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2023 in UK construction – what changed?

As Big Ben rang out on January 1, many in the UK construction industry were happy to see the back of 2023 given the challenges it brought.   With a surge in energy prices, fluctuating fuel prices and the soaring cost of raw materials, a lot of people felt a financial pinch.   That being said, 2023 did further prove that the construction industry is determined and there are things to take from 2023 that can be hugely beneficial.   In this article, we will cast our eye back to the previous 12 months and examine what came to light during that time.   A housing downturn led to problems Perhaps the biggest issue of 2023 was the fact that interest rates skyrocketed, making life incredibly difficult for people up and down the country.   In December 2021, the interest rates were 0.1%, however by July 2023, they had shot up to a staggering 5% to combat rising prices elsewhere.   This was especially notable for those who had to remortgage, as they were discovering that their monthly rate had gone up by a huge amount. Over a million Brits saw their rates go up by £500, as per the BBC. Those on fixed-term mortgages weren’t safe either, with the average rate of a two-year mortgage going up to 6.7% - which was a 15-year high.   The consequence of this was that as homes became unaffordable to many, people stopped buying. And if people aren’t buying homes, then there’s no point in building them, which was a hammer blow to the construction industry.   As per the BCIS, the ONS showed that new private housing work was down 2.8% in Q3 2023 compared to Q2 2023. More startlingly, it was 13.4% down on Q3 2022.   In addition, according to Barbour ABI, the amount of construction contracts in 2023 dropped from £80.4bn to £69.2bn, which is a huge drop.   The worry is that things will get worse before they get better on that front, with the BCIS believing that we won’t see significant growth again until 2025.   The impact on construction firms  4,287 construction firms became insolvent between September 2022 and September 2023, which was an alarming 8.3% increase from the year before.   The knock-on effect of this is huge, as it means people are out of work and projects will be impacted as there are fewer people on hand to do them.  However, there was no recession  One of the biggest fears for construction in 2023 was that the country would go into recession, which would’ve plunged the UK further into crisis.   Thankfully however, that was avoided – albeit narrowly. As a result, while things are still looking bleak in one aspect, it isn’t the total disaster that could’ve been.   The impact of a recession could’ve seen thousands of companies go out of business, in addition to the ones that sadly did go.  It also could’ve seen projects grind to a relative halt and while there is an element of that at present, it would’ve been much worse with a recession.   However, the industry remained resilient. So, as challenging as 2023 has been, there is still something to build from as we move further into 2024.   That being said, there is an early hurdle to clear in 2024, as additional import charges are stinging companies as a direct result of the ongoing crisis in the Red Sea.  The crisis is causing a delay in goods arriving, which is because of transportation following safer routes. However, this means fuel and insurance costs have gone up for transportation companies, which is something that we all have to contend with.   Hopefully brighter times on the horizon As a result of 2023, the prospect of 2024 isn’t exactly vibrant and positive for the construction industry, but it’s far from a lost cause.  In fact, according to BCIS, just 13% of construction professionals believe that there will be a fall in workload in 2024, despite all the disruption.   The resilience shown to beat off all the threats of the recession will need to be displayed again in 2024, but the construction industry has long been known for its durability.   Hopefully, with interest rates now starting to fall, the housing situation will improve during 2024 and more projects can get up and running. That would be a huge and timely boost.   For now though, all we can do is dig in. To read more articles from Multifix about the construction industry and beyond, you can find our article library here.  

Read more → 4 min read
Article
All about delivery

If you’re new to Multifix, you might have some questions about the delivery service we provide. If you can’t find your question answered, give us call on 020 3248 4086, and we’ll be happy to help. Do you offer next day delivery? Yes, at least 95% of all of orders are picked and packed the same day we receive them and are delivered the next working day as standard. See below for our order cut off times. On the odd occasion we’re out of stock of a particular item, we’ll contact you to let you know and when you can expect your delivery. What is the cut off time for next day delivery? For next day deliveries within our own-van delivery zone, our order cut off time is 5.00pm. If your site is outside of own van delivery zone, these times vary as we would need to arrange a courier for you: for orders over 50kg (deliveries by a pallet courier), the cut of time is 4.00pm and for orders less than 50kg, the cut off time is 4.30pm. Do you offer same day delivery? As all of our fleet have left the depot by 7.00am, we can arrange same day delivery using a third-party courier service. Depending on where you are in the country, charges will vary. If you have an urgent requirement, talk to us and we’ll find a solution for you. Do you deliver nationwide? The short answer is, yes we do. We have been delivering to London & the South East for 30 years, with our own vans delivering to 93% of our customers. In those areas we don’t go to so regularly, we use reputable courier services. We know that using a third party service can be stressful for both you and us, but we are proud to have a 90% success rate with our partner services. What areas do you deliver to? Our own-van delivery zone is expanding all the time; we now deliver to Swindon & Wilshire and have a 3-year expansion plan to extend our coverage even more. To check if you’re in our own-van delivery zone, take a look at this map. Can you offer AM deliveries? 75% of our customers’ orders are delivered before midday. If you have an AM delivery requirement, please speak to one of our team when you place your order. If you’re ordering via the customer portal, just add the information to to the delivery notes section. If you opt for delivery on a third party courier service to guarantee an AM delivery, carriage charges will apply. Do you offer booked in deliveries and/or time slots? We know that some sites have delivery restrictions to keep the traffic flowing around them. We work together with several of our customers to achieve timed deliveries that are mutually workable. Talk to us to see how we can help you. Do you charge carriage? From 1 March, 2024, we will be introducing a carrier charge for all orders under £100.  What is the minimum order value? Our Operations team plan the most efficient use of our fleet on a daily basis. To help minimise our impact on the environment, we encourage our customers to place orders with a minimum value of £100. We know that this is not always possible due to site circumstances or space, so we are flexible in our approach. When can I expect my delivery? Multifix drivers call you shortly before they are due to deliver and leave parcels in a safe place when asked to do so. Can I track my delivery? When your order has been dispatched on our fleet, you’ll receive a text notification. This contains a link to the customer portal, showing an estimated arrival time. Here you will also find live tracking of your order. The ETA is updated regularly, according to the traffic conditions. You’ll also receive a text when your delivery has arrived – useful if you’re not the one on site receiving it. If your order is being delivered by a third party courier service, you will receive communications direct from them. Can I collect? If you’d prefer to collect from us, you can do so from our Distribution depot in Barking (IG11 0EG). Just head to the Customer Collections area, which is signposted. From order placement, all we need is an hour to process, pick & pack your order. Where can I find PODs for my orders? If you are registered on the customer portal, all order history including PODs will be shown on your account dashboard. If you’re not registered on the portal, simply call the Customer Services team and they’ll be able to provide a POD for you. What happens if there’s problem with my order? In the event of a problem with your order, please speak to a member of our Customer Services team in the first instance and we’ll sort out the issue for you. Are your vans and drivers your own, or do you use couriers? Yes, we have our own branded vans & lorries and employ our own drivers. Having our own vehicle fleet, and employing our own drivers gives us the agility to respond to customer needs, focusing our team where they’re needed the most. Our drivers are friendly & courteous and know their routes well as we don’t switch their areas - this way they get to know regular customers and their preferences. How will my order be delivered? Our fleet consists of panel vans, curtain sided trucks and a van & trailer combination with crane offloading facility for bulky items. All vehicles are 3.5 tonnes, which enables fast site offloading. Are your vehicles sign-written? All of our vehicles are sign-written with black and yellow Multifix branding, to enable easy identification for safety & security purposes. Do your drivers have their own PPE? Our drivers all have 5 point PPE (hat, gloves, glasses, boots & hi-vis) for their protection and to meet your site requirements. Will your drivers help me offload? Our drivers will help you take your boxes to your container or site office – it’s all part of our personal service. For deliveries not on our own vehicle, third party couriers offer a kerbside delivery service. Do you have FORS accreditation? Yes, we are FORS silver accredited. This accreditation ensures driver training, vehicle safety and insurance cover are to standard and CO2 emissions are measured and improved upon.

Read more → 5 min read
Article
Multifix Stuck It vs Grab It: Comparing benefits and uses

