Master Builder Magazine December 2019 January 2020

DECEMBER 2019-JANUARY 2020 £4.25


MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE Wishing our members all the best for the festive period

A YEAR IN MEMBERSHIP We’ve crunched the numbers on membership activity in 2019

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS Tom McCrank of MCK Construction talks about being crowned Overall Winner at the 2019 Master Builder Awards

WASTE NOT, WANT NOT How can you ensure you are responsibly disposing of site waste?


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Contents DECEMBER 2019 / JANUARY 2020


35 Marketing snapshot

20 Magic moments

6 Chief Executive’s welcome

We look back at some of the year’s biggest marketing developments

A selection of photos from the 2019 National Master Builder Awards Ceremony

Brian Berry reflects on a busy year and looks forward to 2020 when the FMB will have achieved its aim of inspections for all Master Builder members

36 Borrow with FMB Bank

23 AGM and Annual Report

Do you need new equipment for your business? Make it affordable with FMB Bank

Revised FMB Rules and Articles of Association and top 10 achievements from the past 12 months

7 News

The latest headlines from industry news

37 Member showcase:

24 A year in membership

12 Viewpoint

Standing the test of time Dashco demonstrates how quality workmanship can bring repeat business

We’ve crunched the numbers on membership activity

The FMB’s viewpoint on the issues affecting the UK construction sector

27 Voice for the sector

14 Members update

39 Recycling rubbish

Conditions are improving for small house builders thanks to FMB lobbying

See which firms have joined the FMB and which have been expelled

The Green Register offers top tips on reducing, reusing and recycling waste

29 Protection for building advice Why it’s important for members to have professional indemnity cover

17 Interview: Tom McCrank

41 Connections

The director of MCK Construction talks about being crowned Overall Winner at the 2019 Master Builder Awards

More connections and events on offer for members in 2020

30 Member showcase: Flexible working Rachel Stockley of Sarrani Ltd explains why flexible working gives the company its edge

43 Health & Safety: Tyre safety John Davidge of Cardinus Risk Management talks about tyre maintenance


31 Switched on

44 Waste not, want not

The FMB will be launching a new website in 2020

How can you ensure you are responsibly disposing of site waste?

32 Silver revolution

48 Winning work

How upskilling construction’s ageing workforce in digital skills will revolutionise the industry

Keith Heard of Hampshire County Council talks about tendering for work

51 Regional updates

33 Tool theft

News from around the regions and devolved nations

Our latest survey reveals that tool theft is showing no signs of receding

Master Builder has been carefully prepared but articles are published without responsibility on the part of the publishers or authors for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any view, information or advice included therin. Articles published in Master Builder do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Federation of Master Builders Ltd nor can the Federation of Master Builders Ltd, the publishers or authors accept any responsibility for any claims made by advertisers.

Editorial Editor Michelle Gordon Head of Marketing Danika Ferguson Designer Will Williams Picture editor Claire Echavarry Publishing director Joanna Marsh

Advertising Advertising manager Frazer Blake +44 (0)20 7025 2900

Published by Redactive Publishing Ltd Level 5, 78 Chamber Street, London, E1 8BL Tel: +44 (0)20 7880 6200


Production Production manager Aysha Miah-Edwards +44 (0)20 7880 6241

FEDERATION OF MASTER BUILDERS David Croft House 25 Ely Place London EC1N 6TD Tel: 020 7025 2900


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“Wishing all our members a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year”


T he end of the year is new three-year business plan has refocused our efforts into four key areas – standards, membership engagement, communication and commercial. Our commitment to standards has meant we have been inspecting all our members with the result that over 90% have been independently inspected. Early next year we will have achieved our aim of all Master Builder members inspected, which will be a powerful marketing tool for all our members and the FMB. Service to members is at the heart of what the FMB is about, which is why I’m pleased that we have recently launched FMB Bank which is already starting to attract members’ attention. FMB Bank offers members competitive rates and exclusive discounts including vehicle and equipment loans; exclusive discounts on Ford, Toyota and Lexus vehicles (log into the Members’ Area on the FMB website to view the discounted rates); and savings accounts including ISAs, deposit accounts and regular savings accounts. More information is available at: or call David or Frank on 0330 333 7777 (option 6) or email: Going digital is something all of us are having to do to remain relevant in today’s challenging business world. We’ve already invested in our new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that will improve our services to members but next year we will also be completely revamping our website in response to member feedback about making it more relevant, interactive and easier to navigate. approaching, which is always a time to reflect but also an opportunity to look forward. It has certainly been a busy and exciting year for the FMB. The

