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Material Shortage – It’s Affecting Everyone



There’s a significant shortage of materials for many types of construction projects right now.


Australian builders are stockpiling timber (lumber) materials for jobs they haven’t landed yet. They are happy to spend tens of thousands of dollars just to have the material in their yard in lieu of waiting weeks/months.


And whilst a writing a scope statement won’t hasten the timber procurement process, or any other materials for that matter, it will allow you know exactly how long it will take to get. By writing a scope, it forces you (the client/owner) to focus on what you want. Once you know what you want, you can set out to ascertain availability of the product, the lead time and impact to the overall schedule.


In the current environment, clients/owners need to be flexible when considering materials for their project. This means that a substitution may be required in order to save some time without forgoing the quality and end result. It’s always possible that cost savings can be achieved as well.


What’s a substitute? It’s a change in product or material (amongst many other things) from what was originally specified.


Example – you desperately want a Miele fridge. However, it currently has a 12 week lead time. You have found that a LG fridge can be delivered in 4 weeks and is $2000 less. This is one of many dilemmas you may come across in a construction project.



Other materials that could be substituted:


  • Tile.

  • Floor covering.

  • Benchtops.

  • Cabinets.

  • Whitegoods (washing machine, dryer, etc.).

  • Light fixtures.

This list is not exhaustive, but you get the idea.