Sustainability and Savings: Why Reclaimed Stone is fast becoming the preference of homeowners everywhere

There’s no avoiding it: the price of everything is increasing. Energy bills have soared, groceries are hitting their highest prices and inflation seems to be ever on the rise.

The combined impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, Brexit, current global political tensions and finite resources reaching their natural end have seen homeowners face a variety of unique challenges in their day-to-day lives; even before they look to renovate, extend or build.

The building market has seen widespread price increases across almost all supplies and those in the industry are anecdotally reporting them to be the highest they’ve ever known. In many cases, builders (who traditionally have their work booked up months in advance) are having to refer back to customers to increase their overall fee as a result – even before the work begins.

Post-lockdown, the construction and homebuilding sectors have seen a marked increase in activity and demand but the input-cost inflation has continued to increase throughout.

Over the last year, the price of timber has increased by over 80%, copper and steel by over 40%, paints and varnishes up over 30% and polymers over 60%. These staggering soaring prices have had a huge impact on homeowners looking to renovate, refurbish and self-build – and this is not including labour costs, which often make up the majority of an overall project fee.

Furthermore, supply chains have been heavily disrupted over the last two years and lead times for import items are longer than ever before.
Roofers in particular have felt the brunt of such changes with the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) reporting unparalleled difficulties for their members with material costs increasing over 50% combined with numerous supply issues.

There is hope for homeowners, however. Recycled and reclaimed stone is fast becoming the preferred material option for those looking to carry out building work for many reasons. It is usually more cost-effective and of better value than newly manufactured materials and with continued supply chain issues, often more readily available.

It’s also a sustainable option; promoting the reuse of existing materials without the need for further manufacture or intervention.

Whilst sustainability isn’t often the first consideration homeowners make in their renovations, extensions, additions and builds it is becoming more regulated with LPAs (Local Planning Authorities) showing ongoing positive consideration toward property plans they consider to be ‘green’ and planning permission more readily granted for such projects.

Although not yet currently heavily promoted through new build guidelines and regulations, it’s also likely that sustainability considerations will be written into law in the future – and so in moving now to incorporate recycled and reclaimed materials in their houses, homeowners can innovate and get ahead of the curve before such stipulations are made.

Builders and roofers are generally supportive of the use of such materials and the recent price rises and supply issues have increased their acceptance further. Reclaimed and recycled stone and other materials are soaring in popularity as a result – a win-win-win for the sector, for homeowners and for the environment!

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