Concrete, tiles, and plaster are among the materials to have risen most in cost when it comes to home renovations in France.
New figures from small business and artisan group la Confédération de l’artisanat et des petites entreprises du bâtiment (Capeb) compared the prices of work and materials for the first quarter of 2023 to those of the same period in 2022.
It wrote: “Over one year, prices for building maintenance and improvement work rose by an average of 8.9% in the first quarter of 2023.”
The rising cost of raw materials is the main reason for the rise, the group said. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to the scarcity of some metals, while soaring energy costs have also had a knock-on effect on the price of manufacturing.
This has particularly hit industries including ceramics (up 14.4%) and concrete (21%). In contrast, the price of basic steel and iron alloys dropped by 24.6% in the same period.
The Capeb has calculated the price rise in a variety of categories.
Joinery and carpentry: 12.2 %
Roofing: 10.5 %
Other specialised construction work: 9.2%
Floor and wall coverings: 8.9 %
Plumbing, heating and air-conditioning installation: 8.8 %
Painting and glazing: 8.5 %
Plastering: 8.1 %
Other installation work: 6.2 %
Electrical installation: 5.1 %
Knock-on effect on eco-renovations
At a press conference, Capeb president Jean-Christophe Repon said that a year ago, the group had already warned about the dropping activity of artisan building companies, and the impact that the rising costs were having on the industry - especially the eco-friendly renovation of buildings.
He said: "At the rate at which our business is declining, the government's targets for energy renovation and for achieving carbon neutrality for housing by 2050 will be impossible to meet.”
In Lille, President Emmanuel Macron recorded a video message for conference attendees at a Capeb gathering, saying: “Artisan businesses represent a great deal for our country: expertise, jobs, activity, and also entrepreneurial culture.
“Your commitment to the quality of life of the French people and to regional cohesion…all this is absolutely essential.”
However, Capeb has warned that the government is not doing enough to support the industry and small artisan building businesses, and that now it has to “move from words to actions”.