Finding a quality polymer adhesive can be something of a challenge. Whether it’s CT1, Stix All or Sticks Like, you need to have full confidence that it will hold because otherwise, it’ll cause huge complications.   If the adhesive isn’t strong enough, then the materials simply won’t stick. You may have to compensate for that by using excessive amounts and still might have the same problem. As such, you must use a good one.   That is why at Multifix, we have branched out and come up with our own! We have both the Stuck-It Extreme and the Grab-It, which are both solvent-free. They are versatile, high-strength products for bonding virtually any construction material.   They’re products we’re extremely proud to have our name attached to and it’s been brilliant to see so many of you using them with great results.  However, we are often asked what the differences between the two are. To avoid confusion and to prevent you from buying the wrong one by mistake, we have put together a pros and cons list for you. We understand that by having our name attached to both items, you may feel we’re being biased. But, we feel we’ve been as objective as we can, as ultimately, you having the right product means more to us than selling something you don’t need. The article will explain fully what each one does and which one is better for what application, allowing you to know exactly which one is which.  What is the difference between the Stuck-It and the Grab-It? We’ll start with the similarities first. Both have a polymer-based formula and both are solvent-free, which makes them safer to use in a closed space.  Solvent-based polymers are not only highly flammable, but also harm the environment.  In addition, prolonged exposure to solvent-based polymers can lead to health issues for people, so it was imperative to make a product VOC-free Also, both can be used on wet or damp surfaces. Both can even be used for underwater applications, should the need arise.  The differences come in what they are used for. The Stuck-It Extreme is designed to seal gaps where both a strong and waterproof finish is needed. It is also used for bonding materials, such as metal, wood, glass and plastic.  In addition, it’s used for movement joints and is ideal if you want to hang mirrors, as it won’t bleed or damage the finish.  The Grab-It, on the other hand, is used for anything you would otherwise use a panel adhesive for. It is also designed to bond skirtings and architraves.  Also, if you make the surface slightly damp before you apply the Grab-It, the bond will not only be better, but will also cure a lot faster.  Stuck-It Extreme – the pros The main pro for the Stuck-It Extreme is that it is not only an adhesive, but can also be used as a sealant. Given its multi-purpose, it saves you from having to buy a sealant as well as an adhesive.  It will also save you money in general, as price-wise, it is cheaper than several popular brands in the market.  This includes the likes of CT1, Stix All and Sticks Like.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that you get less from it as a result, as it can also be applied universally. Whether it’s to replace silicone, or to be used as a panel adhesive, the Stuck-It Extreme can do it. It can even replace screws or nails in many situations.  For example, a bathroom mirror. Finally, there are several different colours for the Stuck-It Extreme, depending on what you need to do. It is available in clear, brown, black or white, so there’s a lot of versatility.   Grab-It – the pros   As per the name, the Grab-It is a specialist grab adhesive. It has a very high initial grab and there is also very little slip, meaning there’s less effort and time spent on clamping and fixing the material.  The main pro, however, is down to what’s inside the Grab-It. The Grab-It is devised from a polymer-based formula, which means it is VOC-free. It also doesn’t emit any heavy vapours, so it won’t smell when using it or leave any unpleasant, lingering aromas.  Given many contractors will prefer a VOC-free product, this is a big bonus.  Another pro for the Grab-It is that reduces snagging thanks to its grab and strength. The last thing any new homeowner wants is to do a check of their property and find there are defects or that things aren’t fitted properly. With the Grab-It, the possibility of snagging drops significantly thanks to these advantages.   Finally, you get a lot of value for money with the Grab-It. It comes in a large 350ml tube, which is 60ml more than what you get in the Stuck-It Extreme.  Also, it’s comparatively priced with more standard panel adhesives, so you get more for what you pay for.  Stuck-It Extreme – the cons While the Stuck-It Extreme doubles up as an adhesive and a sealant, the initial grab for it isn’t as good as the Grab-It. By grab, we mean the connection between the two materials and the product. This is naturally an issue and means that if you are interested in the Stuck-It Extreme, you’ll have to make sure it’s right for your project.  In addition, from a cost perspective, it also costs more than the Grab-It. The Stuck-It Extreme costs £6.23 ex. VAT for the white one, or £8.18 ex. VAT for the clear one.     The clear one costs more as it’s a more expensive product to produce, so we would advise using white unless you need the clear one.   By contrast, the Grab-It costs £4.08 ex. VAT, so at least £2 cheaper than both, although trade discounts are available.  Grab-It – the cons The biggest con for the Grab-It is that it is only for use as an adhesive – it can’t be used as a sealant as well. While its strengths lie in one area, if you are looking for something to do both, this isn’t the product for you.  In addition, if you need to take it down for whatever reason, it could leave a notable mark on the wall. This is because it’s only available in white, so this will need to be considered before purchase.   Finally, we have discovered that if a completely flushed fit is required, the Grab-It can be slightly thick when applied.  This isn’t great aesthetically and in this instance, you would be better off using something better suited.  Stuck-It Extreme – who is it right for? If you want a sealant as well as an adhesive, then the Stuck-It Extreme is a great fit for you. Equally, if you also have a tighter budget and still want a product that is up to the task, it’s a good solution.  Given it’s very versatile and covers a variety of different applications, it’s right for someone who wants something of an all-rounder.  Also, the white option means it will cover just about any task that you need it for. This is especially important for those who need work done in bathrooms and kitchens. If you don’t need white, the clear option is available too.  Grab-It – who is it right for? If it’s something with a great grab that you want, then the Grab-It is the answer. This is especially the case if potential cosmetic issues aren’t too much of a concern, as it only comes in white.   Also, to save yourself from potentially having to do something twice, the Grab-It will ensure you won’t need to do much snagging.  The fact you get 350ml for £4.90 as well means that you are getting a lot of value for money, but it won’t be suited to someone needing a completely flush fit. For example, cabinet doors or flooring materials would require an alternative product. The next steps This article was to make you aware of the differences between the Stuck-It Extreme and the Grab-It and by now, you’ll know that.  More importantly, you’ll know which is right for your project. We don’t want people buying the wrong thing from us, we want you to get the right product the first time around.  We very much believe in both the Stuck-It Extreme and the Grab-It, which is why we’re proud to have our name on it. But, it has to be the right product for you, which is also why we made this article.  If you would like to purchase the Stuck-It Extreme, you can do so here. Alternatively, if you want to buy the Grab-It, you can do that here.   Our team are also available for contact for any further questions you might have, all you have to do is follow this link to find out how.

Read more → 7 min read
Article
The pros and cons of going on trial with a supplier

There are a number of things that have to be considered when switching your supplier. Cost, range, service, experience – it all needs to be weighed up.   As such, it makes it extremely important that you make the right decision when you choose your supplier, otherwise you can encounter some unwanted surprises.  However, there is a way that you can gain all the information you need, without fully committing to a supplier from the jump.   By entering a trial period with a supplier, you can find out exactly what you need to know yourself, without fully committing.   But is this always a good idea? Is it maybe best to just take a plunge with someone and not get tangled up in a trial that may not go the way you want it to?  In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of trialling a new supplier and how it can benefit or hamper you.   It is worth noting that we do offer trial runs here at Multifix, but we will remain as objective as possible for this article.   Pros of going on trial with a supplier  As mentioned above, it’s so vital to get the right supplier for your business, but ultimately you won’t know which one is best until you try a few.   A trial period gives you a perfect opportunity to assess everything with a company before actually fully committing to it.   You will have the opportunity to meet their staff, find out exactly how they work and see what they can do for you.   A trial period can also be controlled well on your part. Not many suppliers would expect to take over all your business instantly, so you’ll be able to control what sites you’d be keen to test with the trial supplier.   This again gives you a chance to see with your own eyes how the supplier can integrate with your business, as opposed to taking someone’s word for it.  From this perspective, there are many positives to be had from a trial run with a supplier, as the knowledge it can grant you is huge.   It also allows you to build and grow relationships with the supplier, so if you do choose to stick with them, you’re already feeling comfortable with who you’re working with.   Cons of going on trial with a supplier  The main issue about trialling a new supplier is that if you have an existing one, it is likely to rock the boat with them a bit.   They are likely to notice a drop in revenue, which will happen if you allocate a trial site to the new supplier, so will be eager to speak to you about that.   As such, this can lead to some uncomfortable conversations. In addition to that, if you trial with an unreliable supplier, it can have a knock-on effect for you.   While you may only be giving a trial to one site, if you start to get delays or delivery issues, that will make that project very difficult to get done on time.   The flipside of that is you’ll know from the trial period not to work with that supplier, but knowing that for certain will come at the cost of possible disruption.   Is a trial run right for you?  While we cannot decide for you whether it is wise to engage in a trial period with a supplier, we are of the opinion that the pros outweigh the cons.   There is so much to be gained from a trial period with a supplier and ultimately, if you’re looking to be in business for many years, you’re going to need someone you can trust.   It’s incredibly difficult to just do that by picking a supplier, even with word of mouth recommendations, so a trial period is very helpful in that regards.   Even the cons that we have listed can be turned into positives, as if it goes wrong, you have that knowledge and that can only help you as a business owner.   As mentioned at the start of the article, we do offer trial runs at Multifix. If you would like to find out more about how to start one, please get in contact with us here.  

Read more → 4 min read
Article
What are Multifix’s customer commitments?

Every company in the world has a set of core values. Values that define them, values that inspire them, values that they stick to, no matter what.   We see this all the time in construction with people pledging to do the best possible job or to go above and beyond for you. Core values, pillars, customer commitments – they all fall under the same bracket.   At Multifix, our core values are customer first, honesty, having a positive mindset, appreciation, to be responsible and to show humility. These have stood us in good stead and we believe will continue to do so.  But what are our customer commitments? What do we do that makes us stand out for you, as a buyer? What are the things we value most that are designed to help you? Why should you use us?  In this article, we will highlight our key customer values as a company and explain why we have them in place and how we have put your best interests at the heart of them.  Come the end of it, you’ll hopefully know exactly where we stand and what we can do for you as a construction specialist.   Speed  The saying goes that time is money and in construction, that is certainly the case. Things need to be done yesterday in some instances, with demands and expectations very high.   As such, one of our customer commitments is that we will always handle your order with the speed it needs. Indeed, one of our pledges is that you will have a quote within 30 minutes of asking.   We don’t want you standing around waiting, while you’re losing money because things aren’t in place for you to get the job done.   In addition, 75% of our own-van deliveries will be on-site before 12pm midday. In some cases, the order may even be there before you arrive!  Speed is also one of the reasons why our customer portal is set up the way it is. It is possible to get an order over to us within 30 seconds by using the portal, which can be done if you have favourite items set up.   We model our service on an Olympic relay team, in that each part of the ordering process is handled with speed, importance and as we'll come onto now, reliability.  Reliability  As much as we pledge to be fast, there’s no point being speedy if we aren’t reliable. We allow you to order quickly, because we know we can back it up with reliability.   We say this because 99.3% of our own-van deliveries arrive when we say they're going to. We have worked extremely hard to achieve that percentage and while it may be impossible to get 100%, we won’t stop trying.   Incorrect or late deliveries are the bane of your life, so we do our utmost to get them to you, when we say we’re going to get them to you.   We also put in a number of other reliability measures when delivering, too. Our drivers will ring you when they are 10 minutes out, so you know exactly when your parcel is arriving.   Also, by using the customer portal, you can track your delivery and see exactly where your order is. We also insist on a signature for every delivery, so there’s no leaving it on the side and hoping for the best.   Following that, we will also take a picture of the delivery, so you can see exactly where it is and have proof of delivery in the process.  If you’re not reliable, then you can’t be trusted – hence why it is one of our customer commitments to be as reliable as possible.   Personal service  As humans, we want to be treated like a person. We don’t want to feel like a number, or just a customer. It’s impersonal, it can be rude and it doesn’t strike as good service.   That’s why personal service is one of our customer commitments. Small things go a long way; for example, we’ll always remember your name. We’ll ask about your hobbies and interests and try to get to know you.  We want you to feel valued and looked after, so that you stick with us. Our customer service team are all very friendly and incredibly knowledgeable, being able to offer an expert view on matters.   Having that level of knowledge is extremely helpful, which is especially the case for you. The reason we say this is because the chances of you getting an incorrect item on an order are very slim.   It is very frustrating when you call up and explain what you need, only to get the wrong product. By making personal service a priority, we have done our very best to limit that.   Don't just take our word for it though; you can find our customer testimonials here.  Control  Finally, our last customer commitment is that we want to give you control. We want you to come to us in full confidence knowing that you’re in charge of the situation at hand.   This is also one of the reasons why the portal is set up the way it is. In the portal, you can set up an approved products list, which limits what people can order.   You can also set up requisitions too, so you have full sign-off on anything that comes through to us. These tools are very helpful in allowing you to budget, so you only spend what you need to.   We don’t want to accept orders that aren’t needed or will put you over budget. It would be easy for us to turn a blind eye to these incidents, but we want what is best for you.   As such, by allowing you control, you have the final say over everything. You can find our portal onboarding guides here.  Putting you at the forefront  We believe having values is important, as like we said earlier, it’s effectively giving your word to people.   How you treat people is hugely important and something we feel very strongly about, so that is why our four customer commitments have you front and centre of them all.   We believe that by putting you first, you can have something that is better for you on a personal level, as well as on a professional level.   If you would like to find out more about Multifix and how we can be of service to you, then you can get in touch with us by following this link.

