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Britain could be facing a brick shortage as more homes are built

It has been claimed recently in the media that Britain is currently facing a shortage of house bricks! The sudden flurry of house building activity following the recession has been blamed for the severe lack of house bricks available.

At present, the availability of Best Quality Wirecut Facing bricks is on a very extended delivery time. ET Bricks have sourced the Lambourne Red Multi Wirecut Facing Brick and the Takeley Blend Wirecut Facing Brick, which compliment each other, with a view to fill the gap in the marketplace. These bricks are exclusive to us and are readily available for immediate delivery to your building sites. Remember, there is no time delay on the Lambourne or the Takeley wirecut facing bricks delivery.

So what is behind the alleged shortage of bricks?

The Federation of Master Builders have said that the reason for the brick shortage is because manufacturers mothballed kilns during a drop in sales during the recession. They also stated that a lack of materials risked “scuppering” the ability of many construction firms to keep pace with new house building projects. This is mainly because it has taken quite a lot of time to resume production at previous levels following the uplift in demand for house bricks.

Clearly the sudden increase in demand is good news for brick manufacturers and distributors, as well as building firms and there has been an increase in work and employment in the construction industry for the fourth successive quarter.

One serious issue has arisen from this shortage, and that is rising building and material costs. Fortunately, ET Bricks are always on hand to supply our clients with a good supply of Lambourne Red Multi Wirecut Facing Brick and the Takeley Blend Wirecut Facing Brick.

We have been made aware that orders placed by some of the larger building firms were being prioritised by certain brick manufacturers over those from small to medium building firms. Although we are more than able to keep up with demand for the large building groups, we always ensure we can cater for smaller ones and even the domestic DIY buyer too.

Delivery times for certain types of bricks is bound to be extended

The estimated cost of many building materials are likely to be about 10 per cent higher, and some construction firms are saying that certain timber products as well as bricks are particularly expensive at present. The severe storms that the United Kingdom experienced recently is the main reason for the increase in the cost of timber.

When you add the inflated cost of materials such as bricks to this, it's easy to see why some of the smaller building companies are struggling to keep their heads above water. In fact, some of the smaller house building firms are claiming that some brick manufacturers and distributors are even making them wait until the beginning of 2015 for any new orders of bricks.

Concrete bricks to fill the gap!

Should the situation continue where larger building firms are able to snap up all the available bricks, smaller house builders could be forced to build with other materials such as concrete bricks and blocks orrender or risk their building sites grinding to a halt for the rest of the year.

Some small house building firms have been waiting for over eight months for a new order of house bricks to be delivered. This is why some builders have turned to the alternative building materials just so they can finish building projects on time and within budget. Some have suggested that concrete bricks and blocks are the way forward for the majority of building projects as they are cheaper and quicker to produce. Concrete doesn't need to be fired after all. Although the concrete can be textured and coloured to resemble a clay brick, the latter is still the preferred choice of building material for the majority of house builders.

The current situation was something that was bound to happen when some brick manufacturers turned off their kilns for a protracted period of time. We knew it would take a fair amount of time to get production back up to speed and this is why we have ensured a good supply of Lambourne Red Multi Wirecut Facing Brick and the Takeley Blend Wirecut Facing Brick.

The less than ideal availability of house bricks, is bringing about higher prices in many cases, it's a simple case of supply and demand. Delivery times for bricks from many other suppliers has gone into the next year in some cases, this is worrying when the order is placed in the January of the previous year.

It's not all doom and gloom in the brick world though!

Some brick manufacturers have recently argued that bricks have always been available and production is running well ahead of any new housebuilding projects. Some have even spoken of figures showing housing startup projects were up an annual 10 per cent between January and May 2014 while for the same period, the United Kingdom domestic brick production was up by a quarter.

There are approximately 1,500 different types of brick manufactured in the United Kingdom, some of these may well have been in short supply in recent months, but the more expensive or specialist bricks have always been readily available. It has also been claimed that many brick manufacturers are now working at a speed that was no different to the way they worked prior to the recession.

All we would suggest is that any building firm should make a firm plan to think in advance about any up and coming building projects and not expect the brick of their choice to be available at very short notice.

Keep Calm and Carry On!

The government has been rather swift to jump on the fact that the construction industry is bouncing back, after the housing crash led to the loss of a quarter of a million construction jobs. They have claimed that thanks to the help to buy scheme, almost 40,000 households have now achieved their dream of becoming homeowners and helped housebuilding increase to its highest level since 2007.

Housebuilding was a pretty big driver for construction in July 2014 as activity rose at the fastest pace since 2003 on the back of strong demand for new housing and rather favourable funding conditions.

So should you have a building project planned, remember that ET Bricks have a good supply of bricks available, but please ensure you place your order for bricks in plenty of time to avoid any disappointment.


t: 01708 200 304

t: 01708 200 304