement materials.

Overseas shortages

Lee said that many supplies from outside the United Kingdom are in short supply, and supplies from the United States, Asia, and the rest of Europe have seen significant price increases. Lumber costs have increased by 120 per cent. He stated that lead times have also been negatively impacted, which means it can take up to two weeks for a single pallet of plywood to land.

“We have witnessed suppliers drawing down on worldwide plasterboard supply by holding back inventory. As a result, most construction supplies manufacturers are unable to generate the needed volumes.”

Demand has been stable

The demand for lumber is at its highest ever because property prices in the UK have peaked. It’s a worldwide phenomenon caused by a variety of variables. Both supply costs and shipping prices are high due to Brexit and Covid-19, which has brought short supply and high expenses for supplies delivered from outside the UK.

“Our customers have been eager to obtain their construction materials, but practically everything has become more difficult to obtain. We’ve seen proof that the home improvement industry and building supplies are essentially a people business. In uncertain times, we’re committed to meeting the increasing demands of our customers,” Lee explained.

Shifting trends

Due to the changes caused by the covid pandemic across the world, a shift is occurring. While the recent spike in demand generated by new construction projects has been beneficial, the supply chains can’t sustain the current activity level.

HGV drivers have experienced delays as a result of Brexit, and new charges could be prohibitively expensive. Even shipping from the Far East, however, is more costly. Shipping rates from China and other big Asian suppliers have risen dramatically, from £1,500 to over £10,000. This, while alarming, emphasises the global scale of the problems at hand.

At this point, many home improvement businesses face a myriad of challenges, from a lack of resources to constant delays and supplier challenges.

The future of home improvement sector following the price rise

If you are thinking about constructing a deck outdoors this year, you may want to steel yourself for a long project. Due to a national timber scarcity, prices for materials have soared, which makes wood hard to find in some areas.

Though composite decking materials have always been costly because they survive for decades longer than standard materials, higher timber prices might be enough to tempt more customers to choose them.

In other words, homeowners who might have previously overlooked composite decking or even begun their project with the goal of utilising wood are reconsidering their decision, either because the cost difference has narrowed or just because it is what is available.

Lee S from Ultra Decking said,” More consumers are starting to see that composite decking withstands warping and discoloration than wood.”

Generally, newer composite models have a higher resistance to slipping, have the advantage of never needing to be refinished or stained, and require little to no upkeep.

Timbers are also used to frame any deck, including ones manufactured from composite materials, most of the time. The most common type of timber decking material is pressure-treated pine. Pine is a softwood that has been chemically treated to withstand decay in outdoor settings like decks. It is the first material disrupted by the COVID-19 shutdown and has experienced an astronomical price spike.

Recent interruptions, coupled with ongoing raw material shortages, have made pressure-treated decking boards twice as expensive as they were last year.

Composite decking has increased in price, though not at the same rate—and in some instances, not at all.

You will still pay a premium above what you would have spent on wood, but the difference in pricing has shrunk dramatically. Ultra Decking, a UK-based composite decking manufacturer, hasn’t hiked rates at all. Exclusive Natural Collection, for example, is now competitively priced with classic wood options.

Lee S adds, “We haven’t had shipping problems and have inventories for faster delivery times. as a result of our capacity to react swiftly, we have been able to meet demand and stay afloat.”

If you are held back by the high cost of timber decking, take advantage of this opportunity to upgrade to composite decking material. It is resistant to discolouration, requires significantly low maintenance and is generally regarded as a higher-end product.