Brexit and the Construction Industry

How does Brexit affect the construction industry?

Before the EU Referendum, the business of construction was a good industry to get into because of the excitement and they pay! Now that Britain have left the EU what does this mean for the people who are currently in the construction industry because they have relied on the EU for their businesses.

A survey carried out by Smith and Williamson has “found that only 15% of construction executives favoured a UK exit from the EU”. This survey has showed that most of the construction industry need the EU to make their business successful and the EU is their main way of making good money.

Skilled Foreign Workers

It’s not just the companies that are in trouble, it is also the people who actually work there. They are now unemployed and have no way of using their skills in a job that they loved, but this also means that jobs will not happen as quickly because of the shortage of skilled workers. However, this is in some way good for employers because if they already have the skilled workers can increase overall annual profits.

Import and Export of Construction Materials
You do not need to be in the Construction industry to realise that the Britain as a company rely heavily on the EU for their Materials and their trade. Now we have left the EU, we can all believe that our trade to the EU will decrease, so we have to find a new way of making materials or find a new country that will be willing to trade with the UK, so that we can continue building new things.


It may not be all bad though because now not as many people from the EU will come to England to seek work due to Brexit. This will increase the population of the EU and would therefore need to start trading with the UK to supply for all their population which will give the UK more money. Also if company owners will not need to pay as much into wages for their staff because there will be less people looking for jobs so this overall will increase annual profits. A survey carried out by shows wages for bricklayers working in London have hit £25 an hour due to the current skills shortage, and before the referendum analysts predicted wages would rise further if Britain voted to leave, so we can see that if we leave the EU, it would not be that bad for us and would affect the EU more.


Survey by Smith and Williamson –

Survey for builder’s wages –


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Howells Patent Glazing collaborates with Pilkington United Kingdom Limited

Our West Midlands manufacturing firm, Howells Patent Glazing, are pleased to announce our collaboration with Pilkington United Kingdom Limited to offer their new solar control product, Pilkington Suncool One 60/40 to our customers!

Howells Patent Glazing collaborate with Pilkington UK Ltd to offer new product to clients

Howells Patent Glazing collaborate with Pilkington UK Ltd to offer new Suncool product to customers.

As the latest addition to the Pilkington Suncool Range, Pilkington Suncool One 60/40 is an off-line coated mid-range solar control product with a thermal insulation U-value of 1.0 W/m2K. It has been designed for use in commercial and high-end residential settings, to reflect heat back into the property and improve thermal efficiency. With the benefit of medium solar control helping to keep the building cooler in the summer, a comfortable indoor temperature is maintained all year round.

Gary Howells, sales director here at Howells Patent Glazing said, “We have been using products from the Pilkington product portfolio for over 30 years now for many reasons; they have a quality product, they always meet our time sensitive delivery dates, and have a fantastic back up customer service. We were really excited when they brought out the new Pilkington Suncool glass, as this was something we knew a lot of our customers have been calling out for – solar controlled glass, that lets in the maximum amount of light possible. With a lot of other solar controlled glass, the tint needed on the glass interrupts the amount of natural light entering through the glazing into the building. The new Pilkington Suncool glass resolves this problem, and we are excited to be able to offer it to our customers”.

As the entry level product to the full range, Pilkington Suncool One combines excellent low-e properties with medium solar control performance. This makes it the ideal solution for smaller commercial projects, or those with flexible specification requirements, as well as in premium residential properties.

Here at Howells Patent Glazing, we are known for being a forward thinking manufacturing firm and are regarded by many as one of the UK’s best glazing companies in the industry.  We are extremely proud of our reputation and are constantly striving to develop the business further, pushing for another record year, for the 3rd year in a row.

The full Pilkington Suncool™ range is designed to help to reduce energy bills and carbon emissions of a building the whole year round.

To find out more about Howells Patent Glazing, and how we can help you, visit our homepage at

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Glazing UK; Howells Patent Glazing’s focus is on employees

Undertaking workplace NVQ’s are an important part of addressing the UK skills shortage, and it’s something that our Midlands based manufacturing firm, Howells Patent Glazing, have introduced to the entire workforce this year. Glazing UK; It’s more than just windows…

According to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, whilst employment levels have increased, there is mounting evidence of stalling productivity growth that could hinder the current economic recovery as employers are unable to optimise their performance. The need to address structural skills and employment challenges, particularly in youth employment, is also something that the UKCES flagged up.

Here at Howells Patent Glazing, a family run business, we are dedicating 2016 to improving the skills of our whole team, including management level employees, to help address the UK skills shortage. Ensuring that the team is fully qualified means a lot to us, and at Howells we believe that our continued success is down to our commitment to the welfare and constant improvement of our dedicated staff.

