Lack of land and lending is blocking new homes, FMB research reveals

A lack of available small sites and a lack of finance top the list of barriers to SME house builders increasing their delivery of new homes, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders’ (FMB).

Key results from the FMB’s House Builders’ Survey 2017, the only annual snapshot of SME house builders, include:

• Over half of small house builders (54%) say accessing finance is a major barrier to their ability to build more homes (up from 50% in 2016);

• A lack of available and viable land is the most commonly cited barrier (62%) to increasing output and 54% believe that the number of small opportunities for small site development are decreasing;

• 42% of SME house builders said that a shortage of skilled workers is a major barrier to their ability to build more new homes, and this rises to half (49%) when asked to look ahead over the next three years;

• One in three small house builders that employ EU workers believe the end of free movement will be a major constraint on their ability to build more homes;

• Half (49%) of SME builders view the planning system as a major constraint on their ability to grow and ‘inadequate resourcing of planning departments’ was again rated as the most significant cause of delay in the planning application process.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: "Almost a decade after the financial crisis, access to finance for small house builders is getting worse instead of better. The results of the FMB House Builders’ Survey suggest a slight worsening in the problems these firms face in accessing the finance they need to build. Assessments of lending conditions to SME developers were down slightly from 2016, the first fall in this measure since 2013. Small house builders express generally positive views of some recent Government initiatives in this area, such as the Home Building Fund, but we clearly need to double down on these efforts to make sure that SMEs have access to the finance they need to build Britain out of its housing crisis.”

Berry continued: “Our research also affirms just how vital it is that the Government acts on  key proposals in the  Housing White Paper, published earlier this year and designed to increase the opportunities for smaller scale development. Nearly two thirds of SMEs say that the lack of available and viable land is a major barrier to increasing output, the most commonly-cited barrier for the third year in a row. More worryingly still, over half say that the number of available small sites is, if anything, decreasing. The White Paper quite rightly emphasises the need to diversify the house building sector so it is less reliant on a small number of large house builders. In order to do this, we need the Government to make good on its proposals to improve the availability of small sites and speed-up the planning process for small sites.”

Berry concluded: “Over the next three years, half of SME house builders believe skills shortages will act as a major constraint on their ability to grow and this concern is now beginning to overtake more typical frustrations such as the planning system. If we get it wrong, Brexit and the end of free movement could further exacerbate the skills shortages we already have. The survey finds one third of SME house builders currently employ EU workers and this rises to 70% in London and the South East. The potential impact of post-Brexit immigration changes is therefore a cause for concern among small house builders. That’s why it’s so important that the Government introduces a transitionary period that allows the UK house building sector to gradually wean itself off high levels of EU labour.”


Considerate Constructors Scheme reaches major 100,000 milestone

The Considerate Constructors Scheme - the national Scheme to improve the image of the construction industry - has reached a major milestone in UK construction history by registering its 100,000th site.

The Infrastructure and Project Authority’s Head of Construction, Dr David Hancock, welcomed this achievement and the Scheme’s role in helping to improve the image of the industry.

The site registration was made by one of the leading UK’s contractors - Mulalley - for the Chauncey Residential Development in Ware, Hertfordshire.

Mulalley are working with housing association Network Homes - a Client Partner of the Considerate Constructors Scheme - to deliver this £8.6m project of 18 semi-detached houses and 29 apartments, with associated car parking and amenity space, delivering much needed affordable homes in Ware.

In addition to this site being the Scheme’s 100,000th registration, it has also been recognised as an Ultra Site – the highest level of attainment with the Considerate Constructors Scheme.

Registering its first site in 1997, the Scheme has firmly established itself as the major force for good in helping to improve the image of the construction industry - for the benefit of the community, workforce and environment. 

It is highly regarded throughout the UK construction industry as the ‘go to’ organisation to support construction sites, companies, suppliers and clients in raising their standards and best practice above and beyond statutory requirements.

One of the very few organisations to monitor the industry’s progress and share best practice on the ground, the Scheme undertakes around 14,000 visits to sites, companies and suppliers per year. 

