Monday, 18 September 2017

Over 5% of UK homes now have a wetroom installation!

The value of the wet room market has increased by 10% between 2014-2016, according to a report by AMA Research. The sector offers significant growth potential within the UK bathroom market, with demand for wet rooms having increased significantly in recent years.

Growth was particularly strong in 2015, with more modest rates in 2016/17 of around 3% per annum. Moderate growth is currently forecast to 2021, when the market is expected to have increased by 18% compared to the market size in 2017.

Demand for wet rooms has increased significantly in recent years as the showering area has become an essential part of bathroom design, with householders increasingly choosing to shower rather than bathe. Key market drivers in 2014/15 included increasing levels of new housebuilding, particularly the retirement/care sector, where wet rooms are more common. In 2016 and H1 2017, the wet room market experienced modest growth, largely a result of the political and economic uncertainty in the UK at present.

The floor formers and level access trays sector dominates the wet room market in terms of value, followed by waterproof tanking kits, glass wet room panels and drainage products. While traditional shower trays and enclosures have lost some market share, the 25mm level access shower tray that can be set flush into the wet room floor is in greater demand and often used as an alternative to the wet room floor former. Glass frameless wet room panels have also seen good growth, and can be used to ‘zone’ the wet room, creating a wet and dry area.

Recent product developments include pre-moulded wetroom floor formers with a built-in gradient and membrane waterproof tanking systems, which are easier to install and provide greater installation accuracy, saving a significant amount of installation time. Developments in the drainage products sector include wall mounted and linear drains for a seamless finish and digital drainage pumps that operate wirelessly when the shower is turned on.
One of the key reasons that wetrooms have become more appealing is their versatility, which can be attributed to product innovations and improvements. It is now possible for wetrooms to be installed in any room of the house and on most types of floor. Prices have also fallen, making wetrooms a more affordable choice to the mainstream consumer.
Going forward, demand will also be supported by the emerging trend towards multi- generational households. These properties would need to be adapted inclusively to suit the needs of all family members living at home, and the accessibility of wetrooms compared to traditional bathrooms for elderly and disabled consumers represents a key driver of growth. Wetrooms is one of the most popular bathroom adaptations paid for by a Disabled Facility Grant (DFG), which is set to double over the next 2-3 years.

New housebuilding volumes are set to stabilise despite the uncertainty currently surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU and the 2017 General Election. Prospects remain positive in this sector and will support demand for wet room products installed in new housing, including self- build housing. Wet rooms also represent a popular method of designing easy access and space efficient showering areas in commercial buildings including hotels, leisure facilities, specialised housing, care homes and hospitals, while the use of prefabricated wetroom PODs is also expected to increase.

The ‘Wetroom Market Report – UK 2017-2021 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services with over 25 years’ experience within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242 235724.

Photo from Shutterstock

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

NMBS all-industry conference selling out fast

NMBS - the UK's leading buying society for independent builder's, plumbing and heating, timber and hardware merchants - is reporting strong demand for its 2018 all-industry conference. It is always one of the most fun and worthwhile events in the building industry's calendar. 

NMBS all-industry conference will be held in Baveno, Italy.

All sponsorship opportunities for the event have now been sold with some 70 different NMBS suppliers and partners seizing the chance to pledge their support.

The overall headline sponsor has been confirmed as Makita.


Delegate spaces are also selling quickly and NMBS is advising those interested in attending to book as early as possible in order to avoid disappointment.

The 2018 NMBS all-industry conference takes place from Thursday the 14th to Sunday the 17th June at the Grand Hotel Dino, Baveno, Italy.

This elegant hotel, complete with conferencing facilities, panoramic restaurants, and health club and wellness centre, is located in the southern shadow of the Alps on the shores of Lake Maggiore.

Next year's conference will be themed ‘Industry Matters'.

It will enable delegates to develop their knowledge of a range of current and relevant business issues affecting the entire merchanting industry - including innovation; people; processes and productivity; omnichannel and online trading; and new entrants and technologies.

A number of recognised experts and thought leaders from these different fields will also attend and deliver presentations on their area of expertise.

