Why are roofing materials in short supply?

Nov 4, 2021 | Advice

In a study conducted by Glenigan for the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) they found that 81% of roofing contractors have seen a decrease in roofing and cladding material available between April and June 2021. Moreover, it was reported that prices have also increased by 300% on varying products.

Since coronavirus hit in March 2020, renovations and home improvements have increased due to people being in their house more and saving money from not being able to go out or on holiday. Therefore, this has caused a huge demand in building materials, which in turn has increased the pressure on manufacturers to keep up with the demand.

A long side the pressures caused by covid; Brexit has also caused the construction industry various issues. The Construction Leadership Council reported that the majority of construction products used in the UK (60%) come from the EU. Furthermore, due to the enforcement of the EU Settlement Scheme many EU citizens who were working and living in the UK have returned to their respective countries resulting in a decline in labour. Moreover, from the NFRC survey, 76% of the respondents to the survey stated that they were also finding recruitment difficult. Job roles such as roof slaters (39%), felters (33%), and tilers (22%) in particular.

What material is affected?


This is due to the increased demand in China alongside the reduction in exports. May 2021, British Steel had to temporarily stop taking orders to enable them to catch up with the demand


The vast majority of cement is manufactured in the UK however, with many roofing products requiring this material such as tiles and slates alongside the HS2 development, demand is high.


Since the first lockdown, global demand for wooden products has increased. According to Timber Trade Federation (TTF) chief executive David Hopkins “Overall construction activity has expanded at the fastest pace in 24 years, and with double digit growth for the construction industry predicted in 2021 there will be challenges. Demand growing this quickly amidst a global pandemic has given little time to recover, or ramp up production, and this has been seen throughout the construction products industry.”

Roof tiles

The NFRC chief executive, James Talman reported “Lead times for concrete tiles are on average around 20 weeks but can be up to 36 weeks on some products” this is due to the industry as a whole playing catch up following production line closures alongside demand.

We have plenty of material

At Cardinal Steels we can assure our customers that we have plenty of stock. We manufacture and supply high quality materials manufactured to order in a range of thickness’, colours, and finishes. Our product range includes box profile steel roofing sheets, corrugated roofing sheets, flat metal sheets, and insulated roofing solutions. Contact us today for advice and guidance from start to finish.


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Roof sheets and z-purlins manufactured and cut to size in the West Midlands, delivered nationwide.

Our Products

Box profile roof sheets

Box Profile Roofing Sheets

Our CS 32/1000 is used in every sector. Box profile steel roofing sheets are available in all finishes and thicknesses.

corrugated roof sheets

Corrugated Roofing Sheets

3″ corrugated steel roofing sheets available in lengths up to 10m. Manufactured on-site in Bromsgrove.

z purlin frame

Z Purlins & C Sections

Steel Z purlins and C sections range from 1.4mm to 2.5mm in thickness. From CS 121 up to CS 265, and cut to length.