Builders' Merchants News
Designing beyond the limits of mechanical fasteners

In today’s market, the demand for innovative products and advanced solutions has never been higher.

Five reasons to choose a resin surface over any other driveway surface

Thirty years ago, the decision to have a block paved drive was one of the most popular home-improvement choices made by homeowners. The main benefits was that it was natural and it helped to add value to the home. Concrete and tarmac drives came in close second because they were practical and long lasting, however, they lacked style and elegance.

A day in the life of Joanne Roberts

As Category Product Manager for Roof and Landscape at Wienerberger, no two days are the same and I could be anywhere in the country! One of the most important aspects of my job is product development, ensuring that we’re meeting customer and market demands, as well as giving the industry access to new tiles and pavers.

Wernerco urges businesses to ensure safe working at height practices

A third of all falls from height in the workplace occur when using a ladder according to the Health and Safety Executive and within the construction industry it accounts for 45% of fatalities each year.

How to improve the shelf-life of your wood-based products

Wood is a great building material that's always in demand, but to get the very best from your timber, it's important to store it properly.

Three reasons why your brand needs to be on Facebook

Facebook has on average 2.06 billion monthly active users and 1.15 billion daily active users. More than 50 million businesses use Facebook, with three million of these using Facebook adverts to market their businesses.

Don’t fall for bad stair safety; promote safer practices in branch

According to statistics, it’s estimated that there is a fall on the stairs every 90 seconds in the UK*, with children and the elderly being the most vulnerable to potential problems on this busy area of the home.

Quality and cost certainty with engineered off-site solutions

We are in the midst of uncertain times with construction experts citing increased costs for businesses over the coming years. Contractors have long been anticipating an impending rise in material costs following several years of relatively flat inflation. In this blog, I will consider how off-site technology can mitigate the impact of rising costs.

Joining up the touchpoints on the customer journey boosts sales

From static corporate brochure to always-on anytime anywhere sales supremo, websites have evolved massively over the last 15 years. They’ve become the linchpin to how we live and work. They’re the threads that string most customer journeys together, whether we realise it or not.

Catching the Boomerang

The way in which retailers now nurture online customers has transformed the buying experience. From reviews to social links, in depth information and product comparisons, online customers have access to information, expertise and validation at every step of the journey.

Training supercharges sales - because it’s easy when you know how!

The last 15 years has seen a revolution in the way we buy and sell. The evidence is on our high streets as a growing number of charity shops fill the gaps left by closed retail shops. At one time, pundits were predicting a mass migration to an online world, with ‘clicks’ leaving the ‘bricks’ behind, but instead it’s fast becoming an Omnichannel world, with online merging seamlessly with traditional branches and showrooms.

Lock in on awareness campaigns

The internet is filled with awareness campaigns but few merchants are utilising these opportunities successfully. Supporting awareness schemes is a smart and effective way to generate awareness of a particular issue and subsequently increase sales during key periods. With the huge increase in online media, sharing and creating these types of campaigns has become even easier.

Challenges ahead in the housebuilder sector?

It is perhaps not surprising that the positivity of purchasing managers has fallen since the election. We are in politically unchartered territory and uncertainty is highly contagious. However, at H+H, where our sales are very closely associated with the housebuilding sector, we remain confident of strong demand.

Have you changed how you sell to match how people buy windows?

Steve Halford, Group Managing Director of Crystal Direct, asks if merchants are keeping up with changing purchasing trends.

Be social media savvy

Harnessing the power of social media can make a huge difference for merchants looking to promote new stock, product offers and business services.

Put the pedal to the metal for the latest trend

While the ‘improve not move’ trend continues to increase in popularity this year, now’s the time to stock up on a range of home improvement products that can help to increase on sales over the summer period.

Sales success for merchants in fast-growing PVC-U windows market

Steve Halford, Group Managing Director of Crystal, looks at the changing PVC-U windows market and how it can bring sales success to merchants.

Eye protection in the industrial workplace

Anyone working around or passing through areas with industrial equipment should be wearing protective eyewear. When working within industrial equipment areas, wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is crucial for preventing injury.

The business of birthdays

Why should Grown in Britain’s fourth birthday bring you better business? It seems unlikely I know, but bear with me.

New Housing Minister must build on Housing White Paper

The new Housing and Planning Minister, Alok Sharma MP, must focus on implementing the many strong proposals in the Government’s Housing White Paper, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has said in response to his appointment.

An enhanced apprentice strategy for growth in construction

Much focus from the media, business and government has been given to the skills shortage in the UK. In the heavy clay construction industry, a strong recruitment pool of skilled workers is crucial given the mounting scrutiny facing the sector with regards to the availability and quality of housing in the UK.

Construction industry could suffer due to political uncertainty

Brian Berry predicts construction sector being vulnerable following the General Election results.

Workwear for warmer months ahead

The sun is out and people want to make the most out of the good weather. In terms of working during these warmer months, it is vitally important to ensure you are protected from what looks like a relatively safer season compared to the harsher winter.

Home improvements a priority for homeowners

According to recent research, 59% of UK homeowners are planning to carry out home improvements over the next six months, increasing by 12% from the same time last year*.

No one size fits all

Accurate sizing of replacement boilers is crucial to ensure higher levels of efficiency and lower energy bills for homeowners. Helen Andrews, head of key accounts at Baxi, offers sizing tips for merchants to pass on to their installer customers.

