MOST roofing and cladding contractors raised their tender prices in the first three months of this year, with 73% reporting doing so, according to the latest State of the Roofing Industry survey from the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) and Glenigan. This is an increase from 61% in Q4 of 2021.
Clients seeking to have roof work done will be faced with higher prices, as contractors compensate for their costs rising.
The survey of NFRC members also revealed that a balance of 90 per cent of respondents said that material prices had risen compared to Q4 of 2021. A balance of 61 per cent of firms said that labour costs had increased.
Responses related to the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine also indicated that energy costs are placing a burden on contractors, with 18 per cent noting an impact. Increased fuel prices were also noted.
Despite this, roofers and cladders remained in demand. Enquiries increased for contractors across the UK, and workloads grew for the sixth consecutive quarter—since the survey began, in late 2020. This continued steady pipeline of work meant that on balance contractors felt optimistic about the next 12 months.
The survey also indicated that shortages of both materials and labour are still affecting many contractors, possibly exacerbating price inflation as demand outstrips supply.
Material shortages eased slightly from Q4 of 2021 but remained a significant challenge. 29 per cent had difficulty in securing concrete roof tiles, 26 per cent experienced the same with clay roof tiles. In a period of fresh government incentivisation of energy efficiency measures, one in five (20 per cent) reported that insulation was difficult to obtain—indicating no improvement on Q4.
Skills shortages remain rife across the industry, with the Q1 survey seeing a balance of 59 per cent of contractors reporting a worsened landscape when they sought suitable labour. Over a third (36 per cent) reported difficulty recruiting slaters and tilers, whilst 22 per cent struggled to bring on Built-up Felt roofers and 15 per cent said the same regarding cladders.
James Talman, NFRC CEO, said: “With cost pressures weighing heavily on contractors, it is unsurprising that so many must raise their prices. Clients will need to be aware that work on their roofs will cost more. It is essential that there is close collaboration between suppliers, contractors and clients to ensure the burden of this inflation is fairly shared.
“Despite these challenges, demand for work has remained strong, meaning contractors are right to remain hopeful in 2022, and accordingly gain confidence to invest in skills.”