Every year Professional Builder casts its cultivated eye over the highlights of the last twelve months and the result is our Top Product Awards. Our annual industry accolade celebrates the solutions featured across our editorial, advertising and digital platforms. Not only that, but it is your engagement and interaction with Professional Builder’s content across the magazine, website and social media that helps us choose these worthy winners.
Below we feature time-saving tools and business-boosting building materials that have made your life on site just that little bit easier – and more profitable.
As we have been for the last half century Professional Builder will be on hand to provide you with all the latest industry information throughout 2022, and we wish all of our readers a prosperous and productive year ahead.
The Charles Godfrey Award
If ever there was a product that was made to measure for the trades then it is the invention of Phil Hogan. Measure twice and cut once might be the old adage, but even having abided by that time-honoured precaution you can still be at the mercy of the limits of your tape measure. Long lengths or door and window reveals can all prove problematic, but not so with the Gator Tape. Phil first identified a gap in the market when setting up an interior refurbishment company with his wife, as he explains: “As well as painting & decorating, we also specified and installed shutters, blinds and curtains. It was when I found myself measuring up rooms for these products, that it became apparent that there wasn’t really a suitable tape measure for the job.”
With necessity the mother of invention, Phil set up finding a remedy that would measure up. “It became a real voyage of discovery because in finding a solution for a very specific task we found that we’d developed a tool that would be useful for virtually every trade. Like other top reading units it works by measuring from the back of the base plate to the hook of the tape, with the result viewable in the top viewing window. Existing examples only feature a maximum blade width of 19mm, however, whereas ours is 25mm, which provides a far superior stand-out of 2.3m on a 5m blade.”
Not only that the Gator Tape is the only top viewing tape measure with a Class 1 blade, which means it has the highest standard of accuracy available, with an error of no more than +/- 1.1mm over a 10m length. Continues Phil: “Readings from that hi vis blade can be viewed in millimetres, centimetres and inches and the backplate has been specifically designed so that it will stand up on its own. A powerful snout lock means you can move it around with confidence once you’ve taken a measurement, whilst there’s also a curtain claw available.”
For further information on Gator Tape visit https://gator-tape.com/
Thanks to an unprecedented energy crisis – and homeowners looking for more sustainable ways of living – solar PV has been a hot topic in 2022. Marley SolarTile provides an integrated roof system that fits seamlessly with the design of the roof. Supplied as a complete kit form, it’s easy to install and is compatible with all clay and concrete tiles and slates.
For further information on Marley’s SolarTile visit https://www.marley.co.uk/solar-roof-tiles/solartile
The Spetz app will quickly and easily match property owners with the right tradespeople.
More than 10 years in development, it harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence to connect a homeowner with a service provider within 30 seconds. There’s a high conversion rate, no on-going subscription fee, and a rating system that will help builders win more work.
For further information on the Spetz App visit https://www.spetz.co.uk/
British Gypsum ThistlePro FastSet Finish
You’ve got time-savings in the bag with British Gypsum’s ThistlePro FastSet Finish. The product has a setting time that’s 50 per cent faster than standard skim finish plaster, whilst it also reduces the need for additives. If you want to find out what other plasterers thought of the new products follow the link to watch a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=ZhC_Qoav-OI&feature=emb_logo
There’s ARMD support against crime with a new platform that’s designed to protect the trades against the damaging effects of tool theft. The app and website combines a free Tool Inventory, easily accessible insurance, and access to security products. Watch a video that explores the ARMD system here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNEUopUy96k
Festool TS 60 K Plunge Cut Saw
This German manufacturer’s premier position in plunge cut machines is reaffirmed with the first corded saw to benefit from KickbackStop technology. There’s also 62mm of cutting depth, compatibility with cross cutting guide rails, and it is even possible to saw mitre cuts of 45° in solid panels of up to 40mm.
For further information on the Festool TS 60 K Plunge Cut Saw visit https://www.festool.co.uk/products/sawing/circular-saws/576724—ts-60-kebq-plus-gb-240v
Reliance Valves MultiSafe Leak Detection System
Protect properties against costly water damage with the Reliance Valves MultiSafe Leak Detection System. It works by identifying leaks early, sending an alert when a leak is detected, and automatically shutting off the water supply. The system also monitors water usage and patterns, identifying potential areas for conservation.
For further information on the Reliance Valves MultiSafe Leak Detection System visit https://www.rwc.co.uk/product/multisafe-leak-detector-control-valve/
Buckbootz bANG guardz
Guard against joining the ranks of the working wounded with Buckbootz. In the bANG guardz dealer boot the stretch area is moved to the front. That then allows for the addition of protection panels at the point of both the inner and outer ankle, as well as a padded collar, and a back heel piece. If you want to watch a video that explains the concept visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJtRLFhECfw
Jouplast UK Plastic Mouldings Northern
Raising the profile of all types of decking in more ways than one, Jouplast adjustable decking and paving pedestals allow the user to raise and lower the head by simply rotating the green (decking) nut or the (blue/grey) nut for the paving. As a result the perfect levels can be set on a wide variety of paving projects, as well as wooden and composite decking.
