As construction material costs continue to rise, Andrew Cross, Marketing Manager of Kestrel Aluminium Systems, offers insight into how fabricators and installers can fight back and find ways to make savings.
UK inflation is at its highest levels for more than a decade, causing concern right across the general public as the price of almost everything continues to rise, from food to petrol and the cost of utilities.
The construction sector has also been affected, with material prices rising in every sector. Overall, construction material prices rose by 11% last year, following even higher increases of 23% in 2021. These rising prices inevitably eat into the profit margins of installers and fabricators, who are often forced to absorb much of the price rises, rather than pass them on to their customers.
According to the Statista doors and windows price rise index, the cost of doors and window frames have inevitably increased over the same period, although it should be noted that the costs of metal frames, such as aluminium, have risen slightly less than that of their plastic counterparts.
We are now seeing prices begin to stabilise despite the UK’s overall rate of inflation still standing at more than 8%, but it’s no surprise that most tradespeople remain very concerned about how these price rises will continue to impact their own businesses.
A recent survey of tradespeople by national builders’ merchant chain Jewson (recently acquired by The STARK Group) found that 81% of tradespeople are worried about the rise in material costs, while 71% are also worried about price fluctuations, which make it difficult for them to quote for jobs accurately and competitively, without risking sudden price rises wiping out their margins.
Find suppliers who can help you save
Fortunately, there is a solution. Fabricators and installers can help safeguard themselves against rising costs by choosing a supplier who can offer flexible solutions to help them save on material costs.
At Kestrel Aluminium Systems, for example, we offer our sections in a wide range of alternative lengths, which means our customers can choose the most economical options for any order, depending on the sizes they need. As well as the industry standard lengths, we also offer half and quarter length options, and up to six options on many sections.
These options are available on our shopfronts, commercial doors, curtain-walling, windows and glazed roof products, as well as our standard sections.
That means less waste for our customers to have to deal with, less labour time spent cutting lengths to fit and, of course, less material purchased means lower prices. The flexibility we can offer with our sections also means our customers don’t need to hold as much stock, freeing up working capital when and where they need it.
And, because we can provide all these options with just a five-working-day lead time, our customers are able to respond quickly to last-minute job requests, taking on additional upgrade and maintenance work where available and maximising their profits.
Our customers tell us that they need suppliers who can respond quickly – delays in securing materials mean a greater risk of price rises in other areas of the project, as well as the possibility that cash flow issues may cause customers to change their minds or delay projects.
On larger commercial or public sector projects, delays in getting materials to site can even cause fines if key project dates are missed, again creating problems for installers and fabricators working to tight deadlines.
Choosing a supplier that can be trusted to do what they say they will, and who can get products to site on time and in full, without delays, can make the difference between a successful project that leads to valuable future work, and a frustrated building owner who will not work with that installer again.
We also offer free quotations and cutting lists with detailed drawings, cutting reports and glass sizes which, again, helps our customers minimise their material wastage and only spend what they need preparing for each job.
At Kestrel Aluminium Systems we have been supplying aluminium fenestration products for more than 30 years, and we pride ourselves on our excellent customer service and reputation for high-quality, reliable products. For more information on our systems and how we can support your business, visit www.kestrelaluminium.co.uk or call 0121 333 3575.