News

National Shortage of Roofers, Sparks & Plasterers

shortage of roofers

The skills shortage in the construction industry has got worse and has now spread beyond bricklayers and carpenters to other key trades, according to the latest research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). The FMB’s State of Trade Survey shows that: Almost half of construction SMEs are reporting difficulties hiring roofers (46%) Shortages of electricians and plasterers are at …

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Order books open for all new Volkswagen Crafter van

Volkswagen Crafter van

Prices have been announced for the all-new Volkswagen Crafter, with UK Van Centres now taking orders ahead of the van’s launch in April. The all-new Crafter, International Van of the Year for 2017 is powered by a new 2.0-litre TDI (EU6) engine, developed specifically for commercial vehicles, which is available with four power outputs: 102, 122, 140 and 177 PS. …

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Asbestos Analyst fined for falsifying documents

Construction boss jailed

An asbestos analyst has been fined after he falsified an asbestos air clearance certificate, following licensed asbestos removal in Manchester. Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Manchester and Salford Court House, heard how, on 19th November 2015, Mr Barrie Lyons, a well-trained asbestos analyst with 29 years of experience, was contracted to carry out the final inspection and air testing, …

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Win a Ford Transit with Hope Cement

Win a Ford Transit

Following the unveiling of its new high-performing bagged product range, Hope Cement has developed a novel incentive scheme that rewards builders merchants and professional builders. Accessed through the Hope Cement smartphone App, the loyalty scheme is said to be the first of its kind, using a new approach to drive traffic into merchants’ stores and help to grow their business. …

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Screwfix launches new catalogue

Screwfix launches new catalogue

Screwfix has released the latest edition of its catalogue, which features more ‘Trade Rated’ products than ever before – an independent accolade, showing they are rated highly by other trade customers. All products ordered via the catalogue are available for next day delivery seven days a week, or via its Click & Collect service, which allows goods to be picked-up …

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Roofing contractor fined for failing to protect workers

Construction boss jailed

A roofing contractor has been fined after putting the lives of two employees at risk while working at height without protection against falls. The employees of MW Roofing (NW) Ltd where removing a chimney on a two storey house, at the site on Bertha Road, Rochdale, when they were seen accessing the roof via a cat ladder. While waste material …

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Skill Builder meets Checkatrade

Checkatrade highlights

Skill Builder meets Kevin Byrne founder of  Checkatrade to find out what makes his organisation tick. The number of  initiatives introduced to curtail the activities of  rogue building trades over the years has been plentiful. It seems like the beast that will not die. Selsey based Checkatrade stands among the few that, have not only stayed the course, but, appear …

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Kemper System provides solution for Chester Zoo’s Monsoon Forest

Kemperol

Waterproofing specialist, Kemper System, has provided the roofing solution for a hot and humid environment in the heart of leafy Cheshire at Chester Zoo’s £40m ‘Islands’ development. The company’s solvent-free Kemperol 2K-PUR cold liquid-applied waterproofing membrane has been used for the roof of the ‘Tree House’, which will form a covered walkway for visitors under a giant polymer dome – …

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Construction products market continues to grow

Construction Product Association

Sales in the UK construction products manufacturing market continued to climb for a consecutive fifteenth quarter in Q4 of 2016, according to figures published in the Construction Product Association’s latest State of Trade Survey. The construction products manufacturing industry has an annual turnover of £55 billion, directly providing jobs for 288,000 people across 22,000 companies. Products range from ‘heavy side’ …

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70% of Builders Reporting Material Price Hikes

Small builders

70% of UK builders have seen an increase in material prices due to the depreciation of the pound, new research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has revealed. Sarah McMonagle, Director of External Affairs at the FMB, said: “Thousands of smaller building firms are grappling with the rising cost of materials caused by the depreciation of sterling since the …

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Kier secures £42m affordable housing fund

affordable housing fund

Kier Living has secured one of the largest allocations of funds from the Housing and Communities Agency with an allocation of £41.9 million to build just over 1,700 new shared ownership homes in England over the next four years. The contract is a part of a £1.28bn first round allocation from the Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme 2016 to …

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Patent pending technology brings cost of solar down by 30%

BolySolar

Boly Inc, a global high-tech company headquartered in Silicon Valley, has announced its latest patent-pending technology for renewable energy at the Consumer Electronics Show 2017 (CES 2017) in Las Vegas. BolySolar is an evolving set of solar system technologies designed to revolutionise the energy industry. At CES 2017, Boly Inc. is announcing its fourth and fifth renewable energy products — …

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Construction company fined after contractor suffers brain injury

Construction boss jailed

A Lincoln based Construction Company, specialising in fitting mezzanine floors was prosecuted after a contractor fell onto a concrete floor. Guildford Crown Court heard that M & L Installers Ltd were contracted to install a mezzanine floor at a factory in Sunbury on Thames, Surrey. The design included a hole in the mezzanine floor where a lift was due to …

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Let SME builders deliver Starter Homes, urges FMB

Small builders

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has welcomed this week’s Government announcement, which gives the green light for the construction of thousands of Starter Homes, but has urged that SME builders should be given greater opportunities to deliver the homes. The Starter Homes will be built exclusively for first-time buyers between 23 and 40 years old at a discount of …

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What’s happening with Skill Builder in 2017?

Skill Builder in 2017

Grab a cup of coffee and join us as we look at some of our highlights of 2016 and discuss what’s in store for 2017. We’re looking forward to introducing you to lots of interesting products and concepts in 2017 as well as providing coverage of key product launches from some of the biggest brands in the industry. Keep telling …

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Skill Builder’s top videos of 2016

Skill Builder's top videos

There’s been lots happening on the Skill Builder YouTube channel in 2016; here’s a few highlights. Power tools In January 2016 we published the first part of the new 18v drill test which was first published in 2014. This time we split it into three parts looking at: Part 1 – batteries; Part 2 – flat bits; Part 3 – …

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Construction industry predictions for 2017

construction industry post-Brexit

Ian Anfield, Managing Director for construction audit and contract provider, Hudson Contract, provides his predictions for the industry in 2017. “There’s no escaping the fact that Brexit will dominate the news and political agenda in 2017 and will have a massive impact on UK construction. This is primarily because we rely so heavily on EU labour to man our construction …

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Give This Man a Round of Applause

Band of builders thunderclap

Anyone who tuned into the Band of Builders facebook live auction last Saturday evening, 17th December, which was broadcast via the Band of Builders and Builders Talk group facebook pages, could be forgiven for thinking the event’s organiser Addam Smith was going to take the rest of the year off. (If you haven’t heard Addam and the Band of Builders …

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Essex companies fined after employees exposed to asbestos

Construction boss jailed

Two Essex-based companies have been fined after exposing workers to potentially deadly asbestos over a period of years, despite knowing of its presence, in units that they occupied in Manor Road Trading Estate, Benfleet. Basildon Magistrates heard that asbestos had been found in poor condition when Connect Packaging Ltd moved into the Benfleet premises in 2007, but that it failed …

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