In this quarter’s look at the industry’s lead times, Paul Dalton of Mace reports that a quiet summer has meant little movement across the sectors – and Robert Nicholson of Gardiner & Theobald looks at the rise of lifts

Summer brought little movement in lead times; they shortened in only one sector reduced and increased in two.

Piling K lead times have fallen one week to six weeks overall. Although all suppliers have a strong workload for 2005, the number of enquiries for major projects has slowed.

Precast piling : lead times have remained at six weeks overall. All suppliers have a strong workload for 2005 and continue to receive a steady flow of enquiries.

Concrete works : have stayed at five weeks overall, although some suppliers are now increasing lead times owing to strong order books for the end of 2005.

Structural steelwork : has remained at 12 weeks, although some suppliers have recently filled order books, which could lengthen lead times in the next quarter.

The lead times for Lifts : remain at 41 weeks.

Reconstituted stone cladding : was maintained at 29 weeks. Natural stone cladding : stayed at 25 weeks, although suppliers noted a trend towards sourcing stone from China to reduce costs, which may increase lead times by up to five weeks in future.

Curtain walling : is unchanged again at 19 weeks – however, suppliers said lack of glass availability was a concern and increased enquiries could mean lead times go up.

Lead times for atrium roofing : have risen one week to 29, mainly because of an increase in the time required to develop designs.

Lead times for the membrane roofing : sector were kept at eight weeks. Profiled roofing : lead times remained at 13 weeks.

Lead times for facade-cleaning equipment ; increased one week to 22 weeks overall. Suppliers said the main reason was an increase in workload added to summer factory shutdowns across Europe.

The lead time for metal windows : was unchanged at 16 weeks but suppliers report continuing glass supply problems, which could increase lead times towards the end of the year.

Brickwork and blockwork : is unchanged at four weeks, although suppliers remain busy.

As expected, drylining : is maintained at nine weeks, although suppliers have reported a slowdown in enquires, which could cut the lead time in the new year.

Demountable partitions : have stabilised and stayed at 10 weeks after the increase reported in the previous article.

General joinery : is still at 12 weeks, with no movement since March this year.

Specialist joinery : lead times have stayed at 16 weeks although suppliers said specialist materials were extending lead times, which may have an impact in the next quarter.

Raised floors : are unchanged at six weeks, as they have been for the past two years. Suppliers said they anticipated lead times increasing in the forthcoming period because of number of large commercial enquiries.

Suspended ceilings : lead times have remained at 17 weeks overall although suppliers have reported an upturn in the number of commercial projects, which may increase lead-in time in the next period.

Architectural metalwork : suppliers have kept lead times at 13 weeks , after a rise last time, with order books strong into 2006.

Decorating : is unchanged at five weeks, although suppliers have reported labour shortages in industrial painting.

As anticipated, lead times for internal stone finishes : have stabilised at 17 weeks after an increase in the last quarter. Expect delivery times to reduce next year in line with increased global stone availability.

Ductwork : stabilised at 11 weeks overall after a reduction last time, although suppliers are reporting a further decrease in enquiries, which may reduce lead times in the new year.

sprinkler installations : remain at eight weeks despite the procurement time of key materials reducing slightly.

The lead for electrical supplies : has been maintained at 13 weeks with variances across specific elements, such as luminaires at six to eight weeks, switchgear at eight to 10 weeks, generators at 10 to 16 weeks and transformers at 12 to 16 weeks.

Going up


  • Atrium roofing
  • Facade-cleaning equipment


Staying level


  • Precast piling
  • Concrete works
  • Structural steelwork
  • Lifts
  • Reconstituted stone cladding
  • Natural stone cladding
  • Curtain walling
  • Membrane roofing
  • Profiled flooring
  • Facade-cleaning equipment
  • Metal windows
  • Brickwork and blockwork
  • Drylining
  • Demountable partitions
  • General joinery
  • Specialist joinery
  • Raised floors
  • Suspended ceilings
  • Architectural metalwork
  • Decorating
  • Internal stone finished
  • Ductwork
  • Sprinkler installations
  • Electrical supplies


Going down


  • Rotary piling