Read more → 5 min read
Article
The Multifix 2023 sustainability report

The 2023 sustainability report for Multifix is very meaningful to us, as it shows how we’ve fared and gives you transparency on how we’re doing.   Most importantly though, it also allows us to look at ourselves and find room for improvement, which is very much on the agenda for 2024.   The results – how big was our carbon footprint?  In 2023, the carbon impact of our own-van deliveries was the equivalent of 142 tonnes.  Comparing that to others in the industry, that’s around average, but we feel that we need to be able to give something back to try and offset this.   The reason for this is that 142 tonnes is quite the impact. If you turn that into cubic metres, it works out at 78,357 cubic metres of carbon that we added to the planet.   To help you try and visualise this, that is the equivalent of 696 London buses, 39 Olympic swimming pools or 16.85 Big Ben’s.  That is a lot and it’s something that we intend on doing something about, especially with the aim to help net zero.   In comparison to other companies, it’s staggering how many tonnes are being emitted. On Black Friday 2020, Hermes/Evri emitted 58,000 tonnes of carbon on that day alone. Considering we are 142 tonnes for the year, that’s very striking.   Offsetting our carbon impact  For 2024, Multifix is doing a lot more to be sustainable. As mentioned earlier, sustainability is very important to the company. However, we want to do more.   Our plan for 2024 is to start offsetting our operational output, which we are looking to do in several different ways.   One way of doing this is by planting trees, but we are also going to be looking at helping carbon clean-ups, assist with restoring habitats and boosting renewable energy, amongst other things.   Rather than just commit to one thing, such as planting trees, we want to impact many different areas and not just for logistical reasons.   The Earth only has so much land to plant trees, so it makes sense to do other things, but we are very excited to get stuck into numerous projects that we can assist with from an environmental aspect.   You can find out more about what projects we are getting involved with here. An eye on the future  By committing to offsetting part of our carbon impact, we are hopeful that we will be making an impact not only in 2024, but for years to come.   The net-zero goal for construction is an important one and one that we take seriously. It is also one of the reasons why we have been so transparent with our sustainability figures.   The quest for improvement never stops on our end and we are certain that when it comes to 2024’s reports, they will make for much greater reading.   To see what else we are doing from a sustainability perspective, click here.

Read more → 3 min read
Article
Multifix’s PPE: Enhancing safety and protection

PPE is naturally a hugely vital part of the job. Whether it’s a hi-vis, a helmet or eye protection, in order to work in the construction sector, you’re going to need PPE. It can’t just be any PPE, either. PPE such as helmets, head protection and gloves all need to be at an EN standard; otherwise, you won’t be deemed safe when on a site.  One issue we keep hearing about is finding a reliable provider of PPE, to help you with your projects and tasks. This is where we come in.  By no means are we suggesting that we are PPE specialists, but we do have a lot of PPE in stock, ready for immediate dispatch, to help you get the job done.  Our PPE comes from a number of manufacturers and is professionally graded. We can also get it to you as soon as possible, thanks to our fleet of dedicated drivers.  To give you an idea of what we have in stock, here is a rundown of the PPE that we have available.  Unbranded helmets and hi-vis The primary form of PPE in the workplace is either a hi-vis or a helmet – and we have lots of both in supply. The only caveat to this is that it is all unbranded, but if that isn’t an issue, then we have everything and more that you’ll need.  Be it orange or yellow hi-vis waistcoats, waterproof bomber jackets with a hood or orange hi-vis trousers, we can have you fully kitted out.  As far as safety helmets go, we stock these in a number of different colours. Our helmets come in an assortment of colours with additional add-ons, if needed. Boots No matter if you’re a size four or a size 12, we’ll have a pair of steel-capped boots for you. Our range of boots comes in either black or honey leather, so there is some slight choice in colour.  It’s important to work in comfort, but also to work knowing your feet are safe in the event of anything happening.  Gloves and sleeves Whether it’s rigger gloves, builder’s gloves, or just disposable gloves, we have you covered.  We offer gloves either as a pair or in large boxes up to 100, depending on what it is you’re after and even have some speciality gloves in our collection as well.  Also, except for our disposable gloves or household gloves, every one of our gloves is rated at EN388. We try to have all our gloves in small, medium, large or extra-large.  In addition, we also offer an EN388-rated 350mm Kevlar sleeve with a thumbhole, to fully protect your arm when in the workplace.  Eye and ear protection It’s important to protect your senses when in the workplace, which is why we also have a number of options for your ears and eyes.  We stock EN 352-2 graded overhead ear defenders, as well as your generic earplugs. We have corded hi-vis earplugs or disposable ones that come in a box of 200. As for eyes, we stock a number of safety goggles and safety specs. Respirators and face masks Finally, our respirator and face mask options certainly go from one extreme to the other. Whether it’s a three-ply disposable face mask in a box of 50 or a JSP Powercap Infinity respirator, we’ll have something for your needs.  We also stock FFP2 valved masks, FFP3 masks and also a number of half-masks, including the JSP Force 8.  As uncomfortable as they can be, we also supply face fit tests, which can be essential depending on what mask or respirator you choose.  That is a full rundown of the type of PPE that we can offer you. If you are seeking a reliable supplier of PPE, we are more than happy to assist you in any way we can with your projects.  If you would like to find out more about the PPE offerings we have here, or our delivery service, please get in touch with us here. 

Read more → 3 min read
Article
Apprenticeships at Multifix – the story from those involved

Cameron Duke, our Accounts Apprentice, is currently undertaking an AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) Level 2 in Accounting and has opened up about his experiences with the scheme.   How did the apprentice opportunity open up for you at Multifix?  I was at school looking for apprentice opportunities to progress in accounting and after looking at multiple websites, I noticed there was a listing for an apprentice scheme in the course I was looking to take. After that, things went from there!  What made you go for an apprenticeship instead of going to college or university?  I spoke to family members that are in an accounting role, so my uncle is a taxation specialist, while my nan and my aunt both work in accounting or finance related roles. They advised the course to take and to go through work experience as it’s more valuable than going to university.  With the courses I will partake in, I’ll come out with the same qualification that I’d have received going to university by the time I’m 21, which will hopefully be a chartership in accounting through the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), or the CTA (Chartered Tax Adviser).  I’ll also have no debt and I’d have six years’ worth of work experience with the same relevant qualifications.   How do you find juggling your coursework and your actual work?  It’s fine, it can be tricky at times with what’s needed from the course as it requires a lot of time and effort, but luckily I have day release once a week, which lets me focus solely on that coursework.   Multifix don’t have to do this, but they do so to try and better the course for me.   You mentioned the day release, but how else do Multifix support you on your scheme?  They fund the course and they provide the work alongside it, too. For the ACCA and CTA, which are the chartership courses I’ll look to partake in, you need three years of work experience in an accounting or finance-related role, so that helps a lot towards that.   How have you found the exams?  They’re manageable, but the pass rates do differ. I’ve passed all the exams I’ve sat and the most recent one, which was a costing exam, I achieved 95%. Overall, I’m working towards a distinction, so all is going well.   What are your personal aspirations from the apprentice scheme? The experience and knowledge can then lead to me working in practice and hopefully, I’ll eventually own my own practice. I’d love to have my own firm specialising in both taxation and audits and insurance.  What advice would you give to anyone looking for an apprenticeship?  From my own personal experience, I’ve generally found it easy to balance studying with my work. I think it has been the right choice for me, but I think people should do what’s best for them and go for it if it’s of interest to them.  

Read more → 3 min read
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Comparing the Paslode IM350+ and IM360XI: which nail gun is right for you?

