Professional Builder June 2024

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THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE BUILDING INDUSTRYJUNE 2024 Professional FREE TO THE TRADE BUILDING BOARDS, PLASTERS & RENDERS EXPERT PANEL EXTENSIONS & HOME IMPROVEMENTS A JOURNEY INTO SPACE BUILDING ■ PLASTERING ■ PLUMBING ■ ROOFING ■ CARPENTRY ■ PAINTING AND DECORATING ■ TIBBY SINGH GETS HANDS ON WITH THE HULTAFORS RANGE OF TOOLS AND CARRYING EQUIPMENT
JUNE 2024 VOL. 46 NO6 www.youtube.com/ProBuilderMag contents REGULARS SPECIAL REPORTS BUILDING BOARDS, PLASTERS & RENDERS @PB_mag pb@hamerville.co.uk Professional Builder, Regal House, Regal Way, Watford, Herts, WD24 4YF. DOORS & WINDOWS @probuilderonline 12Brickies battle it out at Super Trowel  BUSINESS SOLUTIONS COMPETITIONS 23Schlüter KERDI-BOARD Step-by-step 26EGGER – Structural Flooring 29Medite Smartply – Airtightness and Vapour Control 32Knauf – Plasterboard Recycling 34Okarno – Dalapro Ready-mixed Filler 36British Gypsum – ThistlePro FastSet Finish 38NEW PRODUCTS www.probuildermag.co.uk PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 3 21 TOOLS, EQUIPMENT & FIXINGS EXTENSIONS & HOME IMPROVEMENTS 44Hook-up Solutions – Steel Beam Installation 47Marshalls – Driveways 50Kingspan – Insulation in Extensions 53Brett Martin – Rooflight Options 57Setcrete – Levelling Compound 60Beauxfort – Gravelrings System 62NEW PRODUCTS 15HBXL Introduces BuildProjex  36 39 FREEFOR ALL! In it to win it... see page 20 7Editor’s Viewpoint 9News 20Free-for-All ROOFING 64Quickslide’s Summer Trends 66Origin – Soho External Door 68Mighton Products – Company Profile 70Iso Chemie – Sealant Tapes 72Allegion UK – Briton Door Closers 76Tibby Singh Reviews Hultafors 78Harris Safety Systems – Brick Bud System 80OSC Sales – Decking Fasteners 20Free-for-All Giveaways 21Win a 50in. TV with OSC 22Thompon’s Waterproofing is giving away a BBQ 12 39 MAN TGE – Next Level 44 73Marley – Lincoln Pantile 74Klober – Permeable Membranes

Professional

Podcast

Listen on Google Podcasts Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Amazon Podcasts Listen on Spotify Podcasts LISTEN NOW ON YOUR PODCAST PLATFORM OF CHOICE OR CLICK HERE TO VISIT: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE001 AND YOU CAN TOO, AS WE CATCH UP WITH SOME OF THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY’S MOST INTERESTING AND KNOWLEDGEABLE CHARACTERS ON THE NEW GROUND BREAKING PROFESSIONAL BUILDER PODCAST WITH LEE JONES AND EDWARD KELLY. LEARN A NEW BUSINESS SKILL OR FINE TUNE AN OLD ONE FROM THE GUYS AND GIRLS AT THE SHARP END, WHO HAVE BEEN THERE, DONE IT AND GOT THE PB T SHIRT TO BOOT!
BUILDING ■ CARPENTRY
NOWLIVE! IF THEY ARE TALKING WE ARE LISTENING! Professional Podcast

EDITOR

LEE JONES

EMAIL: ljones@hamerville.co.uk

ASSISTANT EDITOR

EDWARD KELLY

EMAIL: ekelly@hamerville.co.uk

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

FINLEY CANNON

EMAIL: fcannon@hamerville.co.uk

GROUP ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER

CRAIG JOWSEY

TEL: 07900 248102

EMAIL: craig@hamerville.co.uk

NORTHERN ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER

IAN DUFF

MOBILE: 07810 353525

EMAIL: probuilder@sky.com

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

DONNA BOOTH

GROUP PRODUCTION MANAGER

CAROL PADGETT

DIGITAL MANAGER

JASMINE SMITH

EMAIL: jsmith@hamerville.co.uk

DIGITAL ASSISTANT

LYDIA MCFARLANE

EMAIL: lmcfarlane@hamerville.co.uk

DISTRIBUTION MANAGER

KARL CLARK

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PUBLISHED BY

HAMERVILLE MEDIA GROUP

Regal House, Regal Way, Watford, Herts WD24 4YF

Tel: (01923) 237799

Fax: (01923) 246901

Email: pb@hamerville.co.uk

Professional Builder is a business magazine for firms and individuals involved in all aspects of the building industry. It is available nationally –free to the trade through leading builders’ merchant outlets. © 2024

To be removed from this magazine’s circulation, please call 01923 237799 or email circulation@hamerville.co.uk.

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viewpoint

park life

The majority of builders, especially those operating in our towns and cities, will have become accustomed to running the daily gauntlet of traffic calming measures and safety cameras. Big Brother’s beady eye has everything from box junctions to bus lanes covered, not to mention the added complication of our capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and Congestion Charge. Indeed, it’s entirely possible you could accumulate a licenceendangering tally of points on just one journey.

Having arrived at your destination relatively unscathed the additional pain point of parking presents itself, with what has emerged as eye-watering amounts of fines issued in just one year. New research from Direct Line has revealed that, over only a twelve-month period, tradespeople have been subject to 3.5 million fines worth a total of £177 million. More than half find it difficult to park at, or close to, the job, whilst parking charges can frequently be exorbitant – so much so, in fact, that it may well be cheaper to cop a fine, that is if you want to run the risk of being towed or clamped into the bargain. Not only that, but leaving your van further away opens you up to becoming the victim of an opportunistic thief and taking a considerably larger financial hit in losing the tools and equipment that it could have taken an entire career to accrue.

The end result, of course, is that many builders will simply vote with their vans and avoid certain areas. For the homeowner that means competent and skilled tradespeople which, thanks to a worsening skills crisis, are already a scarce resource, are likely to be even harder to secure on anything like a favourable timeline. Builders will need to pass on all these additional costs to their own customers, or risk squeezing profit margins still further, and the badly needed upgrading of our existing housing stock in order to achieve our net zero ambitions becomes all the more unlikely.

As the Direct Line study points out, the more builder-friendly local authorities have

made discretionary permits for tradespeople available, but they’re not always that straightforward to access and can be expensive. Moreover, if you’re working across a wider area, it is conceivable that multiple permissions might be required from different councils.

The answer, of course, is to recognise tradespeople for what they actually are –and support them accordingly. Builders are the lifeblood of a local economy, sourcing tools and materials from trusted suppliers on their own patch, employing other trades, and providing often vital services to the general public. It makes precious little economic sense to put as many obstacles to making a profit in their way as there are pot-holes blighting our highways and byways.

Pedestrian and road safety should, of course, remain paramount, but there are far too many parking restrictions and cameras that can be seen for what they all-too visibly are – a money making vehicle for their operators. As to where those funds are then allocated it’s certainly not for the upkeep of local roads, many of which are as pockmarked as ploughed fields.

Similary, the health and environmental principles behind cycle lanes and low traffic neighbourhoods are commendable but too many have relegated motorists to the level of second class citizens – firmly shunted into the slow lane in favour of miles of bicycle branded pathways that are conspicuously short of any two wheeled pedal power for much of the day.

Transport policy is not just about the environment, local air quality, or the welfare of road users – as important as all those issues are. Our road networks are the arteries of our economic well-being. Hindering their access is an act of selfharm, and those that seek to merely profit from beleaguered motorists should be made to hit the road.

If you would like further information on Direct Line Business Insurance visit WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE002

PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I7
Total Average Net Distribution 131,640 July 2021 –June 2022

WHEN A PLAN COMES TOGETHER!

CITB unveils its Business Plan and direction for 2024-25

The new direction sets out to build on previous plans and support and empower employers by investing £267m over the coming year. Tim Balcon, CITB Chief Executive, said: “Our new Plan sets out how we will invest in the skills system to ensure it is fit for purpose and fit for the future. We will work in partnership with employers, from the smallest to the largest, so that the training demands of the construction industry can be met with high-quality training provision. Changing the skills

PARKING MAD

Tradespeople slapped with 3.5 million parking fines costing them £177 million (See PB’s Viewpoint on Page 7) These figures come from Direct Line research, which also revealed that 55% of tradespeople say they face a weekly struggle to park at or close to the site (54%) where they are working. Many local authorities offer tradespeople discretionary parking permits so that they can avoid unnecessary parking charges, but just 13% of tradespeople find getting trade parking permits through a council a quick and simple process.

landscape is not an easy task and not one that can be achieved overnight, but this year’s Plan is a significant step forward.”

LISTEN UP

Construction workers reminded of the importance of hearing protection Phoenix Health & Safety have teamed up with Boots Hearingcare to share why construction workers are at risk of ear health damage, and what preventative measures should be put in place by safety professionals. The industry ranks as the 5th noisiest profession.

that’s a welcome ‘site’

Ford Pro study reveals tradespeople work harder if they are given a warm welcome

The study showed that while customers are keeping up the tradition of offering a hot drink when they have work done in their home (70%), nearly 40% of tradespeople say they don’t have a friendly chat and 56% don’t get offered the use of the toilet. To highlight the importance of the relationship between tradespeople and homeowners, the Dream Job campaign has enlisted the help of Tom Skinner to give a tradesperson the warmest possible welcome.

HANDY TO HAVE

Lucky Carhartt ‘Win a Handyman’ winners get their Handyman

Aimed at those hard workers who struggle to get on top of their to do list and need some TLC of their own, over 10,000 entrants took part in the online competition by letting Carhartt know which niggles they would like to cross off their list. True to their word, in February, Carhartt’s Handyman surprised the first lucky winners in the UK, Netherlands, Germany and Ireland.

PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 9 News Professional Builder
email your news to us at pb@hamerville.co.uk Tel 01923 237799
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TO BOLDLY GROW….

FMB launches its ‘Growth from the Ground Up’ General Election Manifesto

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The FMB’s General Election manifesto calls on the new government to take urgent steps to boost house building rates; tackle the ongoing skills crisis in construction; support the rollout of energy efficiency upgrades to existing homes and introduce a scheme to set a minimum competency level for builders.” Brian goes on to conclude: “The FMB is showing that local builders, who are too often forgotten about by politicians, are part of the solution to creating a more dynamic country.”

weight watchers

Van drivers can be charged £300 and receive penalty points for overloading their vehicles

Motoring experts at Lease Van have offered advice to van owners on how to safely secure goods in their vehicles to prevent steep fines and help reduce the risk of potential accidents.

Under Section 41B of the Road Traffic Act 1988, it’s a serious offence to drive an overloaded vehicle which exceeds weight restrictions and requirements.

GET YOUR ‘TAX’ STRAIGHT

Online interactive tool launched for sole traders affected by changes to reporting profits

Sole traders who need to comply with the new requirement to report their profits at the end of the tax year can access a GOV.UK interactive tool to help them navigate the changes. These businesses will now need to report their profits up to the end of the tax year, even if their accounting year ends on a different date. Those affected will be required to do this is by 31 January 2025.

SAFE AND SOUND

Keylite continues its successful safety campaign for the construction sector

Keylite Roof Windows’ ‘Work Smart, Stay Grounded’ campaign has seen the team visit builders’ merchants across the UK and Ireland to encourage merchants and their customers to get involved with a ‘Challenge yourself, not your safety’ virtual reality game. The game sought to start a conversation around working safely on-site and at heights with the support of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC).

Marley celebrates its 100-year anniversary

Founded by Owen Aisher, the company’s inception marked a crucial milestone in the evolution of the UK roofing industry, with the production of Marley’s very first concrete roof tiles beginning in a humble cowshed on Marley Farm in Kent.

Daniel Redfern for Marley says: “We are delighted to celebrate Marley’s 100th anniversary this year. The milestone is testimony to the hard work, diligence, and innovating spirit of colleagues across the decades who have contributed to our collective and ongoing success.”

10 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER
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ON THE ROAD AGAIN

Marshalls presents the future at latest installer roadshows

Landscapers from across the UK joined Marshalls to get a sneak peek of the manufacturer’s upcoming products and crown the regional winners of the Marshalls Register Awards.

Hundreds of installers and businesses, many of whom are part of The Marshalls Register of Accredited Landscape Contractors and Driveway Installers, joined the roadshows at 11 locations across the UK. Among other things, the manufacturer showcased new digital tools including the Marshalls Outdoor Reality app that helps customers visualise products in their garden.

MORE DETAILS VISIT: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE013

LET’S MAKE A MOVE

Plantworx 2025 has a new location and venue

The CEA’s 6th biennial construction machinery exhibition will be held on 23rd - 25th September 2025, at the Newark Showground. Simon FrereCook, Plantworx Event Director, has emphasised this venue’s adaptability and quality: “The thorough selection process led us to Newark, which excels in infrastructure flexibility, accessibility, and the reliability of its outdoor spaces, which are crucial for hosting an event of Plantworx’s scale. While we can’t guarantee the weather, Newark is highly regarded for its grounds’ quality and reliability, ensuring events run smoothly regardless of weather conditions.”

FOR MORE DETAILS VISIT: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE014

A FINE IDEA

Talon backs installer’s Anti-Tool Theft petition

Talon is backing its ambassador, Shoaib Awan, also known as @thegasexpert on Instagram, in his quest to successfully launch a petition aimed at curbing the rampant theft of power tools, a problem increasingly plaguing tradespeople across the UK. This petition seeks to impose a significant £10,000 fine on organisers who permit the sale of stolen tools at car boot sales and markets, a known avenue for the distribution of stolen goods.

FOR MORE DETAILS VISIT: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE015

FOR

THE BEST OF THE BRICKIES

Finley Cannon attends Super Trowel 2024 to hear about the growing event, the participants, and the hopes for the future of the trade.

Bricklayers from across the UK have been competing against each other with the ambition to be named the UK’s fastest bricklayer, and be in with a chance of competing against the best in the USA in Las Vegas. In its second year, Super Trowel has seen 29 competitors come together across two heats. The events took place at Hertford Regional College in the south and Warrington and Vale Royal College in the north with the top 11 set to compete in a final held in August, alongside last year’s winner.

Origins

The brainchild of 29-year-old bricklayer Ashley Francis, Super Trowel began in 2023. Ashley thought up the idea after seeing a US competition for bricklayers. “I knew about the Spec Mix 500 event,” he recalls, “and I wanted to do that here. In the first instance we needed a following and that’s why I started the Bricklayers Social Club (BSC)”.

The BSC is a community of bricklayers and stonemasons with more than 670

and over 30,000

offers the opportunity to connect with others in the industry, share

SPECIAL REPORT
members followers. The club
12 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER SUPERTROWEL
Ashley spoke with Hertford Regional College to arrange a venue and organised the first Super Towel in August LtoR: Ashley Francis, the founder of Super Trowel and his fellow organisers, Jack Dawson of Hertford Regional College, and Joe Short of Brick Jackets

contestants, this year we had over 70 people apply, and we had to bring it down to 30 competitors.”

The competition

Over a 45-minute period, the contestants – assisted by one hod carrier each – had to lay as many bricks as they can on a wall measuring 4,490mm long. After the 45 minutes, contestants had ten minutes for jointing up. In the final contestants will be asked to lay a 8,990mm wall, with 1hour to lay and 20 minutes jointing up. Judges then count the total number of bricks laid and made deductions for any discrepancies. Failure to meet any or all height points within the tolerances laid out, for example, resulted in a 20-brick deduction to the final tally.

In return for their generosity in hosting the events, all of the bricks – supplied by Wienerberger and mortar supplied by CPI

profession to get more young people involved and give back to the colleges: “We’re using the competition to supply 17,000 bricks and 20 tonnes of mortar to the colleges and we want to expand. Next year, in exchange for using their venues, we hope to provide the colleges with even more tools and materials.”

The bricklayers

Among the competitors in Warrington were three generations of the Mahoney family. Father and son, Andy and Ashley Mahoney were competing against each other, with Andy’s youngest son Connor working as his labourer, while Ashley’s son was on filming duty.

Ashley was inspired by his father to get into bricklaying. “This man here is on a pedestal, I wanted to be just like him,” enthused the 2023 runner-up, who impressed with a particularly tall 440 brick

“Following the Super Trowel heats, the final will see the contestants compete for the chance to win £15,000 in prize money and tools”

against other bricklayers from across the country. Ashley continues: “I’ve always known I’m quick, so I wanted to put myself up against others and see just how quick I really am.”

