Fencing: Early orders hit the nail on the head

The supply of timber around the country is improving, says the Fencing Contractors Association

Fencing contractors say ordering materials two to three months in advance is now the new normal.

Demand has been outstripping supply for timber products across the country due to the housing boom and supply chain issues caused by Covid 19.

Fencing Contractors Association president Phil Cornelius says after two years of delays fencing companies are getting better at ordering product in advance.

"Because demand is so high you need to pre-empt what you're going to need weeks out. Because some contractors have jobs backed up they have to pre-order three months out so they know they have the product sitting there.

"I guess contractors have had it so good for so long , you know if they needed something they could go get it but that's all changed since Covid."

Cornelius says the supply of timber does seem to be getting better.

"The wood's there - it's just taking longer for it to go through the mills. Some of the more common products like the number one and two rounds and the 2.4 metre and 2.7 metre strainers can be harder to get simply because everyone wants them, but the wait isn't too bad.

"A lot of contractors are stockpiling. We have a few extra battens and posts in the yard so that if I go to the timber mill and they say, 'Oh, we're a couple of weeks away', well, hopefully I've got something on standby so that if I've got a job I can at least make a start."

Fencing contractors usually see a slowdown of business over winter, but this year lots of operators are still really busy, he says.

"Right across the country it's still really busy, but the bad weather is holding people up. So some companies have a bit of work backed up and of course getting materials and getting them delivered is holding some people up as well."

-RNZ/Sally Murphy.

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