For many carpenters, the Paslode IM350+ is one of the most reliable nail guns on the market. You’ve likely used it for many jobs, it’s never let you down and it’s something you’d recommend. But, the introduction of the IM360XI somewhat complicates things. Is it better? Can it make your work more efficient or easier? Is it cheaper to maintain? As Multifix, we stock both products and the nails for them, these are questions we’re asked by carpenters who are always exploring how they can do their job better. The truth is, you might not actually need to change. With some unsure in which direction to go in, we’ve put together a comparison article that identifies the pros and cons of each product. After reading this article, you’ll be able to identify what each nail gun does and which one is best for your needs. The IM350+ and IM360XI – what’s the difference? For those of you who have read our Your Paslode questions answered article, you’ll know that the long and short of it is that the IM350+ is lighter. However, the IM360XI is more powerful and much more technologically advanced. They also both require different gas cells. Perhaps the main key difference is the type of nail, though. The IM350+ will only take clipped head nails, or D head nails. By contrast, the IM360XI will only take full roundhead nails. Aside from that though, they are very similar. The nail length range on both is 50-90mm and it’s the same 2.1 Ah Li-ion battery for both as well, which takes 90 minutes to recharge. Additionally, both will manage two to three fixings per second, which equates to around 1000 fixings per hour. Now, we’ll delve into the specifics to help you understand each product better. Weight and handling As mentioned above, the IM350+ is a lighter nail gun than the IM360XI. There isn’t much in it – half a kilogram, in fact (3.3kg vs 3.8kg) – but it’s lighter nonetheless. You may think half a kilogram doesn’t mean much, but it has a huge impact on the levels of vibration both emit. The vibration value in metres per second squared for the IM350+ is 2.6kg, whereas on the IM360XI it’s 3.9kg. That’s quite the difference in kickback. The IM350+ is also smaller than the IM360XI, which makes sense given the weight difference. The IM350+ is 370 x 305 x 110mm, while the IM360XI is 381 x 328 x 127mm. There’s also quite a difference in noise, too. The IM350+ is quieter than the IM360XI, with the sound level of the IM350+ being 89 dB (A), compared to 96 dB (A) for the IM360XI. Taking everything into account then, the IM350+ is easier to handle, lighter, quieter and doesn’t vibrate as much. Winner: IM350+ Power and performance While the IM360XI isn’t as light or compact as the IM350+, it certainly makes up for that in other areas.  With the IM360XI, you will get 1250 shots from each gas cell. By contrast, the IM350+ will give you 1100, so you get 150 extra shots with the IM360XI.  Most impressively though, you will get 13,000 shots per battery charge with the IM360XI. This is a huge upgrade on the IM350+, which will give you 9000 shots per battery charge.  The IM360XI is also significantly more powerful than the IM350+. In terms of impact force per shot, the IM360XI will give you 105 joules, while the IM350+ will give you 82. As far as power-to-weight goes then, the IM360 really does pack a huge punch.  There is a slight caveat, however. The magazine capacity for the IM360XI is 47 nails, whereas on the IM350+, it’s 55 nails.  Despite that though, the IM360XI is head and shoulders above the IM350+ when it comes to power and performance. Winner: IM360XI Technology, nails and cost  Nail gun technology Given the IM360XI is a much newer model, there’s no surprise that it comes with a few gadgets that the IM350+ doesn’t have. Aside from the obligatory on/off switch, both also come with a rafter and belt hook. Where they differ though, is that the IM360 has a battery and fuel gauge, in addition to a Start & Go sensor. The Start & Go sensor is essentially a power-saving tool, as it turns the battery off if there hasn’t been any movement for 60 seconds. This is great for conserving battery life. The battery and fuel gauge is very useful as it tells you exactly how much gas and juice is left in your cell and battery respectively. For something so simple, it’s odd that the IM350+ doesn’t have this function. Naturally, this leads to some unpleasant surprises as your IM350+ can suddenly stop working due to the battery or gas cell running out. This is at least prevented with the IM360, allowing you more control over the nail gun. The nails themselves Moving onto nails and as stated earlier, they are rather different. The IM350+ only takes clipped or D head screws, which allows the user to stack them closer together. The IM360XI meanwhile, only takes full-sized roundhead screws. It is crucial to note that you can’t swap them over – IM350+ nails will not work with the IM360XI and vice versa. On average, IM360XI nails are around £4-8 cheaper per pack than IM350+ nails. As an example, the nail/fuel pack straight shank 3.1 x 90mm for the IM360XI list price is £71.92 after VAT. The nail/fuel pack smooth shank 90 x 3.1mm nails for the IM350+ however, has a list price of £79.96 after VAT. Despite the nails being cheaper for the IM360 though, there’s a good chance the contractor-supplied nails for a job are for the IM350+. This is because the IM350+ is still hugely popular, so the natural assumption is that it is being used for the project. Cost of each nail gun  As for the cost of the nail gun itself, it’s a dead heat. Both list prices are exactly the same – £527.99 after VAT. You can purchase the IM350+ here or the IM360XI here.   Technology winner – IM360XI  Nail cost winner – IM360XI  Product cost winner – draw  The IM350+ - who is it right for? There is a reason why the IM350+ is so popular among carpenters and even with the IM360 being on the market, that won’t change. It’s very easy to use, the nails for it are more accessible, it’s light and mobile – there are a lot of pros for using it. It all depends on how you work. If you like something light, reliable and doesn’t kick back despite having some power behind it, this is perfect. It’s very compact, it isn’t as loud and it’ll let you get the job done quickly. The IM360XI – who is it right for? Equally, if you want something with more punch, then the IM360 is the best fit for you. It does everything that the IM350+ can do and does it better. There’s more capacity, more shots per charge and cell and more power. This comes at a cost of being heavier, louder and with more vibration, but it’s also more efficient thanks to its technology. It’s amazing how something so simple can be such a huge point of difference, but being able to see how much charge/gas you have left is very important. What to choose? Ultimately, this depends on preference. There’s no doubt the IM360XI is a better nail gun, but it’s also not as easy to handle as the IM350+. Also, the accessibility point is something to consider. It would be very annoying, to put it mildly, to turn up to a job with an IM360XI and find there are only IM350+ nails supplied. In truth, both are outstanding products. Paslode has essentially taken a great nail gun and found a way to make it better. It doesn’t mean the old one is suddenly bad, as both will be a huge asset for any project. You are now armed with the information to make an informed decision based on your preference, though. And knowing this information, you can make a decision that’s best for your purposes and needs. If you would like to speak to an advisor about our Paslode range, you can do so here. Equally, you can buy the IM350+ here or the IM360XI here. If you are after the nails themselves, you can find those here.

Read more → 7 min read
Article
Tackling carbon with Ecologi in 2024

When it comes to gunning for net zero, the UK construction industry is very much doing its bit and constantly striving to hit its targets.   At Multifix, we have always had an eye on being better from an environmental perspective, but in light of the 2023 Multifix sustainability report, which you can read here, we have accepted that we could do more.   As such, we have decided to join forces with environmental organisation Ecologi to offset some of our carbon footprint, which is a very exciting development for us.  This has allowed us to get involved with several fantastic projects, which not only allows us to give back, but also steps up our efforts to be more sustainable.  In this article, we will go through three of the projects that we are contributing towards with Ecologi, all of which helps make us more climate-positive.   Solar PV electricity generation in Indonesia   When it comes to a global share of using fossil fuels, Indonesia ranks fourth in the world, making up a staggering 6% of the world’s total use.  As such, a project located in Pringgabaya, which is an island of Lombok in Indonesia, is tapping into the clear potential of using renewable energy in the country.   The aim is to start displacing fossil fuels and replacing them with cleaner energy sources, such as solar power, to reduce carbon emissions.   There is a total installed capacity of 42 MW in place at present, which is spread across four different solar installations.   Not only has the project brought about 69 local jobs, but it has also brought with it 18 community development activities.   If all goes to plan and by providing electricity to go to the grid, this project alone could offset 34,000 tonnes of carbon each year.   Fuel-efficient cookstoves in Uganda It is estimated that a third of the world is still cooking using dangerous cooking methods, whether this be by burning charcoal, firewood or animal waste, all of which boost greenhouse gas emissions.  UpEnergy is a company based in Uganda that works in communities and areas that don’t have a lot of income flowing through them and tries to fight climate change.   One of the methods in which they do this is by their initiative Community Carbon and one of their projects is to provide families with a fuel-efficient charcoal cookstove, instead of what already exists.   These stoves can reduce daily household charcoal usage by between 45% and 55%, as a result of their improved thermal efficiency.   They can last at least five years and are also created locally, which is good for the local economy as it creates employment opportunities.   The stoves are also better for families as they are faster than the existing cooking equipment, meaning they have more free time every day. Multifix is delighted to be able to help.  Repairing water boreholes in Eritrea  Eritrea is a small country in Africa and whereas one in nine people around the globe don’t have access to clean water close to home, in Eritrea, it is basically one in five (19%).  As such, residents have to either try their luck with rivers or open wells, both of which are unsafe, or have to travel miles to find clean water.   As such, the Zoba Debub Community Boreholes project was founded for Eritrea and the aim is to give thousands of people a sustainable way of having clean water.  For those unaware, boreholes are holes that allow access to safe clean water from underground. They can be as deep as 100m, with drilling pipes being installed. Then a hand pump is fitted and that’s all there is to it.   However, most of the boreholes in Eritrea have been neglected, which means residents have been using wood fuel on stone fires to try and purify their water.  Not only is this risky, but it also releases greenhouse gas emissions from the wood. As such, the project will help people have a better way of life, while also helping the environment.   Wanting to make a difference   We wanted to step up our carbon offsetting, hence why we’ve partnered with Ecologi, but we also wanted to make a difference.   We believe that by working with Ecologi on these projects, we can go a long way towards doing that, while giving something back to the planet.   At Multifix, we are excited to see how the projects fare and find out just how much difference we can make over 12 months.   If you would like to do something with Ecologi and would like some further information, we are happy to help. You can get in contact with us by following this link.  

Read more → 4 min read
Article
Intumescent mastic or intumescent acrylic – what's the difference?

When it comes to firestopping in the construction industry, there is more often than not a big choice to make. Do you use intumescent mastic, or do you use intumescent acrylic?  Both are designed to stop the spread of fire and both prevent gases and smoke from moving through a building, but which should you be using?  The short answer to that is very dependent on your project, but you can rest assured that a good mastic or a good acrylic will keep residents safe.   To help you understand which is better for which scenario, in this article, we will explain the differences between the two.   In addition, we will highlight what their strengths and weaknesses are and what projects suit each other best.  What are the benefits of using an intumescent mastic?  Intumescent mastic is a product that can be very flexible when you choose to use it. For example, if you need to seal a gap that has something of an irregular surface, a mastic would be a great fit.   They also expand when they are exposed to heat, which makes them very effective as a firestopping solution. In the event of a fire, a mastic will expand to try and protect a door frame or whatever it is being used to protect.   As a result of their flexibility, a mastic is ideal for use in areas where movement is anticipated. As an example, somewhere where vibrations are rife or somewhere where structural movement could be a possibility.  They also provide a secure and lasting seal, which is just one reason why they are trusted by a great number of construction professionals.   Are there any downsides to using an intumescent mastic?  If aesthetics is something of a priority, then using an intumescent mastic may not be the best decision. The reason for this is that it can be a very messy application.  Because intumescent mastic is quite thick and paste-like, it can get everywhere and that could be an issue, depending on your project.   In addition, intumescent mastics aren’t normally clear. This means when they are applied to something, it is likely to be visible.  Again, if aesthetics aren’t a concern, then this isn’t really a problem. However, in situations where it is a concern, then it is a problem.  Finally, for whatever reason, intumescent mastics traditionally aren’t as adhesive on vertical surfaces. This could limit their performance somewhat.   What about the pros of using an intumescent acrylic?  One of the main pros about intumescent acrylics is that they are very versatile. They can be used to seal up a number of different applications, including pipes, cables and conduits.   You can also buy intumescent acrylics in clear, which is exceptionally helpful if you’re working on a project and aesthetics is a big factor.   They are also very easy to apply, with little to no mess. Intumescent acrylics are also generally very good at being resistant to UV light, so they can be used for outdoor applications as well.   Perhaps the main pro for the acrylic though is the strength of the product itself. Intumescent acrylics are revered for their strength and will make a very strong bond with a variety of surfaces.   It doesn’t matter what kind of surface it is, either. Whether it’s horizontal or vertical, intumescent acrylics are very consistent.   And does the intumescent acrylic have any cons?  Generally speaking, intumescent acrylics are much less flexible than mastics. Their range of movement is much less, so they’re maybe not best suited for areas that will have structural challenges or copious vibrations. As such, they are best suited for service penetrations.  This is also a factor when it comes to the event of a fire, too. The intumescent acrylic will likely expand to a certain amount, but it won’t expand to the same degree that the mastic will.   In terms of protecting you from a fire and giving you enough time to escape, intumescent acrylic is still a standout product. But, if it's for a linear gap seal, you may prefer to have something that expands more and can be seen to be doing more.   Intumescent acrylic is also more expensive than intumescent mastic on average. As an example, a 600ml cartridge of Everbuild Intumescent Mastic has a list price of £4.20. By contrast, a 310ml cartridge of Protecta FR Acrylic will have a list price of either £3.20 or £4.24.  Which of the two is best for me?  Both are great products and both do a tremendous job at keeping people safe, so it’s really very much dependent on what your project is.   If you have a project where aesthetics are a major factor, then the intumescent acrylic will undoubtedly be a better choice. It’s less messy and the option to choose clear ones make a huge difference.   Equally, if the building’s design shows that there could be a lot of vibration around where you’re looking to apply passive fire protection, then the intumescent mastic is a better choice.  It is better designed to deal with it, plus mastic is also very flexible, which can play a key role in your decision-making. However, if you’re looking to be neat and tidy, you’ll have problems using intumescent mastic. The other side of the coin is that it is better for linear gap seals.    Ultimately though – and most importantly – whatever you choose is going to play a huge part in providing residents with safety. Both can protect for up to four hours, so you’ll be in safe hands with either.   To look at some of the other articles that we have at Multifix, you can find our content homebase here.  