The southern heat, held at Hertford Regional College, saw 17 competitors battle it out for a place in the final. Among the entrants was young bricklayer Tom Humphrey. A fan of bricklaying YouTubers, he applied with the aim of finding out how quick he is and recruited a friend and former brickie to be his labourer. “I follow all of the YouTube bricklayers; I’ve had a real passion for it since I started.” The 23-year-old has been plying his trade for seven years and now works with natural stone as well as bricks. “I came to last year’s and said if I get chance, I’ll be in it next year. I have no idea how quick I actually am, but I wanted to find out and here I am.” Tom added.

The final will see the contestants compete in front of more than 1,000 spectators and will be in with a chance of winning £15,000 in prize money and tools, as well as the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas to compete in Spec Mix 500 against the best the USA has to offer. The Super Trowel team will also be taking a young apprentice to the Nevada city who will also compete in the largest event of its kind.

PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 13 FOR MORE ON THE BRICKLAYERS SOCIAL CLUB VISIT WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE017 THE SUPER TROWEL FINAL IS SET FOR

ON A CLOUD!

on managing your construction jobs using software.

Abuilding project spiralling out of control is possibly the worst nightmare for a builder. There’s so much riding on its success. Reputation. The amount of profit made. The next job starting on time. Staff satisfaction.

The stress for a builder can be next level. Always running around. Always juggling. Always being tripped up. You want to stop having to throw money at problems. You just want your subbies, materials and plant to be where they are supposed to be on the right day and you’re dream is for everyone to focus on doing their jobs well without the distraction that delays cause. And for you to have stress-free evenings and weekends off.

For some time now, the HBXL building community has been asking for a job management tool specific to small building firms. So, we know help is needed. After all, it’s virtually impossible to hold in your head, multiple projects and all their stages and differing issues. Then there’s the customer. How do you keep them in the loop and off your back? And that’s why we’ve recently launched BuildProjex, our first cloud-based software

tool. And it’s going down a storm.

But back to you. How do you rate your job management skills? Are you always in control? Do you have a clear view of all the jobs going through? Do you hit your deadlines every time? And most importantly do you make the profit you predicted at the quoting stage?

If you can’t quite say yes to all of the above, then read on!

Keep a complete overview

Sounds obvious but having a snapshot of ALL your projects at any one time makes a massive difference to the running of your business. Say you’ve got a couple of jobs in the quoting phase, another job is breaking ground soon, one at first floor, another that’s overdue for landscaping. How do you see at a glance, what might clash, who

can’t be in two places at once, and so on? It’s impossible. The ‘All Project’ dashboard in BuildProjex gives you a valuable (realtime) oversight. It helps avoid any clangers. And being cloud-based everyone can check the overview, wherever they are, whatever the time of day.

Get a tick next to the tasks you set Your team aren’t mind readers. They need a to-do list and a due date. And even if it’s obvious what should happen next, it’s worth noting down. And there’s a good reason for this. You want to know the work has been done. Everyone needs to be accountable. So, you want all your employees and sub-contractors to tick off their tasks. In BuildProjex the tasks are blue while in progress, green when completed and red when overdue.

PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 15
BuildProjex is a cloud-based software tool for both builders and their clients
SOLUTIONS
BUSINESS
CONSTRUCTION SOFTWARE
“BuildProjex is proving an instant success. It’s the glue that holds your valuable construction projects together.
Eveything is in one place. You’re in control.”

Exchange messages in one place

All your team need to be on the same page for work to go smoothly. Literally. How annoying is it when a conversation starts on WhatsApp and finishes in Messenger? And then there are the hundreds of text messages, and email chains. It’s impossible to keep track. Whatever you do, make sure that you’re all using the same messaging channel. In BuildProjex, messaging is in-built. You can exchange direct messages or drop them into group chats. Whatever you do, keeping your conversations in one place is key to efficiency.

Keep the calendar up-to-date

How many times has a site visit gone unattended because it’s slipped someone’s mind? What about that meeting with the electrician or Building Control? And wouldn’t it be handy if everyone can see that the PVCu quote request went on the 6th, the skip is being delivered on the 15th, the roofers will be on site on the 17th... You need a shared calendar. Everything in one place. BuildProjex has a colour-coded calendar for each job. The information is pulled through from tasks, so you don’t even have to do anything. You can share the whole company calendar or projectspecific calendars with the relevant people. Key dates, appointments, deliveries. Nothing gets forgotten.

BUSINESS SOLUTIONS

Track progress of building phases

Not dissimilar to a calendar, a Gantt Chart (Build Programme) uses timelines to represent the completion of each task. Foundations 1.4 months, framing 22 days, dry in 22 days, Exterior finishes 19 days and so on. You can share individual charts or a combined chart for all the projects. It means you can track target progress versus actual progress. If you want to make the profit you set out at the beginning, you need to stay on track. Again, BuildProjex has a Gantt Chart in-built. All the information on each job automatically gets fed into the chart. And you can share it with whoever you want. So easy.

File everything in one place

These pointers aren’t in any particular order, and for some, knowing where everything is could be the number one requirement. How can you effectively manage a job if you aren’t sure where all the paperwork is – and whether it’s the latest version. I’m thinking building plans, quotations, schedules of work, site photos, specifications, risk assessments –you get the idea. How do you file paperwork currently? Can everyone access the relevant documents? BuildProjex can receive your uploaded files and store them for you. And you and

your team can access them (if they have the right permissions).

I hope I’ve given you food for thought with these six key aspects of successful job management. It’s not easy, and using a range of different tools can cause more problems than they resolve. That’s why BuildProjex is proving an instant success. It’s the glue that holds your valuable construction projects together. Everything is in one place. You’re in control. Everyone is in the loop. You have everything at your fingertips and so does your team. And you can plan, track, share and manage from your mobile phone, tablet, laptop, computer. Building projects run smoothly and your profit margin is protected.

16 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER
YOU CAN TRY BUILDPROJEX FOR FREE – DOWNLOAD IT INSTANTLY FROM THE HBXL WEBSITE AT WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE018

We give our verdict on new products in our unique site tests, but now we want to give you the chance to try them – AND KEEP THEM – for yourself! All you have to do to enter the free draws is simply just type in www.rdr.link followed by the unique code.

FREEFOR ALL!

5

X PRIZE PACKS

TALON MANUFACTURING PIPESNUG PRIZE PACKS

If you install pipework and haven’t tried PipeSnug by Talon yet then you’re missing out. It’s quick, clean, air and water-tight, and for use where a pipe exits a wall. PB has secured 5 prize packs of the award-winning pipe seal for five winners containing 2 x 32mm, 2 x 40mm plus a 110mm and the award winning FlueSnug. Great prizes every month is not just a pipe dream with Professional Builder. To be in with a chance of winning one of five of these prize packs use the rdr.link below.

5 X HAMMERS

JEFFERSON TOOLS

5 X CAPS & TSHIRTS

CARHARTT

MESH-BACK C PATCH CAPS & FORCE RELAXED FIT T-SHIRTS

20 OZ FIBREGLASS CLAW HAMMER

Precision-balanced for optimal use – and weighing only 0.8kgs – the Jefferson Tools 20 Oz Fibreglass Claw Hammer is crafted from high-quality carbon steel, ensuring durability. Featuring a robust fibreglass handle and ergonomic rubber grips, this hammer provides superior handling. The claw end is perfect for prying up floorboards or serving as a lever. Get your claws on this handy tool for free. We have five to give away.

The Mesh-Back C Patch Cap (106132) is made with a Carhartt Force sweatband, offering sweat wicking and antimicrobial properties. This cap features a Cpatch on the front and the brand’s label on the back. The Carhartt Force Relaxed Fit Midweight Graphic Tshirt (106653) is sweat-fighting and fastdrying while the mesh on the back keeps air circulating to help you stay cool when work heats up.

Carhartt has teamed up with PB to offer five readers the chance to get a cool look on site in the warmer weather.

1X SITE RADIO

HIKOKI POWER TOOLS

UR18DA DAB CORDLESS RADIO

Weighing just 1.8kg without the battery, the HiKOKI UR18DA is compact and lightweight. It is equipped with a hearty 8W speaker that delivers high-quality sound, ensuring clear and crisp audio even in the busy environment of a construction site. Bluetooth connectivity allows users to wirelessly connect their smartphones or other portable devices to the radio. This sounds like yet another great giveaway from Professional Builder!

20 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER Professional Professional
now easier than ever before to enter the competitions on our website. We’ve collected all the competitions on one handy page, meaning you only have to enter your details once! www.rdr.link/BBE023
Easy to Enter! It’s
FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN VISIT: FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN VISIT: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE019 FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN VISIT: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE022 FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN VISIT: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE020

1 PRIZE BUNDLE

FERNOX

TF1 SIGMA MINI FILTER, PROTECTOR F1, CLEANER F3 265ML AND LIMITED-EDITION

FERNOX HOODIE

To celebrate its 60th birthday, Fernox is giving away a TF1 Sigma Mini Filter, Protector F1 and Cleaner F3 265ml and a limited-edition Fernox hoodie. The TF1 Sigma Mini Filter is the latest launch from Fernox that is built upon its popular Sigma range, providing installers with a compact and efficient solution for smaller systems. It’s birthday time for Fernox and you could secure your very own present with this great prize package. As ever, use the rdr.link to enter.

20 CARTRIDGES OF SEALANT & ADHESIVE

SOUDAL

FIX ALL HIGH TACK

This all sealing, all bonding, hybrid polymer sealant and adhesive from Soudal exhibits super strong initial grab, holds firm in an instant, and is ideal for all heavy-duty bonding applications. It is suitable for bonding all materials and surfaces (excluding PTFE, PE & PP), porous and non-porous, and even in the wet. Optimum resistance against mould growth makes it perfect for use in sanitary areas, whether you’re bonding shower wall panels or sealing bathroom appliances. We’ve fixed you up with another great round of giveaways so grab a cartridge of this high performance sealant and adhesive.

A 4K 50in. SAMSUNG TV in time for the Euro’s

As part of the Carpenters Mate “Stars of the Landscaping Season” and to celebrate the upcoming Euros, we want to know which England player is most relatable to one of your team and why? For example – our apprentice Dan is our Declan Rice, because he’s always cleaning up after us! (Please keep it clean) The Best one – judged by the team at Pro Builder, will win a 4K 50in. SAMSUNG TV in time for the Euro’s – Good Luck!

For the full entry details visit the Professional Builder website at WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE026

We’d also like to know your preferred builders’ merchant and/or some feedback about our Carpenters Mate range of fixings – if you’ve used them before.

All Carpenters Mate fixings:

● Are self-drilling

● Corrosion resistant

● Come with a Lifetime Guarantee

● Come with a free drive tool

● Can be custom painted in any RAL colour on a selection of our stainless steel fixings View our full product range here:

Watch Connor Mcintyre, from Mcintyre Landscapes, talk about his experience using our “Stars of the Landscaping Season”, Pro Deck Screw, Pro Flat Head, Pro Hex Head, CAMO Hidden Decking Fastening System and Stainless Steel range. You can access the YouTube video here: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE028

PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 21 FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN VISIT: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE024 FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN VISIT: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE025
Competition

‘BRING IT ON’

WITH THOMPSON’S – WIN A WEBER BBQ

Thompson’s explores how to seal and revive hard landscaping, and make the most of your garden with a BBQ!

If you’re laying a new patio or paving for a customer, sealing the surface upon completion is an important finishing step, helping to retain the colour of the slabs or stones for longer. With a new patio marking a significant investment, and such a wide range of beautiful colours and effects available on the market, it would be a shame not to protect the finished aesthetic long-term.

More importantly, sealing the surface can help prevent moisture ingress from damaging the paving slab or stone, both in terms of appearance and structure,

Paving Seal is ideal. Suitable for granite, limestone, sandstone, flag stones or block paving, this powerful seal provides longterm protection. It’s touch-dry in just one hour and can be walked on after four hours. The super strong waterbased formula can resist future algae growth and even protect against oil and fuel spills.

For best results, it’s recommended to get the job done on a dry day with

If you’re refreshing an existing patio or driveway, prep first with Thompson’s Advanced Patio and Block Paving Cleaner. While many may choose to simply jet wash the patio or paving, this only removes surface level dirt, without tackling the deeper issues. With Advanced Patio & Block Paving Cleaner, the job is a breeze, removing any dirt, grime, mould or algae that has appeared during the wet and cold winter months. Not only does it revive and brighten surfaces, but this powerful cleaner can also protect the surface from algae growth for up to six months.

Reviving and protecting hard landscaping ready for summer? Bring it on!

The sun is out, which means it’s finally BBQ season! Fancy getting your hands on a new BBQ? To celebrate the start of the summer season, Thompson’s is giving away a Weber Classic Kettle Charcoal Barbecue to one lucky winner.

To enter, all you need to do is answer the following question:

Q) How long before Thompson’s One Coat Patio & Block Paving Seal

To enter, you can answer the question and provide your full contact details on the Professional Builder website at: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE029

COMPETITION
22 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT:
WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE096
YOU CAN ALSO USE THE HANDY ‘STOCKIST SEARCH’ TOOL TO FIND YOUR LOCAL THOMPSON’S STOCKIST: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE030

BACKING A WINNER!

Schlüter KERDI-BOARD offers a versatile, lightweight and waterproof tile backerboard option

As one of the most versatile and widely specified products from SchlüterSystems, Schlüter-KERDIBOARD finds applications for both retrofit and new-build installations, with different thicknesses of the extruded polystyrene (XPS) panel providing a stable and waterproof substrate for natural stone and ceramic tiling.

The panels are available in thicknesses of 5, 9, 12.5, 19, 28, 38 and 50mm and are easily installed across existing masonry, concrete, timber stud frames or lightweight metal framing, with panels featuring parallel grooves also available for creating rounded surfaces, such as for seating or curved walls. With all thicknesses available in 1.25m or 2.6m lengths, both by 62.5cm wide, the board is frequently used to create worksurfaces, breakfast bars, and islands.

A handy guide can be downloaded from the Schlüter-Systems website which can assist both specifiers and tradespeople in picking the right panel for an application. For instance, 12.5mm is the minimum thickness recommended for use where a stud frame is constructed to 400mm centres. The largest three thicknesses should be considered for construction purposes, while there are also special L-shaped and U-shaped panels for use as pipe boxing, and prefabricated niches in different sizes –with or without lighting – to create storage within walls.

Both sides of the panels have a waterproof, cement-free reinforcement layer, which offers an ideal surface for standard tile adhesive, either fully embedded or using the dot and dab method.

Step-by-step

This rigid foam panel is reinforced and laminated with fleece fabric on both sides for secure anchoring in tile adhesive. As well as having a BBA Agrément Certificate, it conforms to the requirements of NHBC Technical Guidance 9.2/06. Any residential construction in the UK beginning on or after 1st July 2024, and seeking an NHBC warranty, must comply to this guidance.

Specifically, the document prohibits the use of magnesium oxide boards and deems gypsum plasterboard/plaster unsuitable for wet rooms or bathrooms equipped with power showers. The boards cater to diverse application needs, providing level and waterproof substrates for tile and stone installations. Resistant to chemical stresses common in tiled environments, it can be integrated into certified waterproofing systems when

PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 23
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Fully embedded Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD

The adhesive should securely bond with the substrate while also mechanically fastening to the KERDI-BOARD anchoring fleece. Use a cementitious tile adhesive that complies with EN 12004 standards

Apply the tile adhesive using a notched trowel, ensuring even coverage either directly onto the substrate or onto the KERDIBOARD surface.

Fully embed Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD in the adhesive to establish a strong bond with the anchoring fleece. Be diligent in adhering to the specified curing time of the adhesive

“A handy guide can be downloaded from the Schluter-Systems website which can assist both specifiers and tradespeople in picking the right panel for the application –use the rdr.link opposite for more”

Ensure that the individual panels are aligned appropriately with abutting joints for a seamless installation.

joints and connections are properly installed. It’s easy-to-cut design and imprinted gridlines ensure precise installation.

