Professional Builder Counter Attack – March 2020

Professional Builder Counter Attack – March 2020

For over 40 years, Professional Builder has been the favoured magazine of the building trade, picked up each month from merchant counters by more than 120,000 tradespeople. As we delve into its March issue to look at some of the articles, latest new products and advertising campaigns from the industry’s active suppliers, take advantage of PBM’s unique insight into the buying habits of your key customers to make more trade counter sales.

Tool Watch

Anti tool theft app

Tool theft is sadly an occupational hazard for many in the trade, with crime figures suggesting that a UK van is broken into every 23 minutes. With an overstretched police service and all-too-often an unhelpful insurance company, many in the industry have developed initiatives to thwart the criminals or at least minimise the disruption — take, for example, the Tool Angel service launched by Williams & Co and reported in PBM’s last issue.

Following the theft of tools worth more than £8,000 back in 2017, Alan Brett, proprietor of Hertfordshire-based building firm Absolute Building Structures, set about developing the Tool Watch App with a vision of helping tradespeople recover from tool theft with minimal financial loss and to make the reporting of the crime — and claiming against insurance policies — as simple as possible.

In essence, the app allows trade professionals to build a database of their tools by logging the make and serial numbers. Fully accredited by both Secured by Design and BSI, it works closely with police forces throughout the UK to ensure that if a stolen tool is recovered, it can be reunited with its rightful owner. In the worst case scenario, the fully itemised list will support any insurance claims.

The service offers a number of additional benefits and we support Alan in his endeavours to combat the tool theft epidemic.


Low pitch roof

Marley’s technical team shared a number of top tips for creating the perfect low pitch roof extension in the latest issue of PB, addressing issues such as matching the new roof with the existing structure, water run-off considerations and building regulations compliance.

The roof systems manufacturer highlighted its new Mendip 12.5 concrete interlocking tile (part of a dedicated range of Low Pitch solutions) which features special weatherproofing channels that mean it can be used down to a 12.5° pitch. Equally, to replicate the look of slate for lower pitch extension work, the company suggested its Edgemere range of thin leading edge concrete tiles which can be used down to pitches of 17.5°.

Knauf Insulation

Acoustic performance

With fire safety performance a growing concern and keeping the cold out remaining its primary purpose, the acoustic benefits of insulation are being increasingly recognised as the damaging effects of noise pollution are increasingly recognised. An informative article from Knauf spells out just how much of an issue this is and puts the case for some simple, and very cost-effective, solutions and highlights how the fibre structure of glass and rock mineral wool can help absorb “much of the kinetic energy of sound waves”.

To bring clarity in appropriate application choices, Knauf recommends its Insulation Solutions Guide which compares performance characteristics. Take a look via

Snickers / Solid Gear

Workwear review

Professional Builder’s Tibby Singh Chodha was revealed to be slipping into something more comfortable in the magazine’s March issue as he gave his verdict on some of the latest workwear. Included in his review were the Ruffwork Canvas Work Trousers with Holster Pockets, the XTR Craftsman D30 Knee Pads, the new Allround Work Logo Hoodie and the Solid Gear Venture Safety Trainers.

Tibby found the trousers gave flexibility where it was needed, whilst the extra durability of reinforced knee protection was a key benefit. He was especially impressed by the shoes, which he described as being extremely light (thanks to the lightweight NANO toe cap technology) whilst the BOA Lacing System has done away with laces and means they can be adjusted simply by turning a dial — particularly useful when working outside in the finger-numbing cold.


A46 Multi-Purpose Repair Mortar

A46 is described as being a hugely versatile rapid repair product that “should find a place on the back of virtually any tradeperson’s van”. It is suitable for external and internal repairs and is a polymer modified mortar, which sets and hardens rapidly to give a repair of high performance, strength and hardness.

Setting in under 30 minutes, it fills gaps up to 50mm deep. To watch a video of A46 in action on the Professional Builder website,


Hilton Banks


‘More grip, more power’ proclaims this striking ad for what is billed as “the ultimate sealant & adhesive”. Flagging up the company’s Top Product Award from Professional Builder magazine, the advert highlights the key features and benefits of the high performance, all-in-one product which boasts “outstanding adhesion and strength”.

As previously reported in PBM, the product is now available in more sustainable ‘Eco-Foil’ packaging, helping to cut down on waste on site.

To see videos of HB42 in action, go to



T-Rex tape

Like a poster for a classic B-movie behemoth, this campaign from the people behind T-Rex tape certainly doesn’t hold back! The makers say it boasts four times the staying power, three times the holding power and twice the bite of ‘standard duct tapes’ whilst the full range includes a variety of tapes — including waterproof, clear and brilliant white — to provide a solution irrespective of the task at hand.

Get your teeth into more info by entering in your browser.




Here’s a chap who looks happy with his purchase! And no wonder, given Hoppings’ reinvention of a familiar staple. The claim is that “It’s 4×2 but not as you know it” and Hoppings says that its SmartFrame structural grade, treated Scandinavian softwood is designed for ‘high risk situations’ such as deck posts and framing, garden structures and fencing.

The C24 strength class softwood is said to be suitable for use above ground and in-ground contact and is offered with a 25 year performance warranty.

Full details can be found by searching



Insulation boards

Cracking the clues to this crossword puzzle leads to one conclusion — that Ecotherm has the answer to your customers’ insulation requirements. Stating that it provides insulation solutions for the entire building envelope, EcoTherm’s thin polyisocyanurate (PIR) rigid thermal insulation board products are said to be cost effective, easy to handle and quick to install.



‘Simply better fillers’

Putting its portfolio on the line, Toupret says that it can help your customers to ‘joint, skin and fill with great results first time’ allowing them to quickly get on to their next job. Indeed, the company says that its ready to use ‘JSF’ range has been developed because it recognises that excellent results really matter, but so does the time it takes to get the job done. As such, the range is specially formulated to joint, skim and fill with one coat, no shrinkage, no need to spot prime and easy sanding.


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