Sam Hunt, events manager at NMBS, said: "The 2018 NMBS all-industry conference may be nine months away but clearly anticipation and excitement surrounding the event is building already.

"The unprecedented demand we've witnessed highlights the ability of the conference to deliver real added value and to help those attending to gain an edge in the increasingly competitive merchanting arena."

For more information on the 2018 NMBS all-industry conference or to book, call Sam Hunt on 0116 261 4902 or email: sam.hunt@nmbs.co.uk

Monday, 11 September 2017

Which building materials are increasing in price and impacting small builders?

A third of small building firms say that soaring material prices are squeezing their margins and almost a quarter have had to pass these price increases onto consumers, according to the latest research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Construction SMEs have reported a range of material price increases since the depreciation of sterling following the EU referendum in June 2016. Small building firms were asked which materials have increased the most and the results were as follows:
  1. Timber
  2. Insulation
  3. Bricks
  4. Blocks
  5. Windows
  6. Plasterboard / Slate (joint sixth)
  7. Boilers and radiators
  8. Porcelain products
The impact of these material price increases includes:
  • 85% of builders think material price rises could drive consumers to hire rogue traders in an effort to save money on their building projects;
  • One third of construction SMEs (32%) have had their margins squeezed;
  • Almost one quarter (22%) have been forced to pass material price increases onto their clients, making projects more expensive for consumers;
  • More than one-in-ten builders report making losses on their building projects due to material price increases.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Material price increases have left builders under severe pressure. This research shows that following the fall in the exchange rate, timber is the material that the majority of builders say has increased most in price but the problem doesn’t end there – everything from insulation to windows to bricks and blocks are soaring in price. A third of builders report that these price increases are eating into their already razor-thin margins – and this on top of increased wages and salaries stemming from long-term construction skills shortages. Furthermore, one-in-ten builders say that they’ve actually made losses on projects due to material price increases – this is most likely to happen when a particular product or material jumps up in price mid-project when then builder has already quoted for the work. Perhaps unwisely, some builders are absorbing these extra costs as opposed to re-quoting for the project.”


Berry concluded: “Material price spikes aren’t just a problem for builders – they’re also a problem for the home owner, with almost one quarter of builders saying that they have had to pass on price increases to their clients. This means that building projects now cost significantly more than they did this time last year. What with stagnant wages and price inflation across the economy, consumers are feeling the pinch and it might be that they decide not to commission that loft conversion or extension after all. Or worse still, 85% of builders believe that home owners will be tempted to hire rogue traders who are quoting a lower price than a professional building firm such as those that belong to the FMB. If that’s the case, material price rises could lead to a flurry of botched jobs and distressed consumers. We’re calling on home owners to hold their nerve – they’re better off commissioning a more modest project from a professional builder than a high spec project from a cowboy. Don’t take the risk.”

Image: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Friday, 8 September 2017

New Orders in Construction Fall to the Lowest in Three Years

ONS figures published on 8th September show that construction output in July fell by 0.9% and was 0.4% lower compared with one year earlier.  In addition, new orders in Q2 declined 7.8% and fell 12.6% on an annual basis. However, if you put a positive spin on the news, construction output is 1.3% higher than it was 12 months ago!

Rebecca Larkin, Senior Economist at the Construction Products Association, commented: "Data from the ONS confirms that alongside a 1.3% contraction in output in Q2, new orders in construction hit the lowest level since 2014 Q1.    

"In particular, the sectors suffering the largest falls were the industry’s largest three; private housing, commercial and infrastructure.: private housing, commercial and infrastructure. Commercial new orders began tailing off in the second half of 2016 and are 11.2% lower since the EU Referendum. Whilst this downward trend was expected amid the rising uncertainty giving way to a reluctance to invest in new offices space, private sector house building and infrastructure are the key drivers of growth in the CPA's forecasts for 2018 and 2019. New orders in these key sectors were the lowest since 2015 and highlight that there are now lower volumes of work queued up in the pipeline.

"Nevertheless, for the year to date, construction output is still 1.3% higher than a year ago. The weakness in new orders is factored in to the CPA’s forecasts for 2018, with construction growth slowing to 0.7% as activity on projects reaching an end is not replaced at the same rates."

