Good to Know

How the red diesel rebate reduction affects builders

Construction and manufacturing companies received a tax rebate for using red diesel fuel in their off-road vehicles and industrial machinery. However, starting on April 1st, 2022, the red diesel rebate was taken away from companies in several sectors and industries. The Civil Engineering Contractors Association estimates the rebate loss could cost construction companies anywhere from £280 million to £490 million annually.

This red diesel rebate reduction was announced way back in 2020, so companies have had time to prepare for it. The government wants construction companies to use greener alternatives to red diesel, so they are removing the rebate to encourage companies to look for alternative fuels.

Unfortunately, there are not too many greener fuel alternatives available to small builders and firms. In fact, this new government measure will increase fuel costs for small builders, which means their service costs will increase for their clients. That will have significant ramifications for both small builders and the number of people who want to build.

As a result, the government needs to step in and support the construction industry, particularly small builders. It makes no sense that farmers in the agriculture industry are exempt from the red diesel rebate reduction, but not builders. Smaller builders need more affordable access to greener alternatives if they are going to survive. Biodiesel costs up to 15% more than regular diesel, which is already too much for most small builders to afford.

Do you have questions about the red diesel rebate reduction laws? Collyer Construction Limited can answer your questions and help you find the most affordable options for your building project. Contact us at 01252 624041 or email us at admin@collyerconstructionltd.co.uk.

Funding your build: Have you considered a development loan from Homes England?

If you’re trying to fund your new building project in the private market, you may have trouble securing funding. Fortunately, the UK government created a housing and regeneration agency called Homes England to help secure financing for home development projects.

Homes England offers development finance to housebuilders who cannot secure financing in the private market. This government agency will usually provide loans of around £250,000, more or less. Some innovative housing solutions may get approved for smaller loans, especially for community-led housing projects.

Many people might not be aware of this, but Homes England has been issuing loans to for several years. Since the government doesn’t want big builders to control the real estate market, their goal is to help smaller builders get their chance to build homes. It will give more buying opportunities to home buyers and help grow these smaller home building companies into fierce competitors in the real estate marketplace.

Collyer Construction Limited can help you create building plans which will increase your chances of getting approved for a development loan from Homes England. Contact us at 01252 624041 or email us at admin@collyerconstructionltd.co.uk for more information.

0% VAT measures on energy efficiency installation – what this all means

The UK government recently announced new 0% VAT measures for specific types of energy-efficient product installations in homes. Customers who make these installations will be charged 0% VAT, which means they won’t have to pay a value-added tax on the service.

These 0% VAT measures aim to encourage more homeowners and builders to install energy-efficient products to help reduce national carbon emissions in the UK. It is all part of the government’s plan to have net-zero carbon emissions within the next 30 years.

Some of the energy-efficient products allowed under these measures include:

  • Solar panels
  • Insulation
  • Draught stripping
  • Central heating controls
  • Water turbines
  • Wind turbines
  • Air source heat pumps
  • Ground source heat pumps

To receive the 0% VAT rate, you must hire a builder to supply the energy-efficient product and perform the installation together. Therefore, you cannot purchase the product and then decide to do the labor yourself because it would not entitle you to the 0% VAT rate.

This special offer is available up until March 31st, 2027. If you decide to install energy-efficient products after this date, you will get charged a 5% VAT rate. So there is no better time to start upgrading your home with energy-efficient products than right now.

About four million households in the United Kingdom don’t make improvements each year because of the VAT costs. Hopefully, the 0% VAT savings will encourage more homeowners to think about improving their homes to protect the environment.

Collyer Construction Limited can answer your questions about the new 0% VAT and the requirements you must satisfy to receive it. Contact us at 01252 624041 or email us at admin@collyerconstructionltd.co.uk.

Big changes ahead for building regulations in the UK

There will be some significant changes to the building regulations in the United Kingdom. Starting in June 2022, new and existing buildings will be required to have energy-efficient improvements for lowering carbon emissions. It is part of the national initiative to move the UK toward net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The construction industry is a massive contributor to carbon emissions in the UK. The government wants new homes and extensions to be constructed with more energy-efficient structures and features. Existing buildings and commercial buildings must also conform to this energy-efficient initiative by making the necessary improvements.

The government wants to cut the carbon emissions produced from all new homes by 30%. They also want to cut the carbon emissions from existing buildings by 27%. All property owners have until June 2022 to comply with the new building regulations. Failure to follow the new regulations could result in the local authorities taking legal action against you.

The GOV.UK website can give you access to the new Approved Documents, O, L, and F. These documents provide specific information regarding the latest building regulations and requirements. Use these documents to help guide you through the development or improvement process so that you obey the new laws.

If your new home development is still in the planning stages, you must submit your full plans or building notice to the government before June 15th, 2022. Your home development project won’t be subjected to the new regulations if approved.

Collyer Construction Limited can assist you with these new regulations during construction. Contact us at 01252 624041 or email us at admin@collyerconstructionltd.co.uk.

Questions to ask your building contractor

So many site visits involve potential clients that are still in the dark as to what they should be asking, what steps they need to take next and where they should go for guidance through the planning to building stages. At Collyer Construction, we are always happy to assist even if the enquiry doesn’t translate into securing the project. We are proud of our FMB accreditation, for holding all the relevant insurance policies and being able to provide countless testimonials of our work.

The below links gives some great example questions of what home owners should be asking right from the start, plus some guidance on what to check when you have found the contractor you think you’d like to work with:

https://www.houzz.co.uk/magazine/which-questions-should-i-ask-a-builder-right-at-the-start-stsetivw-vs~30054829

https://urbanistarchitecture.co.uk/hiring-builder-uk/

The Main Things to Consider When Planning an Extension

An extension is a great way to expand your existing home, to add value and to adapt a property to suit a changing lifestyle. We appreciate that it can be an expensive and extensive project, here are a few factors to consider when planning an extension.

Style

Whatever extension you intend to add on, ensure the flow of space makes sense. While you may want a guest suite added to the back, it may make better sense to make it a conservatory that flows well from your living area. Also, consider the architectural style of the existing building. If your home is traditional yet you want something modern, be sure to retain enough classic features so there is not so much awkward contrast.

Timeframe

Some projects are lengthy to complete, for instance, if it is a double story extension that will impact on all of your main living areas. Consult with your builder to determine what reasonable timeframe within which you can expect the work to be completed. If you are planning to move out for the duration of the renovation or want to plan a party to celebrate its completion, understanding how long it will take will matter even more.

Budget

With any kind of home project, you need to set a budget. Knowing what you can afford will allow you to prioritise what needs doing when negotiating with your builder. List down what you want most so that it can be incorporated into the design first while still taking into consideration your set budget. Do keep in mind that this investment will likely add value to your home. Always remember however to include a healthy contingency fund of at least 10% of the build costs for those surprise costs – there will always be some!

Planning permission and approval

Depending on certain factors, you may or may not require planning permission or building regulations approval for your project. Permissive development builds have become easier in the past 12 months so this is worth exploring to see if you can work your project within these. Planning can be a lengthy process taking anything from 6 weeks as an average into months and even years if there are objections. The sooner planning is obtained, the better. Most builders will not quote for projects until planning permission is in place, and building regulation drawings have been completed.

Are you planning to build an extension in the following areas? If so, get in touch with us today.