Read more → 5 min read
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Polymer adhesive showdown: Stuck-It Extreme vs. the CT1

There are several things to factor in when picking what polymer adhesive to use. Cost, performance, what’s in it, smell…a lot of boxes must be ticked before deciding. It’s an important decision as it’s imperative that whatever polymer adhesive you use doesn’t lead to snagging. Snagging can cause you a lot of issues, which is inconvenient, to put it mildly. The last thing you’ll need is to spend more time fixing something that could’ve been done right the first time of asking. When time is money, this is an extra task you don’t need. As such, getting the right sealant is crucial. This is one of the reasons why Multifix opted to own-brand the Stuck-It Extreme. A premium performance polymer adhesive and sealant, it’s been used by you for many a project with great effect. In fact, it’s certainly proved popular with you as it’s on our top five most popular Multifix own-brand products list. However, it is not the market-leading product and nor would we pretend it to be. That honour lies with the CT1, which – like the Hoover – is so good that it’s the go-to name for polymer adhesive now. But how does it compare to the CT1? Can it match it in performance, can it beat it on price, is there anything it can do differently? Those are the questions we will be looking at for this article, as we explore the pros and cons of both products and how they fare against each other. While we own-brand the Stuck-It Extreme, we will be objective in our comparison. What are the pros for the CT1? The CT1 is a solvent-free polymer adhesive, which is UV resistant and can work in both wet and dry conditions. It doesn’t shrink after application, it’s weather resistant and it is also odourless. In addition, it is extremely resistant to chemicals and vibration, which makes it ideal for areas with lots of traffic or heavy winds. It is also fast curing and has a high-strength grab. What makes it very handy though is that it comes in a plethora of colours. You can get the CT1 in nine colours, including white, clear, black, beige and grey. There is no difference in cost for a different colour either, which is very useful. It has also acquired certification from the Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Association. This further emphasises how safe it is to use in a household. And the cons of the CT1? The cost of the CT1 is significantly higher than either version of the Stuck-It Extreme. In fact, the clear Stuck-It Extreme is less than half the price of a CT1. Given that the CT1 is seen as the market leader, it’s possible these prices are set because of that. However, that isn’t especially helpful when you can get two similarly performing cartridges for the same price as one. With the CT1, you do get an excellent, brilliantly marketed product that has many strengths and can be used on a variety of surfaces. But that comes at a cost. We aren’t just talking about £1 or £2 difference, either. It’s either 41% or 55% more expensive than the Stuck-It Extreme, which is a big difference. What about the pros of the Stuck-It Extreme? The Stuck-It Extreme can do everything listed in the first two sentences for the CT1 pros. Performance-wise, there really isn’t a great deal between the pair and that is something that has taken a lot of effort. The main pro for the Stuck-It Extreme is its price tag. There are two variants of the Stuck-It Extreme that you can buy; white or clear. The white variant has a list price of £6.23 ex. VAT, while the clear version has a list price of £8.14 ex. VAT. Both cartridges are 290ml, which is the same as the CT1. For context, a 290ml cartridge of CT1 has a list price of £13.80, so the cost difference between the two is very notable. And what cons does the Stuck-It Extreme have? Unlike the CT1, the Stuck-It Extreme only comes in two colours – clear and white. In addition, the clear one has a higher list price than the white one, with a £1.91 difference between the two. By contrast, the CT1 has nine different colours and they are all priced the same. While the clear Stuck-It Extreme does cost more to make, it is a jump between the two and can be seen as off-putting. The lack of aesthetic choices does present a problem as well, which is a problem the CT1 doesn’t have, thanks to its wide selection. Finally, the mere fact it’s a competitor can be seen as a con, due to CT1’s brand superiority. As we touched upon earlier, no-one refers to a vacuum cleaner as that – they just call it a Hoover. It’s no different with a polymer adhesive, which people subconsciously refer to as a CT1. Shaking that is difficult as people want products that have stood the test of time for years. How do I choose between the two? The things we mentioned at the start of the article – performance, what’s in it and smell – are all pretty even. Both are solvent-free, both have very high performance levels and both are odourless. Choosing between the two will come down to two things; your budget and the materials you’re working with on your project. If you are working with something with a brown, oak or beige-coloured surface, then you can get a better aesthetic fit with the CT1. However, if price is your primary concern, then you can get a similarly performing product in the Stuck-It Extreme for much less than you’d pay for a CT1. If you would like to find out more about the Stuck-It Extreme, then a member of our expert team would be happy to assist you. You can find out how to do so here. Equally, if you would like to look at purchasing it, you can do so here.

Read more → 5 min read
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Five ways the Multifix customer portal can solve critical construction issues

Placing orders can be a stressful experience for Buyers and Site Managers alike. If time is of the essence, an order taking ages is far from helpful. Waiting around for a quote because there’s no price information for what you need is also very annoying. On top of that, there might also be no product description, so you’re taking a shot in the dark. All while the clock is ticking, with Contractors breathing down your neck asking for regular updates. It doesn’t have to be this way. One of the reasons why Multifix has been going strong for 30 years and counting is because we get this. We understand these pain points and the knock-on effect they can cause. It’s the reason why our core values as a company focus on doing what’s right for you; “save you time, make life easy.” It’s also the reason why we’ve designed our customer portal the way we have. We want to make your transactions as seamless as possible, leaving you with less to worry about and with more time to get the job done. We have a lot of customers who prefer to conduct their business with us over the phone – and that’s OK. We love the interactions we have with you. But what if we told you there’s an easier way? A quicker way? A less stressful way? In this article, we will show you five ways our customer portal can simplify things for you and improve your workplace productivity. 1. It’ll help you beat tight deadlines While most planning is done on a day-by-day basis, it can be a problem when you think you’ve got all you need and then suddenly, you don’t. Whether it’s a miscalculation or bad luck, finding yourself close to the end of a project without having everything to finish it is irritating.  However, with just a few clicks, our online portal can help you with that. Available at any time of day, you can pick out whatever you need and rest easy knowing your much-needed items are in safe hands. With next-day delivery as standard, you have the power to lift a huge weight from your shoulders. Also, thanks to our ‘Quick Order’ function for users, you can set your most commonly used products as your favourites, making it even faster to order. 2. You have full visibility of the cost Budgeting can be difficult. Any delay or staff issue has the potential to hurt your pocket and balancing that out against what you need to order isn’t always easy. What makes this task even harder is when you go to order something…and there’s no price. In fact, there’s no price for anything. You then ask for a quote for what you need, wait for them to put it together and bemoan how compromised your position is. If the quote comes through and it’s too high, with time running out, it certainly leaves you in a spot. With our portal, there are no surprises with our prices. You can see all of them, for whatever product you want, whenever you like. And what’s more, there are no hidden surprises or secret charges. When you shop with us through our portal, your final price will be exactly what you expect it to be – as it should be.   3. You get what you need when you order Not everyone in construction comes from a construction background and sometimes that shows. This tends to be more noticeable in the admin departments for Site Managers, especially with specifics. As an example, say you’ve got a job where you’re using a Paslode IM350+. You’re running low on your 2.8 x 51mm ring shank nails and need some more. You ask admin to get you some and the next day, you get them, but they’re for the IM360 instead, rendering them useless.  Now, this can of course come down to a lack of communication from your side and in this instance, it’s not entirely the admin’s fault. They’ve put in an order for the exact product, but because there was no description, they couldn’t see the difference and maybe thought it was a generic nail. Thankfully, those ordering from our portal will hopefully believe that’s a thing of the past. With full product descriptions for everything we stock, it’s very difficult to get something wrong. Taking the example of the screws, the admin team will go back to the site manager and ask for what size, making sure it’s the right order. Given how much confusion can wreak havoc on a site, our portal product descriptions are designed to minimise that as much as possible. 4. It can manage and control all of your orders If you’re a Carpenter, you’re probably used to your phone going off every 20 seconds or so. Whether it’s a Purchaser or a Site Manager reaching out to you, you’ll know they tend to have a lot of requests! This can be time-consuming and frustrating. It’s also very annoying when you have an order placed and then one of your team goes, “Sorry mate, can you add on one of these as well?” Well, to save you from bombardment and to prevent this, we have a requisitions section on our portal. This enables your team to order without bothering you, but gives you the power to sign off or not. All the hours spent combing through WhatsApps, texts, emails…gone. With a requisition order, someone on your team will make a provisional order, you’ll be notified by email and then you can decide whether to place it. This makes your projects much more streamlined and on top of that, will reduce your screen time on your phone. 5. It adds accountability There’s a good chance you’ve led a job, ordered what your crew asked for…and noticed a lot of it mysteriously went missing. Your team of external workers will all be professional, but everyone is prone to mistakes. In their case, it could be they’ve opened some nails and left them carelessly, they’ve been run over by a forklift and now can’t be used. Wastage is a big issue for any site and one that burns a hole in your pocket. Thanks to our requisitions section within the portal though, you can try and limit it.  This prevents workers from buying whatever they want, which offers buyers a lot of peace of mind. Should you want to, you can even hide pricing if you don’t want your workers to see what things cost when they submit their order forms. As such, you have more power and can have more accountability with your ordering and your projects, which can only be a good thing.  But, you don’t have to use it We know that old habits die hard. We also know that the mantra, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is largely correct. And for those who used to order over the phone – and those that still do – we, of course, can facilitate that.  Our phone lines are still going to be open for you if you need advice, want to talk about delivery options or just prefer to order over the phone.  While the portal can do everything you could want in terms of an ordering perspective, it can’t give you that human touch. It won’t be able to have a chat with you, or ask how things are going, which can feel robotic to some.  As such, we understand that phoning us can be better for you. You can find out all of our contact info here and we’ll be delighted to take your call.  By no means are we saying that the portal is perfect and we have identified a number of solutions to make it better for you. We are keeping these close to our chests for now, but we are determined to make it as streamlined and helpful as possible.  After reading this article though, we hope you’ll agree that moving to the portal is the way forward. The five pain points we’ve identified can impact anyone, but by letting us help you with our portal, they can be consigned to the past.  If you would like to give it a try, you can sign up for our portal here.