I’m pleased to let you know that our campaign for mandatory licensing of all construction companies has also been gathering momentum. We’ve got strong support from a wide range of organisations across the construction sector and we’ve been busy looking at the scope and competencies that will be required to deliver a licensing system. This won’t be a quick fix but we’re committed for the next two years to work with Government to deliver what we think will be a transformational initiative to improve the image and standards within our industry. This will be particularly important in our industry given the growing skills crisis and the need to attract new entrants. Our annual House Builders’ Survey was launched in October, which revealed that buyer demand for new homes had dropped to its lowest level since 2013. Although this is a worrying trend the good news is that the barriers to development have started to ease. Reforms to the planning system have made it easier for developers to acquire small sites and the difficulties obtaining finance have eased. After lots of lobbying by the FMB earlier this year on biodiversity the Government has committed to look at lower biodiversity thresholds for

small sites and to simplify the process for small sites. A small victory for the FMB and the building industry. Let’s hope for many more victories in 2020 and in the meantime, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

BRIAN BERRY, Chief Executive of the FMB


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Survey reveals nerves over hiring

Small building companies remain nervous about hiring new staff and are reducing the size of their workforce, according to the FMB’s State of Trade Survey for Q3 2019. It found the number of small to medium-sized (SME) construction companies reporting a growing workforce had fallen, from 19% to 15%, while 23% reported they had

reduced their headcount, up from 21% in the last quarter.

Breathing space needed on post-Brexit visas

Key results include:

Employment levels for SME construction companies

C onstruction employers UK’s departure from the EU, says the Construction Industry Training Board’s Migration and Construction report. Under the new post-Brexit employers will have to manage visa applications for EU workers but just 3% of construction employers have the necessary experience, with two-thirds saying that the process is difficult. want greater simplicity and breathing space on planned visa restrictions following the immigration system – due to be introduced in January 2021 –

61% of migrant workers would choose to move from a ‘low’ to a ‘high’ skilled visa while continuing to work in the UK. Over 43% are just one qualification level away from being able to do this. 41% of EU migrant workers in construction are self-employed. It makes three key recommendations: 1. The post-Brexit immigration white paper proposal for a ‘low-skilled’ visa of 12 months should be extended to 24 months. 2. That non-UK born workers entering the UK on a ‘low skilled’ visa be allowed to transition to a ‘high skilled’ visa while remaining in the UK. 3. An ‘Umbrella Sponsorship’ scheme is needed to allow self-employed non-UK workers to obtain sponsorship, so that their skills are not lost.

remained in negative territory for the second quarter in a row, following a five-year period of positive growth. Overall SME construction workloads have remained positive with 34% reporting high workloads compared to 27% in the previous three months. 86% of SMEs anticipate a rise in material prices, up from 77% in the previous quarter. 56% of firms predict salaries and wages to increase, up from 51% in the last quarter. 56% of SMEs reported difficulties hiring carpenters and joiners, overtaking bricklayers (54%) as the trade that is hardest to recruit. Overall expectations for future workloads came down, with 19% predicting lower workloads up from 12% in the previous quarter.

The report reveals that: 70% of employers of non-UK born construction workers see the ‘low skilled’ visa for people with level 2 qualifications as unsuitable for their business.


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Air pollution risk

U rgent exploration is needed into the health of outdoor workers says the British Safety Council, after research from King’s College London demonstrated a direct link between air pollution and health emergencies. The research proves that hundreds of people are suffering when air pollution levels are higher in nine major English cities, revealing that hospital admittances related to cardiac arrests,

strokes and severe asthma attacks increase during these key periods. Matthew Holder, British Safety Council Head of Campaigns, said: “The more we learn about the health impacts of air pollution, the more concerning it becomes. The latest research from King’s College London provides evidence that even relatively short-term exposure to air pollution at high levels causes immediate and serious health conditions. At the British Safety Council, a charity focused on occupational issues, we are very concerned about the health of outdoor workers who spend week after week in the ambient environment, breathing in toxic air. Outdoor workers face a potentially higher risk of heart attacks, strokes and acute asthma than many people who live and work in our cities.” Superfast Roofing Ltd of Grange Road, Ilford, Essex, was found guilty of breaching Regulation 6(3) of The Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Regulation 15(2) of The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. It was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,000. After the hearing, HSE Inspector David King said: “Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards, and especially where companies don’t heed previous advice.” Guidance on working safely at height can be found on the HSE’s website at safetytopics/roofwork.htm

