Help to deal with building project delays and material price rises

Finding it difficult to manage building project delays due to material and labour shortages? Worried that you’re going to be undercut if you quote prospective customers the new inflated prices?

Is yours one of the building firms that The Construction Index has reported as struggling following the rise in customer enquiries?

You really need the help of EstimatorXpress, ContractsXpert and ProjectXpert. You see; HBXL is so much more than speedily produced estimates…

You can read an excerpt from The Construction Index article with quotes from the Chief Executive of the FMB further down the page…

How HBXL can provide real, practical help – even when you’re busy

Problem – how do I compete with builders putting in cheap as chips quotes? As the FMB has highlighted, some builders are not passing on the inflated prices to homeowners at the quote stage.

Solution – DON’T stoop to their level – be professional DO give your prospects professionally-produced, hard-to-ignore quotes that clearly explain the build phases and costs involved. Not all homeowners will risk going with the cheapest building firm – they want facts, transparency and professionalism. EstimatorXpress gives you all that and more.


Problem – the rest of the builders are putting up their prices because of demand – should I? We live in a ‘market economy’. Many more homeowners want work done currently. And there are only so many building firms to go round… if they want the work done…

Solution – cover your overheads and then add a decent profit margin If you’re putting in a profit margin of less than 10% then you should be adding more anyway – and especially now when interest in construction is high. But profit isn’t a nice-to-have – it’s essential for the future of your business. EstimatorXpress prompts you to add a profit percentage. Watch our Price & Profit Masterclass.


Problem – I can’t keep up with all the material price rises Rapidly changing prices is a minefield – that and explaining the increases/inflation to a customer…

Solution – let us give you the latest prices and inflation support We’ve done the builders merchant trawling for you. The Price Tracker+ in EstimatorXpress is regularly updated so that you have the latest prices there on your computer. And the Inflation Calculator will estimate the impact of inflation on longer build times due to labour and materials availability delays and material inflation.


Problem – I know I should order materials further in advance but I’m not With such long lead times on materials I realise pre-planning is necessary – last minute purchases aren’t practical at the moment.

Solution – use automatic materials orders Once you’ve produced your estimate in EstimatorXpress it will automatically organise you with a whole load of reports including a Materials Order Report that ensures you’ve got what you need on site, when you need it, to avoid costly delays to construction. Whilst the Material schedule allows for supplier lead times to ensure there are no hold-ups.


Problem – I’m REALLY busy and I can’t start my next project for 12 months I don’t know how I’ll get the customer to pay more next year if costs increase and who knows what about future Coronaviruses… 

Solution – build the unknowns into your customer contract It’s not your fault materials are going up. There’s nothing you can do about delays due to Covid-19 or anything like it in the future. So you shouldn’t be funding the shortfall. ContractsXpert 2021 has a clause for exactly this issue allowing you some flexibility to reprice the job closer to the start date – so it’s fair to you and the customer.


Problem – I can’t keep on top of the building project delays Jobs are being held up because certain materials are in scarce supply. And labour isn’t easy to come by.

Solution – let software take the strain You cannot figure it all out in your head or on a bunch of post-it notes. Fact. The only way forward is an editable bar chart that plots the project schedule and automatically changes all the activities when you make an adjustment. EstimatorXpress will help you with one project. ProjectXpert will help you manage multiple projects (and help you in many other ways).

Next step?

Give us a call on 0117 916 7898 or email to chat through your own experiences whether it’s building project delays or keeping up with the workload. We can work with you to find the best solution. You can also book an online demonstration of any of our software products. Help is at hand.

Excerpt from The Construction Index article:

With building materials not always readily available, 93% of builders said that material prices were rising.

One FMB member said: “Delays in material arriving when required is having a detrimental effect on daily work, causing constant juggling of jobs. Time planning has increased as well as time on site, and generally longer hours being worked.”

Another said: “It is impossible to recruit skilled staff at the moment. Everybody seems to be staying with their current employer.”

A third said: “There is a lack of quality skilled entrants into the industry.”

FMB chief executive Brian Berry said: “I am delighted to see the positive reports from builders across the UK that workloads, enquiries and employment are all firmly back in positive territory after a difficult year for business. In the first quarter of the FMB’s 80th year, it is particularly pleasing to see enquiries grow at their fastest rate in more than a decade. However, success is not without its challenges. A whopping 93% of builders reported material price increases in the period January to March, with particular concerns over accessing roof tiles, glazing products, timber and insulation.”

He continued: “The worrying impact of these material price increases is that quality builders are at risk of being undercut by unscrupulous traders offering lower quotes to homeowners. Consumers must be aware that the cost of building works may change in the months ahead, as access to materials continues to cause a headache for 93% of Britain’s builders.”