This topic is becoming more and more prevalent in the current climate. I’m sure that anyone in the building and construction industry who has a focus on residential can say they’ve never been busier since May 2020. The Housing Industry Association released figures showing that pre-pandemic the industry was valued at around $33.2 billion across Australia, and now we are sitting at $36 billion. That’s a huge increase and huge pressure not only on the people delivering services within the industry but on materials supply.
Not only have we seen an increase in pools, spas, outdoors home improvements, roofing, but we’ve also seen an uplift in knock down re-builds, extensions, 1st floor additions and more cosmetic renovations. Personally, I’ve never been so busy with new enquiries from people that are serious about building. I have a waitlist to start new projects, and many fellow designers in the industry are booked out until next year. So, what knock on effect does this have for people building or renovating?
There are some very worrying signs that due to a materials shortage across the industry the price of renovating will skyrocket. The ABC recently reported that builders are seeing a massive shortage in building timbers, where it used to take 1 week to get their deliveries it’s now taking 3 months. And the cost has more than tripled. This is just one example, I’m hearing of electricians that can’t get hold of downlights for fit off, tile orders taking months more than anticipated to arrive from overseas, and just last week a paint shortage for our polyurethane guys who are finishing our joinery ready for install. What next?
The risks are very real for builders on fixed price contracts. Worst case is that they could go bankrupt before finishing your build, so it’s really important to be across their situation and work with them to ensure a successful outcome. So, what should you do if you’re thinking of building? I feel that some may wait out this storm. I’d encourage you to continue working with your designers and architects, take your time to get the design just right, get it through council and wait for this materials shortage to pass. The ABC reported that this ‘short term shock is expected to ease’. Production locally for a lot of materials is being ramped up including timber, and, they are expecting demand to ease at the end of 2021 as we see things return to a more normal pre-pandemic level. Fingers crossed!
If you’re thinking of embarking on a renovation process, don’t hesitate to contact me here.