Supporting self-build

Over half of English local authorities support self-build housing in local plans, according to an in-depth analysis of all English local authority plans by The Right to Build Task Force. The Task Force, established by the National Custom and Self Build Association, looked at all 336 English authorities’ plans to determine the level and type of Custom and Self Build provision. Over half (58%) have current, or emerging, policy provision for Custom and Self Build, up from 24% in 2015, (pre-Right to Build legislation). The analysis revealed that 76% of all authorities with an adopted post- 2015 local plan now have a planning policy that actively supports Custom and Self Build housing, up from 13% adopted post-legislation plans were starting to become more ambitious, however, very few offered robust support in terms of supplementary planning documents or guidance. Mario Wolf, Director of the Right to Build Task Force, said: “The Right to Build Task Force works with a range of stakeholders, many of whom are local authorities, to facilitate Custom and Self Build, and welcomes the findings that two thirds of English authorities now have policy provision for Custom and Self Build. “However, our research has also found that there is a long way to go. It is unacceptable that almost five years on from the 2015 Act that almost one in three adopted post-legislation plans and one in four emerging local plans are making no provision for Custom and Self Build housing. We hope that those authorities without policies will soon act to ensure that their local plan facilitates more local communities to build owner-commissioned homes.” from the pre-legislation date. The assessment showed that

Company failed to safely plan work at height

A roofing company has been fined after repeatedly failing to manage health and safety on construction sites. Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how between 7 March 2017 and 8 October 2018, Superfast Roofing Ltd received two prohibition

notices. Serious breaches of legislation were found on sites during roofing

work carried out in London and Essex. Inspections by the Health and Safety

Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to plan, manage, monitor and carry out work at height safely. The company had repeatedly breached work at height legislation, with uncontrolled fall from height risks at separate sites, with no signs of taking steps to improve standards.


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Company fined after carpenter’s fall A 36-year-old carpenter sustained nerve and tissue damage to his lower back, whiplash to his neck and his little finger was ripped open, after a fall from height. He climbed up to remove a nail from a brace holding trusses, one of which started to fall causing him to fall with it. Raised safety decking used as fall mitigation within the building did not cover the whole area and left significant gaps. An investigation by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the risk assessments of MP Building Limited were generic. They identified falls from height, but control measures focused on scaffolding and did not mention internal falls and decking. It was also found that operatives on the site were not trained to install the safety decking. MP Building Limited of Bilton Road, Hitchin, pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Management) Regulations 2015 at Luton Magistrates’ Court. It was fined £65,000 and ordered to pay £6,298.82 in costs. After the hearing, HSE inspector Jenny Morris said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by planning work at height to ensure that suitable and sufficient measures were in place to prevent falls.” Guidance on working safely can be found at height/key-messages.htm Regulations 2005 and Regulation 13(1) of Construction (Design and

Over half of all local authorities already enforcing higher building standards N ew research by the Solar Trade Association (STA) on local authority building standards has revealed that Scottish and English councils are in a race to the top on the new homes policy. In January 2019 the STA issued housing developers to build greener homes. Our members are installing more solar roofs in those parts of the country where local authorities are taking climate change more seriously. The regulation of building standards is a particularly important area in which

local administrations have powers to determine higher, more stringent requirements than those set out at national level and can act to improve said standards without financial constraint. We applaud the local authorities that have established higher standards and the vital contribution they are making in the drive towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

Freedom of Information requests to every local authority in the UK. Analysis of the responses revealed that 51% of all local authorities have implemented standards that go above national requirements with 17% setting policies that the STA considers to be ‘leading’. STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: “Good local new-build policies have played a vital role in pushing


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Brexit uncertainty constrains construction sector optimism

40% of respondents to the RICS UK Construction & Infrastructure Market Survey, Q3 2019 believe Build to Rent will increase housing supply within 10 years

T he uncertain outlook for 2019 RICS UK Construction and Infrastructure Market Survey. Anecdotal evidence suggests the housing market slowdown, coupled with unrelenting Brexit and political The survey highlights a deceleration in workload this quarter. Workloads in the commercial and industrial sectors are at a near standstill, with infrastructure reporting the strongest rise, a net balance of +18% more respondents citing an increase compared to +20% in Q2) Activity in private and public housing has eased with net balances of +14% and +11%, respectively. (Down from +26% and +22% in Q2). the UK economy has led to reduced optimism, according to the results of the Q3 uncertainty, is weighing on investment decisions. A study by CV-Library has shown that 24.1% of construction workers are too afraid to tell their employer that they’re suffering with poor mental health, with a further 30.8% claiming that their boss wouldn’t care. It shows that 23.9% of construction professionals fear they’d be judged unfairly if they told their boss about their concerns, while 23.1% believe their employer is unapproachable and 21% feel anxious about aspects of their jobs, including: The potential of being fired (43.8%) Neglecting personal relationships

