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Lincoln Road

Posted Tuesday 14 May 2019 21:55 PM

New Build 4 Bedroom Houses

Modern Methods of Construction

Posted Tuesday 29 Jan 2019 22:19 PM

Modern Methods Of Construction And Implications For Conveyancers

Lincoln Road

Posted Monday 07 Jan 2019 21:40 PM

Planning Permission

Posted Sunday 25 Nov 2018 22:30 PM

20 things you can do without planning permission required

Planning Permission

Posted Saturday 25 Aug 2018 21:47 PM

Taxpayers to foot £148m bill

Posted Wednesday 13 Jun 2018 13:50 PM

Taxpayers to foot 148m bill for Carillion liquidation

The provisional cost to the UK taxpayer of liquidating failed construction and services giant Carillion will be around £148m, although this excludes currently unmeasurable costs, and it may take years to establish the final bill, according to an investigation by the UK’s National Audit Office (NAO).

It concluded that government had allowed itself to become too dependent on a failing company, and must learn lessons from the costly experience.

The figure does not include wider costs to the economy, Carillion’s customers, staff, the supply chain and creditors, the NAO says in its report into the UK government’s handling of the crisis.

Nor does it include the costs incurred by customers who must replace Carillion on large projects, such as hospitals.

What’s more, the total cost to the taxpayer will be higher than £148m because some public sector bodies are paying a 20% premium for post-liquidation services, the NAO said.

Carillion’s non-government creditors are unlikely to recover much of their investments, and the company’s pension liabilities, totalling £2.6bn as of 30 June 2017, will need to be compensated through the UK’s Pension Protection Fund.

The £148m is lower than the rough estimate made by the Cabinet Office before liquidation of £314m to £374m.

The NAO’s investigation described how, in early January, Carillion asked the government for a £223m bail-out to help it through to April 2018 and additional support with its financial restructuring.

Instead, the Cabinet Office decided it was better that the firm enter liquidation because it had “serious concerns” about Carillion’s business plans, the legal implications, potentially open-ended funding commitments, and the precedent it would set.

But by then the government had become too dependent on the money-losing company, which owed nearly half its UK revenue (45%) to government contracts.

Government must learn from this, said Amyas Morse, the head of the NAO.

“When a company becomes a strategic supplier, dependencies are created beyond the scope of specific contracts,” he commented.

“Doing a thorough job of protecting the public interest means that government needs to understand the financial health and sustainability of its major suppliers, and avoid creating relationships with those which are already weakened.

“Government has further to go in developing in this direction.”

Building work:

Posted Wednesday 20 Dec 2017 19:10 PM

Building work: The high cost of cheap alternatives

We all get frustrated at losing work to someone who's quoted significantly less. Even worse, you know that the job can’t be done for that price even if you were prepared to lower standards or dumb down the quality of your service to win the building work. But should the end result of that ‘cost saving’ decision be a huge pile of rubble where a house once stood?

Unimaginable? Well this recently happened to a property in Manchester.

Manchester City Council building control officers received a complaint from a concerned resident and found there was no planning permission or building regulations approval for the project.

When they visited the site, they found a huge excavation seriously undermining the existing house foundations. They also found that all of the ceiling joists and purlin props had been removed leaving the roof liable to collapse.

So great were the concerns that a team from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) were also called in and immediately issued a prohibition, ordering all work at the site to stop.

The city council’s building control team were left with no option but to serve a Section 78 Dangerous Building – Emergency Measures Notice on the owner of the property.

Because of the very limited options available, contractors were called in to safely demolish the building before it collapsed on its own.

The owner will also have to foot the bill for the demolition work and the concrete used to flood the basement to secure the undermined party wall.

How to avoid disaster

Councillor Angeliki Stogia, the Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Skills, said: “The risk to life at this site was very real and we will have no hesitation to intervene with any building that is being refurbished in an unlawful and dangerous way.