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy said: “We are delighted to celebrate the registration of the Scheme’s 100,000th site with Mulalley, who have been registering sites for nearly 20 years and are a founding Scheme Partner. This is a truly momentous milestone for the Considerate Constructors Scheme and the industry, and is made even more special with this being the 20th year of the Scheme.

“It is with huge thanks to the continuous hard work, commitment and dedication from an increasingly growing proportion of the UK, and more recently the Irish construction industry, that the Scheme has gone from strength to strength since it registered its first site in 1997. At the very centre of this success has been true collaboration across our industry.

“As a Scheme, we continue to grow and engage with an ever-increasing number of contractors, suppliers, companies, clients and other construction industry-related organisations to continue to promote the benefits to the industry in looking after our workforce, site neighbours and the environment.

“Whilst it is important that we celebrate this phenomenal achievement, it is also important to remember that much more still needs to be done to continue to improve the image of our sector and to encourage the industry to continually raise its standards and share best practice throughout the supply chain. It is only through an ever-improving image that our industry can continue to attract the very best to work in our fantastic sector.

“As one of the few people who have been involved with the Scheme from its earliest days, I am incredibly proud of what the Scheme has achieved. I am also hugely grateful to the construction industry for the way in which it has embraced the concept of considerate construction, and how it continues to challenge itself to attain even higher standards.”

Considerate Constructors Scheme Executive Chairman Isabel Martinson commented: “This is a huge achievement for the industry. By reaching such a significant milestone, the Scheme is clearly demonstrating its ongoing importance in driving higher standards to improve the image and reputation of construction.”

Mulalley Director Vince O’Malley said: “Mulalley are extremely pleased for our Chauncy Residential Development project to be the Scheme’s 100,000th registered site. As a Founder Partner of the Scheme, this is a significant milestone and testament to the Scheme’s commitment to improving the construction industry’s image and creating a legacy of continued improvement.”

Network Homes’ Executive Director of Development Vicky Savage added: “It’s really important that we provide high quality affordable homes for the communities we work in. This is a positive statement to local people, letting them know we take construction standards seriously. We look forward to continuing our work with the Considerate Constructors Scheme and providing fantastic new homes with Mulalley at the Chauncy Residential Development.”

The Infrastructure and Project Authority’s Head of Construction, Dr David Hancock added his congratulations to the Considerate Constructors Scheme in reaching this milestone: “It was a pleasure to present at the Considerate Constructors Scheme’s National Site Awards earlier in the year, and it is great to hear that the 100,000th site has registered with the Scheme.  It reflects well on the efforts that have been made by the industry.  We are seeing much cleaner and tidier sites, efforts being made to minimise noise and having safety systems in place.  This has had a positive effect on the environment and surrounding communities, and also on working conditions.  We are seeing constructors providing a more supportive and caring environment for their workforce. 

“This is great progress and I hope it will continue and help attract more people into the industry at a time when we are seeing much change and challenge around how the industry operates.”

Click here for further information about Site Registration.

Click here for more information about Ultra Sites. 


About the Considerate Constructors Scheme

The Considerate Constructors Scheme is a non-profit-making, independent organisation founded in 1997 by the construction industry to improve its image.

Construction sites, companies and suppliers voluntarily register with the Scheme and agree to abide by the Code of Considerate Practice. The Code commits those registered with the Scheme to care about appearance, respect the community, protect the environment, secure everyone’s safety and value their workforce.

The Scheme is concerned about any area of construction activity that may have a direct or indirect impact on the image of the industry as a whole. The main areas of concern fall into three categories: the general public, the workforce and the environment.

The Scheme provides the Best Practice Hub, a comprehensive online resource showcasing best practice in the construction industry. The Best Practice Hub hosts a wealth of tips, expertise, guidance and case studies to help constructors learn from their peers and raise industry standards.

For further information, please visit

Twitter @CCScheme @ccsbestpracticehub @IvorGoodsite                                                                                                 

Email: [email protected]

ForgeFix achieves new and revised quality accreditation

ForgeFix has received independent, third party recognition of its quality-focused approach.

The business - which is one of the UK's leading distributors of fixings, fasteners, power tool accessories and hardware - has retained its ISO 9001 certified status and met the revised requirements set out by the new 2015 version of the globally recognised quality management standard.

