The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) is delighted to announce SONAS Bathrooms as its latest corporate sponsor, supporting the government sanctioned organisation and its work on building a sustainable workforce and improving education, standards, compliance and sustainability in the KBB installation sector.

SONAS Bathrooms is one of Ireland’s leading bathroom brands, and expanded into the UK market in 2023, with more than 45 years’ experience in distributing its complete range of bathrooms products to retail partners in Ireland. The business sees its sponsorship and support of BiKBBI as a key step in the brand’s journey to replicating its success in Ireland into Britain.

Ger Fahy, CCO SONAS Bathrooms (pictured) said: “As SONAS, we view installers as the backbone of the KBB sector. The insight and feedback from professional installers like the BiKBBI members, is highly values in our product development process. Becoming a corporate sponsor of the BiKBBI enhances our opportunity to collaborate with like-minded professionals who value high-quality products supported by team of technical experts. We are excited about working together with the BiKBBI members to drive positive change within the industry.”

BiKBBI CEO, Damian Walters said ‘The work that we are doing in the installation community is fundamental to the future of the KBB installation sector and therefore it is vital that we have the support of the wider industry – after all, every KBB manufacturer, supplier, distributor and retailer is reliant on installation at some point in the cycle. We are thrilled to welcome SONAS Bathrooms onboard as a corporate sponsor. We understand their ambition for growth in the UK market and we very much look forward to working with the SONAS team as we continue to drive positive change in the KBB installation sector through our focus on education, standards, compliance and sustainability.’

The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installation is delighted to announce global furniture fittings manufacturer Blum as its latest corporate sponsor, supporting the government sanctioned organisation and its work on building a sustainable workforce and improving education, standards, compliance and sustainability in the KBB installation sector.

Blum, which was founded in 1952 in Austria, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of furniture fittings, with 12 plants and production sites globally, serving more than 120 countries via its network of 32 subsidiaries and representative offices. Known today for its innovative fittings for kitchens and living areas throughout the home, Blum’s history also demonstrates the brand’s intrinsic commitment to education and development, taking on its first apprentice in 1958 and launching its own apprenticeship programme in 1970. More than fifty years later, Blum employs 400 apprentices worldwide across a number of technical professions, helping the business to produce fittings for its customers around the world whilst securing the future of both their business and the industry.

Matthew Glanfield, Technical Manager at Blum UK (pictured) commented ‘We are excited to be returning to the BiKBBI, we believe this partnership will bring us closer to the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom industry, with a specific focus on fitters and installers. Fitters and installers are prominently in our minds. We have many solutions that can inspire, save time and improve accuracy. We also have a suite of services that can support during everyday work.’

BiKBBI CEO, Damian Walters said ‘As well as being an established business and innovator in our sector, Blum’s commitment to apprenticeships, training and the development of the future workforce is very closely aligned to BiKBBI’s purpose and strategic objectives. The work that we are doing across all areas of our strategy is fundamental to the future of the KBB installation sector and it is vital that we have the support of the wider industry. We are thrilled to add Blum to our growing list of brands that not only recognise the importance of the installation sector to their business but are actively playing a role in securing its future.’

The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) is delighted to announce software specialist ArtiCAD as the latest brand within the KBB sector to pledge its support by becoming a corporate sponsor of the institute.

Founded in 1992, ArtiCAD’s software solutions have advanced over the years and the business has grown to be one of the world’s leading KBB industry software specialists with its flagship products ArtiCAD-Pro and BathCAD currently used by more than 3900 businesses in the UK market alone, with rapidly expanding numbers in North America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.

ArtiCAD Marketing Director, Theresa Turner (pictured) said 'We are delighted to partner with the BiKBBI, as we enter the next exciting stage of ArtiCAD's growth. We share similar values and team culture - a passion for the KBB industry and a drive to help installers, retailers and manufacturers to develop and thrive. ArtiCAD also has a strong history of software and service innovation, and the launch of our new solution for installers - hey.kitchen - is key to the timing of this new partnership. We're looking forward to working closely with the BiKBBI team and its members.’