Depending on thickness, the product can be fully embedded or attached with adhesive, with optional reinforcement using anchors. Installation on wood or

Following the adherence of KERDIBOARD, proceed promptly with tile installation using the thin-bed method. Employ a cementitious tile adhesive that complies with the specifications of the chosen tile covering. Match the notch size of the trowel to the tile format and ensure strict adherence to the curing time of the adhesive.

metal stud structures is facilitated with KERDI-BOARD-ZS fastening screws. Tiles are directly installed on KERDI-BOARD using the thin-bed method.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON SCHLÜTER KERDI BOARD VISIT WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE031

24 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER
STEP 1
STEP 2
STEP 3 STEP 5 STEP 4

building boards, plasters & renders

TAKE TO THE FLOOR

Scott Wolters, Building Products

Sales

Director at EGGER UK, explores the structural flooring solutions available

Whilst there are many options available when it comes to structural flooring systems, including beam and block, concrete slabs and suspended timber floors, chipboardbased structural flooring boards remain a popular choice and are often seen on housing developments. This form of structural flooring comes with numerous

Advantages of chipboard structural flooring

There are numerous advantages to flooring manufactured from P5 chipboard, including moisture-resistance and load bearing capabilities. Chipboard is also a sustainable choice, often containing a large portion of recycled content. As well as prolonging the lifespan of waste wood that would otherwise be burnt or sent to landfill, this locks in the CO2 that is captured during the growth of the tree for longer.

Applications

You’ll know all too well the wide range of installation and customer requirements that you may encounter on a project. Fortunately, there are a number of structural flooring options available that can meet these requirements, with P5 chipboard at their core.

Standard uncoated P5 chipboard is ideal for internal applications, from structural DIY projects to refurbishments and loft extensions. However, it is important to remember that uncoated P5 chipboard should be laid in dry conditions only.

For projects where structural flooring

will be left exposed to the elements, there are particleboards available, such as EGGER Peel Clean Xtra, with a slipresistant, peelable film top layer. This easy-to-peel film helps prevent moisture ingress from inclement weather and provides protection from second fix and finishing trades, such as painting or plastering. Once work is completed, the peelable layer can be easily removed, leaving behind a clean flooring surface.

For customers who want the highest product specification, consider installing a structural flooring board that incorporates a permanent, thermally bonded and hardwearing surface layer on both sides. For example, our EGGER Protect boards can be left exposed to the elements for up to 60 days and provide an anti-slip and hard-wearing surface that also protects against wear and tear from site traffic. As well as preventing moisture ingress from wet weather during the build, this product also offers protection against leaking pipes once construction is complete. These boards are ideal for new-build or timber frame homes where the roof is yet to be installed and are even suitable for use with underfloor heating systems.

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Sustainability

We all want to do our bit for the environment and be mindful of our carbon footprint. By considering the green credentials of building products installed on site, you are able to demonstrate this awareness to customers and clients.

While some wood-based structural flooring boards are manufactured from 100% virgin wood, consider looking for more sustainable options that incorporate recycled material and sawmill by-products too, such as hackchips and sawdust.

Installation

Ensuring the correct installation of structural flooring is a key priority on any build. Always ensure you follow the recommended fitting guidance provided with the boards, as these are critical to the validity of performance guarantees.

For the best quality install, we always recommend using a combination of joint and joist adhesive and mechanical fixings, with the adhesive applied to all edges of the first row of boards and joists, with one mechanical fixing used per joist along the perimeter edge. Moving across the floor, adhesive should continue to be applied in the tongue and groove of each board, as well as following the fixing pattern every 1,200mm using mechanical fixings. We recommend that one bottle of adhesive is used per six boards, with it visibly foaming out between the boards. Once the adhesive has dried and the building is made fully watertight, any excess adhesive can be removed with a scraper.

To give optimum strength and longevity to the overall floor, boards should be staggered, with a configuration similar to a brick bond laying pattern, and expansion gaps left against all walls. Boards with a tongue and groove profile can help to ensure a consistent joint, with the boards locking together, providing enhanced structural integrity.

At EGGER, we are also proud to offer a lifetime guarantee that covers the structural integrity of our Advanced Structural Flooring Boards, when installed using our recommended fitting method.

PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 27
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON EGGER’S ADVANCED STRUCTURAL FLOORING BOARDS VISIT: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE032

SMART MOVE

SMARTPLY

explains

how you can achieve effortless airtightness and vapour

control

In the UK and Ireland, the quest for energy-efficient buildings is challenged by an ageing housing stock. According to the English Housing Survey (2021 to 2022), 62% of dwellings in England were constructed before 1968, and only 47.5% have an Energy Performance Certificate rating of C or above, which is considered efficient. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy highlights that the residential sector accounted for 19% of the UK’s total final energy consumption in 2021. Similarly, in Ireland, data from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland shows that about 50% of homes were built before 1990, with only 38% achieving a Building Energy Rating of B3 or above in 2021.

At the same time, over half (58%) of privately rented households in England are dealing with damp, mould and/or excessive cold in their homes, affecting approximately 2.7 million households. These conditions degrade living quality and highlight the inefficiencies in building envelopes that fail to control moisture and retain heat.

These statistics underscore the critical need for modern construction practices that prioritise airtightness to minimise energy loss while ensuring proper vapour control and ventilation to combat moisture-related issues. The balance between airtight construction and adequate moisture management is essential, not only for energy conservation but also to maintain healthy

living conditions within these structures. Moreover, the rising popularity of the Passivhaus concept, which does not require traditional heating or cooling systems, further emphasises the importance of robust air barrier properties in building materials.

The balancing act: airtightness, ventilation and vapour control

Airtightness refers to the building shell’s

ability to prevent uncontrolled air leakage, a vital factor for thermal comfort and significant energy savings by reducing a building’s heating and cooling demands. Vapour control, on the other hand, manages the diffusion of moisture vapour within the building envelope, preventing the accumulation of interstitial condensation and mould. This is imperative for protecting the structural integrity of the building.

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The push towards tighter building envelopes has led to a better understanding: while airtightness is essential for energy efficiency, it must be balanced with ventilation to prevent surface damp and mould issues, which are prevalent in poorly ventilated spaces, and lead to poor indoor air conditions.

This balance is critical in avoiding the pitfalls of condensation, which can lead to structural and health issues.

Innovations and applications

Innovative building solutions such as wood panels with integrated vapour control and air barrier properties are addressing these needs effectively. These products simplify the construction process while contributing to more energyefficient buildings. For instance, the use of Oriented Strand Board (OSB) panels, such as SMARTPLY AIRTIGHT, that has airtightness engineered into the panel substrate and provides an integrated vapour barrier with consistently high

Max Fordham House: a paradigm of energy efficiency using SMARTPLY AIRTIGHT

The Max Fordham House in the vibrant London borough of Camden is a prime example of energy-efficient construction utilising SMARTPLY AIRTIGHT wood panels. This contemporary threebedroom Passivhaus, designed by bere:architects, features a thermal envelope that significantly reduces heat loss, enhancing the building’s environmental efficiency.

vapour resistance over the entire surface. Used as structural sheathing in timber frame structures, such panels also enhance the buildings’ environmental

SMARTPLY AIRTIGHT has been crucial in achieving the airtightness required to minimise energy use significantly compared to standard building requirements. Selected by Bow Tie Construction, this product ensures durability, a high-quality vapour barrier, and consistently high vapour resistance over the entire surface. It also supports sustainability through its use of guaranteed sustainably manufactured and sourced timber products.

Max Fordham House has successfully achieved an Energy Performance Certificate rating of B 83. Unlike traditional membrane-based systems that are prone to damage, SMARTPLY AIRTIGHT provides a robust, reliable and efficient solution that excels in maintaining airtightness, even under rigorous testing. It’s an innovative approach that has positioned this solution as a preferred material for Passivhaus projects across the UK, contributing to the structure’s stylish, light-filled design and minimal environmental impact.

need for additional Air and Vapour Control Layout (AVCL) membranes. The coating also provides a smooth, durable surface for superior bonding of airtight tape at panel joints, simplifying both new build and renovation projects and shortening the installation time. It is easy to handle and can be readily cut and fixed using standard timber frame fixings. Being robust, there is minimal risk of damage during assembly, transport or erection, which means the airtightness is not compromised.

What does the future hold?

The trajectory for future building practices is clear: energy-efficient buildings that provide healthy spaces for occupants. This involves a deeper focus on the materials and technologies used in construction, particularly those that offer comprehensive solutions to the challenges of airtightness and vapour control.

As we look towards a future of sustainable buildings in the truest sense –economically, environmentally and socially –the principles of airtightness and vapour control become critical. Ensuring these standards will not only mitigate the sector’s extensive energy use but also elevate the living and working environments of millions, ultimately contributing to the broader goals of energy efficiency and sustainability.

30 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SMARTPLY AIRTIGHT HERE WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE033
Max Fordham House has been completed to the highest energy-saving standards with SMARTPLY AIRTIGHT.

building boards, plasters & renders

WASTE NOT WANT NOT

The Knauf Take Back Scheme is a a sustainable solution for plasterboard

waste

In the construction industry, managing waste responsibly is a critical challenge, especially when it comes to materials like plasterboard. For professionals involved in purchasing and utilising plasterboard, finding effective disposal methods can be a complex issue. However, Knauf, a leading provider of construction materials, is stepping up to offer a sustainable solution, Knauf ‘Take Back Scheme’. By working with Encore, a total waste management, environmental consultancy, ‘Take Back’ offers a total solution to a pressing waste management issue that repurposes a passive material.

What is the Knauf Take Back Scheme?

The Scheme is a pioneering program designed to facilitate the recycling and responsible disposal of plasterboard waste. It allows contractors, builders, and project managers to efficiently manage their plasterboard waste by returning unused materials directly to Knauf via its sustainable partners Encore, or the plasterboard industry as recycled content. Moreover, the data collected from the initiative provides information that helps promote a more circular industry which participating companies can use to promote their own sustainability programmes through waste reduction.

Understanding the plasterboard waste issue

Plasterboard, commonly used in construction projects for wall linings and ceilings, often generates significant waste during installation and renovation processes. Disposing of unused or surplus plasterboard can be problematic due to its composition, which includes gypsum and paper liners. Landfilling

waste is not environmentally friendly and can contribute to resource depletion thorough lessening the impact on basic raw materials needed when manufacturing new.

A comprehensive plasterboard waste management solution

To address these challenges, the launch of the Knauf Take Back Scheme, is an initiative designed to tackle plasterboard waste sustainably. This scheme enables trade professionals to return unused plasterboard to Knauf, ensuring that it is recycled and repurposed instead of ending up in landfills. By participating in this scheme, businesses not only contribute to reducing environmental impact but also adhere to responsible waste management practices.

How does the take back scheme work?

The process is straightforward:

1. Registration: Trade professionals can register for the Take Back Scheme via Knauf’s website: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE097

This step is essential to access the benefits of the scheme.

2. Collection: Once registered,

collected plasterboard is recycled efficiently. This involves separating gypsum from paper liners and processing it for reuse in new plasterboard production or other applications.

Benefits of joining the scheme

● Environmental Responsibility: Reduce your project’s carbon footprint by diverting plasterboard waste from landfills. Data sharing and reporting that offers a more transparent approach to waste and recycling within the industry.

32 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER

schemes which ultimately do nothing to reduce waste or actually deal with the issue of waste. This is especially important not just within the realms of the circular economy but corporate social responsibility and Environmental Social Governance protocol.

● Compliance: Meet sustainability standards and contribute to a circular economy.

Message from Jon Watts, Knauf’s National Client Development Manager UK & Ireland: “As Knauf’s National Client Development Manager, I am excited to introduce the Knauf Take Back Scheme to the trade community. This initiative underscores our commitment to sustainability and provides a practical solution for managing plasterboard waste.”

“Our Take Back Scheme is a testament to our dedication to environmental responsibility,” says Watts. “We are committed to supporting our customers in adopting eco-friendly practices and providing them with practical solutions to manage plasterboard waste effectively.

Join us in making a positive impact on the environment while streamlining your construction processes.”

Join the Movement

For construction professionals looking to streamline their waste management processes and contribute to a greener future, the Knauf Take Back Scheme is the answer. Register today on the website to join the movement towards sustainable construction practices and a waste management system that contributes to a more environmentally conscious construction industry.

In conclusion, the Knauf Take Back Scheme presents a sustainable and responsible solution for dealing with plasterboard waste. By embracing this initiative, trade professionals can play a vital role in advancing sustainability within the construction sector.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE KNAUF TAKE BACK SCHEME VISIT: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE034

SMOOTH OPERATOR

Martin Spalenice, Head of Trade Sales at Okarno, has looked at why contractors should consider the benefits of using roller fillers on site.

Fillers that can be easily rolled onto plaster or concrete walls mean that you can get the job done 30 – 40 per cent quicker. These kinds of products can be used to level the surface of existing walls and ceilings as well as concealing cracks and other imperfections. Being able to easily skim the wall or ceiling without having to take it back to the bare substrate can really make a difference to the overall schedule. The product is suitable for joint filling and thin smoothing in both renovation and new construction. Dalapro is also suitable for paper tape embedding.

STEP 1

Sand the existing finish smooth in order to remove any loose surface materials.

STEP 2

Products like Dalapro can be applied using a standard roller.

STEP 3

Step 1

Step 2

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Step 4

Step 5

Step 4

Smooth the material using a skimming blade.

Step 5

Allow 8 hours drying time before lightly sanding the surface and then brushing clean.

Step 6

You’re now ready to apply the paint or other wall finish.

Step 7

Being roller applied means that is it 30 – 40 per cent quicker to apply than other methods.

Dalapro is available from merchants and stockists around the UK. For more information visit: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE035WWW.RDR.LI NK/BBD000

This calculation tool is a quick and

Step 7

Step 6

PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 35 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON OKARNO VISIT
WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE037

MAKING FAST WORK OF IT

When speed is the greatest asset reach for British Gypsum’s ThistlePro FastSet Finish

When your profession is in high demand, booking in a full day’s work, keeping customers happy and still getting home at a reasonable time can be difficult to juggle. For plasterers, balancing time is essential, but in the pursuit of speed, some look to increase their efficiency for small repair and patching jobs by turning to off-the-shelf ‘accelerator’ sachet packets in powder form that can be added to finishing plaster to create quicker drying times.

be around the 70-minute mark. On-site practices can vary, and finishing times are reduced by suction and temperature conditions.

Even homemade remedies are being used, such as adding cement, and dirty or warm water. However, such methods can invalidate product warranties, especially for British Gypsum, as they have not been tested by them and are not standardised.

It is why British Gypsum produced ThistlePro FastSet Finish, as this quicker setting finishing plaster provides an all-inone bag that removes the gamble of adding unapproved accelerators or additives. One 25kg bag will cover approximately 10m2 and set in 60-70 minutes when used in accordance with the installation guidance.

When using the same mix for the first and second coats, working in normal temperatures, British Gypsum’s on-site trials have shown the product will set at approximately 60 minutes when being applied to wallboard. The final trowel will

The product gives a smooth finish and is ideal for patch work and repair jobs as well as smaller internal walls and ceilings, electrical patching, chimney breasts etc. and provides a durable base for applying decorative finishes. In comparison, Thistle MultiFinish plaster takes between 90 to 120 minutes to set and can create a lot of waiting around for smaller jobs.

British Gypsum decided to ask Certified Plasterers, a group of experienced plasterers who have been in the trade for many years and have had their work assessed at one of British Gypsum’s training academies, what they really thought about ThistlePro FastSet Finish. A survey was sent out asking a set of questions including:

● How often do you use ThistlePro FastSet Finish?

● What jobs do you find suitable for the use of ThistlePro FastSet Finish?

● How would you rate the product’s performance?

● Has anything changed about how you work, day-to-day, now that you use this product?

Does it really save you time? If so, what benefits has that brought to you?

FASTER PLASTER

In the latest Professional Builder video, we’re comparing ThistlePro FastSet Finish and Thistle MultiFinish to see which product is faster to use. Use the rdr.link below to view the video on YouTube. WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE038

● How likely are you to recommend this product to others?

● Do you think the product is good value for money?

The majority said they either used the product weekly or monthly and it was especially useful for patching, small walls, ceilings, electrical chases, small and ‘on the way home’ jobs.

The majority of the surveyed plasterers rated the product’s performance as excellent and also felt the product provided good value for money. Most agreed that it had improved their day-today work life, as smaller jobs were completed more quickly.

Many stated that they were able to fit in extra jobs on the way home or on a weekend, and have earlier finishes with less time waiting around, while smaller projects were quick and easy to complete. Using the right product, in the right way, for the right job can help to make life’s juggling act a little more straightforward.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON BRITISH GYPSUM’S THISTLEPRO FASTSET FINISH VISIT WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE039 building boards, plasters & renders 36 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER

building boards, plasters & renders

product round-up

SHADOW GAP BEADS

For architects and designers looking to avoid traditional skirting boards, architraves and cornices, Renderplas is offering a range of PVC plasterboard shadow gap beads. The product can be installed where interior wall dry lining systems meet floors, ceilings, windows, doorframes and staircases to draw a clean line and enable a minimalist aesthetic.

