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Why do a lot of builders go quiet at the end of the year?


As Santa prepares his annual visit down our chimneys, and the reindeers get all fired up to sweet the skies – there's a lot happening. The festive vibes are in full swing, and we're all running around trying to get those stockings filled in the knick of time. And then there's preparing family gatherings and making sure New Year's is all sorted out, too. No matter who you are or what kind of profession you work in, it's guaranteed to be a busy time of year for you. But as a tradie or a builder, this period often comes with a wind-down, allowing for some much needed R&R before another big year.

So why exactly do most builders go quiet and put down the tools for the end of year period?


Sole traders or are run by a principal trader

Remember that a majority of builders are actually sole trader and may not mean they have a plethora of staff available to handle a lot of work during this period. It’s also likely they’ve worked extremely hard throughout the year and need a bit of time off themselves, in order to get back into things with a fresh and clear mind.


Resourcing and materials

All builders have a long list of suppliers they refer to when they need their resources and materials. Over Christmas and the New Year, these suppliers typically shut down, making it hard to progress on any projects in the works. A lot of the time, the best opportunity to take time off in the business is now – when all other businesses in the supply chain have already gone into holiday mode.


Generally, these fluctuations in demand also mean business is slow. As someone who operates a company, it’s crucial to analyse whether working through the festive season is profitable at all. This is especially true if the builder is a sub-contractor, and who is working for someone that has noted there will be no developments over this period.


They have families

Builders are people too and although we always need them in our pockets and ready to jump into the action, a lot of them have families to take care of. This means dealing with school holidays and looking after kids. Sometimes, life just calls – and at this time of year, it definitely does.


At the end of the day, it's important to speak to your chosen builder to understand their availability during this time of year. Know what they are required to do during or before and make sure both parties agree. If you have specific needs that need to be met, or deadlines to stick to, this will all be a part of the initial briefing process and should be clearly defined during the first stage.