BiKBBI CEO, Damian Walters said ‘The work we do to drive positive change in the installation sector is more vital than ever before. As in institute, we are focused on collaboration and bringing all areas of the industry together to solve the challenges facing the KBB industry, and ArtiCAD’s support via corporate sponsorship demonstrates their commitment to the sector and their recognition of the importance of the installation community. We are very pleased to welcome them to the BiKBBI corporate sponsorship line up and look forward to working with the ArtiCAD team going forward.’

The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) is pleased to announce that bathroom specialist The Bathroom Place has become a BiKBBI Retail Installation Standards Partner and will work closely with BiKBBI going forward to deliver a robust proposition for its customers.

The East Anglia based business was established in 2022, with three showrooms in Kings Lynn, Dereham and Thetford and prides itself on helping customers achieve the bathroom of their dreams with as little stress as possible thanks to the brand’s ‘Fully Installed’ & ‘Supply Only’ services.

Speaking on behalf of The Bathroom Place, Managing Director Stuart Marsden commented (pictured) said: ‘We are thrilled in becoming a BIKBBI partner. Working in partnership with BIKBBI will make a very positive impact on our Fully Fitted & Supply Only service which will give our customers complete confidence in creating their dream bathroom with The Bathroom Place.’

Claire Walters, spokesperson for BiKBBI’s registration team added: ‘Becoming a BiKBBI Retail Installation Standards Partner has many benefits, not just for the retailer, but for their associated installers. In addition to reducing complexity of compliance and risk for both parties, we help professional installation businesses and installers, often micro-SMEs, to gain a bigger voice, join with thousands of other like-minded professionals, get access to news, technical updates, commercial cost-savers, training and development and specialist support for their business. We are very much looking forward to working with The Bathroom Place and their installation teams’.

The British Institute of KBB Installation works with local, regional and national retailers of KBB product and invites any business wanting to know more about becoming a Retail Installations Standards Partner, to contact its Commercial Relationships Manager Leon Rowland (leon.rowland@bikbbi.org.uk).

Following Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget announcement yesterday, the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) CEO, Damian Walters, reacts to the new measures and the impact for installation businesses and installers operating in the UK KBB industry.

"Businesses of all sizes will recognise that the Chancellor had to find some ‘middle ground’ amidst an ongoing challenging financial environment. There were things that small businesses and sole traders will welcome in the Spring Budget statement, particularly the further cuts to national insurance and the decision to maintain the fuel duty freeze. Installers are feeling the pinch as much as anyone and these simple measures will leave them with a bit more in their pockets at the end of each month.

The decision to extend the VAT threshold was also good news. It's widely known that a lot of self-employed people and small businesses find themselves hovering just below the threshold to avoid being drawn into the VAT trap, so raising it to £90,000 will be a powerful incentive for many to take on more work and grow their businesses. The extension of the Recovery Loan Scheme into the 'Growth Guarantee Scheme' will also help a lot of SMEs.

Importantly, the Government has also published new guidelines on the tax deductibility of training costs for sole traders and the self-employed. The updated guidance is good news for anyone planning on developing their skills to benefit their existing business, and we're encouraging BiKBBI registered installers to make full use of all of available tax deductions to help grow their businesses and close the skills gap in our industry.

The wider economic picture continues to be a concern, with economic output per head projected to fall in the coming year. This means less money to go around and tough choices for consumers. Positively, the home improvement industry has fared well, riding the post-pandemic years relatively unscathed. However, we must fully recognise that the country as a whole is in a period of political and economic instability. Unless we want to continue a ‘race to the bottom’ by using price as the lever, we should focus on our value proposition and demonstrating that consumer trust is well placed when choosing to invest in our industry.”

By Mark Hilton, Allports UK

Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Solutions in the Transition to Electric Vans

In the ever-evolving landscape of commercial vehicles, the shift towards sustainable and eco-friendly options has become more than just a trend—it's a necessity. For installers who rely on their trusty diesel vans, the prospect of making the switch to electric may seem daunting. However, with the right solutions in place, the benefits far outweigh the challenges.