ForgeFix initially achieved ISO 9001:2008 certification in August 2015 following a rigorous and robust audit of its quality management systems across a range of areas - including staff competence and training, customer satisfaction and resource planning.

The requirements of ISO 9001 were subsequently revised in September 2015 in-line with a regular five yearly review of the scheme's compliance criteria in order to ensure continued relevance. 

The most recent changes take into account the challenges and opportunities faced by organisations in an ever-evolving world.

In particular, they focus on aspects such as increased globalization, a greater need for risk-based thinking and the growing use of multiple management systems simultaneously.

All organisations certified to ISO 9001:2008 must transition to the new 2015 version by midnight on the 14th September 2018 after which a certificate to ISO 9001:2008 will no longer be valid

ForgeFix took the decision to upgrade its certification early because of its progressive approach and its confidence in its existing quality management systems being ‘ahead of the curve'.

The external audits required by ForgeFix to demonstrate its compliance with ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 9001:2015 were both conducted by TÃœV UK - a UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accredited certification body that offers independent third party assessments.

Commenting on ForgeFix's certification, Michael Brown, managing director at ForgeFix, said: "ForgeFix certification to the latest version of one of the world's most recognised quality management standards sends out an important and reassuring message to both our customers and our partners.

"It highlights our focus on efficiency, quality and customer satisfaction as well as our company-wide ‘right first time' approach."

"I'd like to congratulate all the team for their efforts." 

DIY SOS seeks volunteers and trades to help change the lives of vulnerable young people

DIY SOS is calling upon trades and volunteers far and wide to help them with their latest transformation. The project will be one of the Purple Shirts’ most ambitious to date, in only 11 days; the team will build a brand-new support centre for The Roots Foundation Wales, which supports children in care and leaving care, complete with short term accommodation for young people transitioning into adult life. Those who are able to donate time and skills, or supplies and materials are being urged to email [email protected] before attending a Trades Day on Tuesday 15th August 2017 in Swansea.

The build will run from 6th – 17th September 2017 and will feature in a special edition of the programme in aid of BBC Children in Need, which supports The Roots Foundation Wales. The Trades Day, held in Swansea, will give volunteers and donors of supplies and materials the opportunity to take a look at the plans for the build, meet the team and see how they can get involved.

DIY SOS presenter, Nick Knowles, said: “We are so excited to be back in Wales to shine a light on the challenges faced by some of the UK’s children and young people in care and leaving care. We cannot wait to provide these youngsters with a modern new building and accommodation which will help them reach their full potential.”

“We won’t be able to do this alone and building a new property from the ground up is no mean feat. We need hundreds of volunteers and tradespeople, fromelectricians and plumbers to carpenters and plasterers, not forgetting decorators and anyone else who can spare time, resource or materials, to please get in contact via [email protected] and attend our Trades Day on the 15th August.” 


Emma Lewis, Chairperson at The Roots Foundation Wales added: “The Roots Foundation Wales delivers support to children and young people in care and leaving care, offering advice and guidance on topics such as finance, cooking, health and employment whilst helping to prepare them for adult life. We also provide intensive support through initiatives such as our C.A.R.E Project which is funded by BBC Children in Need and delivers help to children and young people in care or leaving care who are at risk of exploitation.”

“The children and young people we work with are vulnerable, often isolated and may lack a support network. We are so grateful for this opportunity and hope the local community, Wales and beyond come together to get involved, it really will make a difference.”  

DIY SOS: The Big Build BBC Children in Need Special (working title) will air this November during BBC Children in Need Appeal week.

Carl Kammerling International's Winter Wonderland Promotion Makes Hero's Return!

For the fourth successive year, Carl Kammerling International is launching its annual Winter Wonderland promotion. Featuring a simplified, multi-channel approach, the popular initiative has been designed to ensure sales teams and customers quickly understand the concept in order to maximise the opportunity, and profits, for wholesalers and retailers.

The Winter Wonderland 2017 promotion will run from 1st September to 31st December with a pre-sale period to the trade starting on 24th July.

Containing over 155 Carl Kammerling products, the promotion includes newly launched ranges and added value products to new kits and some of the company’s most popular tools and accessories.

