Delays and price rises

Four-fifths of local builders have delayed jobs due to a lack of materials or skilled tradespeople, according to the latest State of Trade Survey from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Adding to the pressure facing the industry, 97% of builders have reported skyrocketing material prices and expect this to continue into the last quarter of 2021, with 78% passing this increased cost on to the consumer.

Builders have been forced to hit pause on some jobs, in the face of increasing difficulty to hire tradespeople, such as general labourers and plasterers, with 42% and 37% respectively of builders struggling to get them to a job.

Despite a slight easing, near half of FMB members are also facing pressure to find carpenters/joiners and bricklayers.

The FMB State of Trade Survey, which is released quarterly, tracks the experience of SME construction firms in the UK.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “Our data shows the combination of long delays and rising prices mean consumers are also starting to feal the heat.

“Changing quotes, delays to jobs, and price hikes may lead to some homeowners being pulled in by unscrupulous builders hoping to make a quick buck. A good builder is a busy builder, and it is important to be patient when selecting the right person for the job.”