UK builders lose over £1,500 a year due to bad weather, new research has revealed, with the average person having to miss a week’s worth of work every 12 months.
With winter approaching, the study, conducted by Ironmongery Direct, the UK’s largest supplier of specialist ironmongery, surveyed tradespeople about the impact of bad weather on their work and finances.
It found that, on average, tradespeople lose 7.2 days a year because of factors like rain, snow and wind. With the typical UK day rate standing at £184, this means that workers are missing out on £1,325 every 12 months.
However, with almost two in five (38%) people losing over a week and one in ten (10%) missing over a fortnight, this figure will be far higher for some. Having to cancel or delay two weeks of work would cost a tradesperson, on average, £2,576.
Many tradespeople don’t get paid for days they don’t work, which explains why almost a third (29%) say they can’t afford to pause jobs for bad weather. A fifth (20%) work in all conditions and say that doing so is just part of the industry.
Sadly, this means many people put their health and safety at risk. Almost one in ten (9%) tradespeople say they have felt ill after working in bad weather; one in 12 (8%) have felt unsafe and one in 16 (6%) have been injured.
The pressure to continue working isn’t purely financial. More than one in ten (11%) say their clients expect them to work regardless of the conditions.
Some trades are more likely to be affected by the weather than others. Landscapers suffer the most, with 85% having to stop work when conditions take a turn for the worse. They are followed by builders (84%), surveyors (83%) and bricklayers (83%).
Landscapers miss the most days each year (10), but plumbers are hit the hardest financially. With the average plumber charging £265 a day, by missing almost a week of work each year, they lose £1,723.
The trades which lose the most money each year because of bad weather are:
1) Plumber – £1,723 (7 days)
2) Electrician – £1,570 (7 days)
3) Builder – £1,548 (7 days)
4) Painter decorator – £1,335 (9 days)
5) Landscaper – £1,213 (10 days)
6) Building surveyor – £1,120 (6 days)
7) Carpenter – £990 (7 days)
8) Bricklayer – £969 (6 days)
9) Plasterer – £765 (5 days)
10) Joiner – £680 (3 days)
Dominick Sandford, Managing Director at IronmongeryDirect, said: “Many tradespeople work outside on a regular basis and in the UK that inevitably means that weather is often an issue.
“This can be incredibly frustrating, with deadlines, finances and clients all adding pressure, but no-one should put themselves at risk by working in bad conditions.
“If you have to work, make sure you check the forecast before committing to dates and ensure you have the right clothing and equipment to keep yourself safe.”
For more news and features within the construction industry, subscribe to the Design & Build UK magazine here.