Mark-Up Verses Margin

The difference between Mark-Up Verses Margin is frequently misunderstood. It can have serious consequences on your business.  For example:

You buy a good or service for £100 and put 50% mark up on it = £150.00.

You then want to offer a discount and think that if you offer 40% off you will still make a small profit.  WRONG!

40% off £150.00 = £90.00 which means you have made a £10 loss!

This is because the profit margin is 33% (not 50% as that is the mark up)

Waller Associates

In 1993 Steve Waller started Waller Building Services after training as a quantity surveyor. Over the next few years the company grew and it was in July, 2000, when the decision was made for Waller Building Services to become a Limited company.  Therefore Waller Associates Limited was set up and Waller Building Services became a trading division within that company. In 2010, an opportunity arose that dove tailed well with the existing company structure.  A long established local Glazing company went into administration which produced the need for a commercial and domestic glazing supplier in the area.  Their commercial glazing manger, Paul Hayward, liked the way we operated as a company and therefore a new division was formed.

Waller Building Services

Clients include schools, local authorities and private customers. Our building services consist of smaller refurbishments through to extensions and new builds.

Waller Glazing Services

Our glazing projects include window, door and also glass repairs. We also carry out complete window and door installations. You can see examples of our glazing works by viewing the case studies on our website.

Building on Trust….

Waller Building and Glazing Services is registered to Fensa, Chas, Constructionline and Safecontractor. We are also approved by Kent County Council. Waller Associates is a company that you can trust. We would be happy to give you a quotation on any size of works. You can See examples of our building works by viewing the case studies on our website.

Contact Waller Building and Glazing

Based in Sittingbourne, Kent, we carry out works throughout as well as the south east of England. If you would like a quotation on any size of project, please contact us. Call 01795 424435. Additionally email



What is BIM and how does it effect the building industry?

In a nutshell, BIM stands for “Building Information Modelling”. The government wants to have this fully integrated into all government projects by 2016.

Is this going to happen? The answer is probably not but we need to ensure we understand what it is and be prepared for it.

The problem that building companies are going to face when tendering for government projects is when they are asked things such as “are you BIM level 2 ready?” At this, stage all we need to prove is that we are working towards it and, at the level of contract we go for, it will basically mean the ability to:

  • Receive and send information electronically
  • Produce 3D drawings
  • Have software which integrates on the platform being used for BIM (which could be something as simple as an excel spreadsheet in some circumstances)

In some instances, if we can receive and open tender documents and send them back, we are proving that we can already integrate at a BIM level!

To date, the following link is the best I have found which should explain what BIM actually is:



In the 2014 Budget the government announced that it would consult on options to improve the operation of the CIS scheme for smaller businesses and to introduce mandatory online CIS filing for contractors. The consultation has now taken place.

A key reform concerns changes to the requirements for subcontractors to achieve and retain gross payment status. There are proposals for simplifying and improving the compliance and turnover tests which will enable more subcontractors to access gross payment status. The current £30,000 turnover test for sole traders will not be changing but the government proposes lowering the threshold for the upper limit of the turnover test to help more established businesses with multiple partners or directors qualify for gross payment status. The current upper threshold of £200,000 could fall to as little as £100,000.

Some compliance tests would be relaxed so that it would be easier for subcontractors to retain their gross payment status.

Improvements will be made to the IT systems to provide a better CIS online service for contractors. These will include the online system for verification of subcontractors by contractors.

The government is also proposing to remove the option  of verifying subcontractors by telephone.


Asbestos in Schools

Asbestos in schools – When the ‘A’ word is muttered around schools nowadays, there seems to be a serious case of hysteria with an assumption that you only need to look at it and you will suddenly die some horrible death!

Asbestos wasn’t banned in UK construction until 1986 and most buildings built before then will probably contain to some degree asbestos. As long as you know where it is and it’s managed correctly then it will cause you no problem whatsoever. So no need to panic!