The Charging Conundrum
One of the primary concerns for installers eyeing the transition to electric vans is the charging infrastructure. Unlike diesel vans that can refuel quickly at any fuel station, electric vehicles (EVs) require access to charging stations. Installers are often on the move, making it essential to have a reliable and accessible network.

Allports turnkey solution that addresses the charging challenge. We have a finance offer starting from only 1.99%, Allports Group can install a free charger fitted at your home, or if you already have a charger we can give you a £750 charging card for refuelling on the go.

Conquering Range Anxiety
Range anxiety, the fear of running out of battery power before reaching the destination, is another hurdle for installers considering electric vans. The need to cover extensive distances for customer visits can make the perceived limited range of electric vehicles a cause for concern.

Allports introduces the Renault Trafic E-Tech Red Edition, a game-changer in the world of electric vans. With an industry-leading battery consumption of only 18.7Kw per 100km driven, range anxiety becomes a thing of the past. Installers can now confidently take on long journeys, knowing they can cover a real world range of 172 miles on a single charge.

Counting the Cost
Cost considerations are at the forefront of any business decision. While the long-term benefits of electric vans are apparent, the initial investment can be a roadblock for customers.

Allports addresses the cost concern with competitive financing options. With low-rate finance offer starting from 0%, installers can make the switch without breaking the bank. The Hire Purchase products, including a free charger, and a Contract Hire offer from only £115 per week, make the transition financially feasible.

Turning the Tables: Savings for Installers
For the first time, installers can witness a tangible saving against buying a diesel vehicle. The combination of reduced charging costs, lower maintenance expenses, and financing options that ease the burden make the electric van proposition not just environmentally friendly but financially savvy.

Embracing the Future with Allports
In conclusion, the challenges installers face when contemplating the shift from traditional diesel vans to electric ones are real, but so are the solutions. Allports provides a holistic approach, offering not only electric vehicles with industry-leading efficiency but also addressing charging infrastructure concerns and financial considerations.

With the Renault Trafic Red Edition leading the charge, installers can now embrace the future of sustainable transportation without compromising on performance or budget. It's not just a switch; it's a revolution, and Allports is paving the way.

The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installation is delighted to announce Hansgrohe as the latest KBB brand to become a corporate sponsor of the institute, with the global premium bathroom and kitchen company pledging its support to the government-sanctioned organisation and its work on building a sustainable workforce and improving education, standards and compliance in the KBB installation sector.

With its brands AXOR and hansgrohe, the Hansgrohe Group, is an internationally active company synonymous with innovation, design and quality in the bathroom and kitchen industry. Hansgrohe, a family business founded in the Black Forest, Germany in 1901 is known for its long-lasting, high-quality products and for how seriously it takes its responsibility towards people and the environment. The 120-year history of the company is marked by innovations, such as the first hand-held shower with multiple spray types, the first pull-out kitchen mixer tap, and the first wall bar to hold a hand-held shower. In 1990 the Hansgrohe Group founded the UK subsidiary which currently employs around 90 staff in the office and in the field, and recently invested more than £5m into its UK business.

Julie McLean, Marketing Director for Hansgrohe UK (pictured) said: “The UK KBB installation sector is vital to manufacturers like us. That’s why so many of our product innovations are linked to benefits for installers – from our spare parts guarantee to ‘fit and forget’ designs that help ensure a quality finish and longevity for their customers. We are therefore delighted to support BiKBBI in its important work championing installers, retailers and the KBB industry, and the significant contribution they play in the wider economy.”

BiKBBI CEO, Damian Walters said ‘2023 was an extremely active year for the institute as we continued our work education, standards, compliance and sustainability – all of which are fundamental to the future of the installation community that serves the KBB sector. It is vital that we collaborate with the wider industry, so to start 2024 by welcoming Hansgrohe, a much-respected business and brand, on board as a corporate sponsor is a real highlight for our organisation. It is also a significant step in our quest to garner support from more manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and retailers, all of whom are reliant on installation at some point in the cycle, as we work towards closing the communications gap, improving the skills shortage and ultimately building a sustainable workforce.

We are thrilled to have Hansgrohe supporting the work that we are doing to drive positive change in the KBB installation sector and very much look forward to working with the team and supporting them as they embark on an exciting phase within their business.’

