Materials supply & inflation

Many of our customers will be aware that inflation is rearing its head in the construction and DIY industry supply chain. As the UK and other countries recover from the coronavirus pandemic and some major UK projects such as HS2 ramp up, shortages and price inflation are hitting the market. The problem is both economic pick up and production shut downs during the pandemic.

At the time of writing there are shortages of aggregates (so anything to do with cement and concrete), timber including that for fencing and a broad range of odd items like some electrical and plumbing goods, possibly influenced by the copper price which has doubled in the last year. Steel, some plastics and computer chips are also in short supply.

This has some impact on 50plus as a business. Estimates become an issue. From researching an estimate to doing the work can take several weeks, with the materials being ordered shortly before  the work is scheduled (nobody holds inventory – it’s just not economical). It means prices can change between the estimate being sent and the work being carried. out. It’s also resulting in some works being delayed. If we can’t get hold of for example post-crete, we can’t concrete in a fence post. 

Before anyone mentions Brexit, it’s nothing top do with it. Many other countries, even Australia, have the same problem. Shortages are expected to continue at least into the summer. Expect the issues to continue until manufacturers and suppliers are able to build up stock levels, hopefully in later 2021.

Spring at last!