July 15, 2021

Why your home improvement work may be delayed?

Why your home improvement work may be delayed?

If you are making home improvements and looking forward to getting the job done, then it can be frustrating when you have to wait longer than expected.

However, there are some very good reasons for the delays that are outside the control of the home improvement companies you employ. asked Ben Wallace, Senior Technical Officer of the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) just what is causing work to take longer than usual.

How has the Covid pandemic affected the supply of materials for home improvement companies?

BW: Firstly, it has clearly taken a huge toll on human health and that is the most important thing to protect. However, from a business perspective, it has had serious economic effects and affected companies in different ways, losing staff, suppliers and products that were pre-Covid readily available.

The GGF being the main trade body for the glass, glazing and fenestration sectors has received many reports of extensive delays within the supply chain. Not just in home improvement but throughout the construction industry.

Naturally, companies have to try to respond to the current situation on multiple fronts at once. Firstly they have to protect their workers and customers safety. Then they have to safeguard their business from closing altogether as they come under increasing strain from the shortage of materials as well as labour.

This of course doesn’t help homeowners wanting to get work started and completed, but you should consider that companies are struggling during these unprecedented times.

Besides the pandemic, which other factors are affecting homeowner’s and home improvement companies?

BW: As well as Covid-19, other disruptions have slowed down the supply of materials to make and supply home improvement products. This includes shipping container shortages, factory fires and the recent blocking of the Suez Canal. In addition, there is currently a global shortage of many materials used for home improvement products including plastics and glass. These shortages are mainly down to the emerging markets in China and India requiring more as they develop their infrastructure and housing. The scale of the demand in these countries is enormous. The glass shortage in the UK has been primarily to the manufacturing plants closing some lines for essential repairs and maintenance. Fortunately, these are being re-opened soon.

All of the above factors have led to factory shutdowns, sharp price increases and production delays across the construction sector.

Is there any good news on the horizon?

BW: Yes, the glass and glazing sector has bounced back relatively quickly under difficult circumstances, and homeowners are continuing to invest into their properties. With the heightened supply chain awareness and knowledge Covid-19 has brought, it will better our position companies to manage through any future challenges that may emerge.

What advice would you give homeowners?

BW: I’d advise homeowners who are making home improvements to ask the company they are employing to provide an accurate timeline and inform of any potential delays. Be aware that prices could fluctuate in the next 18 months as things try and settle down, so it’s advisable to get prices and dates for completion established early and in your contract. Ask companies directly if the prices and dates they provide are achievable and also ask if they offer deposit indemnity insurance. This will give homeowners peace of mind if they are putting down a deposit.

It is wise to invest in home improvements as the property prices continue to increase and homes are being adapted in many different ways whether it be for leisure or work, however, patience and understanding is required for what is a challenging time for all.