Clearview North May 2013 - Issue 138 - Page 29

INDUSTRYNEWS Small builders under threat as workloads fall Almost a third of Britain’s small building firms have shed staff since the turn of the year, as falling workloads and rising costs have forced many SME construction companies to scale back their operations, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). The FMB’s latest State of Trade Survey of member firms, many of which work in the domestic repair, maintenance and improvement market (RM&I), shows overall workloads falling at the fastest rate since the first three months of 2012. The net balance for residential workloads was -23%, compared to -15% in the final quarter of last year, giving particular cause for alarm as this type of work traditionally represents the lifeblood of the smaller builder. Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Last year was a tough one for our members, but there were some encouraging signs in the final quarter of 2012 that the industry may be turning a corner. These latest survey results however paint a bleak picture, and our members are telling us that they are faced with the unenviable choice of putting up their prices or laying off staff.” Workloads continue to fall, costs keep rising and credit conditions remain extremely tough. As predicted by members in the final quarter of 2012, the first three months of this year has seen 30 percent of firms shed staff. Around 26 percent of firms did however anticipate that workloads might begin to pick up in the next few months. Berry continued: “Our members have for years eaten into their own profit margins in a bid to maintain capacity but that cannot continue. There was little in the Government’s recent Budget Statement to cheer small domestic RM&I companies. We urgently need to see a cut in VAT from 20 percent to 5 percent on home renovation and repair, as householders simply can’t afford to get work done to make their homes more comfortable, affordable and energy-efficient.” Berry concluded: “Furthermore, it is clear from our figures that workloads for those firms working in the public residential sector have fallen at an alarming rate. This should be a wake-up call to government at all levels to attend to the country’s dilapidated social housing stock. Local authority borrowing caps must be raised or axed altogether to help fund the building of new energy-efficient social housing and bring existing homes up to scratch.” Manufacturers & Suppliers of Lead Free Windows, Doors & Conservatories Window Ener D&I Window A Reg No. 0504-006 gy Rating Date.19/04/2011 PVC-U Caseme nt A Rated Window Solutions Ltd g Register Thermal Ratin -10 to < 0 -20 to -10 -30 to -20 -50 to -30 -70 to -50 -70 + Energy Rating of energy consumpt 0+ ion A Fully Glazed A Rated Windows • Planitherm Total+ or Planibel A • Free delivery • Over 40 colour foils available • Kommerling gold profile • Same day quotations • 5-7 day turn round based on a is a relative rating Energy Rating UK location. The Window in an average and windows building detailing, notional house will vary with performance ure. Actual energy and internal temperat usage, local climate nt visit: label is curre To Check this www.thermalrati 600mm x 1200mm kWh/m2/year 1800mm x 1200mm £99 +VAT £199 +VAT 1200mm x 1200mm 1200mm x 1200mm £119 +VAT £139 +VAT 600mm x 1200mm 1800mm x 1200mm £99 +VAT All prices shown are exclusive of VAT. Minimum order for free delivery. Wood-grain and coloured foils POA. £179 +VAT Solidor Composite Doors • Patio Doors uPVC Doors • Sliding Sash Windows uPVC & Aluminium Bi-folds • Conservatories Tel/Fax: 01226 280380 Unit 5, Modern House, Summer Lane, Barnsley, S70 2NP Email: To read more, visit THE MAY 2013 ISSUE SPONSORED BY DURAFLEX 29