One in 10 small builders report losses on contracts due to rising material costs

A third of small building firms say that soaring material prices are squeezing their margins, according to the latest research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Almost a quarter of the companies said they have had to pass these price increases on to customers.

And more than one in 10 reported making losses on contracts due to spiralling material costs.

The FMB said its members have reported the price increases since the depreciation of sterling following the EU referendum in June 2016.

According to the survey, materials where prices have increased the most are (highest price rises first): timber, insulation, bricks, blocks, windows, plasterboard, slate, boilers and radiators, and porcelain.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “Material price increases have left builders under severe pressure. This research shows that following the fall in the exchange rate, timber is the material that the majority of builders say has increased most in price but the problem doesn’t end there – everything from insulation to windows to bricks and blocks are soaring in price.”