Lifestyle

‘It’s frustrating as hell’: Owner of new build sleeping in tiny home on site after Gib shortage delays


An Auckland man is having to live in a tiny home on the site of his new house because delays in the supply of Gib have pushed his move-in date out by months.

Mason, who did not want to give his last name out of concern that it could create problems for his builder, said construction of his house in Clevedon began in August last year, and he should have been moving in about now.

“But we can’t move into our house because we can’t get Gib.”

The rental he and his wife were living in had sold in anticipation of their move, and was taken over by the new owners two weeks ago.

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Now the couple are living in a 30 square metre home on their building site.

Builders had been able to make the garage secure to store their furniture before it was finished but this had cost the couple more.

Mason’s builder was told by suppliers before Christmas that there was not an issue with Gib, and it would have a delivery time of three to five weeks. An order was placed when the builder came back from his holiday at the end of January.

A shortage of Gib means new homeowners are having their builds pushed out by months.

KEVIN STENT/Stuff

A shortage of Gib means new homeowners are having their builds pushed out by months.

Big suppliers like Carters and Placemakers warned major construction companies of delays in January.

Customers had been told Fletcher would not deliver any new orders before the end of May; then Winstone announced it would not take advance orders at all.

Carters did not want to comment on the shortage.

Mason’s builder was then told there was no supply until September.

“And we’re now living on-site,” Mason said. He estimated it had cost them an extra $5000.

“It takes about eight months to build a house, and it takes more than that to supply Gib.

“It’s frustrating as hell. It’s gone from what should have been an eight-month build to nearly a 14-month build.”

He said they were now trying to bypass the normal suppliers, even going to Fletchers to ask for supply.

A pallet of Gib plasterboard sold for more than $1300 on Trade Me in January 2022.

National MP Andrew Bayly said he had talked to a number of builders who were struggling with the shortage.

“There is a massive shortage,” he said. “There’s been a lot of delay in delivering product.”

National MP Andrew Bayly says he has been speaking to a number of concerned builders about the shortage.

SIMON O’CONNOR/Stuff

National MP Andrew Bayly says he has been speaking to a number of concerned builders about the shortage.

New Zealand buildings primarily use 10mm Gib board but everywhere else in the world, 9mm and 11mm was also made, he said.

“One of the big issues we’ve got is there is lots of supply around the world of 9mm and 11mm board, but unless the councils are happy with it and architects are used to specifying it, it’s not that easy to get here quickly.”

The shortage had become so bad, people had started to source and supply Gib themselves.

And although they had found they could buy Gib more cheaply overseas, the rapid escalation of shipping costs meant it was too expensive to get here.

AUT construction management professor John Tookey said builders needed to move beyond Gib to combat the shortage.

This pallet of GIB plasterboard sold for more than $1300 in January 2022.

Trade Me

This pallet of GIB plasterboard sold for more than $1300 in January 2022.

No product was individually specified in the building code but the terminology typically used was that alternatives should be a “Gib-like product”.

The reason for this was the success of Gib, he said.

“Gib has been tested so utterly and totally that every single categorisation of use you can imagine for building code purposes of cement board has been Gib.”

Some other international competitors had certain line items that were fully tested while others were not.

“What Gib has is a highly competitive position.

“What’s happened is other players don’t necessarily want to compete because they can’t compete.”



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