More from the ONS can be found here.

Image: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

August shows marginal increase in UK Construction Output

August survey data indicated that the UK construction sector continued to experience a slowdown this summer. Reduced levels of commercial work were a key source of weakness, which offset robust growth in residential building. 

There were also signs of a sustained soft patch ahead, with new business volumes falling for the second month running. Survey respondents linked subdued demand to reduced business investment and heightened economic uncertainty. As a result, construction firms exerted greater caution in terms of their staff hiring, with employment numbers rising at the slowest pace since July 2016. 

Key findings:

  • Marginal increase in overall construction activity
  • Robust rise in house building offset by marked
  • fall in commercial work
  • New business declines for the second month running

At 51.1 in August, the seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI® ) remained above the 50.0 no-change threshold for the twelfth month running. However, the latest reading was down from 51.9 in July and pointed to the weakest overall UK construction performance since August 2016. A key reason for the slowdown was a lack of new orders to replace completed projects, according the survey respondents. 

Residential building was the only area to buck the overall trend in August, with housing activity rising at a robust and accelerated pace since the previous month. Meanwhile, civil engineering activity was close to stagnation and commercial work dropped at the fastest pace since July 2016. Reports from survey respondents widely suggested that concerns about the UK economic outlook had weighed on the commercial development sector, with clients opting to delay spending decisions and, in some cases, scale back planned projects. 

Total new order volumes dropped for the second month running in August, although the rate of contraction was only marginal and slower than seen in July. Survey respondents continued to cite reluctance to commit to new construction projects, linked to general economic uncertainty and less favourable market conditions. 

Mirroring the subdued trends for business activity and incoming new work, latest data revealed a slowdown in job creation to its weakest since July 2016. Construction firms also recorded a decline in sub-contractor usage, which continued the downward trend seen since March. 

Supply chain pressures persisted in August, despite stagnation in input buying. Longer delivery times were linked to ongoing stock shortages among vendors. 

Tim Moore, Associate Director at IHS Markit and author of the IHS Markit/CIPS Construction PMI® : 
“UK construction companies indicated that lacklustre growth conditions persisted during August. Civil engineering work stagnated, which meant that the construction sector was reliant upon greater house building activity to deliver an outright expansion in output volumes. Commercial development remained by far the worst performing category, with business activity falling at the fastest pace since July 2016. 

“Survey respondents noted that subdued business investment and concerns about the UK economic outlook had led to a lack of new work to replace completed projects, especially in the commercial building sector. 

“There were signs that UK construction firms are bracing for the soft patch to continue into this autumn, with fragile business confidence contributing to weaker trends for job creation and input buying during August.”

On a more positive note, cost pressures were the weakest since September 2016. Survey respondents noted that exchange rate depreciation continued to drive up prices for construction materials, but some commented on successful negotiations with suppliers against a backdrop of softer market conditions.

Duncan Brock, Director of Customer Relationships at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, said: 

“The sector hit a roadblock this month as purchasing activity slowed for the third month and new business wins were hard to come by. Reduced Government spending, economic uncertainty and Brexit-delayed decision-making among clients were largely to blame. 

“The struggling commercial sector drove this disappointment, languishing under the pressure with the fastest drop in activity in over a year. Job creation was nothing to shout about and showed signs of a slowdown, as companies reined back additional spending. 

“But any further drag on the construction sector overall was halted by the continuing strong performance by housebuilders, defying expectations with a good month. The sector was also offered some respite from the ongoing march of rising prices as input price inflation weakened. 

“This good fortune in prices is unlikely to continue as suppliers scrabble to match the demand for an increasing number of materials in short supply and delivery times lengthened. Price rises will become inevitable if builders have to compete to get what they need. 

“In the near-term future, without those new orders waiting in the wings, the performance of the construction sector is likely to continue to be downbeat.”

Image: Builder worker in safety protective equipment installing concrete floor slab panel at building construction site. Image ID: 125206808. Copyright: Dmitry Kalinovsky www.shutterstock.com

Monday, 4 September 2017

Did you create a great marketing plan this year?