Read more → 7 min read
Article
Construction and net zero – what’s going on?

One of the more regular phrases that is thrown about in the UK construction industry is ‘net zero’. A net zero target, net zero compliance, a net zero plan – these are all things you’ve likely heard or seen in the media.   You’ve also likely seen these used in a positive context, with some talking about how they are on track for their net zero goals and targets.   But what does it actually mean? What is net zero and how does it impact construction? Why is it such a big deal?  In this article, we will explain what net zero is, why it is important and how it directly impacts the construction industry in the UK.   In addition, we will also take a look at how much progress is being made in relation to some of the key targets set.   By the end of it, you’ll hopefully be more informed about net zero and understand why it’s such a hot topic in the construction industry.   So, what actually is net zero? What does it mean?  In its simplest form, net zero is designed to combat global warming. With it being proven that greenhouse gas emissions, including the likes of carbon dioxide, need to be reduced to deal with global warming, net zero was put in place to help.   However, taking away the use of greenhouse gases is pretty much impossible as it would cause everything to come to a halt overnight. For example, whenever we make steel, concrete or cement, we use greenhouse gases to do so.   As such, net zero will be achieved when we balance out what we use with what we give back. As an example, planting trees is a good way of trying to achieve net zero, or using solar power instead of fossil fuels.   Should we reach a point where what we give back to the planet is either as much or more than what we take out from it, then at that point, net zero would’ve been achieved.   But surely that’s going to be incredibly difficult with construction?  In short, yes. That is one of the reasons why it cannot be done overnight, as it just isn’t possible. As such, the target goal for net zero to be completed is by 2050.   According to the CITB, 40% of UK emissions are as a result of construction. In addition, there are 27 million homes that need retrofitting, but 80% of buildings that will still be safely habitable in 2050 are already built.   Those are some huge numbers, but ultimately, until we find more sustainable methods to produce the materials we need, it’ll struggle to come down.   As such, this is why there are 26 years to try and hit the target, as without the use of a magic wand, there’s no feasible way for it to be achieved sooner.   It also gives companies the time to figure out how they can give back to offset what they’re using, which is a more practical way of dealing with the matter in the short term.   Is the 2050 target achievable?  It is a huge challenge, but ultimately, it is possible. So much so that in Scotland, it’s 2045. It means a fair amount of change to existing processes, but it is doable.   For example, you might start to see new houses being built by using naturally grown materials, instead of the materials we currently use.   The issue is that while construction may achieve everything it sets out to do, that in itself may not be enough for the UK to hit net zero by 2050.   In June 2023, it was revealed that in addition to the Climate Change Committee declaring that the UK was no longer a world leader on climate issues, our progress is “worryingly slow”.   Naturally, this isn’t the best news, but there’s still time to rectify it and construction doing its fair share will go a long way to ensuring that.   Work to be done, but the right steps being taken What is pleasing though, is how open the construction industry has been to net zero and how aware it has been to the need to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.   Again as per the CITB, 70% of construction employees have a good idea of how to revamp and adapt their business, while 90% are more than willing to retrain if needed.   This is all positive and there may well be retraining needed, especially when it comes to using different materials, but the fact the intent is there can only be a good thing.   There will be a lot of new things to factor in as the years go by, but for now, the path to net zero does seem to be going well from a construction perspective.   Net zero is something we take seriously at Multifix. It’s caused us to rethink as a company about how we operate and that can only be a good thing. To find out more, you can see our sustainability pledges here.  

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Article
What is an EPDM washer?

An essential for those in the trade, EPDM washers come in handy for a number of different scenarios and are a good friend to those who use them.   But, what exactly are they? What is their main purpose? What makes them so useful? And what does EPDM even stand for?   In this article, we will explain all of those questions in detail, but we have also put together a brief video for you on the matter. You can watch that below.  Tell me then – what is EPDM and what does it stand for?  EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, so it’s easy to see why it was abbreviated. In its simplest form, this is a type of synthetic rubber that goes around a screw.   It can be removed from the screw if you so wish, but there are several benefits to keeping it on – especially if you’re working on something that will be exposed to the outdoors.   Essentially, the rubber provides an airtight seal between the screw and the material it is being screwed into, with the seal also being watertight.   You mentioned about the outdoors – what makes them stand out?  EPDM washers are incredibly resistant to the weather, chemicals and temperature on either side of the scale, which makes them essential for outdoor projects.   The washers generally have a temperature range of -40 to 120 degrees, while they can more than deal with ozone, UV exposure or general weathering.   In addition, they are fine when it comes to acids and solvents, so if you are working in an environment where chemical exposure is an issue, they will be more than up to the task.  Is there anything else I need to know about EPDM washers?   They are built to last, which is another reason why they are so popular with those in the trade. They are incredibly durable and can withstand repeated compression and expansion cycles without losing any of their sealing properties.   As a result of their airtight nature, they’ll also keep just about anything out. Be it dust, water, air or other contaminants, they will stop pretty much everything from getting through.   Finally, they are very flexible. Whether it’s an ideal, smooth surface or a very irregular and rough one, EPDM washers will still deliver.  If you would like to contact Multifix for more information about EPDM washers, or to find out more about wanting to buy them, you can get in touch with us here. 

Read more → 2 min read
Article
Large orders v small orders – what’s better?

As people, we are prone to falling into a convenience financial trap. 30% of us, according to YouGov, are likely to prioritise a monthly payment for a service rather than paying up front, for example.   It makes sense, to some extent. Whether it’s car insurance or streaming services, it’s less noticeable for your bank account to see a small fee go out than a large one, even if you end up paying more across a year.   However, this can translate into other buying habits, too. This is especially the case when it comes to ordering what we need as and when, instead of forward planning.   But is it better to forward plan and get a large order in? Or does it make more sense to get things as and when you need them?  In this article, we will look at both options and what their respective pros and cons are.   What are the pros of ordering as and when?  The main pro to ordering as and when is the convenience aspect. If you just know what you need, you can get that without really needing to think of much else, other than getting the project done.   This also requires minimal effort, as it’s just a case of sourcing exactly what you need rather than mapping out what else you could need for a future project.   However, while you end up getting what you require, that’s about as far as the pros go when it comes to ordering as and when.   So what are the cons then?  The cons of only ordering what you need, more often than not, means that you end up placing multiple orders, when just one would’ve done.   This has a financial cost as well, as the cost of multiple invoices is going to be more than just one invoice. One £500 order will be a cheaper order to process than 10 £50 orders, even though the initial outlay is more.  As such, while the initial outlay might not seem too bad, there is a notable knock-on effect if you’re making several small orders. Additionally, depending on where you are ordering from, you may have to pay a carrier charge if your order cost is under the minimum order threshold.   What about bulk buying? What are the pros for that?  With bulk buying, you can forward plan much easier, as you will have everything you need. You order it all once, then it’s done and you don’t have to worry about it.   It also saves you money as it’s only one order to process, while it also saves you time in a sense as it’s only one delivery to factor in your day as well.   In that sense, it’s arguably more convenient to bulk buy than it is to get things as and when, because once it’s done, it’s done.   Are there any cons, though?  One of the reasons why we order as and when is because we have little time. When you bulk buy, you need to allocate some time so you can work out exactly what you need to order.   Finding this time can be problematic for some, even if the results are ultimately very good, so this can be a concern.   Also, with a big bulk order, you may have to factor into account who is going to take the items and store them away. You may need to take employees away from their tasks for a few minutes to assist.  In addition, a lack of storage on site can be a problem for some.   Deciding what’s best for you  In our opinion, we believe that bulk buying is a better option out of the two. It sets you up for longer, is only one order to process and leaves you more organised.   It also wards off the possibility of delivery fees and while there may need to be a group effort to itemise everything, it’s worth it.   However, ultimately it depends on what is best for you and your business. Maybe you prefer ordering as and when because it’s more convenient for you, but that of course comes with costs in processing multiple orders.   But, if that works for you and continues to do so, then that can only be a good thing. It’s certainly worth factoring in the benefits of bulk buying, though.   If you would like to speak to a member of our staff about as and when ordering or bulk buying, you can get in touch with us here.  

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Article
Hiring an apprentice as an employer - what's in it for you?

You may have seen our article explaining what budding apprentices need to know about Apprentice schemes, which you can read here.   But what about the other side of the coin? Why should employers take apprentices on? What’s in it for them, at the end of it all?  In this article, we will highlight several key things employers should take into consideration when looking to hire an apprentice, as, in our view, the pros vastly outweigh the cons.  Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will be of the same opinion, as there is a lot you can gain as an employer from having apprentices around.   You’re breathing fresh life into the industry  One of the main issues with construction in the UK is that there is such a skills shortage. According to Employment Solutions, the industry is a staggering 200,000 skilled workers down from where it needs to be.   They also claim that 20% of construction workers are in their 50’s, so there is palpable concern that we will soon reach a stage where demand vastly outweighs supply.  By taking on apprentices, you are helping to plug that gap. By giving them an opportunity to grow, you’re also giving the industry a shot in the arm that it badly needs.   With the tutelage of the experienced pros at construction firms and companies, thriving apprentices will be in good hands when it comes to progressing.   By giving them a chance too, you will earn their loyalty as they will be grateful for giving them the experience, meaning your business will be looked after well by the future generation.  You get a number of financial benefits  Taking on an apprentice can be seen as something of a risk, at least in the short term while they are still getting to grips with things, so there are things in place to counteract that.   As per gov.uk, if you have an apprentice under the age of 25 and earning less than £827 a week (£45,000 a year), you will not have to pay National Insurance Contributions when it comes to the apprentice’s salary.   However, if you have an annual bill of £3M or over, you will have to contribute 0.5% of your monthly bill to the Apprentice Levy.   This isn’t all bad though, as £15,000 of that, across the year, is deductible if you take an apprentice on.  If you do not have an annual bill of £3M or more, then you don’t get the £15,000 deduction – but, assuming you haven’t exceeded the funding band maximum, you will only have to contribute 5% to the cost of training. The government will make up the other 95%.  In addition, if you choose to train a 16-18 year-old as part of an apprentice scheme, both yourself as an employer and the provider will be eligible for a £1,000 payment.  This is to entice employers to give apprentices a chance, so that everybody in the scenario benefits.  Also, if you take on an apprentice aged between 19-25 and they have been in care or have a local authority education, health and care plan, you are also due a £1,000 payment as an employer.  Finally, if you are a member of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), you are eligible to other financial boosts from taking on apprentices.   This includes payments of £2,500 per year for attendance and a £3,500 payment upon successful completion of the full apprenticeship. More information on the CITB grants can be found here.   How to enrol an apprentice  Enrolling an apprentice is done in six steps. These are as follows:  Check the eligibility of the apprentice  Sign agreements (contract of employment, apprenticeship agreement, commitment statement)  Determine a training provider  Decide what type of apprenticeship it is  Identify end-point assessments  Certification  To find out more about these six steps in detail, you can find all the gov.uk advice here. You’re making a difference Ultimately, by taking on apprentices, you are making a big difference – for many different parties, including your own.   The industry gets young people on board at a time it badly needs it, you can oversee their development and ensure the future is in good hands and have you’ll have financial gain as a result.  Again using the gov.uk link from earlier in the article, productivity has been proven to increase 76% thanks to having apprentices. That will make a huge difference for you, the apprentice and the industry.   In addition, with the right supervision, 75% of apprentices end up actually improving the quality of the work that your company is doing.   Therefore, we fully believe the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to taking onboard new apprentices. It’s also one of the reasons we’re so active with the scheme ourselves.   If you would like to talk to a member of our team that has experience with apprenticeships for further information, please feel free to get in touch with us. You can do so by following this link.  

