Builders need urgent clear guidance to help them understand changes to the Building Regulations which come into force on June 15, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
The changes to Part L (energy efficiency), Part F (ventilation) and Part O (overheating) are aimed at improving the energy efficiency of new homes by 30 per cent and are interim measures ahead of the Future Homes and Building Standards set for 2025.
In a recent State of Trade Survey from the FMB, 52 per cent of builders said they are not yet prepared or aware of the changes. The FMB warned that the changes were complex for small, time-poor builders to take on, especially without good communication from Government.
The FMB survey also indicated that prices are impacting on bottom lines, with 98 per cent of builders having had material costs increase and 83 per cent passing on these to customers. Material shortages and a lack of skilled labour have caused job delays for most FMB members. Nearly three-quarters of builders have delayed jobs due a lack of materials and around half are delaying work owing to a lack of labour.
The FMB State of Trade Survey, which is released quarterly, is the only survey of its kind to track the experience of SME construction firms.
In other survey findings:
• 45 per cent of builders are struggling to hire carpenters/joiners, up two per cent on last quarter.
• 40 per cent of members are finding it difficult to hire bricklayers, down one per cent on last quarter.
• Nearly all FMB members (98%) reported an increase in material costs in the first quarter of 2022.
• 95 per cent of respondents expect material costs to increase.
• 83 per cent of builders have put up their prices for work, up from 74 per cent in December 2021.