Months of waiting for a new bathroom due to a shortage of materials and professionals

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We still need a lot of patience to renovate the living room or the bathroom or to have a heat pump installed. Wait times vary from a few weeks to several months and are caused by a shortage of materials, the pressure to become more sustainable and a shortage of professionals, according to a visit from NU.nl.

Many entrepreneurs are delighted that there is currently so much work, they know this at the Dutch Federation of Entrepreneurs (AFNL). But this does not mean that all requests are processed and executed quickly.

“There are a number of reasons why we still have to wait a long time for the renovations to take place. For example, there is a shortage of wood and iron. Materials often have to come from abroad, supplies don’t are sometimes not on time and then there is also a shortage of professionals”, explains an AFNL spokesperson.

The shortage of staff is partly due to the aging of the population. Moreover, the influx of education is limited; too few professionals are trained.

The government is also pushing to make homes more sustainable, for example by insulating, buying solar panels or installing a heat pump. “A lot of consumers are now working on it, which means entrepreneurs can barely handle the job.”

Plumbers, mechanics and installers are also currently facing a shortage of materials. There are supply problems with, among other things, pipes and wiring, ceramics for the sanitary sector, central heating boilers, ventilation systems, solar panels and hybrid heat pumps, explains the industrial organization Techniek Nederland.

“Consumers should consider longer lead times. These may vary by product and installer. Lead times of weeks to months are not unusual,” a spokesperson said.

“Great demand for hybrid heat pumps”

According to Techniek Nederland, the shortage of materials has several causes. “Rising gas prices and uncertainty about Russian gas supply are leading to high demand for, among other things, hybrid heat pumps and solar panels. Homeowners are realizing that it is more profitable than ever to increase durability and save energy. This is a positive development, but it means waiting times are increasing.”

Suppliers of, among other things, hybrid heat pumps and inverters for solar installations have been suffering from the worldwide chip shortage for some time. This is the result of the continued shortage of microchips and raw materials and a surging global demand. New lockdowns in China add to that.

“Supply chains are also still suffering from the consequences of the corona pandemic. The war in Ukraine is now causing additional logistical problems and reduced availability of raw materials.

Problems play out throughout the build chain

Problems affect the entire construction chain. For example, plasterers or tilers, often the last link in a renovation, sometimes have to postpone their work for several weeks because colleagues have had delivery problems in the previous weeks.

The Dutch Association of Contractors for Finishing Companies points out that planning is therefore under pressure. “And then you might say to yourself: my bathroom is not that big for a renovation? But if one of the handymen does not receive certain materials, the rest stagnates”, explains a spokesperson.

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