40% of respondents say that Build to Rent will be a game-changer in increasing housing supply within ten years; and 53% believe modern methods of construction have featured more prominently in the projects they have evaluated or undertaken in the past three years. Workloads for the year ahead remain positive with be the most resilient. Within infrastructure, the energy, rail and roads sub-sectors are expected to see the strongest growth. Financial constraints continue to be the most significant impediment, with a net balance of +68% of contributors citing this. Respondents also report a deterioration in credit conditions over the past three months, and they continue to have concerns over planning delays and regulations. The survey also revealed: 41.2% of construction professionals claim their anxieties affect their performance 42.9% feel constantly stressed 36.8% say they don’t feel like they can be themselves in the workplace 34.3% are less likely to take on new challenges due to self-doubt Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library urges employees to talk to their employer or a “trusted manager” and come prepared with a GP’s letter and an idea of what reasonable adjustments would help them. “Don’t delay talking to your boss, as they may be able to help out more than you think,” he said. respondents expecting the private housing and infrastructure sectors to

£36m 3 firms were fined a total of £36m by the Competition and Markets Authority for taking part in an illegal cartel covering Great Britain

Construction workers afraid to tell employers about poor mental health

67% of construction companies say they would fail or ‘scrape through’ an ‘on- the-spot’ HSE site inspection reveals Safetybank survey

70% of respondents would encourage a school leaver to choose a construction career according to a construction industry survey by CHAS

because of work (41.6%) Turning up late (25.3%) Asking for time off (22%) Their boss (19.7%)


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The FMB gives its viewpoint on the headlines affecting the sector Viewpoint

Election plea 1 The urgent need to build more homes should be a key priority for all political parties during the General Election campaign, said the FMB following the launch of its ‘Programme for Government 2019 - 2024’. The FMB is calling on all parties to make house building a national

FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry said: “We are still not building enough new homes and this has led to an affordability crisis and over- crowding. This election is an opportunity for all parties to publish ambitious plans to turn this situation around. Small builders stand ready to help the new Government

New legislation regarding the implementation of building safety standards needs to be underpinned by a mandatory licensing scheme for all UK construction companies, said FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry in response to the Queen’s Speech. “The Queen’s announcement that the Government will bring forward new rigorous laws forcing compliance with building safety standards is an important and essential step in Building safety environment. After the Grenfell fire tragedy it’s essential that we raise the bar in construction. However, the Government must go further still and publicly consult on a mandatory licensing scheme for all UK construction companies,” he said. Such a scheme would remove rogue traders and firms that ignore health and safety improving safety and confidence in our built

not only build more new homes but also make our existing homes more energy efficient.” The FMB’s Programme for Government, which also covers skills, quality and net zero carbon, can be viewed at

infrastructure priority; for more public land to be freed up for housing and divided into small plots for small builders; and investment in local authorities to speed up the planning process.

Energy efficiency boost for wellbeing

Making the UK’s homes more energy efficient will reduce energy bills, tackle fuel poverty and help address the climate crisis, said the FMB, in response to the Leader of the Liberal Democrats’ speech at its party conference. “The UK’s housing stock represents a significant contribution to our net carbon emissions and therefore the Government must invest in making our homes more energy efficient, as pledged by Jo Swinson in her Leader’s speech,” said FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry. “The buildings in this country are some of the oldest and leakiest in the world and therefore a programme of energy efficient upgrades would be a major step forward in cutting carbon emissions overall.” It would also boost construction jobs and reduce energy bills, he said, but any retrofit campaign must be underpinned by a robust construction skills strategy.

procedure from the industry, he added.