Attention all marketers working for companies within the building and construction industry! If you have excelled this year with a marketing plan that has helped your company to stand out from the crowd, you should let everyone know - even if you did come up with it in the local pub!

The Construction Marketing Awards showcase the construction industry’s creativity, innovation and effectiveness in marketing.

The Awards raise the profile of marketing professionals and their achievements. Supported by The Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction Industry Group (CIMCIG) the awards are an invaluable opportunity for recognition.

The 2017 awards are open for entry, with the closing deadline for entries being Friday 22nd September.














This year’s Gala Award Dinner will be held on the 30th November at the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, London.

The event will have Shappi Khorsandi as the host for the Gala Dinner Presentation Evening on November 30.

The daughter of an exiled writer and comic from Iran, Shappi’s upbringing has been in no way conventional. From mental illness to opium dens, it’s all gone on in the Khorsandi household and now she recounts it all the only way she knows how, with wit, warmth and hilarity.

Shappi’s 2006 show, Asylum Speaker was an Edinburgh sell-out, followed by an extended run at The Soho Theatre. In 2007, Shappi won Best Breakthrough Act at the Chortle Awards. Shappi took her one women show Carry on Shappi to the 2008 Edinburgh Festival and then on to The Soho Theatre. Since then she has continued touring, with her 2016 show Oh My Country selling out venues across the UK.

Shappi has appeared on Have I Got News For You, on BBC1’s Lenny’s Britain and BBC4’s Never Mind the Full Stops. She’s a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4 programmes such as Quote… Unquote, The Now Show, Just a Minute, and also contributed to From Tehran With Laughter.

She has also appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Radio 5 Live, and BBC’s Question Time. She has gigged internationally in the United States, the Middle East, Singapore, Australia and Amsterdam.

‘Don’t be fooled by her innocent looks, she packs a deceptively powerful punch’ – Evening Standard

‘Britain’s best young female comic by any yardstick’ – The Guardian

‘Asylum Speaker is both adorable and daring, a rare combination… Khorsandi has star quality’ – The Independent

Friday, 1 September 2017

Job in Focus: Commercial Roofing Products in South - £90k OTE

Our new Job in Focus for September is for manufacturer of commercial roofing solutions. Selling to Architects, Surveyors, Main contractors and Installers. You will be tasked concentrating on the refurbishment market and cover the South of the UK. The package is pp to £60K with realistic £90K OTE.

Our Construction & Building Industry Job in Focus feature takes a detailed look at some of the fantastic sales & marketing construction and building materials job vacancies currently on our books. 

Job in Focus is also promoted on our website. www.pinnacleconsulting.co.uk 



JOB IN FOCUS FULL DETAILS

Job Title: Sales Executive
Job Ref: J9370
Product: Roofing Flat
Location: London & South East
Salary: £60k












Manufacturer of commercial roofing solutions. Selling to Architects, Surveyors, Main contractors and Installers. 


Package: Up to £60K with realistic £90K OTE. Company car, Mobile, Laptop, Pension, Healthcare. 

Employer: Working with an innovative business synonymous with quality products & excellent technical support. A business which is rapidly expanding due to an excellent growth strategy and a tenacious sales team. 

Job Description: Focussing mainly on the refurbishment market with a small amount of new build. Marketing the full range of commercial roofing solutions with surveyors, architects, main contractors, local authorities and specialist installers. This is an excellent patch for the business with significant growth opportunities. 

Area: Field based role covering the South: Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, London, Surrey, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset. 

Person: We are seeking a proven field sales professional with experience selling via specification with architects and surveyors on refurbishment projects. The ideal candidate will ideally come from a roofing background but the client is open on similar product groups if the candidate have the correct route to market experience. 

For further information or to discuss your career options contact Stuart Entwistle on 01480 405225 or apply online

Monday, 28 August 2017

Housing starts in England are their highest for 9 years!

After the good news we brought you last week about the growth in the builders' merchant market, all at Pinnacle Consulting were delighted to hear that the building industry has been given another much needed boost.