Image L-R: Debbie Willetts, Company Secretary Howells Patent Glazing, Kurt Jacobs (Midlands Business Insider) and Tracey Jackson, Marketing Manager Howells Patent Glazing

Debbie Willetts, company secretary at Howells Patent Glazing said, “As a member of the team who is undertaking our new training programme, as well as organising it, I can honestly say that I am extremely proud of everyone’s progress here. Our staff have welcomed the new training courses and I have had the pleasure of seeing them all flourish and their confidence grow as a result.  I understand, first hand, that it is a very big step to start a new learning journey, especially having left education many years ago. I have recently started a coaching and mentoring course in addition to my Leadership and management NVQ to help support our team”.

Currently focusing on staff on the production line, from operatives through to management level, here at Howells Patent Glazing we have taken our staff from Functional Skills Level 2 all the way through to Level 2 NVQ Diploma’s in Business Improvement Techniques. We believe that there is still a desire for people to gain valuable skills and join manufacturing firms like ours. Whether it be steel manufacturing, gates, or glazing UK, there’s an industry out there that needs to continue to train it’s employees. Glazing UK homes, businesses and providing outstanding solutions to architects and developers is our passion, and our team are a huge part of it.

For more information on us, visit our homepage here for glazing UK >

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Extending your living space, without compromising your existing home or garden?

You want to extend your living space, but do not want compromise the available space in your existing home or garden?


Sound familiar?  Add in the budget scenario and you have a potential recipe for disaster…


What if there was a solution that offered you the potential to do all these things but also offer a flexible approach to internal or external living space?

marketing photo 3 Greenways (5) Greenways (4) NATURAL STRUCTURES-PIC5

We have been making canopies for years and they have proved to be very successful not only in private homes, but also in commercial applications.  The exciting change comes from the ability to offer a stand alone self supported canopy that stretches out from the rear wall of your home, but then with an addition of bi folding doors to one or two of the sides weather proof them.


This makes the best of both worlds!  You can have alfresco dining OR an enclosed weather proof space in one installation.    2 for the price of 1.


Who doesn’t like a great deal

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Window Cleaning Tips

When I’m cleanin’ Windows….


So, what’s your favourite hobby? I’m a fan of extreme window cleaning myself…..


0000 window cleaning



Image from

Some people go to extreme lengths to make sure their windows are clean. If extreme window cleaning isn’t your thing, how about some old fashioned window cleaning tips? Am I the only one whose mum would clean the inside of the windows with vinegar and newspaper? They might have had a Mr Muscle sparkle but the house smelled like a chip shop. A more practical glass cleaning tip is to clean one side top-to-bottom and the other side side-to-side; that way if you have any smudges you’ll know which side it’s on.

Luckily with our roof glazing you can opt for self-cleaning glass. Sound like witchcraft? It’s not, and here’s the science bit…..


00000 glass picture for blog


The Pilkington Activ™ Range: A Two Step Cleaning Process

After years of development, Pilkington Activ™ is the world’s first self-cleaning glass to use a microscopic coating with a unique dual-action.

The first stage of the cleaning process is “photocatalytic“. In this stage the coating reacts with daylight to break down organic dirt.

The second stage is “hydrophilic“. Here, instead of forming droplets, rainwater hits the glass and spreads evenly, running off in a “sheet” and taking the loosened dirt with it, also drying quickly without leaving streaks.

If the thought of spending endless hours cleaning windows puts you off building a new conservatory or installing skylights then self-cleaning glass is precisely what you need. View this demonstration video to gain a better understanding of how self-cleaning glass works with the forces of nature to keep your glass cleaner.

Reference; Pilkington;


So don’t be put off having a rooflight, orangery or conservatory roof fitted. Speak to our estimators about the benefits of self-cleaning glass. And don’t balance on the side of a building to clean your windows. It probably won’t end well.


Contact us on:  01384 820060

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Bespoke rooflights off the shelf

Known for being a company who never stand still, the team at our family run Midlands based manufacturing firm, Howells Patent Glazing, are pushing for a record year for the 3rd year in a row. We hope that our latest product launch, a new stock roof sized roof light, will contribute to sales growth and the firm’s biggest year for turnover yet.


Our new slim line roof light bar, which offers thermal efficiency, is a great way to harness the liberating power of glass, bringing light and space into any environment without compromising on style and design. The bar was developed by the Director of Howells Patent Glazing, Gary Howells, and the process involved using innovative design technologies, structural engineers and several trial makes.

Tracey Jackson, Marketing Manager here at Howells Patent Glazing said, “We seemed to be having a lot of requests for bespoke roof lights, in similar sizes, where the builder had flexibility in the actual finished size.  These all seemed to be unvented and in standard colours of white /grey, single or dual colours.  We developed the slim line roof light bar to cater for this demand from builders and have recently launched our new roof lights to market with great success.  Our new slim line roof light has all the aesthetics of our original standard design, but is lighter as it uses a slimmer bar, which in itself gives improved light”.