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Newmembers Welcoming our new members to the FMB

NORTHERN IRELAND Colm Mimnagh Contracts Eunan Ohagan MCB Civils Ltd MLS Homes Ltd Paul Kelly Building Contractor PMK Building Services Port Building Services S & D Property Maintenance Ltd Taggart Homes Limavady Ltd

SOUTHERN COUNTIES 3 Lance Developments Limited

AJT Showers Ltd B&M Poulter Builds

Belgrave Construction Ltd Bentley Associates Limited T/A Bentley Construction Constructek Ltd Cure Home Solutions Ltd E. Petts Interior Concepts Ltd Eco Build Group Ltd

Elevate Loft Conversions Ltd G&H Building Maintenance Ltd HNB Construction Services Limited In2Design Interiors Ltd Infinity Building and Renovations Limited J Wilkes Paving and Construction Ltd John Campbell Carpentry & Building Ltd JW Building & Landscaping Services Limited L P Harman Building Services Ltd LBPM Ltd Lucking Brothers South Limited Mallard Solutions Ltd MGA Design & Build Ltd Monteray Homes Ltd

NORTH WEST A N Hobson Electrical Ltd

Dream Homes Construction Limited Golden Triangle Building Services Ltd Inbray Ltd T/A Absolute Window Co

iProject Cheshire Limited James Parr Installations Klassik Builders MD Building Northwest Ltd Net Zero Homes Ltd

WALES AMB Building & Construction Ltd CNG Construction Ltd Greenacre Property Group Ltd T/A

Gateside Developments and GPG Maintenance Holbrook Homes Ltd

O M Barker Builders Ltd Oilcanfinish Landscaping and Property Maintenance Philip Waugh Pro Arkitects Property Care Specialists Ltd Reluxe Limited RHannah Carpentry Limited T/A Access Loft Conversions RJH Brickwork Ltd S O Building and Landscaping SBS Building Solutions Ltd Seville Developments Limited SkilledBuild Ltd Snow White Professionals Ltd Stoke Park Developments Ltd

MIDLANDS The Natural Limestone Company Limited, T/A English Limestone Company Ltd

LSJ Building and Construction Ltd Trerise Property Maintenance Ltd

SOUTH WEST Allied Building Maintenance Contracts Ltd Arron Bennett Dan Cook Carpentry and Building Ltd Derrick and Son Limited Dick Whittington Design & Build Ltd Ecoprotex Ltd Gee Williams Developments Ltd Horizon Complete Building Services Limited Inspire Build SW Ltd Motus Homes Limited SCP Building and Roofing Contractors Ltd

Stone Craft DriveWays & Landscaping Summerfield Property Improvements The Wood Workers Building and Construction Limited Top Notch Builders (Surrey) Ltd Wall2Wall Construction Ward Homes Whenwe Ltd T/A Extraordinary Rooms


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SCOTLAND Adam Building and Engineering Ltd CBES Limited Focus Plastering & Decorating

EASTERN Albert Street Cambridge Limited Ashford Developments East Anglia Limited Aspect Group Services Ltd Brentwood Loft Makers DQ Carpentry & Construction Ltd DTS Construction Ltd Farnbuild Limited Foster Property Maintenance Ltd Inspire Carpentry and Construction Ltd Mosaic Swimming Pools and Spas Limited N. D. Smith (Contracts) Ltd NLB Construction ltd Norton Construction Brundall Limited Rob Dix Builder TSN Consultants Ltd LONDON 05 Group Ltd A & G Construction London Ltd AIA Building Contractors Ltd B & Lonzer Construction Benco Group Ltd T/A Prestige Developments Build & Improve Ltd Buildings & Restorations Ltd C J & Co Design & Build Ltd Carl Construction Ltd Demax Building Services Eddybuild Contractors Ltd Elite Home Solutions Ltd Geo Way Limited Jeffery & Wilkes Ltd Joe O’Shea Construction Ltd Jon Howard Construction Ltd Lukasz Carpentry Limited Makana Construction Ltd MFI Construction Ltd Modify Projects Limited Old Town Design Ltd Palia Builders Ltd PJS Building & Maintenance Ltd Profastbuild Ltd Property Care UK Ltd RM Reid Ltd Rose and Stone Ltd S&M Building Limited San Global Ltd TDR Building and Landscaping Ltd Three Lines Construction Trisara Consultants UK Ltd Ultimate Construction Group Ltd VIC Construction Ltd

Expelled members

Not all members measure up to the FMB’s standards. The new members listed here should be proud that they have successfully passed through our new member vetting and undergone an independent inspection. It is really important to all members that the ‘Master Builder’ badge carries real weight and can be trusted by clients. Therefore the FMB does have to exercise its ‘teeth’ from time to time, and unfortunately member businesses who do not abide by the Code of Conduct are expelled, in order to protect the FMB’s good standing. The following members have been recently expelled*: AA Projects UK Builders Ltd (London) All Build Contractors (Midlands) Enzo’s Homes Ltd (Wales) Help at Home Services (UK) Ltd (London) Mitchell Building Services UK Ltd (Southern Counties) Mitchell Wheeler Ltd (Southern Counties) Prestige Builders Warwickshire Ltd (Midlands) Pure Build Solution (North West) Sandis Construction Services (Yorkshire & Trent) NuVu Home Improvements Ltd (Eastern) LC Joinery Roofing & Building Work Ltd (Scotland) Evans Civil Engineering Ltd (North West)