All commercial premises, including schools, must have by law an asbestos register indicating where asbestos will be located in the building. This should be updated every time works are carried out even if no asbestos is come across. This can save the school money in the long run as additional testing may not be required if records show that no asbestos is in the area.

If you are unsure what your responsibilities are then go to the HSE website section on education to find out more:



If you have an up to date register, as a contractor we would ask to see a copy of it before any works are carried out where there is a potential risk of coming across asbestos. If the register does not have enough information on the area we are working in, depending on the type of works, we may have to carry out intrusive testing (ie cutting holes in ceilings and walls) so we are 100{5649ae563538d4e4143b9a1c2946af7df32b9f4b4d437e9732645a466ec43c51} sure what we are going to disturb. If asbestos is found then as long as it is managed correctly it will cause no risk to the school whatsoever.

There are different types of asbestos, some notifiable and others non-notifiable. Some types we can deal with ourselves and others require licensed asbestos firms to come in. We have experience in all areas and can advise you on what course of action to take with the most economical solution. What we do is manage the problem for you to ensure not only are the works carried out safely and no-one is put at risk but legally you do not do something that is considered negligent.

All our workforce are Asbestos Aware and been on specific training courses. They are trained to identify asbestos and follow a correct course of action.

Over the past few months we have carried out works in numerous schools in Kent assisting them with asbestos related projects. These, along with others, can be found on our website



Client: Maidstone Girls Grammar School

Description of Works: Removal of asbestos sheet cladding to school building during summer holidays

Contract Value: £20,000.00

This project had notifiable asbestos so we had to employ a licensed contractor to remove the sheeting. All management, preparation, remedial works and making good was carried out by us.

A month prior to commencement we arranged a site meeting with the asbestos removal company, scaffolders, cladders and the client to confirm the extent of the works and how to encapsulate the whole area. All parties were in agreement with our proposed programme and fully aware of what the sequence of works was going to be.

The school chose us to manage this project as we were able to co-ordinate all parties concerned and keep them informed of the method of working, health and safety issues and progress on site.

Client: Sittingbourne Community College

Description of Works: Fire precaution and upgrading works to communal stairwell areas

Contract Value: £3,500.00

On carrying out fire barrier works to a staircase, panelling was removed and damaged asbestos boarding was uncovered. This was not on the asbestos register but fortunately, as our operatives are trained in spotting asbestos, works ceased before disturbing it and tests were carried out.

The area was closed off and a legal notification period of 2 weeks was given. Asbestos was then removed and the fire barrier work continued with no potential health risks to the school and with minimal disturbance.

We carried out all associated works as well as managing the asbestos removal.

Client: Meopham School

Description of Works: Improvement works to existing classrooms

Contract Value: £10,000.00

Whilst carrying out the initial stripping out of the classrooms, we came across an existing worktop that had a sheet of asbestos screwed to it. We cut through the worktop either side of the asbestos and it was then double wrapped in polythene. We arranged with an asbestos removal firm to collect and dispose of it in the correct manner.

We provided the school with documentation which could be attached to the relevant page of the asbestos register to show that that piece of asbestos has now been removed from the school.

Due to our operatives being trained in asbestos awareness, the asbestos sheeting was recognised and disposed of correctly ensuring no long term risk to the school.

Client: St. John’s Church of England Primary School

Description of Works: Windows and infill panel replacement works

Contract Value: £57,000.00

Before being awarded this contract, we were aware that the existing infill panels below the windows contained asbestos. Initially, the school were going to employ an asbestos company prior to our commencement but there were issues with keeping the building secure. There would have also been additional costs by separating the contract as temporary panels would have to be made and installed.

We were therefore asked to manage the entire project and by working in conjunction with the asbestos company we were able to keep the school completely secure as well as reduce the overall cost to the school. We had our asbestos company perform additional tests and the result concluded that due to the makeup of the panels we could work alongside the asbestos removal team. Temporary panels were therefore not required and we installed replacement insulated panels immediately after the old ones were removed. As an added precaution, air tests were also carried out to ensure no asbestos particles had been let loose into the atmosphere.

