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Timber and bricks cheaper in North-west

Bricks, concrete blocks and timber are cheaper in the North-west, according to the EC Harris/Construction News Contractor’s Input Cost Index in September.

The data shows that bricks cost £189 per 1,000, compared to a mean UK average of £209 while concrete blocks cost £6 per sq metre compared to an average of £7 per sq metre.

Timber in the region is slightly under the UK average at £2.71 per metre.

Average labour costs in the North-west are £184 per day compared to an average of £170. Bricklayers charge £190 per day while carpenters cost £178.

Ready mix concrete in the region is slightly above the UK average at £74 per cubic metre.

The annual rise of materials for the third quarter of 2008 was 14.3 per cent. The high cost of oil has played a leading role in material costs but since hitting a record high in July of $147 a barrel, it has now fallen under $100 a barrel.

Balfour Beatty picked up more contracts than other contractor in the region for the year to September 2008 with 17 and their combined value dwarfed other firms at more than £298 million.

Laing O’Rourke came second in terms of value with six contracts valued at £239 million while Carillion won seven contracts worth £226 million.