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Covid19 Construction Impact's!

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  1. #1
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    Default Covid19 Construction Impact's!

    At the start of covid most of us in the building industry were wondering whether or not we would be able to keep working. A year on we are wondering the same thing but for a different reason. The last 6 to nine months have never been busier for most tradies. Ive never seen it this crazy. If you dont spend money on holidays you spend it on your house i gather. Problem now is supply of materials.

    Luckily im nearing the end of a year long reno that should have taken nine months. There is about $100,000 worth of cabinetry in this house. , kitchens, laundry, vanities, robes etc. but my cabinetmaker was struggling to even get melamine. Now he cant even get hinges. Roofers up here are scarce as they are all doing insurance work from a storm that hit last year. My timber supplier has stopped doing prefab frames and focusing just on trusses due to shortage of pine. They , along side other truss plants have stopped production for a few weeks. Even then they arent taking any new jobs until october. Ive seen lots of houses that have started with just the frames but no trusses of roofs, sitting idle for months. Even bunnings is short of pine. Prices are going up every month. Pine, lvl, cement sheeting by 5 -10%.

    There is so much work on but we will get to the point where we cant do anything due to lack of materials. Not sure what will happen but the next 6 months will be interesting.

    On a side note i think this might be a wake up call for Australia to start manufacturing a bit more. We make most of our plasterboard and some ceramic tiles but pine and engineered timber should all be made here , not imported.

    What is it like in your state or city?

  2. #2
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    Hey Sol, same thing here. Builder neighbor is feeling the same thing. With the bushfires 12 months ago in NSW, there is now a shortage of pine and pretty much most of his LVL's are coming from overseas. It used to be 80/20 onshore/offshore, now its like 20/80

    A lot of the builds/reno's he does is high end stuff, so there is generally a fare amount ordered from suppliers over seas - Europe.
    Once the customer has agreed on something, sign off, the order is placed immediately and could be 6 - 9 months before it arrives. There has been many a time when the customer has wanted to change their mind a week later....but too late the order has been placed. Normally his orders for materials are placed with a 4 to 6 week lead time not up to 9 months.

    He is also seeing monthly price rises.

    Other issues is a few smaller subies are up in years. Because its so busy, coming out of COVID, they lost their crews who decided to go out on their own and are of the mindset that I'm too old for this and just folded to do smaller jobs on their own.

  3. #3
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    There is a 8-12 week wait on LVL over 140, there are none in stock at the major suppliers, even though they are made here.

    I assume it's because the laminates are made from imported veneers such as Oregon, I don't think we have Oregon plantations as it seems to have been coming from America for the last 20 years.

    I noticed the pine packs at Bunnings the other day were well labelled Made in Australia.
    This is rare to see as most of the framing timber in Bunnings for the last whatever years was mainly Baltic pine coming from Lithuania, with a mixture of radiata coming from wherever !!!

    Last week, Bunnings didn't seem to be any shortage, all the shelves were full in all sizes, and plenty of packs all the way to the top, all Made in Australia !!!
    This pandemic has stopped a lot of world trading, it's about time Australia picks their act up and brings back manufacturing of a LOT of goods here.

    It's been too easy for us to sell the raw materials, and just buy back back a finished product .

    As China is no longer taking any Australian timber, there should be plenty for the local market.
    It's not just us, America is in the midst of building material crisis as well, and the prices of their materials have skyrocketed.

    Interestingly the Chinese ban on Australian Coal has come back to bite them, demand was high for it because they were having an extra cold winter, so they started to source coal from other countries such as Russia.
    These countries pushed the price of their coal up, so China had top pay significantly more for it's coal than what we were selling it to them for.

    Other countries such as India, Pakistan, Spain, Turkey wanted coal, this opened the door for us into those markets at a better price than from Russia.
    So our exports of coal only dropped by a miniscule amount even though we were not sending any to China which was nearly $14 billion a year.

    India is a market our timber industry is currently negotiating with, it's meant to be a massive market, so this should help with the Chinese import ban on Australian timber, that is if they can recover from the Covid disaster.
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

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    there isnt a great deal of engineered timber made here unfortunately .i think wesbeam is the only manufacturer which is crazy. Mostly comes from usa and asia. Cant see how shipping from usa will be cheaper than making it here. Went to bunnings on wednesday looking for some 70 x 35 pine Not 1 stick of any size in stock. Ive gone there looking for tile underlay and shelves empty.. Fully stocked now. Just spoke to my tiler who is waiting on getting juts a carport built. Was supposed to be finished by now. wont start until september and doubt itll be done by xmas.

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    I thought that the affect of the fires was that all the burnt pine timber had to be harvested within 18 months before it deteriorated. Is there a shortage of Australian pine?

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    there seems to be a shortage of all structural pine at the moment

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sol381 View Post

    Luckily im nearing the end of a year long reno that should have taken nine months. There is about $100,000 worth of cabinetry in this house. , kitchens, laundry, vanities, robes etc. but my cabinetmaker was struggling to even get melamine. Now he cant even get hinges.
    Lucky I owner built my house a couple of years ago, rather than now.

    Was speaking to my cabinet maker relative of mine who runs his own business and also did my house.

    He said he was fortunate that his supply hasn't been affected. He's not huge nor a one man band.. He said he is lucky that he gets all his melamine from 1 supplier who he has been ordering from years, the supplier was a small one man band when he started whose business has since grown and been sold off. He (supplier) still works there so they are looked after.

    I asked where the melamine came from, he said Tasmania. I was suprised it wasn't from China. Then again, the quality of the melamine is much better than ikea.

    He said there was no issues of supplies with any products.. but I guess if you're a small scale cabinetmaker you may not get looked after so much. I've heard the project builders still get looked after with the framing pine.

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    12 week wait for frames & trusses , engineered timber in short supply, plywood flooring hard to get, all trades at full capacity & booked out for months in advance, one trusses and frame supplier in a regional town said they got 25 plans to quote in one day, they said in 30 years of business they have never seen anything like it.
    inter

  9. #9
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    Here are some pics of one of my local Bunnings yesterday, stock levels still seem ok.

    20210527_170443.jpg

    20210527_170455.jpg

    20210527_170525.jpg

    20210527_170534.jpg

    20210527_170600.jpg

    20210527_170618.jpg

    20210527_170627.jpg
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

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    Must come in waves. Was at my local 2 weeks ago and couldnt even get tile underlay. Not 1 stick of 70 x 35 pine in the racks. Now, its fully stocked.

  11. #11
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    Metricon are apparently having to give back deposits as they cannot find enough timber to frame their houses. They had approached our local hardware store wanting to buy up all the framing timber they had....but was told to go elsewhere as it would affect our local builders.

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    I noticed that a local inner west Melbourne small scale builder recently announced that they were no longer building timber framed houses and migrating solely over to steel.

    Interestingly, they claimed it was due to sustainability! One can only assume their approach was that the price of timber is no longer making it sustainable for peoples pockets, rather than the physical production of the materials being more sustainable

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