"Building owners need to be mindful of the potential risks associated with inappropriate alterations without guidance from professionals such as structural engineers, surveyors and architects.

"The council’s building control team is always willing to discuss the type of work property owners want to carry out. Because the owner of this property failed to do so, the costs to make the building safe are likely to be considerable.”

Beware of the Rise in Scams

Posted Sunday 03 Dec 2017 21:54 PM

As an online company, we’re acutely aware of the many ways that scammers try and rip off unsuspecting victims. We’ve previously covered scams related to tenants and landlords, but there are ever-increasing ways that scammers attempt to do so.

Most recently, it’s been brought to our attention that landlords who advertise their buy-to-let online are being targeted by scammers who take the details of the property, including photos, and post under an agency name. These agencies are fake, perhaps trading under an unassuming name, but fake all the same. Landlords will usually be approached by these agencies at first, posing as tenants to get more details and perhaps even view the property, before offering their services to advertise the property. Now, by all means landlords are not obliged to advertise with just one agency (even here at Upad), but this new type of scam means landlords should be practicing due diligence on an agency that approaches them to offer advertising services. Use the following steps to verify an agency:

• Do they have a website? 

• Do they have a trading office or high street office? 
• Check for reviews online, from other landlords and tenants. 
• Are they registered as a trading company?

This is just one scam in a long list, so here’s a few tips from our Head of IT, Carl, on staying secure online:

It simply doesn’t look right. If an email looks a little off, or perhaps too good to be true, trust your instincts that it may be suspicious. If you’ve ‘won a prize’ for a competition you haven’t entered, be very wary. 

Generic greetings. Phishing emails will not directly greet you by name, but rather generic names such as ‘Dear Customer’.

Links to sites asking for sensitive data. Cybercriminals can create very sophisticated and authentic looking spoof sites but ensure your address bar shows the site is secure and the website is real before entering personal information. Also be aware of ‘cybersquatting’ where criminals will purchase website name that sound similar to official sites (i.e. in the hopes someone will type in the wrong site- always check the URL is correct. 

Scare tactics. Scammers will often user phrases such as ‘your account has been breached’ to trick you into revealing information you usually wouldn’t. Often there’ll be a sense of urgency too, giving you only a short amount of time ‘verify’ your account. 

Poor grammar or spelling. Usually a good giveaway that an email is a scam: poor spelling, grammar or unusual syntax.

See if you can tell which of the following is genuine or fake:

Did you guess it? The first two were genuine emails and the third was a phishing email- you can tell by the poor grammar, spelling and urgency.

As an online company, Upad make sure landlords and tenants are protected by carrying out checks to confirm ownership of properties and thourough tenant referencing.


Posted Tuesday 09 May 2017 22:33 PM

Global Construction Review

Company Prosecuted

Posted Tuesday 09 May 2017 22:21 PM

Company Prosecuted After Worker Dies On Major London Project

Worker Dies

Posted Tuesday 09 May 2017 22:19 PM

Company Prosecuted After Worker Dies During Construction Work

5 Point Plan

Posted Tuesday 09 May 2017 22:15 PM

Positive start to 2017

Posted Friday 28 Apr 2017 14:39 PM

Positive start to 2017 for small to medium construction companies

Small to medium construction companies experienced strong growth in the first quarter of 2017 according to the Federation of Master Builders

The Federation of Master Builder’s (FMB) ‘State of Trade Q1 2017’ report, released quarterly, is one of the most accurate into the state of the construction industry. The first report of 2017 has been recently published and gives some interesting feedback for construction companies. 

Firstly, UK small to medium (SME) construction enterprises saw workloads increase more significantly than at any time since Q2 2016—the quarter immediately prior to last June’s EU referendum. 

The survey revealed half of all SMEs believed workloads are likely to continue to increase. There was also concern over skills shortages with over half of all construction companies reporting they are finding it difficult to hire carpenters.

