Kitchen for Christmas? People out of luck with builders booked until 2023

Brick wall/Barry Goddard

People hoping to get a bit of work done before Christmas will probably be out of luck, Barry Goddard, owner of Golden Triangle Builders, has warned - Credit: Barry Goddard/Getty

Homeowners are facing a nightmare before Christmas as they desperately attempt to give their houses a spruce up before the big day.

With people not able to welcome guests last year due to Covid families across the city are trying to squeeze some work in to accommodate them.

But builders are run off their feet - blighted by a Covid backlog and rising supply costs - and are begging customers for patience. 

Barry Goddard, owner of Golden Triangle Builders, said: "My phone is ringing with a new job every day. I'm only doing the smaller jobs at the moment because I don't have time for the big ones. 

"It's people wanting new kitchens fitted and houses redecorated before Christmas. The problem is because of how busy I am the earliest I can do is the end of January or early February."

He added costs of jobs are now sky high as construction costs hit a 40-year high according to the BCIS Materials Cost Index. 

He said: "I give people the figure for a job and they say it's too expensive. The problem is I've got to make a living and the materials are just so expensive at the moment."

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And demand has been compounded by working from home, he said: "I'm seeing a lot of people asking for work on houses which don't necessarily need it. I think a lot of people have been stuck at home so want to have a freshen up - but what they've already got is perfect."

Colin Moore, owner of AYC Builders, also based in Norwich, added: "We're booked for the next year and a half. We're back-to-back doing extensions and summer houses as so many people want some extra space after lockdown. 

"We're trying to get to smaller, emergency jobs where we can. In December people do actually tend to get lucky because we can do the indoor jobs if we can't work on the outside ones like extensions. 

"It really is the luck of the draw though - we have to keep our new customers happy as well as ensuring a high level of service to our existing ones."