All certificates from the asbestos company were sent to the school so they could update their register.


I attended today mock interviewing training for the 6th form at Westlands school. This was facilitated by CXK which is a charity that helps young people and adults to develop their skills, raise their aspirations and encourage them to reach their full potential.

The students were asked to produce a CV and apply for a position which they were then interviewed for. Although some of the pupils had applied for jobs in the past, for the majority this was the first time they had experienced actually being interviewed. It was the job of myself and other local business owners to give advice prior to the interview, actually carry out the interviews and then give some feedback afterwards.

To summarise, the advice I gave the students was as follows:


  • Ensure your CV is very well presented with NO grammatical errors
  • Include on your CV ALL your achievements no matter how small
  • Make you CV interesting and sell yourself!
  • Make sure the covering letter you send is targeted specifically at the Company who you are applying to
  • If you are offered an interview, go the day before to introduce yourself.  This will make your interview day a lot less stressful


  • Never be late
  • Try and be relaxed
  • Be yourself
  • Answer questions honestly
  • Keep eye contact
  • Dress smartly and for the occasion
  • Sit up straight and look confident
  • Don’t mumble

The feedback from all the interviewers was that the standard of the students was extremely high and although some were nervous beforehand they generally found the experience very helpful and realised that it was nowhere near as bad as they thought it would be!

What amazed me today was that writing CV’s, applying for jobs and interview techniques are not part of the school curriculum.  As far as I know only three schools in the Swale area actually do what we did at Westlands today giving the students there a great advantage when it comes to looking for a job.  I am not saying that they are all going to get the first job they apply for but at least they are going to be better prepared when they take their first step into the big world of employment out there!

I wish all the students I saw today the best of luck for the future.

We were approached last year by Kent Business School to see if we had any future project work that their MBA students would be able to assist with. At that time we were considering purchasing some additional plant and machinery and welcomed any external advice on the viability. We therefore put together a basic feasibility study for the students to work on culminating in a consultancy with a group of students at the University.
I was extremely impressed with the thoughts and potential  solutions I was given which has assisted us in deciding what future course of action we should take.  An additional bonus outcome was  feedback on the Company website and on ways it could be improved together with assistance on sourcing the equipment we require from alternative sources!
This was an extremely worthwhile exercise and I hope the students got as much out of it as I did. It’s good to know that Kent is producing some of the best future employees in the country.

Waller Building & Glazing recently exhibited at the EduKent Expo & Conference at the Kent County Showground, Detling. This exhibition produced excellent results and proved to be a huge success and a must for next year.

Waller Associates Ltd specialise in building and glazing projects within the education sector, this exhibition allowed us to meet the appropriate clientele including Head Teachers, Finance Directors, Bursars, School Business Managers and other influential people within school leadership teams.

We have already completed four projects;

  • Window and office refurbishment work and emergency boiler maintenance in a primary school in Dartford. This school as also requested quotations for a new swimming pool building, roof windows and replacement double glazed units.
  • Office refurbishment including new carpet and bespoke fire door in Gravesend.
  • Roof repair in Maidstone.
  • Emergency tarmac repair to a school entrance in Sittingbourne.

We were able to speak to numerous schools on the day and have subsequently been contacted by over a dozen requesting assistance/ quotations for potential works. Works we have quoted for include new double glazed aluminium windows and doors, safety filming to existing windows, storeroom conversion into office and electrical works within several schools in Swale.

The exhibition enabled Waller Building & Glazing to speak to the relevant people in other areas including Thanet, Ashford, Medway and Sevenoaks. The works quoted for include new build classroom, replacement roof windows, toilet refurbishment and fire precaution works.

For more detailed larger projects such as classroom extensions and new builds we offer a complete surveying service where we can draw up specifications tailored for particular requirements. We have architects, planning inspectorates and engineers on hand to assist in any building requirements.

