UK Timber Shortage: Can I Still Get Decking For My Garden?

 A shortage of timber and other building materials is having far-reaching consequences for homeowners and the construction sector. However, Gripsure still has plenty of non-slip decking in stock.

The UK is facing a shortage of building materials, including timber. This is the result of many factors but soaring demand as we bounce back from the pandemic seems to be the main driver. We want to reassure our customers that Gripsure has a good supply of non-slip timber decking in stock.

What’s causing the timber shortage?

Here in the UK, and across much of the world, there is a shortage of building materials. This is mainly the result of the pandemic. Covid has disrupted supply chains, causing delays and shortages. The pandemic has affected the whole timber industry, from forestry right through to timber shipping and treatment. The Timber Trade Federation has been reporting on this throughout the crisis.

At the same time, demand has soared, both from commercial developers and home owners. The construction sector is bouncing back from the pandemic while lockdowns have inspired record numbers of people to consider home improvement projects. A recent Houzz survey of more than 3,700 UK homeowners, reported in Professional Builder, highlights the trend. Three in five respondents said they were inspired to start a home renovation or design project during the pandemic.

There are other factors too. A warmer than average winter affected timber production in Scandinavia. Some firms also say that Brexit is impacting on both supply and demand. This combination of issues has resulted in materials shortages and rising prices, affecting large construction firms, small builders and homeowners.

Decking in demand

Timber decking is just one building material that has been impacted by the pandemic. However, while it is affected by the same pressures as other construction materials, it has the added element of being an outdoor living product.

The shift towards outdoor living, as restrictions change, has made decking even more desirable. Growing numbers of homeowners are seeking to improve their gardens to make the most of them for outdoor entertaining. Builders’ Merchants News reported on research that found that Google searches for ‘decking’ doubled in the first week of lockdown in March 2020. And an article in The Times said that Brits had “fallen back in love with decking.” This certainly reflects our experience here at Gripsure.

In the period from March to September 2020, we sold significantly more decking than we did in the previous 12 months. Orders from our commercial customers, from house builders and architects to visitor attractions and hotels, did not slow down. Meanwhile, enquiries soared from homeowners seeking to create safe and beautiful spaces in their gardens.

How Gripsure is responding to the timber shortage

The timber shortage and Covid disruption has, of course, posed some challenges to us here at Gripsure. However, we are not facing any stock shortages.

Gripsure Managing Director Mike Nicholson says: “Although we are not immune to the issues facing the timber industry, we are in a strong position. We have excellent relationships with our key suppliers, many of whom we have worked with for many years. In addition, we are benefitting from increasing our stock holdings in the last quarter of 2020. This means we have had plenty of timber to see us through this period of heightened demand.

“The desire for decking shows no signs of slowing down so the challenge for us is to continue to meet our customers’ needs. We are planning well ahead with our customers and suppliers and are continually monitoring the situation so we can adapt if we need to. This approach is serving us well. We’re delighted to continue to get positive reviews and feedback from people who have transformed their gardens with Gripsure non-slip decking.

If you are considering timber decking for your garden, why not check out our Residential range of non-slip decking?


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