Price increases: Why is the cost of my building project going up and up?

Where have these price increases from your building firm come from? No one wants a bigger bill but that’s where we are right now.     

If you’ve struggled to find a builder in the first place, then you’ll know that there’s a building boom at the moment. All the work going on currently means a greater demand on materials.

There has been a lot of building activity up and down the UK. This has resulted in a rise in materials orders which are now outstripping supply. Manufacturers are struggling to meet the demand and the impact of the pandemic on workforces has only made matters worse. Shortages of products force the price up.

Roof tiles are more expensive, and the same goes for timber, battens, slates, insulation and roof lights.

The Timber Trade Federation reported in the Builders Merchant Journal in February 2021, that the growth in the imports of the main timber and panel products in November 2020 of nearly 37% is in stark contrast to the 39% reduction in volume in April 2020.

David Hopkins, CEO of the Timber Trade Federation, has said: “Record volumes of timber are being brought in and absorbed by the market as quickly as they are coming off the dock, often by previous allocation.”

Demand is one reason.

Another reason for price increases that are facing building firms is delivery. John Newcomb is the CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation. At the start of 2021 he said: “We remain concerned over the capacity problems at UK container ports, which in recent weeks have demonstrated how quickly shortages and consequential price increases can occur.” 

The cost of containers has gone up massively, making it almost impossible for some manufacturers and distributors to ship goods.

On top of material costs and delivery issues, many sites are seeing slower progress due to Covid-19 security measures. Then there’s the cost of PPE and associated products, all of which can impact your final bill.

So what can you do?

Builders will want to recover their costs should material costs increase over time – so you should know that a quotation isn’t necessarily a fixed cost. It’s a conversation you need to have with everyone who tenders and a bigger conversation if you’ve already committed to a contractor. Scrutinise the contract you agreed to.

Still deciding on a builder?

We can give you a transparent, independently calculated figure to compare against your building firm quotations. We use leading software that reflects building materials price increases. We just need your planning or Building Regs drawings – you can send them via here.

You’ll receive a no-obligation quote for completing the work. Give us the go ahead and you can look forward to a detailed cost breakdown, build program and cashflow forecast.

So give us a call on 0117 916 7878, email or use the uploader on