NORTHERN COUNTIES K Davie Building Services Limited L J Renvoize Building Liveco Ltd T/A Vest Construction Ora Property Services Ltd

YORKSHIRE & TRENT AG Construction and Developments Ltd AT Developments (Yorkshire) Ltd Cragg Construction Ltd T/A Build and Restore CS Building & Brickwork Ltd D Furniss Brickwork J.Morris Building Ltd P Sunter Builder Raja Sahib Building Construction Ltd

G.I.Evans Bricklaying and Groundworking Contractors (Wales) Northern Heights Loft Conversions Ltd (Southern Counties)

We’re here for you If you have any questions about FMB membership, including how to access member benefits, please contact us. Phone: 0330 333 7777 | Email:

*Members listed were expelled between 9/09/19 and 8/11/19.


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M CK Construction, based in Montrose, Scotland, celebrated 10 years in business earlier this year and what better way to mark that milestone than winning Best Large Renovation Project and Overall Winner at the 2019 Master Builder Awards? Second generation builder Tom McCrank set up as a sole trader in 2009 and the company has grown steadily, also winning the Heavenly Builder and Commercial categories at the Scotland Master Builder Awards in 2017 but the Usan Coastguard Tower is the jewel in its crown. MCK Construction worked with Garry Adam Chartered

MCK Construction was crowned Overall Winner at the 2019 Master Builder Awards for the renovation of a 120-year-old coastguard tower. Director TomMcCrank talks about the stunning project and what the win means for the business WINNINGHAUL



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Left: (L to R) Nick Knowles, 2019 Master Builder Awards Host, Arthur McArdle, FMB National President, Tom McCrank of MCK Construction, and George Wallis of Isuzu Below: Tom McCrank collects his new Isuzu vehicle

Architect to renovate the 120-year-old tower on the exposed North Sea coast, which was once a lookout post, housing the local rocket rescue equipment used to recover struggling mariners. The client – a local fisherman whose family have fished the adjacent waters for generations – bought the tower in the hope of restoring it to its former glory, following years of neglect. The team worked closely with local planning authorities to ensure the building’s design was sympathetic to its history and the surrounding landscape. The project combines old and new, contrasting the original stone building with blue zinc cladding and has a huge front gable with 360-degree panoramic views. While its clifftop location brings a wow factor, the isolated setting also posed challenges. “The only access was to the rear of the building up a narrow path, so we had to put a temporary access road in the nearby field,” explained Tom. “We were on a cliff beside the North Sea and it was built over the winter, so the weather

The win has helped to raise the profile of MCK Construction and build trust among clients, as well as boosting morale among staff, said Tom. “It was absolutely amazing to win the category but to win the overall thing was never, ever on the radar to be honest with you,” he said. “The team just about flipped the table when we were down in London. “It is definitely something I would encourage everyone to enter.” As the Overall Winner, Tom also received keys to a new Isuzu D-Max Utah Pick-Up vehicle worth more than £30,000 thanks to the headline sponsor of the awards, Isuzu, and a £1,000

played a part and it wasn’t the cosiest of locations.” Entering the Master Builder Awards was a straightfoward process, said Tom, and he would encourage all members to give it a go. “It seems quite daunting but the form is set out in a logical order and you don’t need war and peace, just write what it needs and it is so easy to get good quality pictures on site with a smartphone,” he said. “Just do it, don’t ponder. You have got nothing to lose but a bit of your time, and everything to gain. When we set out on that journey, we never dreamed in a million years that we would have won.”

cheque for his client. George Wallis, Head of Marketing at Isuzu UK, said: "Isuzu are proud to be the headline sponsor of the overall Master Builder of the Year Award, it's integral to our fantastic partnership with the FMB. MCK Construction's entry stood out because of the history of the building, the innovative use of space and materials, as well as having to overcome many real challenges to deliver an awesome project. We wish them all the best in their thoroughly deserved prize of a new Isuzu D-Max Utah.”