Read more → 4 min read
Article
What you need to know about construction apprenticeships

When it comes to getting into construction, one of the best ways to do this, whether it’s after leaving school or just to get into the trade, is as an apprentice.  Apprentices are the future of the industry. The tools and techniques they learn will hopefully see them pass on their wisdom years down the line to someone else in the position they once were.   The apprentice scheme is something we are passionate about at Multifix, with it being something that we follow.   The reason we do this is because apprenticeships are a great step for young people to take to get into the industry and sees them gain an education, while being paid to do so.   Therefore, in this article, we will outline the key information you have to take into account when you are looking for a construction apprenticeship.   What exactly is an apprenticeship? So, first and foremost, an apprenticeship is a paid job that lasts a minimum of 12 months and is applicable to anyone who is 16 or over.   It’s a mixture of practical and academic learning and you’ll be working under experienced staff members, who have been in the field for years.   If you have a full-time apprenticeship, you’ll be working 30-40 hours a week and during this time, you will be given tasks to do, in addition to your work duties.   On average, you’ll spend about six hours a week doing off-the-job training, which can include coursework.   How many types of apprenticeships are there available?  There are four different types of apprenticeships, varying in different levels of what they can unlock for you. These are:  - Intermediate (Level 2) - Advanced (Level 3) - Higher level (Levels 4, 5 and 6) - Degree level (Level 7)  Intermediate is the equivalent of five GCSEs at 9-4 level, or in old money, A*-C. Advanced is the equivalent of two A-Levels or a Level 3 Diploma and Higher level is the equivalent of a Foundation degree.   The degree level itself is the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree. Each stage will have their own entry requirements, which will be made clear to you before you apply.   In this sense, it’s no different applying for a job that asks for x qualification or y years of experience, but naturally, with Intermediate, you are likely to find much fewer requirements than for degree level.   How do I get an apprenticeship? There are a few ways to get an apprenticeship sorted, but be aware that it is no different to applying for a job. There is a lot of competition and it’ll likely require applications to multiple companies.   Online is the best bet, especially on job-seeking websites like Indeed or TotalJobs. It’s also worth looking at LinkedIn, too.   Also, by using TalentView, you can directly apply for construction apprenticeships You can find out more and do so here.  If you’re still in school or college, it’s very much worth speaking to people there as they will be able to put you in contact with potential employers.   In the same manner, asking friends and family is another good way. So much of how the world works is based on who you know, so if you have a family friend or a relative who can maybe help you, it’s certainly a path worth exploring.   Another good way is to look at construction companies’ websites and see if they have any apprenticeship listings on there. Keeping your finger on the pulse of their social activity can help with that too, as some will post job listings on social media.   Finally, it’s worth noting that depending on certain circumstances, it’s possible that a hiring company can earn up to £14,000 by taking you on as an apprentice. They would earn this money through either the Construction Industry Training Board or the UK Government.  This can be used as a sales pitch by you, as if they get the full amount, that will offset a significant proportion of your wages.   If I get one sorted, what happens when it finishes? A number of things can happen at this point, but what is guaranteed is that you will get a qualification for completing your apprenticeship.   This makes you more employable and is something you can take anywhere with you. At the end of your apprenticeship though, your employer may wish to offer you full-time employment if they are happy with you.  Alternatively, you could be put onto a higher-level apprenticeship with them, which further bolsters your skills and gives you more strings to your bow. It’s also very likely that you’ll earn more money being on a higher-level apprenticeship as well, so that’s always a good thing.   Equally, you may feel as if you want to explore further options. You may want to pursue an apprenticeship elsewhere, or work for someone else. In this case, you’ll still have the qualification, so you’ll be well-prepped.   The future of construction Apprentices have a huge part to play in any sector, but that statement is especially prevalent in the construction industry.  Whether you want to be a carpenter, bricklayer, site manager or any of the other many, many roles within the sector, one of the best ways to go about it is via the apprenticeship route.   Hopefully after reading this article, you’ll have some more information about the scheme and who knows, maybe it’ll be the first step on what could be a long and successful journey in construction.   If you would like to find more information about Multifix’s apprenticeship scheme, which we mentioned earlier on in the article, you can get in touch with us here.  

Read more → 5 min read
Article
Is Multifix the right fit for you?

In the world of construction, it’s very important that you have a supplier whom you can trust, who is reliable and who understands your needs. After all, not having the right construction supplier can lead to many problems.  Above all else, it can be hugely detrimental to your work. Not having items turn up on time – or at all – can be costly, in more ways than one. At Multifix, that is where we step in. With speed, reliability and a personal touch at the heart of what we do, we have been supplying the construction industry for 30 years and counting. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we are right for you.  Obviously, as a business first and foremost, we love having new customers onboard to supply the products for their projects. We love helping new people, seeing the progress you make and knowing we’ve been a small part of that along the way. But, we don’t cater for everyone. There was a time when Multifix tried to service nearly every sector, but we found we couldn’t provide the best service by spreading ourselves so thinly. Now we are more focused and can really tailor our solutions to our customers’ needs.  With that in mind then, here is an explanation of who we believe we’re a good fit for and who we aren’t. Who is a GOOD fit for Multifix? If you’re a:  specialist carpentry,  brickwork, or firestopping or refurbishment contractor then we absolutely can help you with whatever you need. This is especially the case with the three mentioned. Whether it’s first and second-fix carpenters or housebuilders, our products and service can be a great asset for you and your company. When it comes to carpentry, brickwork and passive fire, we specialise in these sectors. We have dedicated teams allocated to each industry to help you not only get the best service, but the best products for the job. If you work in refurbishment, we don’t cover that as broadly, but we still do have speciality areas we can provide for. The reason why we don’t cover it in as much depth is because we don’t have the product range for it. If you’re based in London or the south-east especially, we really can be of use. We have a 5pm cut-off time for our own van next-day delivery, with a fleet of our own drivers nearby to get your goods to you quickly. If it’s outside of our reach and going nationwide, it’s a 4pm cut-off time and we will send a courier. You can see a full breakdown of where we deliver to here.  Who is a BAD fit for Multifix? The short answer would be anyone that hasn’t been mentioned, as we don’t stock the specialist range of products the sectors need to complete projects. However, that is a slightly flawed response, as while we don’t have a full range of stock for the other sectors, we do still supply some products of note. One exception to this though, is mechanical and electrical. We simply don’t have the correct range of stock for that sector, as we’ve discontinued many of our mechanical and electrical product lines, so we are not a good fit for companies in that realm. When it comes to groundwork contractors or RC frame workers, we also don’t have the range. We do offer resins and basic hand tools, but we don’t supply much more beyond that for that industry. It’s a similar story with management-only main contractors. We do supply a wide range of PPE, which you can find out more about here, but the clothes and helmets are all unbranded. When it comes to clothing, we only offer non-branded items of PPE. The only slight exception to the rule is with the dry-lining sector. Unlike the others mentioned, we do have a wide range of fixings available for dry lining. We don’t have the more specialist items, but we do have a strong supply of dry-lining fixings. We also stock some metalwork, but the caveat to that is that, much like the PPE, it’s all unbranded. We also don’t stock British Gypsum, which we know can be a deal-breaker with the dry-lining sector. Factoring in everything, we are perhaps more of a partial fit for dry-lining, but not quite a round peg in a round hole. Making sure Multifix is right for you One of the main points of this article is that we don’t want to let you down. We don’t want you to waste your time asking us for products we don’t stock, for sectors we don’t cater for. It may mean we get fewer calls or emails as a result. However, if it means the ones coming in are from people who know we’re a good fit for them, that’s in everyone’s best interests. We take great pride in what we have achieved in the carpentry, brickwork and passive fire sectors, in addition to refurbishment. If you would like to browse our range, you can do so here. Equally, if you wish to speak to one of our expert teams about an upcoming project or anything else, you can do so here.