METALLIC ARCHITECURAL PANELS

A new range of architectural panels has been launched by James Hardie

The Hardie

Architectural Panel Metallics range comes in gold, copper, gunmetal, silver, steel and bronze and is available for all 8mm and 11mm Hardie Panel products. The material is resistant to UV, fade, rot and has the further advantage of being fully weather-resistant.

GENERAL PURPOSE RENDER

Kilwaughter Minerals has launched its latest general-purpose render, GP Mix. With reduced drying times and improved workability, the material is suitable for use as a float coat, scratch coat and masonry mortar. The product gives the same final appearance as traditional sand and cement render mix.

WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE042

CHIPBOARD SCREWS

The innovative fischer PowerFast II screw offers a low expansion effect and a high load-bearing capacity. Suitable for wood on wood and wood on metal connections, there’s a wider range of applications compared to traditional chipboard screws.

LAMINATE PANELLING

Panel and sheet provider, Panelco has partnered up with Polyrey to bring a new collection of laminate panelling. The Galerie range gives fabricators, manufacturers and specifiers more than 800 designs to choose from. The collection presents specifiers with an additional set of premium designs available in HPL and

MDF

Manufactured by West Fraser UK, CaberMDF is designed as an economical and versatile alternative to hardwood. The panels have a highquality surface, are strong, resist impact and accept fasteners securely. They can be sawn, drilled, shaped and routed cleanly with minimum fuss, using hand or machine tools.

SHOWER AND WALL PANELS

Five new high-quality finishes have been added to the range of shower and wall panels from Freefoam. Geo-panels can be fitted to any interior wall to quickly refurbish and restyle rooms. The tongue-and-groove PVC sections are quick and easy to handle and fit. They can be applied over almost any surface, with little preparation

WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE046

TULIPWOOD PANELS

Independent timber and panel distributors, James Latham, has launched what it desribes as a pioneering new timber product – quarter sawn Tulipwood. The sustainable product has been developed for a range of specific interior joinery purposes, including kitchen doors and cabinetry.

38 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER
GET MORE DETAILS AT: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE041
GET MORE DETAILS AT: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE044 GET MORE DETAILS AT: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE045 WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE040
GET MORE DETAILS AT: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE043 GET MORE DETAILS AT: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE047
BUILDING ■ PLASTERING ■ PLUMBING ■ ROOFING ■ CARPENTRY ■ PAINTING AND DECORATING ■
Professional

ON A MISSION

MAN TGE is taking excellence in van design to the next level

It may be something of a cliché to say that the best just got better, but it’s particularly true of the new MAN TGE range of premium vans. Advances in cabin design and driver assistance systems not only add a new dimension to driver comfort and safety, but also conform to forthcoming legislation. Further evolution of the powertrain and the development of a new digital architecture also reflect MAN’s mission to enhance every workday – both today and tomorrow.

It’s why MAN calls its latest model the MAN TGE Next Level, because it incorporates the next level of thinking and design.

MAN has long been a brand associated with proven, very high-quality

tipper lorries and trucks familiar on construction sites across the country. It brought the same quality of engineering, design and thought into its first generation of TGE premium vans now widely used by professional builders throughout the land. But on the basis that standing still is in fact going backwards, it has now taken its original design, which first made its debut in 2017, and significantly improved upon it. As the company says, it may not have reinvented the wheel, but it has reinvented just about everything else!

Interior comfort and driver assistance

A major area of focus has been the interior, and a complete redesign of the

cabin with an emphasis on comfort. It has a new, ergonomic multifunction steering wheel through which the driver can access and control the new assistance systems while on the go, a MAN Media Van Navigation and infotainment system with a 10.4" or 12.9" display and voice activation, and a fully

advertisement feature 40 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER

functional digital driver display with MAN SmartLink smartphone integration.

With an electronic parking brake, Keyless Go functionality, USB-C interface and automatic gear-shift lever the interior features all the modern technological comforts and ergonomic thinking to enable the driver to focus on the essentials, whether they’re navigating traffic on the way to a site or taking a well-earned break.

Alongside interior comfort, the new MAN TGE Next Level features a whole range of advanced assistance systems as standard. The comprehensive suite of systems includes Emergency Brake Assist, Traffic Sign Information and Active Lane Guard System as standard.

Brake Assist warns the driver visually and audibly of any obstacles or other vehicles ahead to prevent avoidable collisions and can even initiate braking if necessary. Traffic Sign Information helps warn the driver if they are driving in the wrong direction and keep within the speed limit, while the Active Lane Guard ensures the vehicle stays in its designated lane, warning the driver by means of vibrating the steering wheel if a lane marking is crossed unintentionally.

To the standard equipment can be added further optional technologies. These include Emergency Assist to continuously monitor the use of the accelerator, steering and brakes to assume control of the vehicle if it detects a potentially dangerous variance in control, and a Cruise Assist plus feature to aid the driver in consistently managing

distance, speed and lane position. Options also include Drive Off Warning and Blind Spot Warning features where in-built cameras and radar can warn of potential hazards and risk of collisions, especially with cyclists or pedestrians, when turning or pulling away.

Future proofed for upcoming regulations

The importance of these new features cannot be overstated. Mandatory regulations are coming into force shortly (General Safety Regulations II) from the European Commission and impacting British and Irish firms that place new requirements on driver assistance systems, and especially improving passive safety technology to protect the more vulnerable road users on foot or two wheels.

obliging manufacturers to create new electronic architecture that makes it more difficult for criminals to break into a vehicle or hijack its control systems. The new MAN TGE Next Level complies with both sets of regulation, protecting customers now and into the future.

■ Innovations to the vehicle are not only evident on the inside; externally, the new MAN TGE Next Level has also evolved. A new ‘limited edition’ model is now available featuring pale copper metallic paint, piano black mirrors caps, silver bumper boomerangs and 17” black or silver alloy wheels. This stunning new style is rounded off with exclusive ‘Next’ branding on the front grille for an extra touch of class.

As with all of MAN vehicles the new MAN TGE Next Level comes with 24-hour assistance all year round with an uptime guarantee to keep your vehicle on the road when you need it most. Buying a TGE also means buying direct from the manufacturer, dealing personally with the MAN sales team and a guarantee of unrivalled knowledge and best advice.

The company you keep says a great deal about the person you are. Keeping company with a new TGE Next Level van from MAN says you value a vehicle that helps you go about your everyday business in comfort and style, and protected long into the future.

TO DISCOVER MORE ABOUT MAN AND THE TGE VAN VISIT: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE048

PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 41

BEAM WITH PRIDE

With open plan living the order of the day, steel beam lifts for extensions are becoming ever more complex undertakings, especially on tight sites, but one company has an answer that could have you hooked.

For the homeowner extending an existing property to create one uninterrupted space is very much in vogue. Structurally, that demands ever bigger steel beams, with 5 – 8 metre long RSJs, weighing anywhere from 500 to 1,800kg, not uncommon. Regardless of your experience, that’s always going to make for a daunting lifting operation, especially if you’re simultaneously challenged by restricted access, but there is a company that can take that load right off your mind.

Designed and built in the UK, the Hooka is the brainchild of Hook-up Solutions directors Mark Underdown and Charles Sterling. This go-anywhere tracked green machine was originally developed to carry bulk bags and pallets, with its compact 1m width perfectly

down a tight access path into a back garden it’s a tool that can relieve you and your team of what could be hours of brutal wheelbarrowing and shovelling.

Steel beam lifts

The real game changer, however, came with the addition of a lifting function for the installation of anything from steel beams, to glazing units and pizza ovens. Today, the 20-strong hire fleet has completed over 4,000 RSJ installation alone, and the result is a unique pick, lift and carry, mini tracked crawler handler that can be put to work across a whole range of projects.

Charles explains how the Hooka has caught the attention of builders: “Our

patented Load Lock system prevents the pendulum effect of a bulk bag swinging when the machine carrying it is in motion, which can destabilise other carrying solutions and tip them over. By contrast, the Hooka has been designed so that the payload is positioned over the bed and then locked in place. With the weight located right over the mini crawler’s centre of gravity – rather than hanging at the front – a unit that comes in at just 1,800kg has an impressive maximum carrying capacity of 1,500kg.”

Moreover, because there’s no slewing function, the weight will never move from outside the footprint of the Hooka, which means it maintains its stability at all times, but the tracks will still allow you to rotate

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the whole machine around a given point. Outrigger legs provide an even firmer foundation when deployed but, if you still want to move a payload left or right, then those same outriggers are equipped with 800kg-rated castor wheels. The machines relatively light weight also means that it can be transported to site on a plant trailer behind a 4x4, so there’s no issues with squeezing a sizeable plant lorry up your customer’s cul-de-sac and antagonising the neighbours into the bargain.

Charles continues to recount just how the trades can take advantage: “When it comes to materials handling, whether bulk bags or pallets – or if you’re carrying in beam and block flooring – the Hooka is very easy to use and can be hired in a self-drive capacity. The controls are compartmentalised for safety and ease of use and can be explained in a 45minute to 1-hour handover. This is a stand-on piece of plant and there’s two speeds –high for tracking in a straight line to cover distance, and low for manoeuvring and loading/unloading. There’s additional levers for the boom and outrigger controls – all separated out so there can be no confusion as to what does what.”

“If, on the other hand, you’re looking to lift a steel beam or a pizza oven then you’ll need to employ the services of one of our highly skilled operators, who are all accredited to an A66B Compact Crane standard. We’re also working under LOLER, Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations, so we will compile a lift plan prior to commencing, and the lift will come under our insurance. All the builder needs to do is send us over the plans together with a short video that illustrates the site’s access and installation zone, which can easily be recorded on any smartphone.”

Robust build

In terms of its construction the Hooka benefits from a robust and manoeuvrable Hinowa track base, powered by an equally reliable Honda V-Twin petrol engine. “We’ve got machines that have clocked up three thousand hours in operation and, with the right maintenance, they’re good to go every time,” enthuses Charles. “For very long RSJ jobs two machines can be employed to work in

“In addition to its usefulness in steel beam installations for extensions, the Hooka can unload a whole range of materials on site from a lorry, navigate it through tight spaces –and across difficult terrain –and then install exactly where you want it. Whatever your project the Hooka from Hook-up Solutions is compact plan solution that can get you off the hook”

tandem and there’s a total of four attachments available: a bulk bag lifting frame, fork tines and straps for pallets, a fly jib, an up-and-under beam lifter.

With a head office in Baldock, Hertfordshire – and depots or franchisees located at other strategic locations around the country – Hook-up Solutions can boast nationwide coverage, with five fully ticketed operators on the books. The majority of those customers are the local jobbing builder looking for a versatile load

carrier that can operate in a tight spot. It can unload a whole range of materials on site from a lorry, carry it across difficult terrain, and then install exactly where you want to. Indeed, whatever your project the Hooka is a compact plant solution that can get you off the hook.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE HOOKA FROM HOOK-UP SOLUTIONS VISIT WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE049

DRIVE

Johanna Elvidge, head of design at Marshalls, delves into the evolving demands for driveways and how landscapers and builders can navigate these requirements

The demand for driveways is growing, and customers are increasingly placing importance on the driveway itself. In a survey of 2,000 homeowners, we found that – if choosing their next home – two-thirds (64%) would want a private driveway, and for 17% of people, it would be a deal breaker if their property didn’t have one.

We also explored some of the reasons why driveways are so important. These include household costs and security, with 61% of people agreeing that a private driveway helps manage the cost of car

evolving. Greater electric or hybrid car ownership means more consumers are using their driveways as charging points plus vehicles are also increasing in size and weight requiring surfaces to withstand heavier loads. At the same time, we’re seeing a shift in the prominence of the front of the house, where driveways are often the forefront, with more than twofifths of people (43%) saying they care more about the appearance of the front of their home, including their garden, driveway and front door, now than compared to two years ago.

In the same research, we also

for a house built with sustainable materials. To this end, builders and landscapers may well find themselves getting enquiries about their sustainability credentials and how a project can be delivered with minimal environmental impact, especially as the Future Homes Standard is on the horizon.

These evolving demands, coupled with pressure on cost and the need to consider sustainable draining legislation when working on a new driveway over 5m2, are among the growing list of things builders and landscapers need to consider when planning a driveway project.

New alternatives

Fortunately, forward-thinking manufacturers are constantly innovating products that combine the best of all worlds to help trades find the balance between sustainability, affordability, aesthetic appeal, legislative requirements and ease of installation.

One such area of innovation is granite alternatives. Traditionally, granite has been a popular choice for paving due to its durability and style. However, concrete-based alternatives can bring many additional benefits. Unlike granite, concrete can be laid on a flexible, unbound bed, requiring lower-priced materials and reducing installation time and costs.

These time, cost, and carbon-saving advantages are also available without

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compromising on quality or aesthetics. Innovative ranges, for example, include a broad range of carefully curated colours, including popular greys and neutrals. Plus, patented colour application technology can ensure a subtle blending of shades reminiscent of granite while offering excellent resistance to UV fading and weather damage.

The latest granite alternative ranges include different paving formats, such as modern linear units, helping customers delineate spaces. At the same time, smaller elements can be used for finer detailing and edging, creating character and unique design elements.

Many of these latest innovations also include products made in Britain. These locally manufactured solutions help to reduce carbon emissions versus an imported natural product, plus support the local economy. Moreover, the supply

Ensuring compliance

Legislative compliance is another factor in the growing list of driveway demands. Since 2008, any new driveway in the UK over 5m2 must use permeable materials or provide a drainage system for the water to run to a permeable area. If neither approach is followed, the homeowner must get planning permission.  When not using permeable materials and instead creating a drainage system, the rainwater that falls on the surface must be directed back onto the homeowner’s

linear drainage solutions provide a more subtle option that helps comply with legislation while being simple to install and easy on the eye. Generally manufactured from concrete in popular driveway paving shades, these new drainage systems integrate into block paving for an almost seamless finish that’s easy to access and maintain.

In the evolving landscape of driveway construction, builders and landscapers face the challenge of meeting consumer demands for sustainability, aesthetics, and functionality while adhering to regulations and ensuring practical and straightforward installation. By embracing innovative solutions, professionals can deliver exceptional results that exceed customer expectations, contribute to a more sustainable built environment and make their working lives easier.

PLAY IT KOOL

Matthew Evans, Director of Technical and Regulatory Affairs – GB at Kingspan Insulation, discusses the insulation targets you need to hit when extending a home.

Making sure all elements on your project achieve the right U-value is a standard part of all building work. However, when it comes to adding extensions, there can be some confusion on what targets you need to meet for the walls, floor and roof of the new space, and whether this work triggers any other changes for the insulation levels in the rest of the house.

U-value targets

As you’ll probably know, the regulatory requirements are different in England, Scotland and Wales. This may affect the U-values you need to meet on extensions.

In all three countries, the Building Regulations and Standards provide a standard approach for extensions. This basically sets worst case U-values for the walls, floor and roof of the extension which you need to meet or improve on. These U-values are area-weighted, which means it is possible to insulate certain areas to a worse standard providing you compensate for this elsewhere in the construction. In all cases, no point in the construction should achieve a worse U-

value than 0.35 W/m2K for the roof or 0.70 W/m2K for the walls and floor.

The worst-case U-values are shown in the table below. In Scotland, there is a single set for all extensions. In England and Wales, alongside the standard worst-case U-values for new elements, there is also a separate set of values which apply to any parts of the structure which are retained from the existing building (renovated elements). For example, if the extension is built against or incorporates a garage which was previously unheated these Uvalues would apply to the garage space.

In Wales, adding an extension may

also trigger some consequential improvements to the rest of the home. Depending on the size of the extension, these may include adding loft insulation (if existing is less than 200 mm) and adding cavity wall insulation to any currently uninsulated cavity walls where appropriate. England also has consequential improvements, but they only apply for buildings which will have a total useable floor space of over 1000m2 (including the proposed extension).

If you need more flexibility on Uvalues, all three countries also provide two alternative approaches. These require

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extensions &
EnglandWalesScotland (W/m2K)(W/m2K)(W/m2K) NewRenovatedNewRenovated elementelementelementelement Roof 0.150.160.130.160.12 Walls 0.180.550.180.550.17 – Cavity Insulation Walls 0.180.300.180.300.17 – Internal or External Insulation Floors 0.180.250.150.250.15 Table 1 – worst-case U-values (area-weighted) for domestic extensions

you to either calculate a single U-value for the total area of the construction and to prove this is no higher than for an extension of the same size built using the standard approach, or to carry out energy modelling on the extension and home, looking at expected carbon emissions and energy demand. In most cases, it’s simplest and cheapest to stick with the standard approach using the aforemntioned Uvalues.

