The industry has been facing timber shortages over the past months with a multitude of factors including driver shortages and international order levels.
In terms of lead times, American ash is the easiest to source whereas Sapele is one of the more difficult species to source. Other species are still accessible, but having longer lead times makes it a challenge for the needs of the builders to be met by the merchants.
Poplar Tulipwood, American White Ash and European Oak are other timbers also proving quicker to source. However, due to the driver shortages and global supply challenges in the industry, when looking at different types of timber, many are having to be more resourceful. Data suggests switching to species such as Walnut and American White Ash could lead to better progress on projects due to being more accessible.
Finding the right timber for your projects is essential, it is important to remember that different species are good for different projects and specifications.
The results come from a large increase in demand for timber with information from Google Trends, which show two large spikes for “Timber” searches in the UK in 2020 and 2021.
‘Timber’ searches have increased by up to 60% last year, when compared to 2 years prior. This generally had a steady increase accompanied by two spikes throughout the pandemic.
It will be interesting to see how the industry is affected in the coming months, hopefully this gives you some insight into what timber you are considering on your next builds.