Another element to come out of the survey was uncertainty over the supply chain. A significant percentage of builders said they thought it was likely material prices would rise in the next quarter.

Unexpected findings

The news comes despite problems of rising building material cost, investor uncertainty over the economic impact of Brexit and the forthcoming snap general election. 

Brexit has undoubtedly had an impact on the construction sector. Earlier this year construction managers noted they were already seeing an exodus of EU workers, reporting it was becoming increasingly difficult to hire workers from the EU. It is also expected a hard Brexit will cause significant problems within engineering. The ‘Staying on Track’ report , published by infrastructure giant and construction contractor Balfour Beatty in February, revealed more than 10 per cent of its workforce was from the EU. Additionally, 11 per cent of new recruits in 2016 held EU passports. This, the firm said, would cause issues with recruiting skilled engineers. 

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The first three months of 2017 proved to be very positive for construction SMEs, which reported strong growth, underpinned by continuing resilience in the home improvement sector. 

“Workloads rose in every part of the UK, with particularly positive results in the devolved nations. Given the concerns that wider consumer confidence might be weakening, it’s encouraging that smaller construction firms aren’t sensing any drop-off in demand for their services. 

“Indeed, despite Article 50 being triggered and the growing likelihood of a hard Brexit, these latest results demonstrate that builders are increasingly confident about the immediate future, with one in two forecasting higher workloads during the next quarter.” 

Berry concluded: “The combined effects of rising material costs and the ever-worsening construction skills crisis will therefore be reason enough for SME construction firms to be cautious in their optimism. If growth in real household income remains flat, and if consumer confidence is shaken by the impending snap General Election and the triggering of Article 50, there are plenty of potential pitfalls for builders to navigate. 

“Nevertheless, as of yet, the much anticipated ‘Brexit effect’ has yet to hit what is considered to be the bellwether sector of consumer confidence and wider economic health.”

Analysis Property

Posted Tuesday 07 Feb 2017 14:08 PM

Analysis: will there really be a property crash in 2017?

Britain is among a handful of wealthy countries where house prices are "dangerously high" and liable to crash, according to analysis from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. 

The think tank cited the UK's housing market along with that of Canada and Sweden, warning that prices were now out of alignment with earnings and had reached levels which were unsustainable. 

A collapse in prices would hit household confidence and spending, with likely ramifications spilling out across the economy. 

Research from Nationwide found that house price growth has "flattened" and has fallen to the weakest level in 13 months. 

Prices grew by 4.3pc during the year to January, compared to 4.5pc during the year to December. 

Economists including Samuel Tombs at Pantheon Macroeconomics said that price growth would continue to weaken as the year goes on. 

Analysis Property

Posted Tuesday 07 Feb 2017 14:08 PM

Analysis: will there really be a property crash in 2017?

Britain is among a handful of wealthy countries where house prices are "dangerously high" and liable to crash, according to analysis from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. 

The think tank cited the UK's housing market along with that of Canada and Sweden, warning that prices were now out of alignment with earnings and had reached levels which were unsustainable. 

A collapse in prices would hit household confidence and spending, with likely ramifications spilling out across the economy. 

Research from Nationwide found that house price growth has "flattened" and has fallen to the weakest level in 13 months. 

Prices grew by 4.3pc during the year to January, compared to 4.5pc during the year to December. 

Economists including Samuel Tombs at Pantheon Macroeconomics said that price growth would continue to weaken as the year goes on. 


Posted Wednesday 01 Feb 2017 21:31 PM

Be inspired: free tickets to Build it Live

4th & 5th February, Kent Event Centre 
18th & 19th February, Event City, Manchester 

Build it Live is back for 2017 and the FMB will be there to help you take your first steps towards your dream home! Grab yourself a pair of free tickets to the upcoming shows in Kent and Manchester using the code FCFM17. Come along to pick up some top tips and learn how to manage your dream project without running out of time or budget.

