Four in five small builders will raise prices this spring

Four in five small construction companies have put their prices up this year – and many expect to do so again before the summer.

A poll by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) found that 83 per cent of respondents had increased their rates in the first quarter of 2022. The same percentage expected to raise prices in the second quarter.

This comes amid soaring labour and material costs as a result of global events such as the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Six in 10 respondents to the FMB poll have seen wages rise this year, while 98 per cent have experienced material price inflation. Energy and fuel bills are also increasing sharply.

FMB chief executive Brian Berry said small builders were caught in a “perfect storm”.

Having to pass on price increases to customers who were themselves struggling with the rising cost of living left local firms in an “uncomfortable position”, he added.

As well as price rises, builders are battling shortages on several fronts, the survey revealed.

Seven in 10 respondents had delayed jobs in the first three months of this year due to a lack of materials, while more than half had put schemes on hold because of skills deficits.

Meanwhile, 52 per cent of small builders were not prepared for – and in some cases not even aware of – changes to building regulations, which come into force in June.

These regulations, which are interim measures in place before new standards appear in 2025, aim to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. But Berry warned there was a “real risk” of builders delivering homes or other projects that fell short.

“These are complex changes for small, time-poor builders to take on, especially without good communication from the government,” he said.

Leave a comment