Offering retailers up to 70 per cent off list prices, featured products have been specifically chosen to offer unbeatable value across C.K tools, C.K Magma, Kasp and Avit ranges.

This year, the popular promotion has undergone major improvements, including a reduced sign up value of £200 added flexibility with the introduction of an illustrated trade price list containing all products, which allows customers to purchase any item listed within the promotion.

New product launches to be added to this year’s promotions include the new C.K 200 Lumens Head Torch, benefitting from a 60 per cent discount with a consumer price of £19.99 ex VAT, and the pioneering C.K Magma Test Equipment Case Toolkit, featuring all the tools a tradesman would require during diagnostic testing and final certification with a fantastic consumer offer price of just £99.99 (RRP £187.29), a saving of over £87.

Brand new WIGIG offers include the C.K 30W Rechargeable LED Flood Light, which benefits from a 12v car and mains charger, and carries a special consumer price of £69.99 ex VAT; and the C.K 28 Piece Pocket Socket Set ¼” Drive, which features quality chrome vanadium sockets that apply torque to the flat of the nut rather than the corners to avoid rounding off at a special consumer price of £20.83 ex VAT.

Also featuring in this year’s Winter Wonderland will be some of Carl Kammerling’s ‘hero’ products, including the C.K dextroVDE Slim Screwdriver Set, which carries a special consumer price of £29.99 (RRP £49.80); the C.K Combicutter range and the C.K Blue Steel range, featuring torsion control technology to withstand the stresses of high torque applications, resulting in less bit breakage.

Our incredible added value packs will provide retailers with a free product when purchasing particular items. Retailers can choose from seven added value items including; the C.K MightyRod PRO standard 10m kit with a free, newly launched head torch and the C.K dextroVDE GLO Screwdriver Set with a free dextroVDE GLO bottle opener.

Winter Wonderland also offers a fantastic marketing support package, including effective merchandising solutions to create full impact in store and encourage sales. It also offers consumers sell out brochures demonstrating the features and benefits of key products, and branded counter mats, posters and price stickers.

All images, web banners and data care will be available for download from the Carl Kammerling International website and a consumer sell out video will also be available to download from Youtube or Vimeo from 1st September onwards. The promotion will also feature a reward scheme, in which retailers will be offered more incentives when they spend more. All details will be found in the promotional pack.

Paul Fallon, marketing manager at Carl Kammerling International said: “As a leading tool supplier that puts customer insight and intelligence at the heart of what we do, we are able to provide retailers with the sales support and armory they need to increase their profit margins year-on-year. 


For further information please visit or call 01758 704704.

Contact your local representative to receive a free promotional pack. 

Towers on Tour provide an illuminating experience

Morris Site Machinery has lined up a summer tour with quality performers to bring a lighting roadshow directly to customers’ doors.

‘Towers on Tour’ will hit the road in August to showcase the company’s latest lighting towers and technology and give a practical demonstration of how they can help to improve a fleet.

The Morris team behind the venture has more than 150 years’ industry experience and knowledge and is excited about travelling the country to meet existing and potential customers.

It is an effective and accessible approach to showing customers the equipment in action. All they have to do is make a phone call to arrange for the tour to stop off at their premises.

By hosting such a personalised visit, customers can get the technical lowdown, ask questions, seek advice and learn more about what Morris Site Machinery can offer.

As Richard Denholm, UK Sales Director, explained: “It’s always great to build face to face relationships. This is an opportunity to show what our lighting towers can deliver and discuss how they can benefit business.”

The tour will spotlight the TL90 Ultimate in action.  It offers over 20 variants on specification allowing customers to bespoke build and spec-up their lighting towers according to site needs and budget.

It has up to the minute engine technology with options of a Perkins and Kubota engines each providing a 50% increase in fuel capacity and run time, delivering an additional 90 hours of operation ensuring greater cost savings.

The TL90 Ultimate is fitted with a Deep Sea control panel with telemetry options available to give operators advanced monitoring, more traceability and security in their fleets. The four 300W LED lights provide fuel efficient and crisp, clear instant light with up to 50,000 hours use.

