Increase to pine log quota great news

John GelavisSponsored
Master Builders Executive Director John Gelavis.
Camera IconMaster Builders Executive Director John Gelavis. Credit: The West Australian

As I have written in previous articles, along with bricks and steel, structural timber is one of the most important materials in the Western Australian building and construction industry, predominately used in residential homebuilding.

Timber has many environmental benefits, one being that it is grown faster than it is utilised. When timber is used in building construction, it stores the carbon for as long as the building stands or the timber is used.

Structural pine is used for roof construction and wall-framing, as it provides a smooth surface to accurate dimensions, which makes it easy to handle and work with a high degree of accuracy.

Due to the unprecedented demand, which has been created through many factors, including COVID-19 and successful federal and state stimulus programs, the industry is experiencing serious material supply shortages across the nation. In WA, demand has been exacerbated by the critical need to rebuild towns impacted by the devastating impact of Cyclone Seroja and Wooroloo bushfires.

Our recent survey of Master Builders members has indicated that in WA timber shortages are the most acute issue facing the industry now.

Currently, every state around the nation is experiencing massive demand for housing and many countries around the world are using construction as a form of economic stimulus, which is heightening demand and impacting the global supply chain of materials, in particular structural timber. Normally, we import around 20-25 per cent of timber, however we are only getting around seven to eight per cent, which is causing a shortage across the country.

One of the effects is a delay in timber supply, which the builder does not have any control or influence over. These delays in timber supply impact the builder’s ability to progress the project depending on the stage of construction.

Unfortunately, builders are bearing the brunt of this issue and customers are getting frustrated, so Master Builders has been working hard on behalf of our members and the homebuilding community to advocate for an increase to the log quota by the State Government to local sawmiller Wespine.

I am pleased to report that this week Forestry Minister Dave Kelly announced that the State Government is increasing the log quota of pine, which will supply an additional 12,000 tonnes to Wespine, filling numerous backorders by timber merchants who supply the building industry.

This is great news for many builders and clients who may be waiting on timber for their homes, as well as local carpenters, suppliers and apprentices.

Although it may not fill all the outstanding demand, it is a great move and a step in the right direction.

If you are currently building a new home and are experiencing supply issues, it is important to appreciate these challenges are beyond the builder’s control, so please be patient and work with your builder.

For more information about Master Builders WA or to become a member, go to www.mbawa.com.

Q&A with MBA Housing and Construction Director Jason Robertson

The Question

I have just moved into my house and the roof has made some noises. It is a metal clad roof. I was told this is perfectly normal and it is not an issue, but I just wanted to know a little bit more.

The Answer

We get this question, understandably, a lot.

Many people like the sound of rain on a metal clad roof. However, if you don’t and wish to reduce the rain noise, you can do so by using a glass fibre or wool blanket installed directly under the roof sheeting and pulled tight so that it is held hard against the underside of the sheeting.

This has the effect of dampening the vibration and noise of raindrops. The blankets, which normally come in rolls and have a reflective foil bonded to one side, also have the added benefit of insulating against heat transfer through the roof sheeting into the ceiling cavity.

In temperate zones they are designed to be installed with the silver side facing downward, whereas in tropical locations the silver side should face the roof sheets.

Metal roofing expands during hot days and contracts during the cold ones. And, with recent weather patterns, it’s certainly been a little bit more front and centre.

So, why does a steel roof go boom in the night? To put it simply, metal when hot expands and metal when cool contracts.

Due to temperature variations and the fact that your roof sheeting is confined, such variations in expansion and contraction cause friction. It is this friction that is released through energy, creating the bang or cracking noise effect.

How can this be remedied? While there are a number of remedies before resorting to more costly tactics such as installing and/or changing your roof’s insulation, first contact your local professional builder and request that they tighten the roof’s fastening screws to prevent excessive movement or friction.

CONTACT Master Builders WA, 9476 9800 www.mbawa.com

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