Lens Blog: Learn to say, No

Lens Blog: Learn to say, No

FIS Consultant Len Bunton shares his thoughts on why businesses should learn to say, No.

Len’s message is that businesses should not accept onerous contract clauses that increase risk, extended payment periods, or contra charges to name a few.

In this blog, Len has set down a list of things that businesses in thge sector should be saying no to.

Adopting some of the statements should help you to manage the commercial aspects of projects much more efficiently and profitably. In my experience there are plenty of good employers and contractors out there who will look after you and who have long-term building programmes, and who will value your input, and who will want you to help them build successful projects on cost, on time and to a high quality.

Be selective of who you work for, and find out which organisations have long-term building programmmes, with whom you can build a successful relationship.

Len Bunton, Bunton Consulting


Members can see the full blog

These monthly Blogs are designed to help FIS Members avoid common traps and build on our focus on collective experience.  They share ideas about improving the commercial management of your contracts. In other words, instilling best practice into the way FIS members run and manage their business. What I have endeavored to suggest is ways to ensure you get paid on time, and what you are due.

Boosting routes into industry

Boosting routes into industry

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has published a report from NOCN’s and CCATF (both education and skills bodies) setting out recommendations to improve the flow of skilled and competent talent into the construction sector.

The report highlights the challenges of ensuring competency of the workforce to comply with the new Building Safety Act, the overall decline in skills funding over the past 10 years and the need to upskill the workforce to embrace the green, digital jobs of the future. It suggests developing the CSCS scheme to support verification with competency under the Building Safety Act, improving diversity, and developing a more agile and consistent UK skills system for construction.

Find out more here.

Government publishes national infrastructure and construction pipeline

Government publishes national infrastructure and construction pipeline

The Government has published its long awaited National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline 2023, which sets out planned and projected investment in major economic and social infrastructure over the next 10 years, the workforce requirement to deliver it, as well as a list of near term planned procurements.  The aim is to help manufacturers and the wider industry make informed business planning decisions, and support investment in skills and construction productivity.

For more information click here

Changes in different permitted development rights: consultation

Changes in different permitted development rights: consultation

This consultation outlines several proposed changes to permitted development rights:

  • To enhance flexibility for homeowners in accommodating growing families and maximizing the potential of their current residences, we are considering various adjustments to these rights. These changes aim to allow larger extensions and grant more freedom to construct outbuildings.
  • To support the construction of new homes, we are exploring the possibility of amending existing upward building rights to broaden the range of buildings eligible for these rights. Additionally, we are seeking input on modifying the demolition and rebuild right to expand the types of buildings that can benefit from it and permit larger rebuild footprints.
  • In order to provide increased flexibility for households and businesses interested in installing electric vehicle charging stations, we are considering several alterations to the relevant rights. Feedback is being sought on whether permitted development rights should encompass units necessary for the operation of electric vehicle charge points, such as equipment housing or storage cabinets. We are also seeking input on revisions to the permitted development right for air source heat pumps, including a review of the requirement that they must be at least 1 meter from the property boundary.
April competency rules could see council Building Control services cease

April competency rules could see council Building Control services cease

From 6 April, all building-control professionals must pass a competence assessment and register with the Building Safety Regulator (BSR), a division of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Lorna Stimpson, the chief executive of Local Authority Building Control (LABC,) has warned that this could mean that a considerable number of councils are at risk of discontinuing building-control services from April, unless the deadline for proving professional competence is extended.

In a significant move, she has urged senior officials at the HSE, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), and the Welsh Government to postpone the competence assessment deadline by six months for a smoother transition. She cautioned in a letter that many building-control professionals might not attain certification before the deadline, leading to “a significant number of authorities” in England and Wales being unable to carry out building control.

According to Stimpson, the absence of registered building inspectors in a local authority would have broad repercussions on the construction industry, consumers, regulatory enforcement, and compliance.  She states that the profession has had insufficient time to grasp the new requirements, with numerous surveyors yet to apply for registration or competence testing and also expressed concerns about the mental health impact on staff at the independent assessor bodies, with building control professionals experiencing a high level of stress due to the deadline.

She suggested that building surveyors should adhere to the BSR’s codes of conduct from 6 April and be enrolled in an independent assessment scheme, working towards certification by the revised deadline.

FIS chief executive Iain McIlwee said: “This is undoubtedly a concern for all in the supply chain as delays can be expensive and disruptive.  We urge all members to pay careful attention to their contracts and any liabilities associated with delay that could be imposed on them and encourage Government to heed the warnings of the LABC who are working closely with their local authority members to ensure that political ideology is matched to practical considerations and that we are all working together to deliver a safer and better culture in the construction sector supported by effective regulation and pragmatic, but robust enforcement.”

Judging begins for FIS Contractors Awards 2024

Judging begins for FIS Contractors Awards 2024

The excitement is mounting as the judging process for the 2024 FIS Contractor Awards is now underway. Our judges are traveling across the country to inspect the remarkable projects submitted by our members.

These awards shine a spotlight on excellence within the finishes and interiors sector, with a goal of motivating and acknowledging exceptional craftsmanship. The Awards Lunch, a much-anticipated event, guarantees an afternoon of recognition, camaraderie, and opportunities for industry professionals to network and share insights.

You can take a look at our Project Library which details the remarkable projects that our members complete. You can access comprehensive case studies for each project, detailing the scope of works, products used, contract budgets and locations.

Tickets are now on sale for the Awards Lunch, which will be held on 6 June at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London. The winners of the 2024 Awards will be announced and presented by our guest speaker Shaparak Khorsand.

See the projects

Want to see the projects that have been entered into this years Awards?

Want to attend the Lunch?

Join us at the 2024 Contractor Awards Lunch