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May 13, 2020

CORONAVIRUS: HOW CAN CONTRACTORS PLAN AHEAD AND WORK SENSIBLY?

THE past few months have been a time of massive upheaval for installers across the UK following the coronavirus lockdown – with contractors having to adapt to new ways of working in an extremely short space of time. On Sunday, 10 May, Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a ‘conditional plan’

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CHAS partners with Causeway Technologies to ensure contractor health & safety compliance across the supply chain

CHAS, the supply chain risk management experts, and Causeway Technologies, the largest specialist software provider to the UK construction market, have announced an integration partnership which enables users of Causeway’s connected supply chain network, Tradex, to find fully accredited health & safety compliant contractors.  The integration between Causeway’s Tradex platform

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Everyone has goals and dreams of what they want out of life, whether it’s your dream house, car, job or relationship!

Ways to Save for Your Dream Car

Everyone has goals and dreams of what they want out of life, whether it’s your dream house, car, job or relationship! Why not make these dreams a reality and plan for the future? If you’ve got your dream car in mind but not sure how to save up for it, Refused

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024

May 13, 2020

“Science first”, “fact-based” approach to Fire Safety Bill required, says Jeremy English, Södra

Unfortunately, no current conversation about timber is complete without comment on the government’s catch-all ban on combustible materials. At the end of 2018, as part of fire safety improvement measures intended to prevent another blaze like that seen at Grenfell Tower, the then Housing Secretary, James Brokenshire, introduced new legislation banning combustible materials on new high-rise homes above 18m. In late 2019, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick called for the height threshold for combustible materials to be lowered to “at least 11m” (or typically anything less than three storeys in height). The second reading for the Fire Safety Bill – with the lowered threshold included – took place on 29 April. A date for the committee stage is yet to be announced and the consultation deadline has been pushed back to 25 May 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis. Architects, builders, suppliers of structural timber and many others passionate about the good that wood can do for this country, are now rightly concerned about what the future holds for multi-storey timber buildings. All while many other countries are passing legislation to promote the use of more timber products in construction. While there’s no question that the Fire Safety Bill is intended to enhance occupant safety, we mustn’t lose sight of timber’s inherent qualities as a building material; benefits that have made it an increasingly popular choice for structural components. It’s easy to transport and modify, it minimises noise pollution on site and it’s highly cost-efficient to produce and use. We as an industry are calling for an objective investigation; one led by facts and science rather than emotion. To quash the use of wood in structures over 11m would be to fly in the face of the sustainable evolution that the construction industry and, more importantly, the nation so desperately needs. Indeed, in its November 2019 report, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the timber industries said: “Without using safe structural timber we cannot meet these targets [the government’s net zero carbon commitment] and we will fail to address the construction industry’s contribution to climate change.” A more sustainable, decarbonised economy can allow the planet to repair itself. The building materials we choose can be a key contributor to this. To choose timber is to choose a building material that would not adversely impact or inconvenience the way we live our lives; a material that can help build a more sustainable future. Responsibly managed forests have always been the earth’s air cleaners and will continue to be so forever. And a by-product of responsibly managed forests? High-quality, sustainable timber; timber that has already taken from the air and locked away decades’ worth of harmful CO2. Andrew Waugh of Waugh Thistleton Architects – one of the UK’s leading proponents of timber construction – summed it up brilliantly earlier this year: “The reality is the evidence says we’ve got 12 years left to sort out climate change – we’ve got to start changing the way we do things. And we’ve got to keep pushing the message about the safety of CLT. It’s not only quicker to put up; it’s safer, healthier, lighter and locks away carbon.”

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CORONAVIRUS: HOW CAN CONTRACTORS PLAN AHEAD AND WORK SENSIBLY?

THE past few months have been a time of massive upheaval for installers across the UK following the coronavirus lockdown – with contractors having to adapt to new ways of working in an extremely short space of time. On Sunday, 10 May, Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a ‘conditional plan’ to reopen parts of society – highlighting construction and manufacturing as an example of an industry where returning to work would now be explicitly encouraged. With this in mind, Adrian Buttress, managing director at Permaroof, the UK’s leading importer and distributor of Firestone RubberCover, shares his top tips on how traders can continue to work effectively and safely with both suppliers and customers. He said: “Many roofing installers have continued to work throughout the pandemic and now, the rest of the industry is being encouraged to return to their jobs. We recommend contractors strictly implement the government’s social distancing requirements and avoid public transport to minimise the risk of spreading the virus and keep the public – as well as themselves – safe.” Be organised when collecting materials “Despite lots of workers now being encouraged to go back into their workplace, this doesn’t mean everything will go back to as it was pre-pandemic straight away. “At the moment, you’re probably not going to be able to go to a trade counter and decide what you need while there. You will need to know exactly what you want beforehand and pre-order the stock so the guidelines in place can be strictly adhered to. It’s also important to stay on top of stock checks so you know exactly what you have already to avoid placing unnecessary orders.” Expect delays “Most businesses are running on skeleton staff who will be working different shifts and will have changed their ways of working to continue trading, meaning processes may be slower. When ordering from the merchant counter, it’s likely your order may take longer to fulfil than normal. To avoid this impacting on your business, forward plan and place orders before stocks become critically low.” Organising quotations “When carrying out quotations, it’s important to communicate with customers clearly. Tell them to stay inside while you get up the ladder and take the measurements. The quotation can then be sent over email – offering a completely contactless service.” Offering a contactless service “Once you’ve got the materials and secured the job, work to pre-arrange any electricity extensions to be put outside the building so you don’t have to go inside the home. Also, it’s worth thinking about toilet facilities and how you’re going to access these safely while staying away from the customer. “Sadly, tea and coffee should be off the cards too and make sure you’re sanitising as you go along. Not only is all of the above good practice in terms of health and safety, it’s all good for the customer to see that you care about their wellbeing. “When it comes to roofs, things can go wrong and urgent maintenance and repairs sometimes need to be carried out without further delay to avoid problems down the line. However, it’s vital that these take place safely to avoid the further spread of the virus.” For more information on Permaroof UK, please visit www.permaroof.co.uk or call 01773 608839. 

