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  • Nicky Frost

Sourcing building materials during the COVID-19 crisis

Your self-build, renovation, or conversion project may have come to an abrupt halt whilst we navigate our way through the current lockdown - but have you considered turning your own hand to some aspects of your project?

Assuming you already possess the DIY skills to move your project forward yourself as a hands-on self-builder or renovator, you might be able to crack on with some of the tasks, providing you can get hold of the necessary materials.

Up until week 5 of lockdown, it's been increasingly difficult to source building materials, mainly on how the different DIY stores and builder’s merchants are interpreting Coronavirus legislation. B&Q and Screwfix, for instance, seem to have taken the view that they should only sell a limited range of essential repair products. That said, things change quickly: B&Q is now selling some plant bundles, for instance, and you can opt for home delivery or its new contact-free click and collect service (with some stores slowly opening to the public).

In the meantime, Jewsons is operating a small percentage of its stores and only delivering to essential businesses. These are currently identified as hospitals, schools, farms – and is asking you to define why your delivery should be considered essential.

Build It Magazine's Chris Bates comments:

"We feel this is a more literal approach than the legislation requires. Looking at the wider retail market, supermarkets and convenience stores have been asked to define whether they offer an essential service and should, therefore, remain open. Shops that are open are continuing to offer a broad range of products. The government isn’t asking them to limit what they’re selling.

When it comes to online shopping, you can buy pretty much the entire catalogue from the likes of John Lewis and Argos – so why can’t you do the same with B&Q and Jewsons? If you can’t get hold of essential materials for your project from the usual sources, one option might be to head to eBay or similar websites. Many traders on these portals are still providing a normal service in terms of product availability."

Read the full article here:

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