The sales team here at Howells Patent Glazing believe that our latest product has proved to be a great option to those with tight turnarounds, but still requiring a ‘made to order’ product.  Aesthetically, it is similar to our firms bespoke range, but as it is ready built in more popular sizes and thus cuts down on the manufacturing time, but still makes a bespoke rooflight.

Dave Bennett, Sales Director at Howells Patent Glazing said, “Our customers are loving our new product and have been placing a lot of repeat orders since we launched it to market. We carry the stock, so that our customers do not have to”.

Want to know more about our services, glazing options and our new ‘stock-sized’ rooflights? Take a look around our website



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Awards for Staff training in the West Midlands

We  thought it would be nice to publicize the benefits of nurturing people/staff even after formal education has ended.
At Howells Patent Glazing , the family business, we believe in educating our employees and with 22 currently having inhouse NVQ training on different courses ranging from IT level 2 and 3, Improving Operational Performance Apprenticeship Level 2 and 3, Engineering level 3, leadership and management level 2 and 3 and BIT (Business Improvement Technique) NVQ. These are not the only courses we offer to the staff as there are other more specialist bespoke courses too. It just shows that you must never sit still as an organisation
We are so excited that this has been noticed and we have been nominated with 3 others for an award for staff training in the West Midlands, by Made in the Midlands via Insider magazine:
Apprenticeship and Training Award
The Apprenticeship & Training Award recognises the manufacturing business that has done most to further the cause of apprenticeships in the Midlands.
For achievements between March 2015 – April 2016.
This follows our change in direction 3 years ago with our rebranding and development of our core values in Fairness, Making a Difference, Personal Growth, Recognition and Enthusiasm
We restructured and developed a new management team to drive through the changes to each department. and have never looked back.  With the help of the Growth Accellerator (government business development program) and Black Country Growth Hub we have managed to put 50% onto our turnover in the last 3 years.
This success could only be achieved through our commitment to change and the value that we place in our workforce.
made in the midlands
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How to prevent heat loss in the home

A very big problem is faced currently in the home with ever  rising heating costs, which only seem to get worse with each year.  The best option is for the homeowner to tackle the root of the problem and that is HEAT LOSS.  Where is the heat escaping and how to minimize it.

It is safe to say that this is an ongoing problem for many people and there are no quick fixes that will provide lasting solutions.  How to prevent heat loss in the home continues to perplex us.

A big contender for heat loss are old inefficient windows, single glazing or really any kind of non thermally broken window frames.  Ask the question of do the windows need replacing or can you patch the problem?

This is a ‘How to’ guide on the benefits of double glazing

What you need to know and how to prevent the costly pitfalls of replacing whole windows when not necessary.

What are the benefits and how to use double glazing for preventing heat loss.


Firstly, just what are the benefits of double glazing?

:         Up to 18% of heat lost on not having double glazing, resulting in increased bills, higher Co2 emissions, more condensation, and higher noise levels so there are many advantages to double glazing.

:         Double glazing consists of two panes of glass sandwiched with argon gas which acts as insulator of heat and noise. Condensation occurs with single glass windows because internal air reaches its dew point and deposits water on the coldest object which will be the windows.

:         Double glazing is a longer term investment which will create a warm and quiet environment as well as been aesthetically pleasing.

form 1

Heat loss in the home

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It is one thing to have the vision to ‘see’ how changes to a building could enhance the construction, but another thing altogether to be the one who project manages this conversion.


This can be quite a stressful experience to the first time renovator or a private home owner who could be overwhelmed and daunted with the undertaking whilst still living there


home builder guide

Home builder guid


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Adding Value with Home Improvements

We all ask ourselves this question every now and again: “Is it worth adding value with home improvements?”

With the eye-watering cost to move house, not to mention the stress involved, it is no surprise that so many of us choose to extend or modify our homes rather than sell, but what actually adds the most value to your home? The National Association of Estate Agents revealed the answer; adding a bedroom (usually by converting loft space) and enlarging a kitchen. Did you know a loft conversion could add around 10% to the value of your home? Letting in daylight could be a problem unless you opt for a rooflight. Imagine being able to sleep under the stars without the use of blinds (if your locations allows!).

Underground Extensions:
Underground extensions are becoming more popular, particularly in London where the market value can support the high cost of excavating under your home. These underground rooms do not need to be dark and gloomy. It is possible to harness natural daylight by fitting a walk-on rooflight flush with the ground level, letting natural light flood in to the area underneath.

picture 1

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