The shortage of materials and the high prices of fuel have triggered the price of metals and wood and, with them, that of reforms
Renovation of a house in Barcelona SANTI COGOLLUDO
Updated on Monday, 20 September 2021 – 01:57
Despite the fact that in some cases the bill has increased by up to 45%, the rise in the price of electricity is not the only problem that many small entrepreneurs face. According to freelancers, associations and clients, the high price of materials has also caused the renovation to skyrocket at a time when demand continues to increase, rendering budgets obsolete in a matter of weeks.
Added to the few materials available are the high price of fuel, which makes the transport of containers from their country of origin more expensive by up to 1,000%; from 1,800 euros to 18,000. The situation is, in a way, a perfect storm that has been fanned by the winds of the pandemic. And not only because it has disrupted all international markets, but also because it has made people consider the need for reforms. Many have not endured spending a year locked at home looking at the gotel.
The – forced – impulse of telework has also had an influence, according to the Pedro Parra, coordinator of the National Association of Rehabilitation and Reform Companies (ANERR): “They want to close the terrace or isolate a room or house.” And that’s if they haven’t bought a home outside the city. “All those people need a reform,” explains Parra.
“This started around April,” recalls Alejandro, who has a metal door company in Malaga. I received a bill from one of your providers so high that I thought it was a mistake, so I called you to correct it. “He tells me no, that prices are like this and that from one month to another it has risen almost double and that until then they had been assuming that rise, but that they can no longer because then they will be selling at a loss, “he says.
“From that moment, I have to take on jobs that I already had budgeted for, because even though the materials have been uploaded, you already have a commitment to your client,” laments the worker. “From then on you have to review all the budgets and you have to go to the penny,” he explains. “And above all, you have to give a very small budget validity: if you give it more than two weeks you may find yourself losing money again because the iron goes up again.”
“Materials have risen 30%”, calculates Parra, with special emphasis on metal derivatives, although without forgetting others such as wood, which has made building exactly the same piece of furniture have gone from costing 400 euros two years ago to 1,000 today. “From one month to another I have to give a difference of the price of the square meter of iron of 100%, directly “, contextualizes Alejandro.
From the sector they view the situation with “great concern”, especially at a time when there is “a lot of competition and, above all, unfair”. “We are talking with manufacturers and reaching agreements so that they maintain prices for a time and be able to give a budget that lasts more than 15 days,” laments the ANERR manager.
The rise affects both reforms and rehabilitation, although this second activity is somewhat more stopped, precisely because the health crisis has paralyzed neighborhood meetings. Parra also points out two other problems that already affect the sector and are expected to continue to impact this crisis: lack of manpower – “mainly tilers and bricklayers” – and, of course, the rise in the price of electricity, which “is expected” to also affect the price of raw material, in addition to what it already means in the invoice of the companies.
“For now I am not applying the rise to budgets; I am assuming it,” acknowledges Alejandro. “In the end, small companies are assuming costs until it is irremediable,” he admits. “We work with the end customer, it is a very close deal and you try to have an equal footing and adjust the price as much as possible because you know how the situation is in general.”
The problem is that the increase is of a magnitude difficult to transmit to the clients, because they are tens or hundreds of euros of difference. “In general people are not understanding it”, the Malaga businessman hurts “because as a general rule they think you are trying to deceive them.”
In your case, remember, one of the ways to increase your customer base is something as old as word of mouth. But from what one mouth paid in February to what the other is budgeted for in August, six months and a crisis have elapsed: “I know it sounds like science fiction, but I can’t give that price anymore; the materials have gone up more than 100%, so the price I gave your neighbor I can’t give you anymore. ” A lost customer. In Alejandro’s case, the solution is precisely that: lose them now and get them back later. “What I say to many clients is that if they are not in a hurry, wait, because if prices fall we are obviously not going to maintain this rise,” he says. A customer is a customer, even if it’s six months later.
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