Read more → 4 min read
Article
Three top tips for buying power tools (and why you shouldn’t always use Multifix)

When you start a new job and discover you need power tools, it can be tricky to know where to start. Asking your mates is a good shout, but maybe their suggestions aren’t taking your fancy.  Depending on what line of work you’re in too, you maybe don’t want something too expensive. If you’re only going to use it a handful of times, you probably don’t want to risk breaking the bank.  There is also a lot of choice with a lot of competing brands for similar items and finding out where to start can be daunting.  You needn’t fear, though. At Multifix, we offer a range of power tools, both 110V corded and 18V cordless, that will cover all your basic needs. Our Paslode and Makita range covers just about every power tool going, be it circular saws or drywall screwdrivers, or even combi tools.  If you’re stuck, we’re happy to field calls to help you make the best purchase for your project.  Sometimes though, that isn’t enough. And it certainly isn’t enough for some of our customers, who frequently ask for DeWalt, Milwaukee, or Festool. This is very understandable; they’re all reliable and outstanding brands, but when we inform you that we don’t stock them, we are asked… Why does Multifix only supply power tools that they keep in stock? Why don’t they sell other brands? Why don’t they have more variety? Well, we thought it would be best to give you some answers. As online competition increases, it’s sometimes cheaper to buy certain power tools elsewhere than it is for us to buy them wholesale and sell to you. What we do have in stock, we can still give you the best deal for – especially with Paslode and Makita products.  In the main though, we would suggest you look elsewhere. It’s not only cheaper than going through all the hoops with us for a power tool we don’t stock, but you get much more variety, too. In fact, we tell our customers the same thing on the phone. However, the next question we get is ‘what should I look out for when buying power tools?’  So, with that in mind, we have come up with our top three tips on what to do when purchasing power tools elsewhere.  Tip one: Know exactly what tools you’re getting There’s nothing worse than getting on site, unpacking your new tools and realising you’ve not got what you need. It’s a simple tip, but it goes a long way. Site veterans may scoff at this tip and assume it’s only for DIY users, but you’d be surprised. We’ve had more than a few calls from professionals saying, “this isn’t what I wanted,” when they’ve not fully checked what they’re buying.  The product images can be very deceiving, so make sure you read the description before purchasing. Things like sanding belts or extra blades – or even batteries – aren’t always included. For example, the DeWalt cordless saw range at Screwfix doesn’t include a battery or a charger; you have to buy them separately.  Tip two: Register your tools Unfortunately, there's a small chance that the power tool you have ordered either stops working, is faulty from the get-go, or breaks while using it. At this point, you'll want to return it, but unless you've registered it, you'll find this difficult. We sometimes hear of these examples happening, which is bad enough as is, but made worse by hearing the power tool wasn't registered. If your power tool isn’t registered, you won’t be fully covered by warranty.  Do it before you even use it. We understand it can be an easy thing to forget, especially when in a hurry, but it’s vitally important you do so. Otherwise, you risk wasting your head-earned money. Also, registering your tools often results in a longer warranty period and in some cases, free servicing. It’s worth doing.  Tip three: Check the fine print The topic of warranty leads us to our final tip. Make sure you know exactly what the warranty is and what options that come with it.  For example, some companies – ourselves being one – will come and collect the broken power tool from your site, which saves you time and money. Others may not offer that and it could be up to you to send it back through tracked mail, at your own expense.  Knowledge is certainly power in these sorts of situations and it can only help if you know exactly what you are getting with your power tool.  Now you have our top three tips, here are five power tool specialists that we would recommend you shop with… Power Tool World The clue is very much in the name with Power Tool World, who live and breathe…well, power tools. There are several reasons why we would recommend them and they mostly focus on customer satisfaction.  Given they specialise in power tools, Power Tool World always have a big stock holding, so if you need anything, there is a very good chance they have it. Also, they offer PayPal Pay in Three as a payment option, offer free delivery on orders over £50 and you can order before 7pm for next-day delivery.  ITS If you’re based in London, ITS are especially useful as they have stores in Leyton, Walthamstow and Harlow. This means you can pick up from them direct if you need something immediately.  Plus, ITS will offer a price match if you see anything on their site that either Screwfix or Toolstation can offer cheaper. They can even one up Power Tool World with their next-day delivery service too, as you can order up until 8pm and still get your item within 24 hours.  ToolChimp If it’s Tacwise products that you need, then ToolChimp is your go-to. They stock hundreds of Tacwise products and accessories, ranging from air nailers to plastic staples.  ToolChimp also has 0% finance options on orders over £120 and will offer a free delivery service in the UK, provided your order is over £100.  Nuts & Bolts Equally, if it’s Festool products that you’re after, Nuts and Bolts – otherwise known as N&B – are an excellent option. They offer great availability and very fair prices for the German power tools. This is important given how tough it can be getting out of stock Festool products, as not everyone can wait seven working days for an order. However, it is best to order through N&B over the phone, as their portal can be difficult to navigate. It’s worth noting there is nothing wrong with the service and the delivery is normally spot on, but some may find their website to be clunky.  Westcountry Machinery4Wood Much like N&B, Westcountry Machinery4Wood specialise in Festool power tools. Really, this makes sense given joiners love Festool products because of their precision to the millimetre. Their pricing and service are very good, plus their website is easy to use and order from. As such, this makes them a very comfortable recommendation from our side of things. You might think it’s weird to see us pick five competitor companies to buy from, but it's in your best interests to use these tips for power tool shopping.  When it comes to Paslode and Makita power tools, we provide industry-leading service. Despite that, we can’t cater to the entire power tools market in the same way that these companies can. So, in short, if it’s DeWalt or Festool you’re after, use these companies; they’ll have everything you need and more and all come with our seal of approval. With these tips too, you’ll get a satisfactory transaction every time and won’t be let down like you are when you call us and we can’t help.  If it’s Paslode or Makita you’re needing though, let us help you – find out how to speak to an advisor here. 

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Frequently Asked Questions - Fire Door Foam™

When it comes to fire safety, there are always questions as to what products are safe and certified to use and rightly so. When it comes to Fire Door Foam™ we have all the answers you need right here.  Q: What fire rating does Fire Door Foam offer? A: Fire Door Foam has been fire tested to 60 minutes (BS476 Pt20/22: 1987 & BS EN1634-1) in timber and composite doorsets and timber glazed screens. Q: What is the minimum and maximum gaps Fire Door Foam can be used? A: The minimum practical width is 5mm and maximum tested gap is 33mm. Q: Do you have to install Fire Door Foam with specialist packers of fixings? A: No, Fire Door Foam has been specifically tested with plastic packers and standard screw fixings. Timber and MDF packers may also be used when required. Q: Do I need to cap off Fire Door Foam with intumescent mastic? A: No, there is no need to cap with mastic for ratings of up to 60 minutes. Q: Can I add architraves over Fire Door Foam? A: Architraves are optional, Fire Door Foam has been tested with and without. Q: Does Fire Door Foam have a shelf life? A: Fire Door Foam has a 12-month shelf life whilst stored in temperature conditions (5°C > 30°C). Q: How many doors can I seal per can? A: A 750ml can will seal 3-4 single doors within a standard structural opening (10mm x 70mm void). Q: Does Fire Door Foam have an acoustic rating? A: Yes, Fire Door Foam has sound reduction capabilities of up to 60dB Rw. Q: Can I use Fire Door Foam when doorsets are required to have smoke control? A: Yes, Fire Door Foam has smoke leakage evidence to BS EN 1634-3: 2004. If you have any other questions about any of our products, speak to a member of our team today on 0203 248 4086 or email [email protected]

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Article
Comparing the benefits of fully and partially threaded screws

When it comes to picking between a fully or partially threaded screw, you’ll know that it’s normally one or the other. Both have their benefits and flaws, so it’s important that whatever one you choose is the right one for the project at hand. But what exactly do they do? What makes them different, besides the obvious? What do they do differently? That’s what we’re going to answer for you in this article. Multifix supplies a wide range of screws, so we will take a look at what both of them do, what their pros and cons are and how they differ. Come the end of the article, you’ll have everything you need to know which screw is right for your upcoming project! Fully threaded vs. partially threaded – what are the key differences? As you can tell by the name, the main difference is the screw itself. A fully-threaded screw will have a thread going all the way to the tip of the screw head. It is also made up of three parts – the head, shaft and tip. Meanwhile, a partially threaded screw will have a thread about half the length of the screw. The remaining part of the screw is a completely smooth section, which helps with clamping (more on that later). Like the fully-threaded screw, it is made up of a head, shaft and tip, but the shaft is both threaded and unthreaded. Pros of the fully-threaded screw With a fully-threaded screw, you can drill straight into the material and the surface it’s being drilled into won’t split. When it comes to working with wood, this is especially important to note. This is down to the way the screw is designed and in addition, they generally come with a self-tapping tip, which ensures the hold. Because the thread goes all the way to the top, fully-threaded screws are a one-and-done type of screw, in that it shouldn’t come loose in the future. Pros of the partially threaded screw                                              What makes a partially threaded screw so useful is that it guarantees a better fit. Basically, the threaded part of the screw only goes into the bottom piece, so it pulls it in tighter and clamps it down better. This is made possible because of the smooth part of the screw. As there is only part of the screw that has a thread, the thread hones in on the bottom piece, with the smooth part flowing through to keep things tight. Effectively having a level of auto-clamping is a huge boost. Sometimes, it’s just not possible to be able to clamp two pieces of material together with a vice. Cons of fully-threaded screw The main con to a fully-threaded screw is that it is very prone to jacking. Jacking is when the threads in both materials become separated. The thread in the top part of the material holds it up, thus making it impossible to clamp properly. Unless both materials are physically clamped down with a vice, there is a high risk that a fully-threaded screw will cause jacking. As mentioned above, sometimes it isn’t easy or possible to have two materials physically clamped together. If you’re working in a tight space, this is something you need to consider. Cons of a partially threaded screw Getting sizing right is key when it comes to partially threaded screws as if you get it wrong, you run the risk of splitting the material. If any part of the smooth side of the screw goes into the material you’re drilling into, the top material will likely bulge or split. This is because the screw would’ve gone too deep. As such, you’ll have to make sure that the screw is measured properly before use, which can be a drawback depending on what materials you’re working with. Choosing between the two There are clear differences and strengths between both screws, but whatever one you pick is going to depend on what project you’re working on. If you’ve got a lot of space and can use a vice to secure materials together, then a fully-threaded screw won’t let you down. You can also provide a lot of long-term security by having one fitted properly, too. If things are a bit tighter space-wise, or if you just want a better fit, then partially-threaded screws should be your go-to. Just be sure to make sure that your partially threaded screws are the right size before you use them, if you so choose to go down that route. If you would like some further information on the type of screws we provide, or some extra clarification, you can reach our expert team here. Equally, if you need something now, you can see the variety of screws we stock at Multifix here.  

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Article
Challenges in Carpentry & Construction

The construction Industry seems to be in an endless battle of ensuring the client is satisfied and battling external challenges that occur throughout a project. 2021 has definitely thrown a lot of challenges at the construction industry. Let's take a look at them; 1.There's a Labour Shortage. The construction industry in the UK has long relied on skilled workers from overseas. However, over the past year, contractors have reported losing up to 50% of their workforce. Why? The pandemic saw many skilled workers return to their families in foreign countries for fear of being separated for long periods. Then, of course, there are the consequences of Brexit, which saw many decide to return to their home countries. 2. There's a Material Shortage. Not only is there a labour shortage, but there's a material shortage too. Raw materials are in short supply everywhere, not just in the UK. There are a few external factors that have contributed to it. Firstly, global demand, in general, is high. Secondly, thanks to Covid, there have been many factory closures, and production has slowed down considerably. This is true of particular products such as insulation, paints, adhesives and packaging. 3. There's an Increase in Price. The shortage in raw materials has caused prices to increase at an alarming rate. Lengthening lead times and an increase in demand has seen some products rocket in price by 250%. There's certainly never been another year quite like it for soaring costs.

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