Construction News

Tue June 02 2020

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Building materials still in short supply

21 May Britain’s builders are mostly back at work but supply chain problems continue, latest surveys confirm.

Plaster and plasterboard are expected to remain in short supply for a while yet
Plaster and plasterboard are expected to remain in short supply for a while yet

Build UK has been tracking the materials shortages faced by its members during the coronavirus crisis.

The results of the latest Build UK materials survey suggest that, while the demand for plaster and plasterboard has eased compared to a couple of weeks ago, both are likely to remain in short supply for the short and medium term, it said.

Aggregates and bricks were also reported to be harder than usual to source, as well as plasterboard fixings, internal and external insulation, and partitioning metal.

There is also still significant demand for FFP2 and FFP3 facemasks, gloves and disposable coveralls, which Build UK said was ‘not surprising’.

Yesterday Build UK revealed that its contractor members now have 86% of their infrastructure and construction sites in England and Wales open, up from 82% last week. But, with the constraints of social distancing and materials shortages, output was only at 75% capacity – reducing to 68% in London.

Meanwhile the Builders Merchant Federation reports that 97% of its members now have their stores at least partially open (24% full open, 73% partially open, 3& closed).

Of the suppliers that provide goods and materials for their stores, 79% are now open, 15% are partially open and 6% remain closed for business.

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