The super silent TL90 LED will show its star qualities in technology and innovation. It has proven reliability and performance from a Kubota 1500rpm water cooled engine. Its five 240W LED lamps offer up to 50,000 hours lamp life.

To book a lighting tower experience please contact the sales team on 0345 515 0103.

STAHLWILLE is one of Germany's TOP 100 innovators

STAHLWILLE, the tool specialist from Wuppertal, Germany, has been selected as one of the 100 most innovative small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in Germany.

This highly acclaimed innovation seal of approval has been awarded for over 20 years and, this year, the mentor is the physicist and journalist Ranga Yogeshwar. The jury was particularly impressed by the way this tradition-based enterprise has integrated the philosophy of innovation in its organisation and the day-to-day work and lives of its staff.

TOP 100 is the only competition in Germany that assesses and attests a company's approach to innovation management, and is recognised as being among the most important awards for innovative SMEs. STAHLWILLE is one of the enterprises granted membership of the elite Club of Excellence in 2017 – a company that can look back over more than 150 years of tradition in the development and manufacture of high-quality handtools, and renowned among professionals for its outstanding reputation, in particular in the field of torque technology.

The members of the jury were particularly impressed by the way STAHLWILLE has embedded the idea of innovation in the enterprise's organisational processes: in 2014 this specialist for torque technology laid the foundations for providing innovative solutions to the increasing requirements of its customers in aerospace, transport, energy and industry generally well into the future. The fields of product development, product management and marketing were unified into one division, and the innovation strategy, by the code name of "Nordstern" (North Star), implemented jointly by all staff with a view to activating the know-how of all STAHLWILLE employees across all levels of the enterprise and all hierarchical grades. At the same time, a decision was taken to upgrade the torque technology section to the highest priority to cater for the fact that, throughout industry, the requirements for professional fastener tightening are increasing steadily and users are often faced with the question of how to document their work and ensure legally watertight evidence of the quality of their activities.

"These changes in the enterprise structure and the implementation of a culture of reciprocal dialogue have, at the end of the day, enabled us to launch many innovations in recent years that have drawn the attention of the market", says Winfried Czilwa, Chief Executive Officer of STAHLWILLE. As part of this approach, STAHLWILLE has considerably expanded its range of electronic, logging torque products, which has much simplified complex processes in production and quality assurance. In the last year, STAHLWILLE launched numerous new products – such as the compact SmartCheck torque tester and the VDE torque wrench for bolt tightening on "live" components up to 1000 volts.

And for 2017 STAHLWILLE has a further set of innovations lined up. A key point of focus is a determined approach to one of the most crucial topics for the future: Industry 4.0. STAHLWILLE is already developing products that can be easily integrated in complex IT system environments and are able to communicate with each other and with the central control station. The first of these products for the field of torque technology are already in the pipeline.

"Examples like these emphasise the fact that innovation management is in reality a part of everyday life. This is why we will bear the TOP100 quality accolade with a great deal of pleasure – in the knowledge that we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. There are still many ideas to explore and transform into innovations – in particular at a time when technological developments are taking place at an ever increasing rate", says Czilwa.

Toolbank Launch NEW Leica Laser Calibration Service


Leica Geosystems is the market leader in measurement technology, and rapidly becoming the fastest growing manufacturer of laser technology products in our industry. 

Leica’s renowned Rugby range is highly regarded as the best rotational lasers on the market, however all lasers should be regularly checked for accuracy, and some applications will require a laser to carry a valid calibration certificate before being used on site.

We are proud to now to offer an in-house calibration service for Leica rotational lasers.

Which lasers can be calibrated?

Although most professional lasers can be calibrated, using the Leica Calmaster system we will only service Leica Rugby rotational lasers.  These include:

Leica Rugby 600 series:

                  Rugby 610            Horizontal levelling Only

                  Rugby 620            Horizontal levelling with slope

                  Rugby 640            Horizontal & Vertical with slope

                  Rugby 670            Horizontal with gradient control

                  Rugby 680            Horizontal with dual gradient control

Leica Rugby 800 series:

                  Rugby 810            Horizontal levelling with slope

                  Rugby 820            Horizontal with slope matching & gradient control

                  Rugby 840            Horizontal & Vertical with slope & gradient control

                  Rugby 870            Horizontal with gradient control

                  Rugby 880            Horizontal with dual gradient control

The Service:

Toolbank have installed Leica’s Calmaster calibration system, which allows us to check, adjust and provide a calibration certificate for all Leica Rugby lasers. 