Choosing insulation

Once you’re clear on the U-value you need to meet, it’s worth having a think about which products you’re fitting, and in particular their thermal conductivity (lambda value). The lower this is, the more effective the insulation is at preventing heat transfer. This can mean a slimmer thickness of insulation can be installed. Several manufacturers now provide online U-value calculators which allow you to enter details about the construction you’re building, including the target Uvalue. They will provide suggested products and thicknesses for the job.

Phenolic insulation boards tend to have the lowest thermal conductivity of commonly used insulation materials (typically as low as 0.019 W/mK). This makes them a good choice for a range of applications including floors, pitched roofs

Kooltherm K106 Cavity Board is a full-fill phenolic insulation with a thermal conductivity of 0.019 W/mK which can be fitted with a residual cavity of just 10 mm in suitable applications.

and external walls.

Phenolic boards can be particularly useful for new cavity walls, where they can help achieve the required U-values with a slimmer construction than would be possible with worse performing materials. Standard partial-fill phenolic cavity boards are typically fitted with a 50mm residual

Detailing guides are available for common thicknesses and applications for both Kooltherm K106 and K108 Cavity Board products. These include process sequences and diagrams showing best practice at key junctions.

most suitable option for a project will depend on how likely the property is to be exposed to wind-driven rain. Depending on the risk, the warranty provider may prohibit the use of full fill insulation, require different construction approaches to be adopted and/or require the residual cavity width to be increased. In all cases, it is important to ensure that the insulation boards are cut and fitted so there are no gaps within the layer. Particular attention needs to be paid at the junctions between the wall, roof and floors and around openings. Some manufacturers can provide detailing guides with practical process sequences and diagrams, illustrating best practice when fitting products in these areas.

Ticking the boxes

The standard approach to compliance provides a clear set of U-values for installers working on extension projects to look to achieve or better. By making use of manufacturer U-value calculators and using insulation materials which achieve low thermal conductivities, it should be relatively straightforward to hit these values on all home extension projects without needing bulky constructions.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT FROM KINGSPAN VISIT WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE051
Kingspan offers a free U-value Calculator which can be used to check what thickness of Kingspan insulation is needed for your extension project.

A TOUCH OF GLASS

Tony Isaac, Sales Director at Brett Martin discusses the rooflight options available and explores some of the potential safety implications for residents and contractors

Due to their angle in relation to the sun, a rooflight lets in twice as much daylight as an equivalent sized vertical window. As a result, rooflights are a great way to improve the natural lighting of a project, whether you are working on a new build, refurbishment or extension. However, due to their location, there are serious safety implications to consider when specifying and installing rooflights.

When looking to specify a rooflight, there are two primary choices of glazing for domestic projects: laminated and toughened glass. Both are considered a type of ‘safety glass’ because – unlike standard float glass – they have been engineered to resist breaking as much as possible.

Furthermore, when they do break, they do so in a way that minimises risk for anyone in proximity. However, there are significant differences in how the two types of glass can break, with toughened glass still posing a potential health risk when used in a rooflight that could break overhead.

Toughened glass

Toughened glass is made from float glass which has been exposed to heat after the panes have been formed. The glass is uniformly exposed to temperatures of over 600°C as it passes through a furnace before being rapidly cooled or quenched. This process, known as tempering, makes the glass considerably stronger than conventional float glass.

However, whilst toughened glass is highly resistant to impacts compared with standard glass, it can be broken with a focused impact from metal object, such as the foot of ladder, or if the edges are damaged during transportation or installation – posing a danger to the contractor. Poorly manufactured

toughened glass is also susceptible to thermal stresses, which has resulted in panes ‘popping’ seemingly without cause. Furthermore, should the pane break, the entire piece shatters, causing small pieces of glass to rain down into the room below.

Laminated glass

Laminated glass, on the other hand, is made from two panes of float glass with a polymer layer bonded between them. Unlike toughened glass, laminated glass does not shatter into individual pieces on impact because the polymer layer holds the broken glass together. As a result, laminated glass often remains in-situ, the broken panes forming a characteristic spider’s web shape, keeping occupants below safe from falling debris.

A good example of the difference

between the two types of safety glass can be found in cars. Most people are familiar with the experience of a cracked laminated glass windscreen, which stays in situ, compared to the mess created by the breakage of a toughened glass side window.

Best Practice

Industry-acknowledged best practice is that laminated glass should be used, with The Rooflight Association recommending that the best solution is a double glazed rooflight that combines a toughened outer and a laminated inner pane. It should also be noted that a laminated inner pane is always required under the regulations if the rooflight is placed more than five metres above floor level and the window has an area of more than three metres squared.

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Being armed with this information ensures installers are better equipped to give homeowners better advice on the best products for their home.

Brett Martin’s double-glazed Roof Lantern and Flat Glass Rooflights, for example, utilise toughened glass for the outer pane and laminated glass for the inner as standard on all products. This provides dual benefits, protecting anyone who may need to access the flat roof from

above from falling through and protecting residents inside from the risk of broken glass. This glazing combination, with a 90% argon filled cavity, results in a highly thermally efficient rooflight as well as safe, sleek and modern one. Available as a circular, linked or single rectangular rooflight, Brett Martin offers over 100 size options across the range, as well as bespoke units so that the ideal solution can be specified for any project.

“It is imperative that the safety of residents and contractors is the priority when specifying and installing rooflights. Toughened glass alone does not guarantee the safety most homeowners expect”

It is imperative to ensure that the safety of residents and contractors is the priority when specifying and installing rooflights. Toughened glass alone does not guarantee the safety most homeowners expect, and so laminated solutions should be considered as an extra line of defence against accidental breakage.

TO

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WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE052
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BRETT MARTIN’S RANGE OF LAMINATED GLASS ROOFLIGHTS VISIT Laminated only glazing Toughened only glazing

SPOILER ALERT

Overlook the fundamentals before installing your levelling compound and the perfect finish will be ruined, warns Setcrete Brand Manager, Peter Wilson

It is always advised to apply a levelling compound before installing any type of flooring to optimise the finished appearance and longevity of the installation and it is essential before the installation of thin, resilient floorcovering such as luxury vinyl tiles (LVTs), which continue to see huge growth in demand.

The levelling compound ensures that indentations, undulations, high spots or other blemishes in the subfloor are ‘ironed out’, thereby optimising the visual appearance of the floorcovering. Without using a levelling compound, these imperfections may show through the vinyl or other floorcovering, ruining its aesthetics.

However, there are some key things to address to make sure the levelling compound produces the lovely smooth finish you are looking for and some simple steps to follow to ensure the integrity of the installation is not compromised.

Moisture check

As with all installations, the first job is to check for excess subfloor moisture using a suitable moisture meter. If the reading is above 75% relative humidity (or above 65% for wood floors), a moisture management solution must be applied. Excess subfloor moisture can be the result of residual construction moisture on new builds or a breached or absent DPM on older buildings.

Laitance

As newly laid screeds cure, a crust or thin layer of fine particles will form on the

“Don’t get caught out using a general-purpose levelling compound, when a high-performance product is needed. Certain sub-floors need a special purpose solution”

surface. This is known as laitance. It is weak, with a crumbly texture and must be removed before a levelling compound is applied. Otherwise, the laitance will either debond or break up, as will the levelling compound that is laid over it.

On refurbishment projects it is equally important to check that the subfloor is sound and dry before proceeding and any loose material is fully removed and the surfaced vacuumed. Any contamination, including oil, grease or paint should also be removed. If the subfloor surface is found to be weak or suffers from cracks, take advice from the levelling compound manufacturer’s technical advisors on how best to proceed.

Pinholing

During the curing process, a levelling compound can sometime suffer from what is known as pinholing; small craters or pock marks on the surface. Apart from affecting the appearance of the finished

result, pinholing can also compromise the structural integrity of the levelling compound, potentially causing floor failure.

Pinholes are formed by air escaping from absorbent subfloors (such as concrete or sand/cement screeds) as the levelling compound is applied. Air bubbles form in the mixture and rise to the surface where they pop. While the compound is still liquid, it will naturally fall back into the hole that the air bubble leaves behind. However, as the levelling compound sets its increased viscosity prevents the mix from backfilling the holes, leaving tiny craters or pinholes in the surface. While pinholing can be rectified by sanding and using a fine floor finishing compound to deliver an ultra-smooth finish, it is an added, time-consuming procedure that you can easily avoid.

Priming

Pinholing normally occurs in this situation because the screed was not primed

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beforehand. Priming creates a barrier to prevent the air from escaping the subfloor, thereby eradicating the problem.

Air can also be introduced into a levelling compound during the mixing process, for example, mixing on a highspeed setting or, sometimes, because of the type of whisk fitted. Using a spiked roller on the levelling compound after application will help to release trapped air while the mix is still liquid and will also help to deliver a perfectly uniform finish for the levelling compound across the entire floor area.

A further benefit of priming is that it avoids the unacceptably rapid drying of the levelling compound by preventing absorbent subfloors from drawing water out of the mix, which can weaken it. In addition, the primer will help to promote the flow characteristics of the levelling compound and promote adhesion between the levelling compound and the

subfloor.

Improving adhesion performance is, also, particularly important for nonabsorbent surfaces, such as previously installed (and firmly adhered) ceramic tiles, which, being smooth, don’t naturally provide a receptive surface for a levelling compound to key into.

Choose high-performance

Finally, don’t get caught out using a general-purpose levelling compound, when a high-performance product is needed.

For most applications over sand/cement screeds, a general-purpose, light to medium duty levelling compound is fine. However, certain subfloors such as plywood, for example, need a special purpose levelling compound. In this application a fibre reinforced, flexible levelling compound is required that is able to accommodate slight movement in

the subfloor as it is walked on, avoiding the potential for the levelling compound to crack. It is also important to make sure the plywood is firmly fixed using appropriately spaced screw fixings.

You may also want to consider specialist fast-track or heavy-duty compounds if time is a pressing issue or the floor is likely to be subjected to high levels of footfall or be used to wheel heavy equipment around.

So, to optimise the appearance and integrity of your levelling compound installation, check the subfloor to make sure it is sound, clean and dry, apply the maxim: ‘it’s a crime not to prime’, and consider if you need a specialist levelling compound to suit the subfloor material or the type of usage it will encounter.

58 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON SECRETE VISIT WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE053
Setrete Acrylic Primer application Pouring levelling compound Trowelling a levelling compound Using a spiked roller over the levelling compound

extensions & home improvements

‘BEAUXtiful’ WORK

There are lots of options for refreshing or rebuilding a driveway, but how do you choose the right one? Beauxfort’s Vernon Elsey gives us some pointers.

As spring approaches, householders’ thoughts turn to sprucing up their properties – whether for their own enjoyment, or to get them ready for sale. There are several issues for the homeowner and their builder to consider when deciding on how an ailing or unattractive drive should be rehabilitated. These include appearance, capital cost, ongoing maintenance requirements and costs, drainage, ease of installation and the state of the existing drive.

A fast and simple solution could be to add a new surface over the top of the existing

drive. A relatively thin layer of asphalt could be applied over old asphalt or concrete drive, sprucing up its appearance without spending too much on materials or labour. For a more natural look, gravel or a resin-bound layer could fit the bill.

An important consideration when looking at overlaying is the state of the old driveway. If its condition is too poor, the new layer won’t look good for long and may start to fail in a relatively short period of time. For instance, if there are

where aggregate and resin are combined, have become more popular recently as they mimic the look of a gravel drive but don’t come with the headache of gravel that moves around and needs topping up. With resin-bound material, the aggregate and resin are mixed together, whereas with resin-bonded ones a layer of resin is applied and the aggregate sprinkled over the top.

Resin bound drives are sold as a maintenance-free option but there are some downsides to consider. They stain easily, so oil leaks will effectively mark them for ever with no easy fix. They are also relatively rigid, so any cracks in the drive beneath are likely to propagate through them. Resin-bonded layers are likely to be less hard-wearing than resinbound ones as the aggregate can wear off, leading to bald patches.

Gravel can be a cheap-and-cheerful option, with a wide palette of aggregates to choose from. If low maintenance is a requirement, using Gravelrings will mean that there’s no need to regularly rake the gravel or top it up. The rings effectively hold the gravel in position and can mean that a shallower depth of aggregate is needed, when compared to the regular gravel option.

Note that Gravelrings can be installed

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over an asphalt drive that is in poor condition, for instance with dips or potholes. In this situation, the holes could be filled with type 1 subbase material before the gravel is installed.

If the driveway butts up to the property, it is important to check the position of the top of the driveway in relation to the damp proof course (DPC) of the house. The existing driveway should be well below that level, allowing for the thickness of a new layer to be added. If the new layer means that the drive level is above the DPC, overlaying is a no-no.

Digging deeper

If a change of layout to the driveway is on the cards, or the existing driveway is in a poor condition, the best option may be to remove the failed materials and start again.

In this situation, there are more choices to consider. For those looking for a more natural look than asphalt – which also tends to fade over time - there are various choices: block concrete paving with the appearance of stone, resinbound material which would be installed on top of a new asphalt layer due to its cost, or gravel – particularly if drainage is a consideration.

Concrete is also an option, although this generally works out more expensive per square metre than asphalt. The costs rises even more if the householder chooses imprinted concrete which mimics block paving.

If an asphalt or concrete drive has to be broken up and taken away – adding the cost of landfill - it may be possible to re-use the existing sub-base. For domestic driveways, the sub-base layer should be between 100 and 150mm deep and should consist of Type 1 or Type 3 material.

One important detail to check is whether or not there is a membrane beneath the sub-base. Although this element could have been omitted if the drive was constructed some time ago, a geotextile membrane is necessary to prevent the sub-base material sinking into the soil beneath it over time, causing settlement and cracks in the surfacing. All reputable driveway installers would insist

Any weeds growing in a driveway material will have come from airborne seeds.

It is worth noting that gravel grids that come with an integrated membrane actually encourage weed growth. This is because silt and dust suspended in surface water settles on the membrane, proving a perfect medium for those airborne seeds to grow in. Nextgeneration gravel grids have a mesh rather than a membrane attached to them which allows sediment, as well as water, to pass through.

When assisting a homeowner in the right choice of drive for them, initial outlay is always an important consideration. Clearly, solutions that are quicker and easier to install will come with a lower labour cost than those that need more time and effort to install.

suppressing, since weeds will not be growing up from below the subbase.

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on a membrane. weed
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON Finished job!

extensions & home improvements

3D VISUALISATION

The Archicad 3D visualisation tool can be used to help transform properties. Contractors used the tools to help modernise a Georgianstyle home with the addition of a contemporary extension. The 3D elements of Archicad are invaluable throughout a project.

EXTERNAL WALL INSULATION

Awareness of, and use of, External Wall Insulation (EWI) is the highest that it has ever been, according to research by Baumit. The new Breathable EWI creates healthier homes by allowing moisture generated from everyday activities such as cooking and bathing to escape to the outside.

LOFT LADDERS

Research has shown that a lack of storage space is leading more homeowners to think about the benefits of using their lofts to store belongings. In response, Keylite Roof Windows is offering a range of loft ladders for installers working on home improvements.

DURABLE LAWN

40mm Active artificial lawn from the Artificial Lawn Company can create a durable, all weather outdoor space. The low maintenance lawn takes away the need for a lawnmower and can be kept fresh with a brush and hose. Active Lawn is long lasting and can be lifted and recycled into a completely new range of products.

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GARDEN ROOMS

Three new garden room styles from Eurocell –Studio View, Studio Frame, and Studio Canopy – all come equipped with an electric pack, panel heater and energy efficient, double-glazed doors and windows as a standard feature, ensuring they are ready to provide a warm and comfortable space throughout the year.

ALUMINIUM AND GLASS VERANDA

ELECTRICALLY HEATED GLASS

Utilising infrared technology controlled by a thermostat, TuffX Glow is an electrically heated glass product. Fabricators and installers can access additional support with full training on its features, benefits, and correct installation methods.

POCKET DOORS

New Pocket Door Frame Sizes have been introduced by ECLISSE. The new sizes were carefully designed to ensure easy installation and to address common challenges. The frames are compatible with a variety of door materials and finishes, making them the ideal choice for space saving projects.

The trades can help their clients maximise their outdoor space with the installation of Rainclear Systems Aluminium and Glass Verandas.