For further information on the Jouplast UK Plastic Mouldings Northern visit https://plasticmouldingsnorthern.co.uk/jouplast/
ToughBuilt GelFit Fanatic TB-KP-G3
All-day kneeling ergonomics, comfort and functionality is the promise for these Thigh Support Stabilization Knee Pads. Providing a combination of stability with easy side-to-side movement, the integrated thigh support keeps the knee perfectly centred, and a gel and foam design embraces the natural shape of the knee and upper shin.
For further information on the ToughBuilt GelFit Fanatic TB-KP-G3 visit https://toughbuilt.com/product/gelfit-fanatic-thigh-support-stabilization-knee-pads-1
Rockwool UK NyRock
Thermal Insulation Cavity Slab 032 and Thermal Frame Slab 032 will take stone wool insulation to the next level. Part of the Rockwool, NyRock range, the 032 refers to the lambda rating. That means comparatively thinner constructions and the potential for additional interior floor space.
For further information on the Rockwool UK NyRock visit https://www.rockwool.com/uk/
Made for Trade Korniche Bi Folding Door
Opening new doors on a market that continues to expand, the Made for Trade Korniche Bi Folding Door includes a clever shoot bolt handle with an anti-back drive element. Build options allow sashes up to 1.25m, systems up to 6.5m width and 2.5m height between one and seven sashes, with a range of weatherproof finishes.
For further information on the Made for Trade Korniche Bi Folding Door visit https://www.madefortrade.co/products/bi-folding-doors/
Armourflex Hardwax Oil
Take to the floor with Armourflex® Hardwax Oil! This tough, durable and water repellent blend of natural oils and waxes will protect and enhance the durability of all interior wood surfaces including hardwood, softwood, parquet and veneer. It’s dirt & scratch resistant as well as repelling common stains.
For further information on the Armourflex Hardwax Oil visit https://www.barrettinepro.co.uk/25/1347/armourflex-hardwax-oil
Scruffs Tried & Tested
The credibility of the Scruffs brand is won through real life testing with tradespeople and skilled professionals in their everyday working environments. Whether it’s the Argon Safety Trainer, Trade Active Polo shirt, or Falcon Safety Glasses, Scruffs has got you covered, with a full range of workwear and safety footwear.
For further information on Scruffs Tried & Tested visit https://www.scruffs.com/
Helly Hansen BRZ
Choose climate regulating comfort with BRZ products from Helly Hansen, combining lightweight fabrics and mechanical ventilation for comfort and versatility. This Norwegian manufacturer has been holding back the elements in its Scandinavian homeland for 140 years and made its reputation in the unforgiving fields of professional sailing and skiing.
For further information on the Helly Hansen BRZ products visit https://www.hellyhansen.com/
XGT marks the spot for power and portability. There are now over 40 products in the Makita 40V platform offering the kind of muscle that rivals corded machines. In addition, a built-in programme that provides digital communication between the battery and the tool means they work together for optimum performance.
For further information on the Makita XGT platform visit https://makitauk.com/xgt-landing-page
Marmox Thermo Block
Marmox Thermoblock is a block of load-bearing, water-impermeable insulation material designed to be placed at the base of a masonry or timber–frame wall to address the thermal bridge. Its thermal conductivity is 0.05W/mK which will result in a significant reduction in y values when used at wall to floor junctions.
For further information on the Marmox Thermo Block visit https://www.marmox.co.uk/
Time poor tradespeople can find support in pricing jobs. Estimators Online provides affordable and detailed labour and material estimating services. The team will convert building drawings for extensions, conversions, refurbishments and new build dwellings using in-house developed software and paperless quantification systems.
For further information on Estimators Online visit https://www.estimators.com/
JCP Vortex Screw
It’s the technical advancements that make Vortex Screws a star turn for the trades. The sharp, wide and deep thread – featuring ‘Saw Fix’ serrated thread technology – enables the screw to power through a wide range of materials quickly and easily. The recessed double countersunk head increases the strength of the screw beneath the head reducing the likelihood of shearing.
For further information on the JCP Vortex Screw visit https://www.owlett-jaton.com/
Allur Composite Decking
For ‘decks’ appeal in outdoor spaces choose Allur composite decking. Unlike the timber alternative the boards are available in range of colour options. There is no need to seal, stain or paint and they won’t rot or warp – and all that’s backed up with a 25-year guarantee. The boards cut and screw like timber, are slip resistant, and include recycled plastic content.