Housing starts in England have reached their highest level since 2008, according to the latest government figures released.

In the year to June 2017, 164,960 new build homes were started, a 13% increase year-on-year. Meanwhile, completions rose 11% to 153,330.

Private starts climbed 16% during the period to 139,140, whilst those for housing associations dipped 2% to 24,220.

And private completions during the year to June 2017 lifted 12% year-on-year to 125,550. Housing association completions rose 6% to 26,170.

Quarterly figures show some decline, with overall new build starts (seasonally adjusted) dropping 3% to 41,180 during the June 2017 quarter against the March 2017 quarter. But June quarter completions, at 40,310, were 2% higher.

Seasonally adjusted private starts quarter-on-quarter were stable at 35,570 (0% change), with starts for housing associations decreasing 19% to 5,280.

And private quarterly completions (seasonally adjusted) also remained the same at 32,730, with those for housing associations climbing 17% to 7,200.

Murray Smith,MD of residential property sales and development consultancy SiteSales Property Group, said: “The statistics reflect what we knew, in that completions on projects commenced pre- Brexit would be healthy, while the post-vote hiatus in the industry and an uncertain market has withheld starts in recent quarters.”

Housing and planning minister Alok Sharma said: “It’s vital we maintain this momentum to deliver more quality homes in the places that people want to live. Our housing white paper set out an ambitious package of long-term reforms to do just that.”

Monday, 21 August 2017

Builders' Merchant Sales for Q2 2017 up by over 5%!

New data released in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) confirms a continuing positive trend for UK builders merchants with Q2 sales increasing by 5.3% (when adjusted for there being two fewer trading days in period) compared to Q2 2016. This is positive news for the building industry, especially in light of some disappointed industry research released in the last few weeks.

The actual Q2 year on year sales figure (for 61 days trading compared to 63 in 2016) is still positive at +1.9%. Furthermore, year to date sales figures to June are 3.8% higher than for 2016, a period with the same number of trading days.

The majority of product areas performed well in Q2. Sales of Ironmongery (+8.4%) and Kitchens and Bathrooms (+8.3%) led the way in adjusted year on year growth for the quarter.

The three largest product groups also performed well with sales of Timber & Joinery up by +6.0%, Landscaping +5.9% and Heavy Building Materials +5.6%. Sales of Plumbing, Heating and Electrical products also showed growth at +3.8%, although the increase was lower than the total builders merchants channel.

The BMBI tracks builders merchants actual sales using point of sale data collected by GfK that represents over 80% of the value of the builders’ merchant market.

The Q2 results appear to tell a different story to the trend reported by the Office of National Statistics earlier this month, in which overall construction output fell by -1.3% in the three months to June compared with Q1 and rose by just +0.4% on the same period last year.

Commenting on the results, John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “The majority of trade indicators are finding that order books are being sustained by private housing and RMI work – the mainstay of many a merchant’s business – while commercial sectors are falling behind. Even the ONS reported a year on year increase in housing of +9.4% for the quarter.

Take a look at the latest builders' merchant jobs >>

“I have visited over 20 BMF members in recent weeks and every one reported sales growth in the first half. While they have seen little evidence of a slow down in overall sales, they are reporting more price increases, an inevitable result of the falling exchange rate, and shortages in certain product areas. The merchant sector is showing resilience at the moment, but it would be foolish not to consider the possibility of tougher trading conditions as we move into 2018.”

Richard Frankcom of GfK adds: “Once again the builders merchants deliver great year-on-year sales value growth across the first six-months of 2017, coming from a variety of product categories. However, we cannot ignore the contribution that increased costs and price increases have had on this continued value growth.

“Going forward, we urge the industry to keep a close eye on trends impacting consumers’ ability to carry out renovations and improvements. Bank interest rates and real wage trends impact consumers’ ability to finance home improvements or house moves. We have just seen a significant drop in intentions to invest in home-related projects which could be felt by the merchants as early as the end of this year. However, home improvement projects could still be one of the best investments home owners and landlords can make right now. The encouragement and evidence for them to do so needs to come from somewhere during these uncertain economic times.”

Image: shutterstock_403530055