The importance of futureproofing

Futureproofing is essential for any company to ensure their investments remain healthy and that they remain ahead of the curve, believes Simon Midwood, managing director of TIMco.

How is the construction industry reacting to the upcoming UK general election?

The campaigns for all of the parties involved in the general election, which is taking place on 8th June, are now starting to gather steam, having had time to regroup following the surprise announcement that the election would be held now, rather than in 2020.

All hands on deck to ‘soak up’ summer sales

Spring has finally sprung, which means homeowners will be starting to make the most of the longer days and better weather, turning their attention to the garden.

How the UK economy will impact new house building projects in 2017

Twenty sixteen was another hectic year for the UK’s housing market. The constant need for more new homes continued, prices increased and then the effects of the UK’s EU referendum were felt. Plus, there was a change in government in amongst all that. These factors all had a big impact upon the UK economy last year and the housing market.

10 benefits of using timber frame building

Alex Dalton, managing director of Daltons Wadkin, takes a look at the offsite construction of homes. Focusing specifically on timber, he discusses the importance and benefits of using timber in construction. 

Technical tapes versus traditional fastening methods

In this blog post I am going to discuss the role technical tapes have in the construction industry, and will take a deeper look at how high performance tapes are offering many industry professionals a solid alternative to more traditional fastening methods.

Make smart sales this spring

With a whole host of different product categories to consider, it can be difficult to know what to stock. Will new product lines take off or should you promote the tried and tested ranges?

Homeowners step towards ‘Do It For Me’

For years, British homeowners chose to undertake various DIY projects to improve the look and feel of their homes; in the hope that this more ‘cost effective’ option would help to increase the overall perceived value of their property.

An enhanced apprentice strategy for growth

Upskilling is a crucial part of professional development and, with the campaign for apprenticeship schemes making headlines, UK business and industry are faster adopting this style of learning and training.

Beating the skills gap

When many Builders Merchants’ News readers grew up, having a Saturday job – helping in a shop, cafe or builders’ merchant yard – was part of teenage life. In today’s society, ‘Saturday work’ has dropped by some 65%, according to the Confederation of Timber Industries’ Skills and Education report. That means fewer young people being exposed to potential careers in merchanting, and learning about materials like timber.

A spotlight on stair safety

According to recent statistics, people in the UK have incidents involving stairs every 90 seconds, and in 2015 there were 787 deaths in England and Wales caused by a fall on steps or stairs, which equates to more than two fatalities every day.

Setting the security standard

As we move into the spring months, security is a key focus for trade professionals. Each year, approximately 11% of the UK’s population move home with spring being the most popular time*. As a result, homeowners are keen to protect their new property and so merchants should be promoting security solutions to cope with the increase in demand.

Is your business taking security seriously?

These days it’s cyber security and hackers that make the headlines, but there’s also the occasional robbery that makes the headlines (such as the Hatton Garden heist).

From hairdresser to cement big wig

Hairdressing and construction are two industries you wouldn’t usually put together in the same sentence. Yet, the skills I developed as a hair stylist has led me to become an established construction industry professional.

Make a mark with mouldings

Interior design experts have selected mouldings as one of the key décor trends to watch in 2017, so expect to see the demand for mouldings and trims to increase over the coming months.

Smart opportunities as DIY declines

One of the biggest trends for the home in 2017 is the continued growth and adoption of smart technology, of which remote home security is a key driver. As a result, it’s important for merchants to understand how this emerging market can provide a lucrative revenue stream.

Turn that waste into a booming business

With rapid industrialisation, waste management technologies today are dramatically evolving. Companies are under constant pressure to optimize their waste management and enhance their environmental bottom line. This has led to rewarding business opportunities in waste management and companies can take advantage of this.

Do you have the right equipment for the job?

If your business is planning a project then you’ll need to have all the right tools in place to complete it.

Stocking tips for the New Year

Supplying a range of both traditional and contemporary security products for 2017 is vital. For example, it is advised that merchants stock a full range of replacement multipoint locks, as it is a product that is needed all year round when older locks fail.

Generating buzz through events

Putting your business on show is a great way of getting noticed. Trade exhibitions are an ideal stage to achieve this, as I wrote last time. There are also plenty of opportunities for a business to create its own events. This leads to greater engagement with customers and stakeholders, and generates a buzz that is unique to your brand.

What can the construction industry do to combat pollution?

Sometimes working in the construction industry can feel like you are juggling a host of different issues, but one that has grown in importance in recent years is the amount of pollution generated by construction work. Increasingly businesses are looking to see what they can do to reduce this pollution or minimise it as much as possible.

Defining your safety boot ratings - what do they mean?

To the untrained eye, safety boot ratings can look like nothing more than a bunch of letters and numbers chosen at random by shoe manufacturers.

How construction is going green

With increased pressure on us all to protect the environment we live in, industries across the world are looking at ways that they can do their bit to look after it.

Does your business meet all of the requirements for a safe working environment?

Regardless of the product or service you provide, one thing is true for every single company in the UK: your business must meet all of the requirements for a safe working environment. But, are you confident that your business does this? In fact, are you entirely sure what is required of you as an employer?

Making surveys matter

Surveys are a fantastic way for merchants to get feedback from customers.