The cost of building materials in 2021: why have we seen record highs?

2021 Building Materials

The cost of building material in 2021

It is no secret that the cost of building materials has risen sharply over the past year. For companies working in the construction industry, sourcing materials at a competitive price has often been a challenge due to a lack of supply and steeply rising costs. All construction firms large and small have witnessed this impact. For residential and commercial customers requiring building work, there is no denying that the cost of materials has increased prices overall. While it is still possible to provide customers with value for money, unfortunately, higher material costs inevitably mean paying more — at least in the short term.

There are several reasons for this, most notably the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020/21. But other issues, such as the uncertainty and extra paperwork surrounding ‘Brexit’, leading to longer lead times for deliveries from the continent, have also had an impact. Similarly, issues surrounding the supply chain and a lack of lorry drivers have played a part. As has the so-called ‘pingdemic’ of workers self-isolating due to coronavirus. This ‘perfect storm’ of factors has resulted in a shortage of supply of materials and greater demand, which in turn has skyrocketed prices to levels we have not seen for decades.

In the UK, construction is one of the few industries that continued to fully operate throughout the coronavirus crisis. Demand for materials has therefore been consistently high throughout this entire period. And since approximately 60% of building materials are imported from the EU, this has created even greater challenges. Supply chains have been strained and uncertainty surrounding Brexit means suppliers have had their own challenges to deal with.

Timber, roofing tiles, bagged cement, and even steel are among the building materials that have seen significant price rises due to insufficient supply. The cost of timber, in particular, has increased considerably. Imported plywood, for example, is almost 30% more costly than it was at this time last year, according to data from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Industry experts predict that material prices will continue to be inflated in the latter part of 2021 and possibly into next 2022. As production increases, we may see prices eventually levelling out, especially if supply chain issues are resolved.

As part of our mission to keep our customers updated with industry developments, we will continue to monitor the situation. For more information on the cost of building materials or to find out how we can help design your next residential building development, get in touch with us at Acre Design on 0191 680 8088 or e-mail Our friendly, experienced staff are waiting to take your call.

We hope that you find this information helpful, at Acre Design Newcastle we are passionate about all things sustainable and innovative.
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