Paul Edwards, from builders’ merchant Jewson, provides his advice on how developers can use their merchant relationships to best advantage.
It’s a crucial time for housebuilding in the UK. Not since World War II has there been such a demand for new homes and the success of the new Government plan to build one million homes across the UK by 2020 is vital. With these ambitious targets coming into immediate effect, the pressure is on developers to speed up the creation of homes, but also in an efficient and cost effective manner.
Although every development is different, the Jewson specialist housebuilder team is engaged with hundreds of projects up and down the country – many of which all face similar issues. Some of the most common problems include concerns with the supply and quality of materials, something that should be the least of a housebuilder’s worries. That’s why it’s crucial to get the right support from the beginning of a project and that’s where your builders’ merchant can help. A good relationship with your merchant is key and the following is our advice for getting the most out of it.
Builders’ merchants aren’t just a great place to procure the best materials for your job, there are also other additional benefits for your business.
Use a merchant’s expertise
It’s really important to capitalise on the knowledge of those you are working with. A successful builders’ merchant will have helped with thousands of different projects, each with different specifications and goals – giving it a wealth of expertise, possibly even on the very issues you’re experiencing. Some of them have a dedicated housebuilder team that is always up to date with the latest regulations and market developments.
If you have a specific query or problem that you can’t overcome, they should be able to solve it, or if not, at least point you in the right direction.
Consider your products from the beginning of a project. This may seem obvious, but it is all too often overlooked. Drawing up a list of each product you’ll need at the start of the build process can not only save you time and money, it can also save on material wastage.
Once you have your product list, you can then get the support from your builders’ merchant to ensure you’ve chosen the best materials for your project. Alongside advice on products, they can also provide recommendations for supporting systems, which is an important part of the process. If a product is installed incorrectly, or the wrong system is used, it could render the solution ineffective, wasting both time and money.
Builders’ merchants aren’t just a great place to procure the best materials for your job, there are also other additional benefits for your business. For example, most of them work with a vast range of suppliers to ensure supply chain reliability. By building a relationship with different suppliers, merchants can not only ensure their customers can choose from a huge product offering, but also guarantee that housebuilder customers receive their products on site and on time, allowing them to complete projects within the agreed timeframe.
Another added benefit of working with merchants is utilising their knowledge when it comes to meeting Building Regulations and sustainability requirements. Sustainability is a huge part of the project brief in many specifications, but there are many ways builders’ merchants can help housebuilders meet these needs – whether it’s advice on renewable energy measures, or procuring the most sustainably sourced timber on the market.
Whatever the needs of a development, builders’ merchants can assist the process, but the key to success is early engagement.
Paul Edwards is Director of Sales – New Build, at builders’ merchant Jewson.