25 October 2022

Soaring prices and labour shortages could affect your self-build project

By Self Build Zone

The ongoing construction materials shortage is starting to recover but continues to be hampered by price hikes, in the year to July 2022, material prices for all work have increased by nearly 25%*. Many people embarking on a self-build project will need to factor in much larger contingencies and have their building contracts super-stringent if they are to complete their projects without costs spiraling.

Self-builders, construction contractors and builders and developers, along with homeowners who need work on their properties are being hard hit by the rising cost of materials.

Why is the cost of construction materials so high?

The construction materials shortage has caused significant supply chain issues for those working on home improvement projects. The issue began in the pandemic as Covid wreaked havoc on production and transportation and just as a tentative recovery was underway, the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and spiralling energy prices have sparked another setback.

The cost of living is increasing at nearly its fastest rate in 40 years**, driven largely by the rising cost of food and fossil fuels with prices in August 9.9% higher than they were 12 months ago.

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) said in June that inflation is likely to persist at a lower level across most material categories for the rest of the year, warning that inflation and the cost of living crisis are notably affecting some SME builders.

The rising cost of energy caused by wholesale gas prices has put pressure on construction firms due to energy-intensive industries including concrete, steel, and cement passing on the impact of higher prices.

If you are in the planning stages or mid-way through a self-build or home extension, then your builder will have (hopefully!) communicated the increased costs that are occurring month-to-month. Having a firm contract in place will help to keep cost increases transparent and you will be able to plan or take into account areas that will need more investment.

A contract is the evidence you need of what you have purchased/agreed to with your builder. If you wish to take legal action against any supplier or trade, it’s important to have the original evidence before work starts of what was agreed so you can make sure you are successful in court.

Similarly, having site insurance in place will also protect you if things take a turn for the worse – think site and materials theft, builder walking off site – Site insurance is necessary to protect your investment when you’re carrying out a renovation, conversion, extension or new build.

Our self-build Site Insurance policy covers the new work, existing structure and rest of the site. It protects against the likes of losses, fire theft, flood, storm damage, vandalism and accidental damage. You can review some of our specific product pages for in-depth information on Self-Build Zone’s Self-Build Insurance.

Self-Build Zone offers a range of self build site insurance cover. All of our site insurance policies include public liability and employers’ liability cover as standard. For more information, call 0345 230 9874, or visit the rest of our website selfbuildzone.com.



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