Builders' warning over spiralling costs and lack of supplies

Five-star housebuilder Lovell has started work at St Edmund's Park in Acle, which will bring 69 new

A builder working on a house - Credit: Antony Kelly

Tradesmen have warned of serious knock-on effects on the building industry amid spiralling costs and limited supplies.

Many believe a lack of people going on holiday and spending cash on renovations, along with businesses investing in properties, is boosting work.

But builders and other tradesmen have major concerns over increasing costs of everyday materials which were readily available before the pandemic.

Stephen Cutler, 50, from Sprowston, who has run his own building firm for 34 years, said: "It is the worst year for the building trade.

"We are struggling for deliveries and pricing has gone through the roof. There is a shortage of materials.

"If it doesn't slow down there is going to be a problem."

He and other tradesmen were finding it hard to price jobs as material costs were increasing daily.

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Mr Cutler added: "I'm doing what I can but with the prices being put up people are being put off having work."

The builder said there was a lack of delivery drivers and issues at factories where materials are processed due to staff having to isolate, which added to the problem.

Most costs for his projects have gone up between 20 and 30pc because of the materials needed.

He said a piece of regular plywood had gone up from £10 pre-pandemic to £62.

Timber had gone up 400pc, aluminium by 30pc, steel by 60pc and bricks by 25pc.

Roofer Andrew Heath, 43, who lives in Dereham but works for Norwich-based RG Leverett Limited, said: "The costs of materials have quadrupled. You are waiting for everything. We cannot keep up with demand."

Keith Atthowe, director of GF Atthowe Builders

Keith Atthowe, director of GF Atthowe Builders - Credit: Keith Atthowe

Keith Atthowe, director of GF Atthowe building contractors in Cyprus Street, said his firm had not been hit as badly as other companies because it used more traditional materials on listed buildings.

He said: "The prices have gone up in soft timber and in the last six months the price of stainless steel has gone crazy."

David Willan, 36, partner of a building firm which does jobs in the city, said: "We cannot find materials which we could normally pick up from Norwich.

"The amount of new houses going up means the big boys get priority."