Easy Bathrooms has become the latest BiKBBI Retail Installation Standards Partner in preparation for the launch of its national installation service, Simply Install, which will provide customers with a turnkey fitting service across Easy Bathroom’s impressive 139 showroom estate, working closely with BiKBBI to deliver a robust proposition for its customers.

Speaking on behalf of Easy Bathrooms, Head of Installations David Rowley said: “We’re delighted to be working with BiKBBI as we develop Simply Install across our showroom estate over coming weeks and months. I have worked with BiKBBI for many years and enormously value the work they drive within our industry. At Easy Bathrooms, we completely understand the challenges facing the industry, especially the evident shortage of skilled labour across the construction and home improvement sector. We’ll work with BiKBBI, not only to connect and work with the very best specialist bathroom installers, but to collaborate efforts in the building of a sustainable future pipeline of professional installers for tomorrow.”

David went on to say: “BiKBBI is a key strategic partnership for us for several reasons. The organisation manages and maintains the bulk of our compliance requirements, ensuring that risk to our customers and brand is minimised with their leading compliance management tools. Additionally, they help us to connect with new installers, deliver training and development to both our installers and internal management team, provide us with an inspection service and generally support the complex task of Easy Bathrooms delivering a leading installation solution for our customers.

Christine Masson, spokesperson for BiKBBI’s registration team added: “In addition to the benefits for a retailer to partner with us [BiKBBI], it’s important to recognise the many benefits that professional installers gain in registering with the UK’s only institute dedicated to their sector. We help these businesses, often micro-SMEs, to gain a bigger voice, join with thousands of other like-minded professionals, get access to news, technical updates, commercial cost-savers, training and development and specialist support for their business.

As we head in to the festive period, please be aware of the BiKBBI offices reduced operating hours leading up to and during Christmas and New Year weeks.

Friday 22nd December 2023
9am - 12pm

Monday 25th, Tuesday 26th December 2023
Closed as our team enjoy a well deserved festive break.

Wednesday 27th - Friday 29th December 2023
9am to 1pm daily

Monday 1st January 2024
Closed - Public holiday

Tuesday 2nd January (onward)
Business as usual - 9am - 5pm daily

On behalf of the team at BiKBBI, we wish you and your friends and family a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Leading online marketplace eBay as become the latest brand to show its support for driving positive change in the KBB installation sector by becoming a corporate sponsor of the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI).

eBay, most widely known for its auction-style listing site, creates pathways to connect millions of sellers and buyers in more than 190 markets around the world, providing opportunities to grow and thrive. There is a significant opportunity to work more closely with the installation community, delivering solutions to redirect furniture, hardware and appliances away from landfill and perhaps even monetise what would otherwise become waste. The prospect of connecting installers with product via an increased network of KBB manufacturers and retailers is also very exciting for eBay. With 192 million active sellers, eBay provides a unique, potentially untapped and environmentally sustainable solution for established bricks and mortar and online retailers, as well as manufacturers across many industries, creating a route to market for products such as returned and reconditioned merchandise.

BiKBBI, a government sanctioned organisation, is focused on driving positive change in the KBB industry through its work on education, standards, sustainability and compliance, ultimately uniting manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and retailers with the installation community. As a not-for-profit organisation, the institute, and its efforts to build a sustainable workforce for the future, is wholly funded by registration fees and corporate sponsorship.

Rosalind Bridges, Category Manager at eBay commented: ‘We are really happy to be working closely with the BiKBBi as we have a continued focus on bringing ‘not new’ inventory to our platform, with bathroom and kitchens being the next areas of the site we would like to focus on. We know there is stock out there that can be refurbished or simply given a second life by reselling on ebay.’

BiKBBI CEO, Damian Walters said ‘The institute’s priorities on education and sustainability align with eBay’s values and strategy, and the partnership has the potential to deliver significant benefit to, not only BiKBBI registered installation businesses, but also to our network of manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Gaining the support of a global brand such as eBay is a milestone for BiKBBI and a huge positive for the whole industry.’

EDUCATION | STANDARDS | SUSTAINABILITY | COMPLIANCE |