Free tickets to the Homebuilding & Renovating Shows 

The Homebuilding &Renovating Shows are back and promise to be better than ever! You will find inspiration, advice, seminars and Masterclasses as well as the opportunity to see the newest, most innovative products on the market at discounted prices. The FMB will be there to give you expert advice on choosing a builder, take advantage of our free tickets to shows across the UK and pop in to see us!

The Adobe

Posted Wednesday 01 Feb 2017 21:16 PM


Struggling to decide what to do with a spare room? We've come up with some ideas to help you make the most of your extra space. 

Office/ studio: Whether it’s for working from home or a sanctuary for life admin and creative thinking, a study is a traditional favourite use for a spare room. It needn’t be a room with a computer, if you are a painter set an easel up, if you’re a musician have it sound proofed. This is where you earn your keep and hone your craft! 

Themed guest bedroom: We don’t suggest going overboard with this, but it’s always a bit of a novelty staying in a themed hotel room. Why not set your guest room up in a similar manner? 

Library: If you’re a lover of literature then a library is a novel idea for a spare room, set up a pair of comfy chairs and line your wall with book shelves. There’s nothing more relaxing than settling down amongst your books on a lazy afternoon, curled up with a classic and a cup of tea.

Playroom / Games-room: Whether your kids are toddlers or young-adults they can always benefit from a playroom! For small children, fill this with games and toys, whilst teenagers may prefer a TV and games consoles. Keep the mess from the living room and allow your children to have fun hosting friends without taking over the living room. 

Movie room: This can double up as your games room. Have some comfy chairs, a big TV and a thick curtain. If you get it set up quickly, this could be where you finish watching Euro 2016!

Walk in wardrobe/ dressing room: Many girls grew up dreaming of luxurious walk-in wardrobes lined with shoes! If you have the luxury of excess space, what’s stopping you from fulfilling this dream? Fix some clothing rails and shelves around the outside of the room, with a mirrored dressing table in front of the window. This is a great idea for a house with smaller bedrooms as you’ll free up space in the master by removing the wardrobes. 

Bar: Many of us dream of a bar in the home. If you’re one of the growing number of people who enjoys making their own alcohol then this can double up as a distillery. Just remember – you can’t actually sell drinks without a license! If you’ve got space then why not look in to getting some pub games and a pool table? 

Gym: Converting your spare room in to a gym could do wonders for your health. You’ll have no excuses for avoiding it anymore! There are many set ups to choose from – from yoga mats and dumbbells to exercise equipment. Install some speakers for music and a TV for mid workout entertainment and exercise videos.

Choosing a Builder

Posted Wednesday 01 Feb 2017 21:04 PM

Finding a builder doesn't need to be difficult. Here are some handy hints for finding the right builder for your project.


There’s nothing better than a recommendation from a friend or family member who’s had building work done. If family and friends can’t help, use our Find A Builder service search for professional builders in your local area. FMB Members are checked and inspected at the point of joining, and can offer you a warranty on your work through FMB Insurance Services.


This is your project so make sure you get exactly what you want. Produce a written brief, including detailed drawings where possible, and give a copy to each builder who quotes. 


Ask at least 3 builders to quote on your job and don’t just go with the cheapest. Look at the breakdown of costs, if some seem a lot cheaper than others ask how they will achieve it for the price without cutting corners. 


Read the quotes carefully and check that they include everything you would like done including the removal of rubbish, site waste and the specification of any fixtures and fittings. 


Go and visit some of the builders’ previous jobs. Most reputable traders will be more than happy to show off their previous work and while you’re there you can get a personal reference from a satisfied customer.

The Abode

Posted Wednesday 01 Feb 2017 14:03 PM

Stay warm & cosy at home with Hygge

How is it that the Danish are amongst the happiest people in the world despite facing 17 hours of darkness during winter months, whilst in the UK we want to curl up into a ball and hibernate the moment the days start to draw in? 

