January 28, 2023


Home living innovation

Gib shortage: Can you swap in an alternative for your new build or renovation?


If your new dwelling develop has stalled for the reason that your builder just cannot accessibility a provide of Gib plasterboard for the wall linings, never anticipate an straightforward “fix”.

That is the message Things is receiving from men and women in the field.

Gib is in short offer, but if it is specified on your consented setting up designs, you simply cannot very easily swap it for one thing else.

Nonetheless, builders functioning on smaller sized renovation initiatives that do not require developing consents have extra liberty about material decision, this means alternate resources could be viable for a renovation.

Read Extra:
* Gib by the numbers: Why it is building persons hoard, steal and beg
* Fletcher Building apologises soon after Gib stockpiling movie emerges
* Lack sees builders obtain Gib board for six occasions retail cost on Trade Me

If you currently have a building consent

Projects that already have a building consent that specifies a certain product, these kinds of as Gib, will be expected to use that substance, until you request an modification. And that may possibly not be straightforward.

Competitors have previously expressed annoyance that architects specify ‘Gib’ as if it were a generic term for plasterboard, and council inspectors are rigid about allowing builders to swap it out.

For a consented strategy, any replacement merchandise requirements to be pre-authorized, Mike Evans, normal supervisor of Consultancy Services for BRANZ points out. “Councils have to have to be contented it fulfills all the needs of the making code.”


Fletcher Creating has apologised just after a Canterbury builder captured video clip proof of Gib stockpiling at a Fletcher Living design website in Lincoln.

Evans claims there are also goods coming in from overseas, some of which meet the making code and some of which never. “They don’t constantly just take into account seismic testing. The leaky home historical past has manufactured councils danger averse, and they will need to have to be assured of structural integrity and humidity integrity. Goods are approved for a unique software, which is one more point to think about.”

One particular marketplace source who procedures constructing consents claims suppliers of substitute goods are in some cases unable to source the degree of facts expected by the setting up code. “We know there is a lot of stress out there amid builders. There are not the solutions out there to make excellent substitutes that really do not price tag a large amount much more revenue.”

If you never have consent

Jeremy Grey of builderscrack.co.nz suggests builders performing on more compact, unconsented jobs can normally use alternative, imported products and solutions: “It relies upon how in depth the renovation is,” he states. “A lot of resources coming into the region are made use of for this type of venture.”

Grey himself has made use of a product, basically referred to as ‘plasterboard’, from a neighborhood supplier. “We detect folks are fairly protecting of their resources. They are preserving them close to their chest. We also listen to that a lot of builders are ready to get a several sheets of Gib from merchants, but not adequate for a new house develop.”

Both way, he has this guidance for householders and tradies: “The before a property owner can program their undertaking, the far better. And we like to established expectations – the larger sized your job, the more time you will have to wait around.”

Winstone Wallboard, a subsidiary of Fletcher Building, is the leading manufacturer of Gib board in New Zealand. (File photo)


Winstone Wallboard, a subsidiary of Fletcher Making, is the major company of Gib board in New Zealand. (File photograph)

Other manufacturers

Specifying other materials at the structure phase is an additional way around the offer issue (bearing in head supply should increase when the new Winstone Wallboards manufacturing facility in Tauranga comes on stream next May perhaps).

Only all around 5% or so of the plasterboard market place is not in the arms of Fletcher Creating (the manufacturer of Gib plasterboard as a result of its subsidiary Winstone Wallboards), but alternate authorised suppliers include Elephant Plasterboard, which imports products from Thailand ProRoc, which imports a small sum of solution from French multinational Saint-Gobain and sells by means of Bunnings Youngman Source Group and a handful of compact Chinese importers.

But charge will be a factor when it will come to other resources, says Gray: “As quickly as you stage absent from Gib, your expenditures go up. They may go up 10% to 20% with the next most affordable option, then go on up from there.”

BRANZ has experienced a quantity of enquiries from corporations with choice goods on the lookout to enter the industry, and have appraisals underway, but the method of screening and approval can take as lengthy as six months. “We do points as quickly as we can, but most of the conversations we are possessing are in the early levels, so (acquiring the items to current market) could be some time away.”

Plywood and other timber

Structural plywood is an option to think about, particularly if you are nonetheless at the style phase. But it is noticeably extra pricey than Gib, and a fully various seem – it is normally stained, so the grain is uncovered. Plywood lining that is not structural is a lot less pricey, but won’t supply bracing.

Grey claims he is a “massive fan” of natural cladding elements, these types of as timber and earth renders. “But they are markedly far more highly-priced and not employed in mass-made households.” He mentions shiplap and tongue-and-groove timbers as possible options.

This pallet of GIB plasterboard sold for more than $1300 in January 2022 amid the construction materials shortage (normal price without trade discount $879).

Trade Me

This pallet of GIB plasterboard marketed for additional than $1300 in January 2022 amid the construction materials scarcity (standard rate without the need of trade price cut $879).


This solid fibre-cement sheeting is generally used for moist parts, and also would be a additional high priced selection for an total residence.

“Some of these boards need a whole lot of prep get the job done if they are to be laid around a big location, and almost certainly require to be papered prior to portray to get the required finish,” Grey says.


MDF is not recommended as a substitution for wall linings. It’s heavy, inclined to mould when moist, and will not give the exact finish. It expands and contracts, so gaps in between boards are not able to be plastered, ensuing in an unfinished search. Grey says it is a rough complete, and far more suited to sheds.

Recycled board

Stuff has talked to a home owner wanting to use the new recycled Saveboard for a renovation – they hope to steer clear of the Gib shortages, and like the concept of a recycled materials.

SaveBoard founder Paul Charteris at his warehouse plant in Te Rapa. Saveboard creates building products out of soft plastics and milk cartons.

Christel Yardley/Stuff

SaveBoard founder Paul Charteris at his warehouse plant in Te Rapa. Saveboard generates setting up solutions out of gentle plastics and milk cartons.

More than the past four a long time, founder Paul Charteris has converted 4000 tonnes of waste for every year from landfill into sustainable creating resources.

The downside is that the item is marginally extra pricey than plasterboard owing to the more time time it normally takes to generate. The company claims it takes all around 50% extended to set up than conventional plasterboard, but that time can be created up by not needing to block out involving studs for cupboards, towel rails and very similar.

Saveboard also has a more textural finish that could need to have skimming, depending on the look necessary.

‘Inflationary pressure’

Signature Homes CEO Paul Bull says lengthy waits for Gib are inflationary, as other building costs rise during the time spent waiting to complete a build.


Signature Residences CEO Paul Bull claims lengthy waits for Gib are inflationary, as other building costs increase throughout the time expended waiting around to finish a create.

Bigger builders, like Signature Households which now has 530 dwelling builds underway, really do not feel to be looking for substitutes in the shorter time period. CEO Paul Bull says the firm pre-orders Gib by means of retailers, “usually 4-to-5 months ahead” and places supplier agreements in put.

“We will redirect trades on the identical household,” when Gib is not straight away out there, he suggests. “They may well start planning the driveway or the landscaping.

“But there is no doubt, the lack is increasing develop periods, and that’s a bit of a educate crash (for the business), since of the inflationary pressures that come into play.

“While plasterboard costs have been moderately secure, the charges of other resources (going into a create) are going up in excess of all those a few-to-four months.”


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