What is the UK Brick Shortage and what can we do to fix it?

The Impact and Causes of Brick Shortage in UK’s Construction Industry

Fresh concerns have emerged regarding the shortage of bricks in the UK. This can be attributed to several factors such as the rapid acceleration in house building. Currently house building is at the highest recorded rate for more than a decade and experts are concerned that this could bring about a crisis in future. The resurgent construction activity that has hit the UK construction industry has helped to add jobs, while causing an increase in builder’s costs. Subcontractors have also hiked their prices and the cost of acquiring key materials has also increased.

The future of house building threatened

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has warned that the increasing shortage of bricks could threaten the growth of the building and construction industry in near future. The body has cited several cases, where two-thirds of construction companies are forced to wait for more than two months before bricks are delivered. A further 16% of SMEs in the building industry are forced to delay up to six months due to shortage of bricks. FMB has assured they will work to ensure small local builders are considered when it comes to manufacturers catering for new requests for bricks.

Increasing materials and output costs

Going by the scarcity for bricks, it is expected the cost of acquiring the item could go up. This will trigger an increase in the overall cost of construction, something that could affect both the sellers and buyers. Material outputs that are substitutes to bricks will rise in price due to the fact more builders will be searching for these materials to complement their needs. In the same regard, output costs will also be affected. More cost that goes to materials will be translated to the final product, increasing the cost of houses and structures. In a different view, this could be summed up as a recession that includes both sides incurring losses. Sellers could record low sales while buyers shy away due to the hiked rates for units.

Shortage of bricklayers

Labour is a major part of building and construction that cannot be overlooked. Many companies have recorded a shortage of workers to help expand production despite the increasing market needs for the product. This trouble is attributed to the fact that many young Britons would prefer careers outside of building and construction. However, some established companies have invested in programs that are seeking to offer training to new entrants in the industry, as well as expanding their machinery to cater for high production needs.

Alternative methods of construction

The best option to curb the prevalence of the problem for long is to resort to alternative construction methods. Although this will take time to implement and adopt, it is the most applicable method to help eliminate the shortage of labour and materials that has hit the production of bricks.

Effects of the recession

British brick manufacturers are coming up with new strategies to help reignite their kilns, which had been affected drastically by the recession period, just ended. This will see massive investment and reconstruction to cater for more labour and tools that will help accelerate production to cover the ever increasing demand for building materials.

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