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Building materials’ prices in 2019

One thing to take into consideration when choosing the size of the extension you’re looking to add to your property – for example, whether you go for one storey or two– is the price of the building materials you’re going to use.

Financial planning is a huge aspect of renovation, but often the actual price of the building materials varies between trade merchants. So as with all extensions, we would advise that you have a ‘buffer’ in your budget so you don’t end up overspending. We’ve managed to find some of the top materials that have increased over the past few months, so you can bear these extra costs in mind when planning your extension.

Latest price increases

In the 12 months leading up to January 2019, the Government recorded a huge 9.4% increase in the price of imported sawn or planed wood, and a 7.8% increase in the price of imported plywood.

With Brexit on the horizon, it was predicted that imported building materials would be more expensive, but almost a 10% increase was rather substantial. Other building materials that increased in price leading up to the start of the year were pipes and fittings – at a rate of 5.8%.

Latest price decreases

There was also some slightly positive news in the lead up to 2019 too – a 1.7% decrease in the price of concrete reinforcing bars and a 0.1% decrease in ceramic tiles and ready mixed concrete. So, as you can see, very minimal price decreases.

Good news on the horizon

Although it all looks a bit doom and gloom, with building material prices generally rising at quite a rapid rate, there is a lot of talk within the industry around this topic. A recent tweet from @ConstroFacilit explained how there is a demand to regulate building material prices.

The Construction Workers Supervisors Association (CWSA) believes there is a need to control the unjustified increase in the cost of building materials. Although this union is not British, it is a step in the right direction and is likely to impact the industry as a whole.

Price rises slowing

Towards the last quarter of 2018, construction material prices did remain fairly stable, and according to IHS-Market, this should slow to roughly 3.5% for 2019. Which is a drop of around 5% in comparison to the beginning of 2018. The main cause of the surge in 2018 was escalating fabricated steel and petroleum prices, which seem to have stabilised significantly since then.

So what does this mean for me?

In essence, building an extension is never going to be a cheap process, and costs are always going to fluctuate. All you can really do is prepare for the worst, but also take the time to price up the materials you want to use. Talk to your builder and try to get three quotes for each building material. That way you can get a good average figure, taking into consideration both the high and low end of the market.

If you have any questions on how to plan for your extension, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at KJ Architects today.



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96 Kensington High Street London W8 4SG
Studio 2 4 The Highlands Exning Newmarket Suffolk CB8 7NT
T: 01638 662393
Building materials’ prices in 2019