Steel price hikes and the lockdown for building work are causing chaos for shed erection.

“Steel prices have increased by €330/t, that’s a 40% hike,” Matthew Ryan of O’Dwyer Steel in Co Tipperary told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“Cladding prices are going up from 1 May, and timber prices are 10% up. Supply of steel is almost as big a problem,” he added.

“Galvanised products have gone up by 50% to 60%,” said Jason Walsh of Loughryan Engineering.

“Tegral has held prices for as long as it can, but is increasing prices soon. Structural steel has gone up €100/t, merchant bar has gone dear and is very hard to get.”

COVID-19 and Brexit have both had an effect on the market.

Backlogs in deliveries are adding to delays already being experienced. The halting of all building work except that deemed essential since Christmas has seen vital months lost, with no certainty as yet as to when construction work can resume. And with TAMS building work, there was already pressure in the system pre-COVID-19.

There are calls for TAMS reference costs to increase to reflect real prices.

“We’re finding it frustrating. We’ve taken all the steps, investing in training on work protocols under Covid-19. It’s hard to understand why outdoor work of this nature is deemed too high-risk,” said Gillian Pierce of JP Murphy Bros in Wexford.

“We’re having to re-price jobs at this point. It’s not just about steel price increases. Welding wire is essential. It stopped coming from China. It has to be CE-approved, it’s being sourced in Italy, but [shipping] containers are up in price by 100%.”