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CHAS partners with Causeway Technologies to ensure contractor health & safety compliance across the supply chain

CHAS, the supply chain risk management experts, and Causeway Technologies, the largest specialist software provider to the UK construction market, have announced an integration partnership which enables users of Causeway’s connected supply chain network, Tradex, to find fully accredited health & safety compliant contractors.  The integration between Causeway’s Tradex platform and the CHAS database gives Causeway customers sight of CHAS contractors’ health & safety assessments, providing reassurance that they are fully compliant with latest health & safety requirements removing the administrative burden on users needing to perform these compliance checks themselves. The CHAS database holds a live record of all relevant contractor qualifications and certifications and features an alert that notifies members if and when any documents need to be renewed so Causeway Tradex users can also be confident that contractors’ credentials are up-to-date.  CHAS Managing Director, Ian McKinnon, comments: “We are really pleased to announce this new agreement with Causeway Technologies which will provide users in the Tradex network with real-time data about the compliance status of their supply chain and in turn increase the visibility of CHAS members.”  “The partnership demonstrates our commitment to helping our customers build their businesses and highlights our desire to promote solutions that help make the construction industry more efficient.” Over 170,000 organisations use Tradex, the UKs largest construction connected supply chain network to streamline the supplier accreditation process, and remove manual processes that cause bottlenecks for both Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable teams, especially during this highly disruptive time. Andrew Woolstone, Product Owner at Causeway Technologies says: “The integration of Tradex Supplier Management with CHAS ensures that, for our customers that use CHAS as a trusted accreditation service, the information about their subcontractors that is verified and maintained by CHAS is automatically available and updated within the Tradex platform. This provides a single source of accurate data to ensure real-time health & safety compliance across the whole supply chain.”

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Everyone has goals and dreams of what they want out of life, whether it’s your dream house, car, job or relationship!

Ways to Save for Your Dream Car

Everyone has goals and dreams of what they want out of life, whether it’s your dream house, car, job or relationship! Why not make these dreams a reality and plan for the future? If you’ve got your dream car in mind but not sure how to save up for it, Refused Car Finance have compiled a list of the best ways to save up for your dream car and also general tips on how to save more money. Be realistic Your dream car doesn’t have to be a dream anymore. Make your dream a reality but be realistic! It won’t be easy, and you have to be patient but as long as you can realistically save up for your next car, why can’t you get the car you want? Obviously if the next car you want is a £100,000 Porsche and you can only afford to save £100 a month, it may not be the most realistic option for you. Take into account everything we have covered in this post so far and also factor in the cost of running a car. So, you’ve spent all your savings on your perfect car, but can you actually afford to keep up with regular payments? You will need to think about how much you will spend on diesel/petrol, car tax, maintenance costs such as MOT or services, insurance, any unexpected repair costs and breakdown cover. Other maintenance costs could also include car accessories such as car mats, storage sleeves, air fresheners and more. Choose your car wisely It’s good to have your dream in mind when buying your next car but some cars can cost you more in the long run. If you spend ages saving up for a car but it doesn’t turn out to be all that cheap, you will more than likely be annoyed! Research has shown that due to car depreciation, a car that is a couple of years older is actually better value for money. Simply put, car depreciation is the value that you buy a car for and the value that you sell it for when you’re done. Factors that affect car depreciation costs include fuel efficiency, mileage and general condition of the car. You can avoid car depreciation by choosing a car that’s in demand and has low running costs, keep the mileage low, avoid adding any modifications and buying a nearly new or used car to avoid depreciation. Set your budget and your end target Before you start saving for any type of big expense, the first thing you should do is set a goal and budget. Knowing how much you want to save up all together is important so you can budget how much you can save each month. Have a look at all your monthly incomings and outgoings, set a little bit of money aside for the social aspects in your life and then see how much is left over to put away into savings. If you know you can do without some outgoings, maybe you’ve stopped using your Netflix account or pay for a gym membership that you never use, it’s a good idea to cancel any outgoings that you could do without. This way, you can put more into your savings each month. Set up a savings account If you’re bad at saving money, a savings account is a great idea. The savings account you choose will depend on what’s right for you. Could you confidently save without dipping into your savings? Or do you need something that you can’t touch until the end of an agreed term? Can you afford to put the same amount in each month with a fixed term deposit? Do you want to add money as and when? Shop around for your savings account before you commit to just one. There are so many different types including cash ISAs, easy access savings accounts, notice-savings accounts, regular savings, tax-free help to save and many more. It may sound confusing, but savings accounts are a great way to save for any big purchase, just do your research first and decide which is best for you! A great way to do this is by junking your car in order to get a new one. Explore different ways to buy Buying a car with cash is really beneficial. The main advantages of buying with cash is that you aren’t tied into monthly payments, can get your car with no deposit and can avoid interest charges. However, if you want your car quite quickly, there are other ways in which you can get a car! Have you thought about buying a car through a car finance provider? If you buy a car through finance, it will be based on your credit score. It’s easy to get a car if you have good credit but it’s not impossible to get bad credit car finance either! Other options include personal loans, using a credit card and HP/PCP agreements. Have a look into all your options before you commit to buy.

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