If you want to know about the latest changes to lead times – well there are hardly any. Only two categories have altered, and the situation looks set to stay that way

01 / staying level

Rotary piling
Precast piling
Structural steel frames
Cladding (reconstituted stone)
Natural material cladding
Curtain walling
Metal panellised cladding
Atrium roofs
Profiled metal roof finishes
Asphalt and membrane roof finishes
Facade cleaning equipment
Metal doors
Demountable partitions
General joinery
Raised floors
Suspended ceilings
Architectural metalwork
Decorative wall covering
Stone internal floor and wall finish
Soft floor finish
Non-standard passenger lifts
Boiler rooms
Air conditioning
Uninterruptible power supplies
Switch gear
Data and voice cabling
Electrical packages
Mechanical packages

02 / going down

Concrete works
Specialist joinery

03 / lead times summary

Rotary piling lead times have levelled out at five weeks, after a series of reductions over previous quarters. Precast piling has remained stable at five weeks for the fifth quarter running.

Concrete works lead times have decreased by a further two weeks to nine weeks; this follows a short-lived increase six months ago.

Following a six month run of reductions, structural steel frames have stabilised at 15 weeks, the level reported 15 months ago.

Reconstituted stone cladding remains at 21 weeks for the second quarter running. This is the lowest since our records began in 2002. Natural material cladding has stabilised at 31 days for the second consecutive quarter. The lead times for curtain walling have been restated at 27 weeks, rather than 28, owing to improved data in this sector. Metal panellised cladding remains static with a lead in time of 36 weeks.

A previously reported slowdown in atrium roofs has not turned into a reduction in average lead times, which have remained stable at 27 weeks for more than a year. Profiled metal roof lead times have remained stable at 13 weeks for more than a year.

Asphalt/membrane roofs have stabilised at eight weeks for the second consecutive quarter following a small drop six months ago.

The reduction forecast last quarter for facade cleaning equipment has not yet materialised and lead times remain level at 40 weeks.

Brickwork lead times have stabilised at four weeks and blockwork remains at five.

The wait for metal doors has stabilised at five weeks.

As forecast last quarter, there has been no change in lead times for drylining which remains at eight weeks, although workload is reported as being quieter.

Demountable partitions’ lead times remain at seven weeks for the second consecutive month, the lowest level since 2003.

General joinery remains static at 10 weeks. but specialist joinery has fallen to 14.

The raised floors lead times remain static at six weeks; there has been no change in this for more than a year. The wait for suspended ceilings has remained static at 15 weeks for more than a year and the architectural metalwork lead time has remained static at 12 weeks for the same period.

For decorative wall coverings the average lead-in has remained at four weeks for more than two years, with no change forecast. Internal stone floor and walls have remained static at 24 weeks for more than a year and soft floor finishes have remained at seven weeks for more than a year.

The lead time for non-standard passenger lifts has remained at 31 weeks for more than a year; standard lifts can reduce this by about 15 weeks.

No change is reported in the 24 week lead time for escalators . Electrical packages are at 15 weeks, and mechanical packages have remained static at 18 weeks for the second consecutive quarter.

Ductwork lead times have remained at eight weeks for a year.

Controls lead time has been restated at 15 weeks owing to improved data.

Boiler rooms and standard M&E plant and equipment remain largely unchanged including air-conditioning (14 weeks), uninterruptible power supplies (16 weeks), switch gear and generators (23 weeks), data and voice cabling and sprinklers (nine weeks).

Almost all contractors are forecasting a reduced workload over the next six months, yet only two are reporting a reduction in their lead times for this quarter; no contractors are forecasting increased lead times.

Most contractors are expecting little change in the lead times over the next couple of quarters. No material or labour shortages are reported. Many companies say they have a stable level of enquiries although they are diversifying into new sectors or considering opportunities they would have previously rejected.