The UK manufactured, easy to install products come in varying styles, with a choice for open sided or enclosed and a

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ADJUSTABLE MIDDLE GUTTER

The roofing trade now has access to optimised combination flashings from VELUX. The installation of window combinations has been made easier

with the launch of an Adjustable Middle Gutter. Adjustable to widths between 100-160mm, the flashing will be supplied directly and will include the insulation and joining sections.

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13 REASONS TO RECOMMEND CEDRAL FOR YOUR FACADE AND ROOFING PROJECTS

Known and trusted in the industry for decades, Cedral continuously drives innovation to generate new product options for facades and roofs, elevating aesthetics and creating building solutions that are both practical and stylish. Find out more about Cedral products here: www.rdr.link/BBE064

QWHY SHOULD YOU RECOMMEND CEDRAL FACADES?

Long life expectancy: Fibre cement is a strong, durable, versatile material, which means that Cedral facades have a minimum life expectancy of 50 years.

● Easy installation: Cedral’s all-in-one cladding solutions include easy-cut planks, colourmatched trims and bespoke accessories.

● Stylish contemporary designs: Cedral Lap facades are specially designed so the planks are overlapped when installed to create a traditional clapboard aesthetic while Cedral Click is a tongue and groove material which creates a modern, flush fitting facade. For more information visit: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE065

● Cedral Colour Collections: The Cedral Colour Collections are designed to offer customers even more choice, with 21 on-trend shades curated into four unique collections. Each collection - Design, Expressive, Natural and Classic – is created for contemporary living, to resonate with homeowners’ personalities and lifestyles.

Explore the Cedral Collections here: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE066

● Mix and match options: Cedral facades combine harmoniously with other materials such as wood, brick or plaster; play with colour and light and dark shades to create stunning installation patterns.

● Accessories to complete the job: Cedral colour matched trims include corners and edges, as well as Cedral Click clips and colour matched screws to ensure facades can be assembled quickly and correctly, creating a refined, premium finish.

A guide to the accessories available can be found here: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE067

● Professional Installation: Cedral Select Professionals are expert facade installers who have been carefully vetted by Cedral and

receive ongoing training and technical support on the latest product innovations. By working with one of our installers, customers can be confident their Cedral products are fitted according to our recommendations and come with 10-year product and workmanship guarantees.

Find a Cedral Select Installer or stockist by visiting: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE068

QWHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF WORKING WITH CEDRAL SLATES?

● Long life expectancy: Cedral fibre cement slates are the among strongest in the market, with a minimum life expectancy of 50 years.

● Easy installation: Cedral slates are lightweight and easy to work with and can be placed on lighter roof structures without the need to strengthen them, making them an ideal option for renovations. A dry fitting process eliminates the need for mortar.

● Essential accessories: Cedral’s portfolio of roofing products includes a range of fittings and accessories for pitched roof ventilation, verges, ridges and hips and general fixings. Cedral’s Pitched Roof Fittings and Accessories range can be found here: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE069

● Style choices: Slates come in four eyecatching designs – Rivendale, Birkdale, Thrutone Textured and Thrutone Smooth –offering a range of slates that are perfect as both a roofing material and a unique option to create a full envelope with the facade. The Cedral Fibre Cement Slate range can be found at: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE070

BOTH FACADES AND SLATES OFFER:

● Low maintenance: Manufactured to withstand nature’s harshest conditions, fibre cement doesn’t rot, rust, warp or crack and is fire, insect, bacteria and algae resistant.

● Excellent fire performance classification: Cedral has a long-standing commitment to ensuring materials comprehensively meet the

fire performance classification A2-s1,d0 to EN 13501-1:2018.

● Sustainability: At Cedral we want to build a more durable world and bring sustainability to life. We focus our business towards building a more sustainable world for those around us. Read about our path to sustainability here: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE071

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: GET MORE FROM CEDRAL

At Cedral, we help homeowners achieve their dreams, whether that’s a new build or renovation project. Browse our case studies to hear from our satisfied customers about their cladding and roofing projects and read our customer testimonials here:

WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE072

GET IN TOUCH THROUGH THE CEDRAL WEBSITE: WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE073

EMAIL INFOUK@ETEXGROUP.COM OR PHONE: +44 (0) 1283 501 555.

PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 63 ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

MAN FOR ALL SEASONS

you’ve been following Professional Builder, you’ll know I love to dish out the latest and greatest from the window and door world when the weather gets warmer. And this year is shaping up well with some interesting new products as well as worthwhile developments that will help you add style and substance to your projects.

Here at Quickslide, we’ve been cooking up some seriously cool stuff. From sleek new designs to innovative technologies, there’s no shortage of excitement. But we’re not the only ones making waves – our industry as a whole is buzzing with creativity and progress.

So far this year we’ve seen even more new products and worthwhile tweaks from a window and door industry that is fully committed to developing and offering exciting new products and touches that will help your properties stand out from the rest…

So, what can you expect in this summer’s round-up?

Less is more!

Sightlines getting slimmer… Slim is in, whether it’s bi-folds or sliding sash windows. Whilst PVC-U frames generally do a pretty good job in emulating timber originals, for vertical sliding box sash style frames, private and commercial specifiers are more particular than most about authenticity. Sash window manufactures are offering slimmer midrails, which ensures that PVC-U windows are now accepted by more conservation areas due to an appearance that is indistinguishable from the originals they replace. This allows more heritage buildings to retain their authentic appearance whilst enjoying

superior thermal performance and weatherproofing.

Slim is also in for modern properties, with slimmer framed bi-folds bringing a more modern touch to homes. With less frame and more glass – and without a drop in energy efficiency – your customers get a contemporary styled garden door without compromising performance.

Sliding and stacking is all the rage Slide and stack doors are the hottest thing you’ll see this summer – unless we have another 40 degree heatwave of course…

Why choose these doors over traditional bi-folds? Doors like the new Quick-Glide system come with fully independent panels that can be moved and opened individually to allow openings virtually anywhere along the track, but which may also be fully opened when required just like bi-folds. And with no hinges or excess hardware visible when closed, choosing a slide and stack system is a terrific alternative.

Venting!

The requirement for trickle vents on windows and sliding doors called for in the current Building Regs got a lot of people hot under the collar. But fortunately, a range of flush trickle vents for sliding and bi-folding garden doors is now widely available. They fulfil the requirements of the Building Regs without spoiling the sleek style of the doors themselves.

64 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER DOORS & WINDOWS
Adrian Barraclough runs Quickslide, one of Britain’s leading window & door manufacturers. Slim is in. This VS offers excellent authenticity with its slim midrail Quick Glide sliding and stacking garden doors offer unrivalled versatility

Now Trending: Heritage Aluminium Indoors, outdoors, with heritage ‘art deco’ steel replica windows, doors and room dividers, the possibilities are limitless! Many companies – Quickslide included – offer these aluminium frames with internal and external options, making them an ideal choice for any style of home.

Indoors, they create a seamless transition between rooms, allowing natural light in and enhancing the sense of space. Outdoors, aluminium doors and windows blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living, opening up living spaces to gardens, patios, and panoramic views. Whether you go for classic black or anthracite grey, or a bespoke RAL shade, the options are endless.

“Imagine being the hero to offer these great looking windows that are also super-efficient with a U-value of 1.2. That’s not just good; it’s like having the supercar of windows in a world where everyone else is going 20mph”

All the colours of the rainbow… available to you

You can’t beat beautifully coloured windows and doors in the summer. I’ve been seeing a lot of agate grey bi-folds popping up recently, and the combination brings so much life and light to a home. They effortlessly blend in yet stand out with their unique colour. Bi-fold doors create a seamless connection between indoor and outdoor living, and agate grey is versatile enough to complement a range of colours and materials.

adventurous with their window and door

choices. We’re talking bold finishes here – think deep blues, vibrant greens, even playful yellows. Gone are the days of sticking to standard black or white profiles – matching the overall colour schemes of a property has never been easier.

Love U! U-Values are lower than ever!

Heritage sash window manufacturers are constantly developing their products and you can now order windows with a staggeringly low U-value of 1.2 W/m2K. It’s not just a number – U-values can make or break a project. Even though energy bills have reduced in recent months, and we are now in milder weather at last, energy efficiency has never been more important to homeowners who want an end to leaky, draughty homes and soaring bills.

Imagine being the hero to offer these great looking windows that are also super-efficient with a U-value of 1.2. That’s not just good; it’s like having the supercar of windows in a world where everyone else is going 20mph. Your customers will thank you for saving them money on energy bills and making their homes comfortable year-round – as well as looking fabulous too!

PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 65 FOR MORE INFORMATION ON QUICKSLIDE VISIT WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE074
Heritage aluminium gets you inside the home as well as outside for more sales opportunities Colour sells. These frames blend in beautifully with the rest of the building’s natural colours
ONSITE WITH 24th in THE series
Frames in Agate Grey are selling like hot cakes

STANDING OUT IN STYLE

Ben Brocklesby, Director at Origin, the UK’s leading manufacturer of aluminium windows and doors, shares his advice for standing out in a crowded market.

In today’s competitive market, builders and installers are constantly having to seek new ways to differentiate themselves. Homeowners, with a growing desire for modern aesthetics and exceptional performance, are no longer satisfied with ‘standard’ and builders need to be able to recommend products that meet this demand. This is where Origin’s latest product – the Soho External Door – can help set your offering apart from the rest.

The Soho External Door isn’t just another door. Its sleek bi-fold, French or single door design is underpinned by sought-after steel-look glazing bars, which instantly elevates the exterior of any property. But it isn’t just about looks.

Thermal efficiency

Origin understands that homeowners aren’t just prioritising aesthetics; they are also focussed on performance. It’s no surprise then that our internal R&D team has designed the Soho External Door to boast superior thermal performance, exceeding the requirements of the 2025 Future Homes Standard a full year early by achieving U-Values as low as 0.8 W/m2K. This will keep household bills low

and be a selling point when discussing projects with homeowners.

Unmatched security and safety

Peace of mind is paramount, and homeowners deserve to feel safe in their homes. The Soho External Door delivers on this promise with a robust, unique 8point locking system and a 3-star British Standard Kitemark locking barrel. The latter offers unparalleled security against forced entry, including picking, bumping, and drilling.

Alongside security, safety is critical.

The Soho External Door features fingersafe gaskets to prevent fingers from getting trapped when the doors are closing. This empowers builders to confidently recommend products that will keep the whole family safe.

Fully bespoke

All of Origin’s products are made bespoke in the UK from high-grade aluminium to customer’s exact specifications. This means they can choose the size, configuration, colour, and hardware that best suits their home, preferences, and needs. With over 150 RAL colours to

“Our internal R&D team has designed the Soho External Door to boast superior thermal performance, exceeding the requirements of the 2025 Future Homes Standard”

choose from and almost endless configuration possibilities, builders can help homeowners easily design a product to match every property type from the ultra-modern to heritage.

What’s more, the Soho External Door is available on a two-week lead time and comes with an industry-leading guarantee of up to 20-years. Together, these elements create a world-class bi-folding door that builders can specify with confidence to offer something different, and better, than the competition.

66 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER
DOORS & WINDOWS THE SOHO EXTERNAL DOOR IS NOW AVAILABLE TO ORIGIN PARTNERS. TO OPEN A TRADE ACCOUNT WITH ORIGIN, VISIT WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE075
R E G I S T E R F O R F R E E AT W W W. T O O L FA I R . I N F O T H E H A N D S - O N T R A D E S H O W B U I LT F O R T H E T R A D E 1000’S OF SHOW DEALS ON TOP BRAND TOOLS ● LIVE DEMOS ● FREE CPD SEMINARS ● FREE ENTRY ● FREE PARKING ● FREE PROFESSIONAL BUILDER T-SHIRT ● FREE BACON ROLL FO RT H C O M I N G S H O W S : FEATURING Professional LIVE! TOOLFAIR 2024 P R O F E S S I O N A L B U I L D E R CBS ARENA COVENTRY CBS ARENA COVENTRY 12TH & 13TH SEPTEMBER 2024 SANDOWN PARK SURREY SANDOWN PARK SURREY 7TH & 8TH NOVEMBER 2024 BOLTON ARENA BOLTON BOLTON ARENA BOLTON 6TH & 7TH MARCH 2025

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY

Mighton Products’ Mike Derham is on a mission to supply the trades with what they need, when they need it. Professional Builder finds out more.

Tradespeople know exactly what they want from manufacturers but they are equally all too keenly aware that they don’t always get it. When he laid down his joinery tools to form a company that would initially specialise in sash window hardware, Mike Derham was determined to put joiners and installers first. That was in 1983 and today, his firm commands a portfolio that extends to more than 3,000 lines with an emphasis on quality solutions and a service to match.

“We pride ourselves on designing our own products, and that’s something that was established from the outset,” enthuses the Mighton Products’ Chairman. “I was actually making timber sash windows myself, and I knew firsthand just how difficult it was to source decent hardware, so I set about doing just that.” Mike’s first foray into hardware was in plastic sash pulleys that were consistent in their production and easy to install. “We quickly established a loyal customer base amongst joiners, who

were asking us for brass and steel options, and the result is a better-looking device, with a much-improved build quality. That put us on the road to greatly expanding the range and we then developed stronger sash fasteners, as well as spiral or spring balances, lead and steel sash weights, and introduced weatherstripping.”

Indeed, Mighton Products is a source for a whole range of hardware, not just in sash windows, but casements, bi-folds, and doors, as well as a high-quality joinery paints offering and the Avia Smart Home system. In each instance, the level of innovation is demonstrated by the patents secured. “The Mighton ethos is to look at what’s on the market already and make it better,” continues Mike. “When we launched our Weatherstrip range, for instance, we went back to the drawing board with it and the result is a very popular product. Suitable for retrofitting or on new sash windows, they can prevent draughts and improve the

insulation performance of a window, which is a crucial consideration in our energy conscious age.”

Moreover, Mighton Products has consistently championed safety, a philosophy that was demonstrated by the introduction of the Angel Ventlock child safety window restrictor in 2008. Shockingly, more than 4,000 children fall from open windows every year, with many of the accidents entirely preventable. The Mighton Products’ patented answer is a lock that children under five can’t open but, because it doesn’t interfere with the normal function of the window, is simple and easy for anyone else to access. Everything operates automatically so you don’t even have to re-engage the Angel Ventlock after it’s been opened.

DOORS & WINDOWS 68 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER

It’s these innovations that have allowed Mighton Products to command an international reach. In the US, for example, child safety window restrictors – such as the Angel Ventlock – are stipulated in building regulations, whilst European window manufacturers – who are themselves supplying the UK – are specifying increasing amounts of hardware.

Delivering the goods

For UK customers, the company promises next day delivery on all orders, with free delivery for orders over £95. Trade accounts are available as well as full technical support.

“I know from my own experience as a joiner that not being able to source a product when you need it can really hold up a project,” reveals Mike. “When we started Mighton Products we wanted to establish a reputation for reliability of service and that’s what we have in place. There was a time when tradespeople could be waiting two or three weeks for the likes of spring balances, but that’s certainly not the case with us.”

One of the more recent additions to the portfolio is a complete joinery paints offering, for both exterior and interior applications. “Our sealers and primers have proved to be very successful,” explains Mike, “and are suitable for exterior doors, cladding, furniture and more. The water-based finished coatings now include our Decorata Wall Paint range and one of the real benefits – which applies to our Joinery Paint as well – is that our unique colour matching service delivers an almost unlimited colour palette for our customers to choose from. They

“The principle behind our product range, and the service that supports it, is to provide maximum choice and support for the trades. I want our customers to be treated in the way that I would like to have been when I was a joiner”

flow like solvent-based solutions but, being water-based, are more environmentally and user friendly, and can

entered the brave new world of connected, digital technologies. The Avia Smart Home collection includes the Avia Secure Smart Lock, where raising the handle automatically engages the multipoint hooks and locks the door. Thanks to intelligent sensors, the status of any of the locks on your doors or windows can be viewed on your smartphone.

The entire system is Apple Home Kit compliant, which means that interior and exterior lights can be controlled and triggered, and you can allow tradespeople or other visitors to access your property remotely. The range also features an Avia Secure Casement Window Handle, Avia Smart PIR Sensor, Smart Sash Fastener and Smart Door/Window Sensor.

“The principle behind our product range, and the service that supports it, is to provide maximum choice and support for the trades,” concludes Mike. “I want our customers to be treated in the way that I would like to have been when I was a joiner making sash windows.” FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OF

PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 69
MIGHTON
VISIT WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE094
WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE095
PRODUCTS
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE AVIA SMART HOME RANGE VISIT:

BETTER GLAZE AHEAD

The sealing of windows and doors to deliver optimum energy efficiency must be a priority, argues Andy Swift, sales and operations manager for ISO-Chemie

Changes to Part L of the Building Regulations, which came into effect last year, place the emphasis on stricter standards and compliance procedures around energy and ventilation performance. This will contribute towards a roadmap to a net zero carbon future and deliver properties that are designed and built in line with stricter carbon emissions targets. Specifically, to ensure continuity of the air barrier, window and door units have to connect to the primary air barrier and the frames need to be taped to surrounding structural openings using air sealing tape.

