There’s a spanner in the works! Lockdown DIY boom sparks shortage of builders’ supplies including taps, cookers and kitchen sinks
- Warehouses and builders’ merchants have remained open over the past year
- DIY enthusiasts and professional builders now face a shortage of key products
- The surge in demand has mixed with effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit
Millions have spent lockdown up a ladder or wielding hammers to transform their living spaces in lockdown.
But DIY enthusiasts and professional builders face a shortage of key products from timber to radiators, taps, cookers – and even kitchen sinks.
While warehouses and builders’ merchants have remained open over the past year, the surge in demand has mixed with the effects of Covid-19 and Brexit – hitting manufacturing and imports – to create a shortfall.
Millions have spent lockdown up a ladder or wielding hammers to transform their living spaces in lockdown [File photo]
A snapshot survey of the websites of B&Q, Homebase, Wickes and Screwfix reveals many makeover essentials are either unavailable or in limited supply.
A spokesman for Kingfisher, the parent company of B&Q and Screwfix, said: ‘We have taken measures to mitigate delays as much as possible…’
Industry experts identified shortages of Bosch kitchen appliances, PVCu windows, roof tiles, bricks and external doors.
The head of housing and planning policy at the National Federation of Builders, Rico Wojtulewicz, said: ‘All materials from Europe, such as tiles, sanitaryware and stone are taking a while to get into the UK; most with cost increases.
DIY enthusiasts and professional builders face a shortage of key products from timber to radiators, taps, cookers – and even kitchen sinks [File photo]
‘Some of this is – Brexit – teething problems with new paperwork and clearances, so we need the Government to work on solutions here and with EU exporters. However, due to Covid there is simply a global shortage of materials and products.
‘Insulation prices have increased significantly and members are having major issues with timber, such as MDF, veneers and solid wood. There are very long wait times of two to six months.’
He added: ‘Another issue having a major impact is the availability and cost of shipping containers. In some cases, the price per container has increased six-fold, in others there just aren’t any containers available.’
Chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, Brian Berry, said: ‘Builders have faced almost a year of material shortages caused by the pandemic and exacerbated by Brexit uncertainty.
‘Timber has consistently been in short supply, although there have also been reported shortages of plasterboard, plaster, concrete products and bricks, and recently, some roofing materials and plastics too.’