Coastland Builders director Mitch Butler has been left ‘completely exposed’ due to a major trades and material shortage. Picture: Lachie Millard
Coastland Builders director Mitch Butler has been left ‘completely exposed’ due to a major trades and material shortage. Picture: Lachie Millard

‘Completely exposed’: Builder stung $150k by supply crisis

A Sunshine Coast builder will be at least $150,000 out of pocket by the end of the year due to a major materials and supply shortage.

Coastland Builders director Mitch Butler said he had at least 10 contracts locked in for the year and was losing about $15,000 per home.

"I was signing contracts on Christmas Eve and then the prices went up, absolutely everything went up and we are stuck," Mr Butler said.

"Roofers are the biggest problem, and frames, trusses and timber."

Mr Butler is one of many builders on the Sunshine Coast who have reported massive delays for timber, steel, frames and trusses; spiking prices and a shortage of tradies.

The builders who signed contracts of the back of the Home Builder Scheme have been locked in and are forced to wear trades and material costs that continue to rise due to severe shortages.

Master Builders Sunshine Coast regional manager Nicola Scott said the region's builders had reported the cost of timber and steel had jumped by 15 per cent.

She said laminated beam prices had increased by five per cent in February and again 15 per cent in May.

"Builders tell me there's a three-and-a-half-month delay on trusses, roofing and frames, one builder advised me he wouldn't be able to order frames until 2022," Ms Scott said.

"Another builder told me it would cost $1200 to get bricks delivered to his site. Per site. When you have 10-15 sites it's a substantial cost."

Grant McDonald of Grant McDonald Homes with Master Builders Sunshine Coast regional manager Nicola Scott.
Grant McDonald of Grant McDonald Homes with Master Builders Sunshine Coast regional manager Nicola Scott.

Mr Butler said every delay meant an extra cost.

"Things like toilets, scaffolding, fence hire, all those little things you don't see," he said.

"Skip bin prices just went up the other day, frames have gone up. You can't get frames until next year.

"There's no timber anywhere. It's so scarce I've had it stolen from job sites."

Mr Butler said most of the public were unaware of the supply and trade shortage and were left frustrated at being unable to get the keys on the agreed start date.

Ms Scott stressed that not every builder was crippled by the crisis but it was the builders who more than 10 homes per year that were feeling the financial pinch.

"What can they do when they enter into a building contract and sign it, then be told that frames are not going to be on site for four months, when you're already outside of a time frame?" Ms Scott said.

"They're completely exposed."

Master Builders Queensland deputy chief executive Paul Bidwell said the state's building industry was "teetering" in the face of shortages and delays.

"Rising prices and trade and material shortages have some in the industry walking a tightrope as a profitless boom looms - and it's bound to take a tumble unless solutions can be found," Mr Bidwell said.