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Be mindful when next installing uPVC patio doors and other features for your clients that you could end up paying over the odds for skip use, given new research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) revealing that the average cost of an eight-yard skip has risen by £24 over the last 12 months.

This means an additional cost of £360 for the average extension, with almost two-thirds of builders saying they’ve had to pass on price increases to their clients, so home improvement projects are now more expensive for homeowners.

Chief executive of the FMB Brian Berry commented that the increase in skip prices has come at a sticky time for builders in the UK, with business costs rising “more generally” for construction companies. Because of the increasing skills shortages in the sector, salaries and wages are increasing and material prices are also on the rise because of the depreciation in the pound after the EU referendum.

He went on to warn that material prices are also likely to cause bigger problems in the future as well, with further FMB research showing that near 90 per cent of builders think prices will increase in the coming six months. Jobs should therefore be priced and contracts drafted with these hikes in mind to prevent additional squeezing of “already razor-thin margins”.

“The impact of the rising price of skips could have an impact on our communities through a rise in fly-tipping. No matter how much the price of skips might increase, there is never any excuse for fly-tipping and any individuals found doing so should be severely reprimanded. In 2016 and 2017, more than one million incidences of fly-tipping were dealt with by councils in England and the last thing anyone wants is for this number to increase,” Mr Berry went on to add.

Those in the construction industry have also been issued a warning from the FMB to protect themselves against tool theft, with 51 per cent of builders in the UK having had tools stolen in the past.

The most common preventative measures include bringing tools inside at night, installing extra locks on vans, parking against a wall, marking tools with an address and phone number, parking in an area not visible from the road, installing safes in vans, installing CCTV and making its use known, registering serial numbers of tools online and installing additional alarm systems in vans.

Mr Berry noted that some builders have even been assaulted by thieves intent on making off with tools, so do make sure that you’ve taken all necessary precautions and that you are aware of this growing problem.

Should your tools be stolen, file a police report immediately so that you can begin the claims process. Be vigilant of someone selling tools for suspiciously low prices as well, since this may well mean that they’re actually stolen goods.

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