For further information on Allur Composite Decking visit https://allur.co.uk/
Bond It Contact Adhesive SF
Stick with Bond It for all the latest solutions including Contact Adhesive SF. This water dispersible product is an easy to use, non-flammable, and safer solvent-free formulation. A long working time allows for re-positioning, there’s excellent bond strength, and it will bond a wide range of lightweight materials to vertical surfaces and ceilings.
For further information on the Bond It Contact Adhesive SF visit https://bond-it.co.uk/adhesives/contact-adhesive-sf/
OB1 Multi-Surface Construction Sealant & Adhesive
Let the force of OB1 be with you. It’s Multi-Surface Construction Sealant & Adhesive bonds all metals – even lead. It’s also a solution for plastics, including PVC & GRP, as well as glass, mirror, polystyrene, fibreglass & wood. It works in water, is VOC free, and is resistant to chemicals, weather and fungal growth.
For further information on the OB1 Multi-Surface Construction Sealant & Adhesive visit https://ob1original.com/
The news that PipeSnug leads the way in Part L changes achieved the most pageviews of 2022 on the Professional Builder website. It is the only pipe seal that provides an all-in-one solution which meets Part L’s requirement to seal around pipework inside and outside a building, without the need for sealant, mortar or air sealing tape. Later in the year, company founders, Alex Lever and Chris Burdett would also enter the BBC’s Dragons’ Den.
For further information on this article visit https://probuildermag.co.uk/news/pipe-seals-officially-mandated-in-new-part-l-of-the-building-regulations
As bills rise, tradespeople are increasingly being called in to make properties more energy efficient so it’s no surprise Knauf Insulation’s guide to loft insulation issues proved a winner with our online audience. The manufacturer explains what you need to know for a successful installation as well as changes to Building Regulations.
For further information on this article visit https://probuildermag.co.uk/features/what-you-need-to-know-for-installing-loft-insulation
Wera Tools Socket Rails
Wera’s new range of magnetic socket rails were a star attraction, drawing the most visitors of any of our Instagram reels in the past twelve months. Professional Builder’s Toolfair was the setting for a video demonstration of these ¼”, 3/8”, and ½” rails. Up to 10 sockets or bit sockets can be secured and the rail can then be easily attached to metal surfaces.
For further information on this video visit https://www.instagram.com/reel/CdscZ9mIgAj/
Condensate Pro Primary Pro
With heat pumps one of the hot topics of 2022 our most popular product launch on Twitter was Condensate Pro’s Primary Pro. This simple and cost-effective way to protect the external heating pipework associated with air source heat pump installations consists of bespoke 28mm x 19mm UV-stable and weatherproof insulation and a ‘Bond & Seal’ sealant.
For further information on this post visit https://twitter.com/PB_mag/status/1481566905139974145
Knipex Pliers Wrench Set
Professional Builder’s Twitter followers were gripped by the Knipex Pliers Wrench set (00 19 55 S6) in the month of May, making it one of our best performing tweets. Now available as a set of three tools, the manufacturer’s Pliers wrenches are suitable for the holding, pressing and bending of workpieces.
For further information on this post visit https://twitter.com/PB_mag/status/1526472787560374273
Back to the Future – Where Radiators Fit Into The Plans…
Stelrad scored an email newsletter success from our readers with radiators that will perfectly partner renewable heating appliances such as air source heat pumps. It has developed and enlarged its series of K3 radiators, for example – a product with three panels and three fins on a radiator footprint that is scarcely larger than a traditional K2 design.
For further information on Stelrad watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4BVcYhlgvg
Join Cedral to become a certified installer!
You were keen to find out more about the membership benefits of the Cedral Select Installer programme. These include access to the Cedral Select Professional Platform, a listing as a trained installer on the manufacturer’s website, commercial and technical training, as well as access to Cedral branding and events.
For further information on Cedral watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Objhl75eYQM&t=93s
Save install time & costs with Celotex Thermaclass Cavity Wall 21
With a low thermal conductivity of 0.021 W/m.K and availability in a range of thicknesses, Celotex Thermaclass Cavity Wall 21 enables low U-values to be achieved – meaning high levels of thermal performance – whilst keeping overall wall widths to a minimum.
For further information on Saint Gobain watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jngYYJ4kX1Y&t=6s
There’s only one choice for a one coat render
Saint-Gobain Weber’s weberpral M is a one coat cementitious and through-colour monocouche render. There’s low maintenance, with no further decoration required, and it can be used to create a scraped or roughcast render finish. Weather and algae-resistant, it is available in 25kg bags.
For further information on Artex watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2JCdBXAA_Q&list=PL82f2uCGtpDOEAbKNhCnobg5n3vEsyFgU&index=2
Bring it on with Thompson’s!
Whether you’re laying a new patio, updating a driveway or constructing new walls and dividers, Thompson’s has the right product. Its waterproofing range has been designed to effectively seal and protect brickwork, paving and tarmac from the elements.
For further information on the Thompson’s range visit https://www.thompsonsweatherproofing.co.uk/waterproofing/