The next Master Builder Awards will take place in 2021. Visit the

website for more information


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George Wallis from Isuzu and

Tom McCrank from MCK Construction

MOMENTS FROMTHE MASTER BUILDER AWARDS Thank you to all Master Builders who attended the 2019 National Master Builder Awards ceremony on Friday, 20 th September at the InterContinental Hotel, Park Lane, London. The awards provide an opportunity for members to get together for an afternoon of fun to celebrate their success and the achievements of fellow Master Builders across the UK. We’ve published a selection of photos from the celebrations here but additional photos can be viewed and downloaded at:

Jackie and Angus Reid-Evans from Spey Building & Joinery Ltd celebrate their win with sponsor David Koopmans from Buildxact

Maddy Uren from Apli Construction celebrates an award win

Right: Celebrating the national finalists for the 2019 Apprentice Award

20 Master Builder


Sorrel Bickley, Head of Biomedical Research at MS Society

FMB members enjoying the celebrations

Our 2019 host, Nick Knowles

2021 Master Builder Awards The Master Builder Awards is a biannual event and the next awards will take place in 2021. Nominations will open in late 2020 and further information on the award categories and nomination process will be announced closer to the time. Make sure you continue to keep notes on your current projects and take good quality photos before, during and after building works take place to support your future nominations. Information on the awards will be published in Master Builder magazine, on the FMB website and in the FMB’s member newsletters so keep an eye out for more details next year or visit

L to R: FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry, FMB National President Arthur McArdle, and MS Society Head of Biomedical Research, Sorrel Bickley


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construction workers each year suffer from breathing and lung problems that are caused or made worse by their work. * 3,000

We think that’s too many. Lung disease shouldn’t come with the job.

Find out more about lung disease in construction:

*Source: HSE

People’s Health Limited Manor Royal, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 9QP. Registered in England and Wales No. 11125993. People’s Health Limited is part of the B&CE Group of companies for which B&CE Holdings Limited is the parent company.


REVISEDFMB ARTICLES ANDRULES M embers voted at the September Annual General Meeting (AGM) in changes means that any future alterations to the Articles of Association and Rules will now have to be carried by a three-quarters majority vote at the AGM or an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM). Change to Rule 66 (b) – The London to amend the Rules and Articles of Association of the Federation of Master Builders. The effect of these

shall be effective if carried by a majority vote of not less than three-quarters of those present at the national AGM or EGM of those who are entitled to vote.

Board may amend the rules and any adopted alterations shall be effective if carried by a majority vote of not less than three-quarters of those present at the national AGM or EGM of those who are entitled to vote. Change to Article 68 – The Board may amend the rules and any adopted alterations

For more information please log in to the

Members’ Area of the website at

FMB 2018-2019 Annual Report Top 10 achievements in 2018-19

T he Federation of Master Builders has achieved a lot of positive progress over the past 12 months across so many different areas of the business. We encourage you to read the FMB’s 2018-2019 Annual Report to learn more about our achievements and highlights in the past year. You can download a copy of the report from the website here: the-fmb/publications/ annual-report-2018-2019 We also want to take this opportunity to thank our Master Builder members for their continued commitment to the FMB. Now, more than ever, in these uncertain political and economic times, the FMB stands ready to support its community of builders.


1 Biggest-ever Master Builder Awards

Award-winning commercial team and Chief Executive



Growing political engagement and influence

New membership database

First-ever ‘ FMB British Building Conference ’





FMB membership now means it’s easier to win public sector work in Northern Ireland

FMB Insurance growth

Four meetings in No.10, including one with the PM



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THE YEAR INNUMBERS As the year draws to a close, we’ve crunched the numbers on membership activity

2 1 3


314 of the members surveyed on the helplines were satisfied or very satisfied members received support to resolve client disputes

Top 3 most popular documents downloaded from the FMB’s document library were: 1. Checklist: how to get paid on time 2. Guide to management of employee absence 3. Risk Assessment Templates

new members this year so far*

Top 3 e-learning courses completed by members in 2019 were: 1. Introduction to Working Safely 2. Excel Basic 3. Asbestos Awareness

*as at 31 October 2019



member profiles have been built on Find a Builder by the membership team

8 1 0 250 members who did not abide by the FMB’s Code of Conduct were expelled

1500 Almost 1,500 builders have applied to join the FMB in the last two years

members accessed free specialist HR advice

average amount of money being chased by the FMB’s Debt Recovery service each month on behalf of members 158,000

inspections have been carried out

As an FMB member, you have exclusive access to a wide range of services that are designed to help you protect, promote and grow your business. Check out the Guide to Member Benefits booklet provided with this edition of the magazine, or log onto the Members’ Area of the website at to find out more and maximise the value of your membership.

