KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
7th September 2012
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At least 85% of electrical and electronic waste generated in the European Union will have to be recycled by 2020 under new rules that took effect on Monday.
The US National Kitchen & Bath Association recently recognised kitchen and bath design students with the 2012 NKBA Outstanding Student Awards, while also presenting three NKBA-accredited colleges with the 2011 Excellence in Education Awards. The NKBA announced these prestigious honours during the Educators' Forum at the NKBA's 2012 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Chicago.
Everyone has their favourite perfume. When in the bottle it could be anyone's, but once someone wears it, it becomes individually theirs, they become themselves, feeling incomplete when not wearing it. A perfume magically lifts spirits and stirs emotions.
Yesterday's announcement on the Government's plans to boost British housebuilding, jobs and the economy, (read the report in detail, below) has prompted much discussion from various quarters. Apart from the obvious nit-picking by the Opposition, real fears of householders about over-development by their neighbours and concerns about Green Belt land being destroyed, most seem to be encouraged by the move.
I can see some potential problems though.
Working as an estate agent at weekends (now something of a hobby for me) I am well aware of the damage our ridiculous stamp duty system causes to the housing market. Properties sitting even a fair way above one of the thresholds languish on the books because buyers are reluctant to accept the huge jump in duty they'll pay as a result of moving up into the next tax bracket by even one penny. Vendors of these properties often end up withdrawing from market, creating a barrier to the completion of chains of buyers and sellers because of the resultant shortage of properties in those price brackets. This needed addressing years ago with stamp duty being levied on a sliding scale. Now, with the relaxation in planning laws allowing householders to build that extra bedroom rather than move home, the problem is going to become worse.
Another problem is the lack of confidence in the economy, with those worried about their jobs reluctant to spend - either on new homes or new kitchens and bathrooms. There is also an issue regarding the supply of mortgage finance and I am seeing more and more often, buyers with mortgages in principle having them withdrawn when they decide to offer on a property. This needs to be addressed and I don't think the new proposals go far enough as the money being allocated is negligible compared to what is actually needed to create a market for all the properties that will supposedly be built.
Another 'fly in the ointment' is seen by the Local Government Association, which doesn't believe that the planning system has been responsible for the lack of house building. It has released figures which show a backlog of 400,000 prospective homes which have planning permission but have not been built because of a lack of demand. Jon Neale, director of residential research at global real estate consultancy, Jones Lang LaSalle, backs up this view, saying that most builders are concentrating on margin rather than volume and have no intention of starting a building boom.
It will be interesting to see how things pan out.
This Week's News
The Government has published legislation which will enable it to guarantee up to £40 billion of investment in infrastructure, and up to £10 billion in new homes. The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill gives statutory backing to the UK Guarantees programme announced in July and the housing guarantee schemes also announced last week.
Coventry based Showerlux UK ceased trading from its Coventry base in Sibree Road on 23rd August 2012 with 16 staff being made redundant.
Tim Corfield of Walsall-based Griffin & King, has been appointed by the director to assist in calling meetings of members and creditors with a view to placing the company into liquidation this month.
Selected to enhance and complement any piece of furniture, each handle has been individually chosen to add drama to the furniture. This avant-garde category includes Heritage, French, New Victorian, Oriental or Art Deco selections.
The award winning Bathroom Manufacturers Association has completely upgraded its special needs website pages, coinciding with this month's Paralympics.
The new pages 'Making Life Easier' pull on volumes of information provided by those members of the BMA who design and manufacture bathroom products especially for use by people with special needs.
Pictured here is the new Renolit Covaren Cobra - a fantasy design which picks up on the current trend towards irregular stripes and geometric patterns
KitchenAid, the premium manufacturer renowned for its appliances that combine professional performance with stylish design, offers the cooking enthusiast the Twelix oven, to create exceptional results in the domestic kitchen.
Compact and stylish, Roca's Mini is a contemporary cloakroom or small bathroom solution that, as its name suggests, is ideal for small spaces. This amazing value for money, perfect combination of furniture, basin and mirror or mirrored cabinet is available in Gloss White or Textured Oak, Wenge or Grey finishes.
August saw the launch of ECF's latest catalogue - the 2012/13 Component Portfolio. Showcasing ECF's extensive range of furniture components and accessories, this 268 page catalogue features over 2000 stocked products and includes over 250 new and exciting additions to the range.
The Zen Collection from uber features a matt slab door in Pavilion (grey green) and Pearl (white) colours. Babington is a high gloss range of slab doors available in Pearl, Canvas, Latte, Stone, Pavilion and Nero. Bibury focuses on curved doors and is available in high gloss and silk couture.
For a stylish, removable drainer in the kitchen, the new Mobile Drainer from Franke is just the job; and ideal for add-on sales opportunities for merchants and retailers.
Dramco is a leading online bathroom retail business based on Milton Park, Oxford, and as a result of significant and increased demand across both the trade and consumer sectors, is expanding its premises and moving from the Innovation Centre to 18A&B Milton Park.
'Flo~mate' pumps offer a simple solution to boost incoming mains water pressure without the need for a cold water break tank. At times when mains water pressure is insufficient, Flo~mate will deliver a minimum 1.5 bar pressure at a maximum flow rate of 12 litres per minute, meeting the requirements of most unvented boilers.
FIRA International, the world's leading independent furniture technology centre, has officially opened its refurbished staff kitchen, sponsored by Homebase.
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Sensio is delighted that it is now a corporate member of the Kitchen Bathroom and Bedroom Specialists Association. As a leading lighting manufacturer, Sensio has joined the organisation with a goal of providing help and support to all kitchen retail KBSA members.
A recent meeting of the main players in the bathroom industry, organised by the award-winning Bathroom Manufacturers Association, has broken new ground in establishing a framework for process improvement for product certification.
A self-employed joiner has been sentenced to 300 hours of community service after a gas cooker he illegally installed exploded, severely injuring two householders and causing more than £580,000 worth of damage to four properties.
Channel Five’s show ‘Cowboy Builders’ is planning to make over some rooms in a property in Bradford, including the kitchen. The programme makers are looking for The Kitchen Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association members to offer a kitchen and appliances free of charge in return for the opportunity to be involved in this prime time show, which has attracted up to 2.3 million viewers in previous episodes.
After years of enjoying a successful relationship, bathroom speciaists Ultra Finishing and Niko Distribution have completed a deal which has seen Ultra Finishing acquire Niko Distribution.
KBB Birmingham, 2012, also saw the launch of the The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers' brand new Corporate Membership programme.
Moores Furniture Group has successfully achieved Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme certification for the 6th consecutive year.
British kitchen manufacturer Burbidge has announced the appointment of Grant Hilliker as its new purchasing manager.