This comes against a landscape where evidence points to doors and windows as the main source of energy inefficient properties. Indeed, in the light of product innovation over the years, it’s almost criminal that the hundreds of thousands of

easy-to-use technologies, there’s no longer a justifiable reason for delaying or avoiding the specification and installation of better sealing solutions.

Part L changes have been welcomed, seeing requirements for improvements in air tightness, forcing it from 10 air changes per hour down to eight air changes per hour and also U value on windows shifting from 1.6 to 1.2wm2k/H. This places an onus on using energy efficient sealant solutions and the requirement that the window frame should be linked back to the wall with an air-tight tape.

Heat will always find the fastest exit as it comes up against the ‘A’ or ‘A+’ rated window, and invariably this emanates from the 10mm or so expansion gap left around the window following fitment. This is normally left empty, but some amount of spray foam can be injected to fill the void before a silicone trim is applied for a smart looking finish.

U-Values

Unfortunately, as expedient as this appears, none of these solutions create a measurable, long term, high performance

DOORS & WINDOWS 70 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER

thermal, acoustic or airtight barrier. The UValue of the installed window is simply reduced, which sees heat escape and, ultimately, financial loss. That’s why the building sector deserves better insulating solutions to deliver improved energy efficiencies.

Innovative sealing technologies are undoubtedly a beneficial way to help the building sector provide the energy efficient homes we all want. Indeed, as sustainability continues to be of paramount concern in the development of low carbon and eco-friendly building projects, we will see technologies such as energy foam tapes, which can add real value during the initial and post construction phases, grow in importance as effective ways to seal window and door frame expansion joints and gaps.

The need for more effective insulation and sealing solutions of windows and doors is a priority for the building and construction sector. With 25% of the heat leaking from around windows it is critical to improve the seal around the window to wall gap if the amount of heat loss around frames is to be significantly reduced, helping to save energy costs in the process. Retrofitting properties with effective sealing solutions must also become a direct focus for builders and others involved in refurbishment and renovation projects.

Undoubtedly, Building Regulation

changes are moving the fenestration industry closer to the requirements of the Future Homes Standard for dwellings. This standard, which comes into force in 2025, is designed to deliver buildings which are zero-carbon ready and achieve world-leading levels of energy efficiency.

The uplift in Part L of the regulations includes a requirement for new homes to produce around 31% less CO2 than current standards and a 27% reduction of emissions from other new buildings, including offices and shops. By 2025, when all aspects of the Future Homes and Buildings Standards come into force, the Building Regulations will inevitably become even more strict, requiring new homes to produce almost three-quarters less CO2 when compared to current standards.

Sealing it

Doors and windows account for almost a quarter (21%) of the total air loss in the average house, and when the joints between walls, floors and ceilings are added, the figure can be up to 50%. In most homes, heat losses are overwhelmingly replaced by artificial heating rather than through solar energy or internal warmth, which means reducing domestic heat losses is paramount in the battle to reduce energy consumption.

One way to achieve this is the use of expanding foam sealant tapes such as ISO-BLOCO ONE, which sit between the

window or door frame and the wall structure. This one tape fulfils three applications: providing defence against driving rain from the outside, offering thermal and acoustic insulation and creating an air-tight seal internally.

A big advantage of these tape solutions is in the application process. Products like ISO-BLOCO ONE are applied to the window before installation, meaning that windows can be easily installed from inside the building, avoiding the need to use time consuming and costly external access systems like scaffolding and ladders. What’s more, the expanding foam contours to any shape or material to form a seal, creating a neat joint between the door/window and the fabric of the building, keeping your homebuyers warm and happy.

As sustainability remains key to current and future building projects, we will see energy-saving foam tapes grow in importance as effective solutions for sealing window and door frame expansion joints and gaps in houses in pursuit of attaining the Future Homes Standard among other objectives. It’s simply a matter of taking a fresh look at better ways to seal in energy and designing in these products.

PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 71
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON ISO-CHEMIE VISIT WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE076

CLOSE THE DOOR

Briton has launched a newly enhanced version of its self-adhesive Accufit template, designed to aid easy and accurate installation of its door closers.

For 25 years, Briton’s ‘peel and stick’ Accufit system has provided installers with the means to fit door closers quickly and accurately at the first attempt, improving efficiency and helping to drive better installation standards across the built environment. Accufit self-adhesive templates are designed to be stuck to the door and its frame, allowing all fixing points to be accurately pre-drilled and helping ensure the closer is correctly positioned, in all applications.

The newly updated Accufit templates include the fixing dimensions of the door closer alongside user-friendly images of the fixing application to provide additional illustrative guidance. Fixing instructions have also been simplified to assist installers when positioning the template, with the edge, face and inside edge frame of the door clearly marked, helping to further reduce installation time, improve the accuracy of fittings and enhance the life of the installed product.

In updating its Accufit templates, the manufacturer aims to save installers time whilst eliminating the uncertainties associated with door closer installation, helping to ensure closers function effectively and maintain fire safety integrity as a result.

Pete Hancox, country manager at

Allegion UK, commented: “An appropriately specified, installed and maintained door closer is a prerequisite when it comes to fire door safety. With that in mind, and upon identifying that problems associated with the operation of door closers were often the result of incorrect installation, Briton’s door control experts developed a reliable system in the form of Accufit.

“Briton Accufit templates are designed to facilitate the correct installation of door closers, and for 25 years they have remained a proven support tool for installers. With changes to fire safety legislation, and a renewed focus on competency, ensuring accurate installation is now more significant than ever and, as such, it’s an opportune time to launch our enhanced Accufit system. In doing so, we’re confident that the Accufit system will assist in delivering accurate door closer installation and improved fire door safety standards for another 25 years to come.”

Updated versions of the Accufit template are now available with Briton 2003 and 2003V door closers, with the launch expanding across the company’s door closer range in the coming months. The range is also supported with complete product information, certification and fitting instructions on the website, with newly updated Accufit templates also available online. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BRITON VISIT

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ALLEGION UK, VISIT

72 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER
WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE077
WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE078
DOORS & WINDOWS

COME OUT TO ‘CLAY’

What is the minimum pitch for a clay pantile?

It depends on the tile used. Traditional machine-made clay pantiles tend to have a minimum pitch of around 30°. As an example, Marley’s new Lincoln pantile can be used down to a pitch of just 22.5°, giving contractors a low pitch traditional option. If a lower pitch is required, there are several interlocking clay pantiles on the market that may be suitable.

Can a dry fix system be used with a clay pantile?

Some handmade and traditional machinemade pantiles may not be suitable for use with dry fix systems because they have deep and sweeping rolls, with natural variations in size, which means there can be gaps. While BS 5534 requires all ridges and hips to be mechanically fixed, this doesn’t have to be dry fix. For some pantile projects, particularly sensitive refurbishments or projects in conservation areas, dry fix is not the right option aesthetically. In these cases, mortar bedding can be used with a mechanical fixing kit to ensure BS 5534 compliance while maintaining traditional aesthetics.

Does the pantile have to be installed to BS 5534?

Yes, but there are often special exceptions for heritage projects. If in doubt, always check with the local

planning office. For the majority of new and refurbishment projects, pantile roofs will have to meet BS 5534 requirements. This means all pantiles have to be fixed with nails and/or clips, depending on location and exposure. Some modern machine-made traditional pantiles, including Lincoln, do have nail holes drilled into them to make this a bit easier.

Will an interlocking pantile be accepted by planning departments? It depends on the area and the type of project. Marley’s Lincoln Interlocking Clay Pantiles have been approved for barn conversions in conservation areas. However, inevitably there will be some projects, particularly heritage developments or sensitive refurbishments, where an interlocking tile is not accepted either by planning or for aesthetic reasons.

New clay pantile option

Marley has recently re-launched a new range of its long-standing Lincoln clay pantiles, which will become one of the only clay pantiles manufactured in Britain.

The Lincoln Clay Interlocking Pantile, with an s-curve profile and thin leading edge, offers professional builders a series of design enhancements to underpin the product’s traditional appearance and robust performance.

Production for the new Lincoln is located at Marley’s production site in

Keele. The clay used for its manufacture is sourced from nearby quarries, meaning Marley is now able to offer the same colourway found on its Red Smooth Single Camber Clay Plain Tiles.

This makes Marley one of the only providers of a British-made clay pantile, delivering an additional confidence boost for the trade that relies upon product availability when assessing project timescales and booking in new work.

From an aesthetic perspective, the new Lincoln Clay Interlocking Pantile range is available in single coloured Red Smooth, and Rustic Red, which incorporates a flash of black dusting to create a more weathered appearance and enhanced attractiveness.

Changes have also been made to the texture of the new Lincoln pantile, so that it offers a marked heritage aesthetic. This will help open up business opportunity for installers looking to delight their clients.

PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 73
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MARLEY’S LINCOLN RANGE VISIT WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE079 NO.14 IN THE
ROOFING
SERIES
Kevin Taylor from Marley provides some helpful advice and highlights the company’s re-launched clay pantile solution, which is now manufactured in Britain.

ON THE AIR

STEP 1 – CHECK CERTIFICATION

Before installing, contractors should check the credentials of the membrane they are planning to use, so the correct ventilation requirements can be considered.

Non-breathable membranes will require additional ventilation whereas breathable membranes, such as Klober’s vapour permeable Permo Forte 145, will aid the ventilation process, and not require as much additional ventilation. Membranes that are both air and vapour permeable, such as Klober’s Permo Air 160, are often selected as they can totally negate the need for any additional ventilation.

It is advisable to double check the specific information or certification of the membrane that is being used before installation.

Whether it’s for a roof on a new-build home, an extension on a property, or simply looking to fix mould and damp issues, builders may find that they need to turn to air and vapour permeable membranes to help provide ventilation into the roof space.

Installing these membranes correctly is critical to ensure they perform as intended, and there are six key steps to take when fitting these roofing products. Besides correct installation, choosing the right membranes from the outset can help builders save time and costs too.

STEP 2 – FIT EAVES VENTILATION PRODUCTS

After checking the membrane’s credentials, builders will need to evaluate what eaves ventilation system is needed for the roof, and ensure that any eaves ventilation products being used, for either cold or warm roof construction, are fitted correctly.

Eaves ventilation products including fascia vents, roll out rafter trays and underlay support trays, should be fitted at the same time, and are available through Klober.

74 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER ROOFING

STEP 3 – INSTALL THE MEMBRANE

Klober membranes should always be installed with the printed side facing upwards, and they come with a headlap guideline to help with the installation process. When installing the membrane in an unsupported situation, such as in a typical cold roof loft space, it is important to lay it so that a drape can be created between the rafters. A maximum of 15mm is sufficient to allow any water that may find its way to the top of the membrane to run to the eaves and into the guttering.

When installing the first layer of membrane, make sure it is laid parallel with the eaves, so that the bottom edge of the product finishes in line with the over fascia vent or fascia board. It should also be noted that modern day membranes do not tend to be permanently UV stable. Membranes should not be draped into the gutter as this is the job of the bottom lip underlay support tray. Continue with the following runs of membrane, using the printed headlap guideline to correctly position the membrane in relation to the roof pitch.

STEP 4 – USE HEADLAP GUIDELINES

To provide an example, BS 5534 tells us that for a roof pitch of around 35 degrees, a 150mm headlap would be required. BS 5534 requires the headlap of the membrane to be secured and the zonal performance to be declared by the manufacturer. There are three ways of addressing this, depending on the individual project requirements.

The headlap can either be secured underneath a batten, or a separate tape could be used. Permo Forte 145 for example, is suitable with a battened headlap for zones one to four whereas a tape would be required for zone five.

A LEAK-FREE SOLUTION

When fitted correctly and used as a secondary barrier behind the tiles or slates, air and vapour permeable membranes will not leak and will give the homeowner a well-ventilated space for years to come.

STEP 5 – ENABLE VENTILATION

If high level ventilation is required, then a Klober ventilated dry ridge system can be used. In this case, the membrane should be stopped short of the apex by 30mm, to allow passage for ventilation. If no ventilation is required, then the membrane can be carried over the apex if preferred. Battening can then

STEP 6 – BATTENING

Battening secures the membrane to the rafters and will be followed by the roof finish, for example a concrete interlocking tile. Various accessories are available, including tapes and sealants, for nail penetrations and to help create an airtight seal around a variety of details.

PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 75 FOR MORE ASSISTANCE WITH INSTALLING ANY OF KLOBER’S PRODUCTS, CONTACT KLOBER’S TECHNICAL DEPARTMENT WHO WILL BE HAPPY TO PROVIDE FURTHER ASSISTANCE OR VISIT WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE080 TO WATCH A VIDEO THAT OUTLINES THE INSTALLATION OF ROOFING MEMBRANES VISIT WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE081 IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT PERMO FORTE 145 GO TO WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE082 FURTHER DETAILS ON PERMO AIR 160 CAN BE FOUND AT WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE083

BAG OF TRICKS

Professional Builder’s Tibby Singh gets carried away with the latest solutions from Hultafors UK

Having an array of tools is impressive but not having something to put them in is inexcusable. For the last few years, I’ve been using Hultafors Tool Buckets to transport my equipment from site to site, so I was intrigued to get my hands on the newly launched Hultafors Ergonomic Tool Carrier.

The first thing I noticed is the material, which is an extremely durable ballistic polyester – more specifically, 1680 Denier. Denier is a unit of measure that gives a good idea of the strength and durability of a fabric. The higher the number, the thicker and more durable it is. This premium quality is nothing less than what I would expect from Hultafors, so I’m expecting this to serve me well for many years to come.

When compared to my current tool bucket, I didn’t have to dig deep to find anything as the Ergonomic Tool Carrier benefits from no less than 25 pockets and tool holders. This means you can go from organised chaos to being efficiently organised and, being an open toolbox, everything is clearly visible. You can split your tools in different compartments, saving time when finding them, especially those smaller tools you always lose. It even has a separate tape measure holder, so no more excuses for misplaced tapes.

Light work

Don’t worry about loading it up, as it can hold a significant amount, and has been tested to 60kg static weight. The base is appropriately made from a robust mould that helps to protect the bag. This bag of tricks contains a rain and dust cover in one of its pockets too, to keep your tools clean and dry. That’s a magic touch because there’s always days when I’m

will come out to

and you don’t need to spend the next day cleaning your

76 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER
trying to cover my tools with my jacket or a black bag, to keep them dry, dust and rust free. So come rain or shine the carrier play toys either.
TOOLS & EQUIPMENT

It was only when I came to pick the carrier up off the floor, I could understand why Hultafors have classed it as ergonomic. The back of the carrier is slightly curved, which allows you to keep it close to your body when carrying it, so you can keep your back straight with less straining. With a swivelling, extra-high handle you don’t need to bend over when picking it up off the floor, either. The inclusion of an adjustable shoulder strap with padding is another bonus, providing ease and comfort to those like me, who’ll end up fully loading it up. I’m impressed that every little detail has been thought about when crafting this Hultafors Ergonomic Tool Carrier.

“It’s brilliant for a small tool to have all these capabilities, making it versatile for a variety of tasks, so it’ll alwys be sat in sight in the carrier and at arm’s length.”

Quattro Bevel Square

Another new tool that belongs in this tool carrier is the Hultafors Quattro Bevel Square. As a carpenter my most used tools are a square, bevel and angle finder. You’ll be happy to know that this Quattro Bevel Square combines all this and more. You can instantly feel the build quality and the detailed design. The blade can be locked in place for the common increments of 45˚, 90˚, 135˚, 180˚, 225˚ and 270˚. However, you can override these fixed positions from the swivel lever to copy or set any angle from 0 to 270˚. This is handy, especially when doing skirting around walls that are at different angles. Then there’s the incorporation of notches 5mm apart on the blade which can be used to draw lines parallel to the edge of the material. This will save time having to pick up the combination square to do the same job. The blade being engineered from 25cm high strength stainless steel means it’s built to last tough working environments. It’s brilliant for a small tool to have all these capabilities, making it versatile for a variety of tasks, so it’ll always be sat in sight in the carrier at arm’s length and reduces the need to carry multiple tools.