Recently it’s been suggested that it’s the concept of “Hygge” (pronounced hoo-gah), a uniquely Danish feeling which has been taking the world by storm, with over 20 books on the subject having been released in quick succession. It’s difficult to translate into English but it’s at heart the feeling of cosiness, but at a psychological rather than physical level. 

Although designers suggest hygge is not something you can buy, but a state of mind or feeling, there are ways that you can introduce this concept into your home and make it cosier. 

So with reports suggesting that snow’s on its way, how can you incorporate this cosy Danish concept into your home? 

Keep it simple 

This trend is not about making your home look like it belongs on the pages of an interior design magazine. Keep the colours muted, and rely on simple furniture and accessories. White walls are particularly popular in Denmark. This understated background will help you incorporate hygge into your home without it starting to feel busy and cluttered. 

Celebrate your heritage 

Antiques, old photographs and sentimental objects will all make your home feel cosier! Incorporate your history into your interior design.

Use texture 

Avoid plastics and acrylics; fill your home with candles, cashmere throws, faux fur, woods and soft, natural coloured rugs. Cover your sofa in textured, cosy blankets and cushions - how better to stay warm and cosy on a cold day? 

Mood lighting 

The harsh light of an overhead lamp can quickly take away that cosy feeling, however comfortable the room is. Place lamps where they’re needed, ensuring they’re sufficient for your needs (think reading lamp, table centrepieces) without being overbearing. The Danish are thought to buy more candles than anywhere else in the world, so take a lesson and light some in your house – cosy and energy saving! 

Taking it further 

Creating your own reading nook or a window seat could bring you to a new level of cosiness and the ultimate hygge centrepiece is a log fire!

Stamp Duty

Posted Thursday 26 Jan 2017 23:37 PM

Stamp Duty Fuelling Housing Crisis

Stamp duty is making the UK’s housing crisis worse by distorting the market and harming long-term development, the head of one of the world’s biggest property groups has warned. Christian Ulbrich, global chief executive of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), said homebuyers were “paying for nothing” in a system that penalised landlords and second homeowners while doing little to address a lack of housing supply. Britain has the highest property taxes of any developed country, figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development show. Mr Ulbrich said the current system, where stamp duty jumps from 5pc to 10pc of a property’s value above £925,000, was “politically motivated”. While the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, cut the rate of tax for the vast majority of house purchases with a big overhaul of the system in 2014, Mr Ulbrich said, the policy still made it “prohibitive” to build more houses.

“For long-term development, stamp duty is definitely harmful, because the stamp duty in itself doesn’t create any value. It’s an additional cost that makes development more unattractive and it has to be considered in the pricing,” he said. r Ulbrich also hit out at the 3 percentage point surcharge that landlords and families pay when buying second homes, which he said had “a very strong dampening impact on the market”. He said he understood aims to reduce the influx of foreign money into the British property market, which Mr Ulbrich said would remain a haven for overseas investors, even after the Brexit vote. However, he said, increasing supply would help to “create an environment where that demand finds a home”. “We need more building,” he said. “That is good for the economy”.

Mr Ulbrich cited the Crossrail scheme in London as an example where “focus on building the right infrastructure” helped to “enlarge the spectrum of commutable areas around London where people can still live and come to work every morning. “Stamp duty doesn’t help to build one single apartment, it just makes it more expensive.” Mr Ulbrich also warned that JLL would be hit by a “double whammy” this year from rising business rates and the subdued commercial property market. Research shows that business rate bills in London are likely to soar by £9.4bn over the next five years. The JLL chief criticised the system as counter-cyclical, as he suggested that more frequent revaluations were necessary. “The [commercial property] market is currently cooling down, at the same time, business rates are going up because they were reflective of values before the Brexit vote. But the impact is happening after the Brexit vote,” he said. “We were very much hit by the overall loss in sentiment in the property market in London, and then we got the increase in business rates, so it’s a real double whammy.”

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