720 members accessed free legal advice

7692 contract templates were downloaded


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GET 10% OFF * AT TRADEPOINT as a TradePoint member, through the Federation of Master Builders

WE’VE OVER 50,000 PRODUCTS, 7 DAYS A WEEK making big jobs smaller.

Including a wide range in store and online for your building, construction and maintenance jobs. Plus , we’ve got a range of handy services like free bulk delivery ** and 1 hour click + collect†.



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Between 2018 and 2019, consumer demand for new homes dropped by Breaking down barriers

8 %

Members of the FMB Home Builders Group met with civil servants from the Ministry of Housing

ONTHEUP Conditions are improving for small house builders thanks to FMB lobbying

The number of respondents citing access to land as a barrier fell from 59% in 2018 to 43% in 2019

T he FMB House Builders’ Survey is the only annual assessment to track the main barriers to small to medium-sized (SME) house builders in England. The four top barriers include a lack of available and viable land, the disproportionate costs and delays in the planning system for smaller builders, poor availability of developer finance, and the skills shortage. Following lobbying by the FMB for local authorities to pay more attention to small sites in their local plans and for central planning policy to do more to streamline the system for local house builders, the 2019 results showed that all four of the main barriers had eased. This is a success story for the FMB’s work in helping to shape Government policy in this space. There is more work to do if we are to unleash the capacity of SME house builders and increase the speed with which we are delivering the new, quality homes that this country needs. Indeed, the House Builders’ Survey 2019 found that consumer demand for new homes had dropped by 8% – its lowest level since 2013. Almost half (48%) of survey respondents attributed this fall in buyer demand to a lack of consumer confidence. This means that the uncertainty around Brexit, which has been lingering for the past year has been taking its toll on the market, as prospective homeowners have been holding off

buying in anticipation of more clarity from politicians. The Government needs to consider how it will support SMEs through these indications of a downturn in order to prevent essential skills and talent leaving the industry. The FMB is bringing the House Builders’ Survey to the attention of Ministers, Shadow Ministers and officials from the Ministry of Housing, as a basis for discussing how we can go further to address the challenges that small builders face in increasing their output of new homes. The survey was launched at a roundtable in the Ministry of Housing, where more than 15 civil servants were in attendance, including the Chief Planner and two Deputy Directors. The event and report were sponsored by JCB and JCB Finance. Turning our attention to the year ahead, a priority for FMB lobbying will be understanding how small house builders and small sites are incorporated into the Government’s plans to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Master Builders are innovators and already leading in this field, however FMB members need to be aware of changes to Building Regulations and biodiversity requirements that are coming through.

39 %

said access to finance was a barrier – the lowest figure in three years

42 %

of firms, down from 51% in 2018, said that the planning system was a barrier to their company

26 %

down from 44% in 2018, said that a shortage of skilled workers was a barrier to their business

Email with your experience of the SME house

building market in England.


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course of their work or even whilst in the process of quoting for work, give advice or information to their clients. If any of that advice or information is wrong, or if they fail to provide the correct advice and information, this may leave a builder open to a claim for negligence. Even if the claim has no merit they still need to be defended and even when the builder is successful in that defence, the unrecoverable costs can be substantial.” The risk to companies of all sizes has grown immensely in recent years as the openness of legal firms pursuing action has increased. According to Professional, it is estimated that 1.5 million British businesses collectively spend over £2 billion per year on premiums. The design and construction industry features in the top five of those considered at higher risk of work causing professional indemnity insurance claims.

Are you aware that you give your customers advice on a regular basis? Even a casual comment in passing can count as advice and it’s important to ensure you’re covered

A s Master Builders, you regularly offer guidance to your customers on various aspects of their projects. Whilst you may have good intentions on giving sound advice based on your experience in construction, there are occasions when your client may disagree. If you’re deemed to have provided inadequate advice that causes injury, damage or financial loss, you could face legal proceedings. Any sign of negligence (mistakes or errors made by you or your employees when giving advice or supplying services) or breach of duty (failure to complete the work or give advice that is of an

appropriately high standard), puts you at risk. Increasingly, as society becomes more litigious, there is a rise of disputes being settled in court. The results of this can have a devastating impact on your firm's finances if you’re not covered. We’ve been speaking to Peter Matson, Chairman of FMB Insurance, to provide some insight into why it’s so important for members to have cover. “Any builder who is providing design work, even if they do not go on to carry out the construction work, should have some form of professional negligence insurance. Even when they do not provide any designs, all builders in the

To find out how we can tailor a policy to meet your own requirements, visit our website at or call our friendly team on 01353 652760.


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