Thank you very much to anyone who stopped at our stand and hopefully see you again next year.


As we meet more and more clients we are increasingly finding that they are finding it extremely difficult to compare contractors on a like for like basis. The two main reasons for this are;

  1. The client is unsure what to ask when checking what the contractors standards are and what certification they have
  2. That quotations come back in various formats and it is extremely difficult for them to ascertain that the contractors have priced for exactly the same thing.

We have therefore produced a checklist for clients to assist them in this process. With regards to comparing quotations on a like for like basis, we offer a complete surveying service where we can draw up specifications, tailored to your particular requirements, for you to send out to contractors. There is a charge for this service but if we are the successful contractor we will reimburse to you these costs.

If you feel this service will be beneficial to you or would like to discuss any of the above further then please feel free to give me a call.

 Client Checklist pdf
Client Checklist pdf
219.7 KiB
Steve Waller - Kent, Building & Glazing Specialists

I was asked once again by CXK (formerly Connexions) to carry out mock interviews with Year 11 students at Highsted Grammar School.  The idea is to give students an insight into what to expect when they go for their first job and, in my opinion, an excellent way to reduce the potential anxiety they could otherwise have when arriving for their interview.  The whole year was interviewed by around 15 local businesses in and around the Swale area, each giving a different angle on interview styles, etc.  For me, it was a case of informing the students what to expect and also what a prospective employer would expect from them.  They were asked questions that usually crop up at an interview and feedback was given at the end on how they performed and what they could do to possibly improve.

To summarise, the key areas I suggested they think about were:

  • Their CV – make sure this is spot on with no grammatical errors.  Include on it ANYTHING interesting about themselves as this may be used as a talking point at the interview. Also include any part time jobs, charity work or awards they may have won.  If the CV doesn’t look good, it’s unlikely they will even get to the interview!
  • Prior to your interview, go the day before to find out how long it takes to get there and introduce yourself to the receptionist.  Introduce yourself and tell them why you are there.  Also ask questions about what is it like to work there, do they know who will be interviewing you, how to dress, etc.  You will be amazed how well this goes down with a future employer.  Also, do some homework – go to their website and read up on them so you know what they are about.
  • At the interview be polite, confident and try and stay relaxed.  This is your ONLY chance to make an impression and get through to the next interview round.  Ensure a good firm hand shake when you arrive and remember to smile! Keep eye contact and sit up straight. And don’t be afraid if you are asked a question that you don’t understand for the interviewer to repeat it or confirm what they are after.
  • Finally, make sure you have a couple of questions to ask at the end of the interview.  When you leave thank them for the opportunity and finish with another good hand shake.

The students I interviewed were a real credit to the school and although some started off quietly, they all presented themselves well and acted confidently.  I wish them all the success in the future and hopefully today will give them a slightly better chance of getting their first job!


Waller Glazing Services is a family run business based in Sitingbourne, an ideal location for supplying fire rated glass to Kent and the surrounding areas. We are the sole stockist of 7mm Pyroguard FD60 in the South of England and can offer next day delivery for this particular fire glass.

Pyroguard FireDoor 60 is a specialist fire door glazing product which was designed specifically for the UK fire door market, FireDoor 60 was the first 7mm laminated 60 minute fire safety glass which can be cut by hand.

Pyroguard FireDoor 60 is a specialist fire door glazing product which was designed specifically for the UK fire door market, FireDoor 60 was the first 7mm laminated 60 minute fire safety glass which can be cut by hand.

Pyroguard FireDoor 60 is quicker to install and easier to handle than other fire glass therefore the speed of turn around combined with the cost of this fire rated glass are major benefits when pricing and planning projects.

Waller Glazing Services installed Pyroguard FireDoor 60, the specialist fire door glazing product from CGI International, throughout the new Silverstone Wing at the UK’s flagship racing circuit.

Apart from being cheaper and lighter than other clear 60min fire rated glass Pyroguard FD60 is a stock item and therefore readily available and can be cut to size and delivered the next day.