Toolbank are accredited as Leica service partners and laser calibration will be as per Leica’s own factory based systems, using Leica equipment and recorded as a service record which will be shared with Leica to provide a service history for each laser.

A calibration certificate will be produced for each serviced laser, showing the actual laser output against the allowable tolerances.  This is valid for one year as proof of calibration.


Home security expert ERA has partnered with former Crimewatch presenter and law enforcement expert Jacqui Hames in a bid to promote safer living and security standards among homeowners nationwide.

Jacqui, who has worked professionally as a Detective within the Metropolitan Police, is renowned for the expert advice and guidance she delivered during her 16 Years as a presenter of the popular TV programme, Crimewatch. The new partnership with ERA will see Jacqui continue to encourage fans to remain vigilant when it comes to home security, via a series of monthly blogs. Focusing on a different topic each month, Jacqui’s advice blogs will be available to view on ERA’s consumer-facing website and will be shared via the company’s social media platforms.

Commenting on the new partnership, Marketing Manager Tania Tams said, “ As a company, we are passionate about promoting best practice when it comes to home security, which is why it is so fantastic to have Jacqui on board. With her help, we will continue to provide consumers with quality, practical advice as well as leading home security products.”

Jacqui added, “I am very much looking forward to working with ERA; it's great to see a company who are so committed to providing more than just good products. Home security is often something we only think about after an incident has occurred, so I am hopeful that my advice blog will remind us all to take that little bit more care when it comes to keeping our homes safe.”

DIY vs Professional Home Security System - Which One is Better?


Should you hire a professional or install your own security systems? Many property owners struggle with this decision. Modern technology enables us to do almost everything at home, including installing security systems. You can buy the equipment and install it by following instructions on the packages. Sometimes, homeowners opt for DIY security systems to save costs. When you cannot afford to hire professionals, you will have to secure your home or business with the resources at hand, but you need to weigh the pros and cons of both options to make the right decision.

DIY Security Systems

You can install wireless security systems in your home without any help from a professional. Most of these systems require you to mount cameras at specific locations and insert a disc in your computer. You also need to install recharging lines, which is easy to do. You can also improve security in your home with motion detection floodlights. Such systems are easy to install and most come with straightforward instructions. Simple strategies like keeping your doors and windows locked at night and lighting your outdoor area will enhance security at your home. However, if you want a more sophisticated system, or have a more specific purpose, such as finding the right entry systems for flats, you’d be better off hiring professional security system installers with experience in that area.

Pros of Hiring Professionals

One of the benefits of involving professionals is that you save time. You can sit back and allow the installers to do all the work for you. Professional installers are trained to handle all types of security systems. Hence, you can install the best systems, which in most cases require wiring. Securing your home seems simple, especially when you watch online tutorials, but you are likely to miss a connection if you are not properly trained. Professionals will do a perfect job and ensure that all systems are working properly before leaving.

Another advantage of involving a professional is that they can educate you on how each system works. Professionals can help you choose the best system for your property and advice on what to do if the system malfunctions. Sometimes security services offer discounts, especially when you upgrade your system. You can get the best systems at discounted installations rates if you are keen to follow promotions.

Cons of Hiring Professionals

The main disadvantage of hiring professionals is the installation cost. Installing your own system is cheaper than the installation fees that professionals charge. Another shortcoming is that you have less control of the security system and its function. In the case of a technical problem, you have to call the professionals to fix it. With DIY projects, you can purchase and install simple systems at any time. If you want professional services, you must book an appointment to get the systems installed.

The most important consideration when choosing between DIY projects and professional services is the security of your property. You need peace of mind every time you go to work or on holiday that your home is secure. Hiring professional home security installers guarantees you that your assets are safe. You enjoy professional expertise, advice, and assistance in case of security breaches. You will pay more in terms of installation fees, but you have the assurance that the systems are properly installed.


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