Hammer & Tool Holder

Another solution that you’ll become attached to is the Hultafors UK Hammer & Tool Holder. As a chippy I always like to have my hammer on me. This will fit belts up to 50mm wide so it will always be within arm’s length. I’ve had a few holders break on me in the past, but you can see this is made to last as it’s manufactured from the same ballistic polyester as the tool carrier, with a metal ring for the holder – which I prefer.

I love the fact that it serves a dual purpose as it has a multi-purpose tool pocket built in. So, you can have another tool that you use frequently –such as a retractable knife or chisel –within reach. Hultafors have hit the nail on the head with these features and with the design and innovation of all three of its latest product releases.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON ANY OF THE TOOLS IN THIS FEATURE USE THE APPROPRIATE LINK

ERGONOMIC TOOL CARRIER

WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE084

QUATTRO BEVEL SQUARE

WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE085

HAMMER & TOOL HOLDER

WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE086

PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 77
TIBBY SINGH –WWW.TIBBYSINGH.COM

IN THE BRICK OF TIME

The best products and solutions in the construction industry often come from within. It’s the lived in experience of tradespeople dealing with problems day in, day out, that really leads to inventive and practical ideas. Someone who can attest to this is Carl Harris, Managing Director of Harris Brick Safety Systems. Carl started off as an apprentice, moving up to a bricklayer and finding real passion in the profession. It was a few years ago, when an accident led to a wall falling on Carl and doing long-term damage that the idea for the Brick Bud came to him – a reusable engineered aluminium frame that transfers weight through to the floor, designed to prop brick walls during construction.

“I had the accident, had numerous operations and had to retire from bricklaying –the job I loved. I had to change to health and safety and then site management,” Carl recalls. He adds that, although the idea came to him when he had his accident, it wasn’t until the COVID pandemic, and subsequent lockdown, that he had time to put pen to paper.

Professional Builder’s Edward Kelly talks Harris Brick Safety Systems about his Brick Bud System that looks to improve

The wall that fell on Carl was propped up by a piece of timber. As many in the trade know, this is pretty standard practice across most of the country, coming under the umbrella term of temporary works. The following guidance on temporary works can be found on HSE’s website: The law says any temporary structure must be designed, installed and maintained to withstand any foreseeable loads which may be imposed on it and that it be only used for the

purposes for which it was designed, installed and maintained.

While the same web page lists propping for walls and floors as an example of temporary works to provide structural support, Carl tells me that on all the sites he visits (and all those he worked on himself in the past) propping walls isn’t really something health and safety inspectors pay too much attention to. For most, it’s as simple as putting something heavy up against the wall and job done. Carl doesn’t think this is enough though, and rightly so given his experience. When meeting him, he showed me a folder full to the brim with on-site pictures where walls have toppled over.

From Carl’s estimations, the UK is losing around 20-23% of walls on site. It’s a figure based on his experience in the trade and time since visiting sites across the country. Carl states that the major problem with getting an exact figure is a distinct lack in reporting. “When a wall falls, that site manager doesn’t want health and safety involved, the excessive paperwork, the reporting, the insurance

78 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER HEALTH & SAFETY
Carl Harris, Managing Director of Harris Brick Safety Systems

premiums rising nor the mark on the site –the list goes on and on. I’ve had plenty of walls fall. I know as a bricklayer for 27 years and a site manager for the last 5 years what actually goes on.”

The Brick Bud

The idea behind the Brick Bud is to be an engineered solution to the problem. It’s not just an improvised solution based on whatever is lying around, it’s an active step that could prevent injuries, or even casualties, on-site. If a wall does fall and kill a colleague, visitor or even thief onsite, everyone from the principal contractor all the way down to a subcontractor is liable for prosecution of corporate manslaughter.

Safety isn’t the only advantage to the Brick Bud either –the monetary savings could be huge too. “I know that around 189,000 traditional houses were built in

course, go further than just the walls themselves though. When the labour

courses and rising insurance premiums –well, it doesn’t paint a pretty picture. With sustainability at the forefront of the future of construction, this is another draw for the Brick Bud. In fact, Carl was a recipient of the government’s Net Zero Innovation Scheme, which has allowed him to pursue his company, Harris Brick Safety Systems, full time. From Carl’s calculations, 35 million bricks are wasted a year in walls falling (enough to build another 3,000 houses). Then, with a nifty series of further sums, Carl reveals that this amounts to 23,000 tonnes of CO2 a year emitted into the air just to create the bricks and cement of those wasted walls. This doesn’t even begin to calculate the emissions caused by clean ups and new deliveries.

The ingenuity of the trades

The Brick Bud officially launched this year and is certainly a testament to the ingenuity of the trades. It’s clear it’s the result of a lot of hard work too. As our weather gets worse with climate change, and gale force winds increase in their frequency, having a frame like this –that can withstand the equivalent of 72mph winds –is sure to come in handy. Not only could it save a lot of wasted money and hassle, it might also just save someone’s life too.

PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 79 FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE BRICK BUD VISIT WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE087

CAMO COMBO

of the Landscaping Season line up from OSC Sales.

If you’re looking for a flawless, clean surface to your deck without any visible screws, then hidden fixings are the answer to your decking project this season.

“The CAMO Hidden Decking Fastening System is a smarter and faster method of installing decking screws to the edges of the boards, rather than into the surface so there are no visible screws on show,” explains a company spokesman.

“The screws are secured directly to the joist, which helps to reduce board movement,” they added.

THE CAMO TOOL – specifically engineered and designed to work with Edge Deck Screws for use on pressure treated, cedar, redwood, hardwood, composite, capped composite, and PVC deck boards.

THE EDGE DECK SCREW – in lengths of 48mm and 60mm – with a reverse rake tip that removes the material from the deck as it bores. This allows it to penetrate without causing the wood to split. The reduced trim head produces a

less visible point of entry. It also has a reverse upper thread that pulls the board tightly to the joint, ensuring that the finished entry is clean, whilst the aggressive lower thread provides superior holding power.

Connor Mcintyre from Mcintyre Landscapes has recently started using the CAMO Hidden Decking Fastening System: “These two products work perfectly together to ensure there are no screws visible. What I love about the CAMO system is the depth is set automatically, therefore you cannot overdrive it. Once the drive tool hits the screw guide it will stop.”

For projects in coastal areas, or if you are using hardwood, the Edge Deck Screw also comes in 316 Marine Grade Stainless Steel.

“The CAMO system also creates an automatic 5mm spacing between the

CAMO COMBO Promotion

There is currently a CAMO COMBO promotion as part of the Stars of the Landscaping Season campaign, for every bucket of 2,000 63mm Edge Deck ProTech screws, you will receive a FREE CAMO Marksman Pro Tool.

Please get in touch with your local builders’ merchant to request details about the CAMO COMBO promotion.

80 I JUNE 2024 PROFESSIONAL BUILDER CARPENTRY & JOINERY TO FIND YOUR NEAREST CARPENTER’S MATE STOCKIST VISIT WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE088

TRADE MEDIA

HÄFELE DECORATIVE HANDLES

Featuring the latest collections, trends and finishes, Häfele’s Decorative Handles brochure condenses the company’s range of 1,500 high quality handles into 38 collections of new, trend-led and popular products. The handle collections are paired with photography to demonstrate how they complement a range of interior styles.

EUROCELL DALES DOOR COLLECTION

Eurocell  has re-launched its composite door design tool for its Dales Door Collection to make design-to-order quick and easy for installers. The tool is accessible on smart devices including mobile phones and tablets, and is accompanied by an updated Dales Door brochure, complete with all door styles, colours, accessories and options.

KNIPEX PLIERS FINDER FOR PROFESSIONALS

Tradespeople can find the tools they need quickly with the help of the Knipex app and ‘Where to Buy’ tool on its website. “KNIPEX – pliers finder for professionals”, is a tool advisor and detailed source of information in one place, making it easier to find the right tool from around 2,000 products.

ROOFLIGHT ASSOCIATION QUICKGUIDES

The Rooflight Association has published a series of ‘Quickguides’, covering the fire rating requirements for use of rooflights in buildings. The Quickguides provide clear information on the current fire rating classification requirements for internal walls and ceilings, and roof coverings.

A couple of months back I wrote about the use of initials, or acronyms. How important they are in our modern world. How insiders always know what the initials stand for, but outsiders often don’t. Well, here’s a good example.

There are two kinds of PPE. There’s the kind that builders wear, and there’s the kind that politicians study at University. And it seems that never the twain shall meet – apart from in one particular instance that we will come to shortly.

First, the politicians. An extraordinary number of Members of Parliament – up to 75% at times – studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University. This is the degree that almost guarantees you a top job in politics, or the Civil Service, or the Media.

Very few politicians these days have a background in science or engineering or the manual trades. The last Prime Minister with a science degree was actually Margaret Thatcher.

A PPE degree doesn’t teach its holders anything scientific, nor much in the way of life skills. But hey, who needs life skills if you can earn top money? – you can always employ other people to do that messy manual stuff for you, people who use the other type of PPE, for example – Personal Protective Equipment.

I’ll bet that most of the holders of PPE degrees had never even heard of the other kind of PPE until the Covid pandemic hit us in 2020. Then, suddenly, it was found that there weren’t enough facemasks, gloves, surgical gowns and other protective clothing to go around.

improvising aprons from bin liners. But other workers also had to keep going, to keep the country functioning. Plumbers and electricians had to work, to maintain hospitals and other public buildings. Delivery drivers were suddenly vital, to transport food and other supplies around the country when most other people were told to stay home.

All these workers needed facemasks and gloves and other PPE to keep them and their customers safe.

And this was when the political PPE bunch came into the reckoning, and realised there was money to be made. As the great Chinese war leader Sun Tzu wrote, in his classic book The Art of War, “In the midst of chaos there is also opportunity”.

And so we had the unedifying spectacle of politicians with no knowledge or experience of manual work in their whole lives, scrambling to get hold of boat-loads of PPE, and flogging it at a handsome mark-up to the NHS and on the open market.

Some of that hastily acquired PPE was actually found to be unusable. But the suppliers still got paid, from taxpayers’ money, and most are still holding on to their profits.

Those three little initials, that meant illness and death to those who didn’t have it, and untold riches to those who did.

The NHS was the hardesthit, with some nurses famously

wise howell
E-mail Jeff via his website www.askjeff.co.uk Jeff Howell
PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 81
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ADVERTISEMENT INDEX

Here is a useful summary of all the adverts that appear in this issue of Professional Builder Each is listed with its page number and a direct URL that will get you straight to the relevant online information

Allegion (UK) Ltd................................................................(page 37)

www.rdr.link/BBE120

Buckbootz..........................................................................(page 33)

www.rdr.link/BBE121

Easy Innovations..............................................................(page 28)

www.rdr.link/BBE122

Easy Innovations..............................................................(page 28)

www.rdr.link/BBE123

Eclisse UK Ltd......................................................................(page 11)

www.rdr.link/BBE124

Garador..............................................................................(page 27)

www.rdr.link/BBE125

Garador..............................................................................(page 54)

www.rdr.link/BBE126

Hallstone............................................................................(page 37)

www.rdr.link/BBE127

Hultafors Group UK Ltd......................................................(page 8)

www.rdr.link/BBE128

Made for Trade..................................................................(page 17)

www.rdr.link/BBE129

Made for Trade............................................................(pages 18,19)

www.rdr.link/BBE130

Makita..................................................................(UK) Ltd (page 28)

www.rdr.link/BBE131

Man truck....................................................................(pages 42,43)

www.rdr.link/BBE132

Marley Ltd..........................................................................(page 59)

www.rdr.link/BBE133

Marshalls PLC....................................................................(page 55) www.rdr.link/BBE134

Mighton Products Ltd........................................................(page 6) www.rdr.link/BBE135

Olympic Supply Company..............................(inside front cover) www.rdr.link/BBE136

Origin Doors Ltd................................................................(page 25) www.rdr.link/BBE137

PB Online......................................................................(back cover) www.rdr.link/BBE138

Quickslide............................................................................(page 5) www.rdr.link/BBE139

Rocket Door Frames........................................................(page 48) www.rdr.link/BBE140

Setcrete/F Ball & Co Ltd....................................................(page 31) www.rdr.link/BBE141

Steel Beam Lifter..............................................................(page 54) www.rdr.link/BBE142

Tarmac PLC........................................................................(page 49) www.rdr.link/BBE143

Tecties Ltd..........................................................................(page 52) www.rdr.link/BBE144

Toolfair................................................................................(page 67) www.rdr.link/BBE145

TT Pumps Ltd....................................................................(page 56) www.rdr.link/BBE146

Tuffx Processed Glass Ltd................................................(page 46) www.rdr.link/BBE147

Vortex................................................................................(page 52) www.rdr.link/BBE148

Werner UK Sales Ltd..........................................................(page 14) www.rdr.link/BBE149

A GOOD NIGHT

This month, we talk about sleep. We spend around a third of our life asleep! Sleep is an essential process our body needs to keep us alive, much like eating or breathing. The process of sleep is required for both mental and physical health – it helps restore and repair our brains and our bodies. Insomnia (a lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep) may affect up to one third of the population, so it is a significant problem.

Everyone knows sleep is important. The effects of not having enough sleep are recognisable: feeling tired, experiencing low energy levels, having poor concentration and a poor memory, and feeling irritable to name a few. This can have a big impact on how we function during the day in our jobs and relationships. It’s hard to keep up with everything if you have been awake all night. We need to make sure we get the right amount of sleep, and it has to be sleep of good quality. So how much is enough?

The exact amount of sleep anyone needs depends on the person. Some people need more than others. Aiming for at least 7 hours of sleep per night is recommended. The process of sleep is actually a very complicated matter. There is a lot scientists still don’t know about what happens in our brains when we go to sleep. It is known that as we sleep, the body goes through a variety of process and sleep stages. Our sleep is made up of cycles that have 4 different stages: 2 stages of light sleep, a period of deep sleep, and a stage known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep which is vivid dreaming.

Each sleep cycle lasts around 90 minutes, and we have several cycles per night. In good quality sleep, these cycles all run together without waking. To wake up feeling refreshed and to get the most benefit from sleep, enough time must be spent in all the different sleep stages. During these different sleep stages, changes happen in the electrical activity of our brains. Our body temperature, breathing rate and heart rate also fall as the body goes into a relaxed state. The

stages of sleep can be affected by a number of factors including age, recent sleeping patterns, alcohol/ drug use and sleep disorders like sleep apnoea or restless legs syndrome which cause frequent wakenings.

The ability to sleep is controlled by how sleepy we feel along with our sleep pattern. Having a regular pattern in when we sleep is really important to set up a routine which will make it easier to sleep at that time on a daily basis. Having good habits around the sleep pattern can help promote good quality sleep. This is called sleep hygiene. Top sleep hygiene tips include:

● Having the same bedtime and get up time on a daily basis

● Sleep only when sleepy – minimise awake time in bed

● Keep bed for sleeping or sex – no other activities like TV watching, working or reading

● No electronic devices for 1 hour before bed

● No alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine for 4-6 hours before bed

THIS MONTH GP ALICE FITZGIBBON DISCUSSES HEALTHY LEVELS OF SLEEP

● No daytime napping

● Keep baths to 1-2 hours before bed, not immediately beforehand

● No strenuous exercise in the 4 hours before bedtime; regular daytime exercise.

Sleep and health are closely related. Problems with sleep increase the risks of developing poor heath, and poor health may make it harder to sleep. Mental health issues like anxiety or depression are often underlying sleep problems. Inadequate sleep is often implicated in accidents especially road traffic accidents: exhaustion and poor concentration lead to slow reaction times. This may also be a concern for anyone operating heavy or dangerous machinery or tools in the workplace. If there is an underlying issue, treating this along with the sleep problem is likely to be most effective.

Most people could benefit from improving their quality of sleep. Sometimes it will be a case of making a lifestyle adjustment or waiting for your children to grow up! For more troublesome cases of insomnia, more help may be needed. Sleeping medication may be used short term in special circumstances, but it is not the answer to the problem and should not be used long term.

Psychological approaches are useful for people with long-term insomnia because they can encourage the establishment of good sleep patterns, and help develop a healthy, positive mental outlook about sleep, as well as dealing with worrying thoughts towards sleeping. If you are experiencing issues with sleep, your GP will be able to give you some advice depending on your circumstances.

A GOOD PLACE TO START IF YOU WANT TO HELP YOURSELF MAY BE TO EXPLORE THE SLEEP PROBLEMS AND INSOMNIA SELF HELP GUIDE AVAILABLE ON WWW.RDR.LINK/BBE093

PROFESSIONAL BUILDER JUNE 2024 I 83 GOOD HEALTH NO. 55 SLEEP
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