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


If your new dwelling develop has stalled because your builder just cannot entry a provide of Gib plasterboard for the wall linings, don’t expect an effortless “fix”.

Which is the message Things is getting from folks in the marketplace.

Gib is in brief supply, but if it’s specified on your consented constructing designs, you just cannot conveniently swap it for a thing else.

Nonetheless, builders functioning on smaller sized renovation tasks that never involve making consents have additional independence about substance selection, which means alternate products could be practical for a renovation.

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If you now have a building consent

Projects that currently have a setting up consent that specifies a unique product, these as Gib, will be predicted to use that product, unless of course you request an amendment. And that may not be straightforward.

Competition have formerly expressed frustration that architects specify ‘Gib’ as if it were being a generic phrase for plasterboard, and council inspectors are inflexible about making it possible for builders to swap it out.

For a consented approach, any substitute product or service requirements to be pre-authorized, Mike Evans, normal supervisor of Consultancy Expert services for BRANZ clarifies. “Councils will need to be glad it satisfies all the demands of the making code.”


Fletcher Making has apologised following a Canterbury builder captured online video proof of Gib stockpiling at a Fletcher Dwelling design website in Lincoln.

Evans states there are also solutions coming in from overseas, some of which meet the making code and some of which do not. “They don’t usually choose into account seismic screening. The leaky home history has created councils possibility averse, and they will want to be certain of structural integrity and moisture integrity. Products are permitted for a distinct software, which is another place to contemplate.”

One particular industry source who procedures developing consents says suppliers of substitute goods are from time to time unable to source the stage of details expected by the setting up code. “We know there is a great deal of stress out there among builders. There are not the merchandise out there to make fantastic substitutes that don’t cost a great deal additional funds.”

If you really don’t have consent

Jeremy Gray of states builders performing on smaller, unconsented tasks can normally use alternative, imported merchandise: “It is dependent how comprehensive the renovation is,” he states. “A large amount of products coming into the state are utilised for this variety of job.”

Gray himself has utilized a products, just known as ‘plasterboard’, from a neighborhood provider. “We observe men and women are quite protective of their sources. They are maintaining them close to their chest. We also listen to that quite a few builders are ready to obtain a couple sheets of Gib from merchants, but not adequate for a new house create.”

Either way, he has this guidance for householders and tradies: “The previously a property owner can strategy their task, the improved. And we like to set anticipations – the greater your undertaking, the longer you will have to hold out.”

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 Constructing, is the primary manufacturer of Gib board in New Zealand. (File photograph)

Other companies

Specifying other resources at the style phase is an additional way all around the supply trouble (bearing in intellect provide must increase when the new Winstone Wallboards factory in Tauranga will come on stream upcoming May perhaps).

Only all-around 5% or so of the plasterboard market place is not in the arms of Fletcher Building (the company of Gib plasterboard by means of its subsidiary Winstone Wallboards), but substitute accredited suppliers consist of Elephant Plasterboard, which imports products from Thailand ProRoc, which imports a smaller quantity of solution from French multinational Saint-Gobain and sells by way of Bunnings Youngman Source Group and a handful of tiny Chinese importers.

But price will be a component when it arrives to other elements, says Grey: “As quickly as you move away from Gib, your costs go up. They may possibly go up 10% to 20% with the future most inexpensive solution, then carry on up from there.”

BRANZ has experienced a selection of enquiries from corporations with substitute goods seeking to enter the marketplace, and have appraisals underway, but the process of testing and acceptance can take as extensive as six months. “We do issues as speedily as we can, but most of the discussions we are owning are in the early levels, so (getting the goods to marketplace) could be some time absent.”

Plywood and other timber

Structural plywood is an possibility to contemplate, specifically if you are even now at the style and design stage. But it is significantly a lot more high priced than Gib, and a completely various search – it is normally stained, so the grain is uncovered. Plywood lining that is not structural is less high pr
iced, but won’t deliver bracing.

Gray states he is a “massive fan” of pure cladding materials, such as timber and earth renders. “But they are markedly additional highly-priced and not made use of in mass-created residences.” 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 bought for a lot more than $1300 in January 2022 amid the building elements shortage (ordinary rate with out trade low cost $879).


This solid fibre-cement sheeting is usually utilised for wet regions, and also would be a far more costly possibility for an complete residence.

“Some of these boards need a whole lot of prep work if they are to be laid around a major location, and probably require to be papered just before painting to get the necessary complete,” Gray states.


MDF is not suggested as a replacement for wall linings. It’s weighty, vulnerable to mould when damp, and will not give the exact same end. It expands and contracts, so gaps amongst boards are unable to be plastered, resulting in an unfinished seem. Grey claims it is a rough end, and far more suited to sheds.

Recycled board

Stuff has talked to a property owner on the lookout to use the new recycled Saveboard for a renovation – they hope to prevent the Gib shortages, and like the thought of a recycled substance.

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 creates constructing solutions out of delicate plastics and milk cartons.

Around the past 4 a long time, founder Paul Charteris has converted 4000 tonnes of squander for every calendar year from landfill into sustainable setting up materials.

The downside is that the product is a bit additional high priced than plasterboard because of to the for a longer period time it takes to produce. The company suggests it takes around 50% more time to set up than standard plasterboard, but that time can be manufactured up by not needing to block out in between studs for cupboards, towel rails and similar.

Saveboard also has a extra textural complete that might need skimming, dependent on the seem 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 Households CEO Paul Bull suggests prolonged waits for Gib are inflationary, as other building fees rise in the course of the time invested waiting to total a establish.

Bigger builders, like Signature Households which presently has 530 property builds underway, don’t seem to be to be wanting for substitutes in the limited term. CEO Paul Bull says the corporation pre-orders Gib by means of merchants, “usually four-to-five months ahead” and puts supplier agreements in put.

“We will redirect trades on the very same property,” when Gib is not promptly accessible, he says. “They may possibly start off getting ready the driveway or the landscaping.

“But there is no doubt, the scarcity is escalating make periods, and that is a bit of a coach crash (for the business), since of the inflationary pressures that appear into perform.

“While plasterboard prices have been moderately stable, the selling prices of other products (going into a build) are going up more than those people a few-to-4 months.”


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