At Richard Burbidge, we turn the ordinary into the inspirational. We are the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of quality staircase parts, decorative timber mouldings and exterior balustrades and accessories.
Passionate about the design, manufacture and supply of timber for over 150 years
Our extensive product collections range from traditional to contemporary, including a host of unique an innovative designs, all handcrafted to create showstopping results.Our History
Crafting timber products sustainably.
At Richard Burbidge we feel privileged to work with this incredible natural resource every day and always champion supporting sustainable timber production. We are proud to hold an extensive list of environmental and sustainable accreditations.Environmental Promise
We recently met with the Timber Trade Federation and CBI Wales for an in-depth webinar discussing two of the biggest issues facing the timber sector right now: Covid-19 and Brexit. The webinar explored how the pandemic and Brexit have affected the timber industry, including the challenges to supply and logistics. The event was led by Ian Price, Director of CBI Wales, a not-for-profit business organisation that provides a link between its members and the Welsh and UK governments. On the panel was our very own Josh Burbidge, Managing Director of Archwood Group, and David Hopkins, Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation, the UK’s foremost membership body for the timber supply chain. Here’s a round-up of some of the biggest topics from the webinar in case you missed it. Starting off the discussion, David explained how Brexit and the pandemic have combined to create a “perfect storm”. He said: “They’ve both presented barriers to trade and doing business. The pandemic has increased demand for timber products, whereas Brexit, over time, will produce a drag on doing business.” David said that while sawmills and manufacturing centres around the world had to close because of Covid-19 restrictions, people across the UK were put on furlough, with many receiving almost their full pay. And because they were spending so much time at home and they couldn’t go on holiday, they decided to improve their homes and gardens, which caused demand for timber products to shoot up. This happened not just in the UK, but around the world. David said: “The stocks that were available went down and down and down, so by the time the sawmills and producers could reopen and start moving goods again, they were playing catch up, and that process is still ongoing. We have a very tight situation in the market. “On top of that, at the start of this year, various issues to do with Brexit came in. Each one of those presents more paperwork and a slowing down in the ability to get goods across the border and to market. “The two messages that need to get through to Government in relation to Brexit are about priorities and pragmatism; whether you take a hard-line ideological approach, or a pragmatic view about how this could be solved.” Josh said the UK leaving the EU customs union and single market had caused issues for Archwood Group. Brexit has impacted our two brands: Richard Burbidge and Atkinson & Kirby. He explained there were challenges distributing product into both Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland, due to the misclassification of the company’s products, which were incorrectly flagged as needing phytosanitary certificates. Josh said: “We’re still seeing delays associated with documentation of up to 48 hours to get products over there but that’s almost been absorbed into how we’re doing business over there.” Another major issue is the introduction of the UKCA (UK Conformity Assessment) mark, a new UK product marking that will be required for certain products being placed on the market in England, Wales and Scotland. The UKCA mark won’t be recognised in the EU market, so products that require CE marking will still need a CE marking to be sold in the EU, and these changes will take effect from 1 January 2022. Josh said: “The UKCA marking changes will cause us more challenges around labelling. It drives a barrier between us and trading with other countries. So, if a company or one of our suppliers is producing product for Europe and the UK, it will require them to put two stamps on the product. It’s an additional cost and it takes time, and that is something we’re navigating our way through.” In addition, there’s a shortage of drivers bringing timber material across to the UK from Sweden. Josh said: “It’s too onerous and complicated for them to come into the UK. Plus, we’re seeing inflationary pressures on material.” David agreed, and added: “When you look at certain softwood products there has been a 100%, sometimes more, increase over the past 12 months or so. “We’re encouraging the construction sector to think further ahead. But where this issue causes problems, particularly for some of the housebuilders, is when jobs are priced nine months or more in advance. Then, when the order comes through, the price can be way out from the original quote. That is causing a lot of tension throughout. “But with the vaccinations and the opening up of the economy, I think we’ll see more people spending money on holidays again. And while we want to maintain demand in the market, the current levels are unsustainable.” David said production was likely to run behind demand for the next couple of years. He added: “If, on top of that, you put up further barriers within a country that is a net importer of goods, you limit growth in other sectors that are priorities for the Government, particularly housebuilding. And that isn’t sensible. “The danger is a lot of manufacturers and producers would say they do quite well without selling to the UK. And right now, that would be devastating for the timber sector because we can’t get enough material as it stands. So, we’re asking for the regulatory changes to be delayed.” Josh would like to be able to get more of the products his company needs from much closer to home. “And if I can manufacture it here, even better,” he said. “The challenge in our sector is we don’t have the material that is grown in this country to support the finer joinery products that we manufacture. We don’t have the conditions for the kind of trees we need.” Ian said the issues around supply chains, and businesses sourcing or relocating their operations within domestic or national borders, had come about because of the pandemic, not just Brexit. He said: “I think we’ll see a lot more onshoring over the next few years, for jobs and manufacturing.” Commenting on the challenges that are specific to Wales, Josh said: “The handling of the pandemic hasn’t been the easiest, from a messaging perspective. I’ve got 75 people who come over the border every day from England into Wales, so we’ve got different rules. We also have an office in Scotland, so there are different rules there. The whole devolved handling of the pandemic is a challenge.” Ian agreed, and added: “I don’t think anybody is suggesting one way is better than the other, but it’s not helpful the systems are different – that is the challenge.” Josh highlighted the environmental benefits of using timber, rather than concrete and steel. He said: “Timber is fundamental to the whole environmental agenda associated with newbuild and building sustainably for the future. Concrete and steel aren’t particularly environmentally friendly. “With timber, if you follow the regulations, you’re required to take timber from a sustainable source, which means planting more trees than you’re taking away. Therefore, it’s much better for the environment.” The webinar concluded with suggestions for changes that would help make things easier for businesses. Here, Josh echoed David’s plea for post-Brexit regulations to be delayed. You can catch up on the webinar here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cp_0-ai-tME. Keep an eye out on social media for information on our next webinar.READ ARTICLE
When old meets new; a trend that has been found countlessly in home renovations over the past decade, whether it be a cottage restoration or an old barn conversion. However, more and more people are now opting for a rural aesthetic in their new, modern homes. Throughout the course of the pandemic, many sought solace outside to overcome some of the long-lasting days within lockdown. As we move forward, people are now looking to incorporate a more natural and grounding feel to their own homes and are using a blend of more sustainable or traditional aesthetics to do so. We are calling this particular trend ‘Rustic Vogue’. The trend celebrates rural wood finishes, woven textures, and panelled walls, that when contrasted with more modern and sleek designs, can add a sense of country chic to any home. From raw wood to muted colours, this trend will allow even the most inner-city homes to feel like they have been transported back in time with this contemporary take on the traditional, rural farmhouse. A rustic and imperfect staircase is an excellent way to incorporate more natural elements throughout a home, whilst still maintaining an edge of modernism. To achieve this look, we recommend opting for one of our ‘Trademark’, ‘Classic’ and ‘Heritage’ stairparts collections, as their raw wood appearance will add a more rustic appearance to any hallway, whilst remaining light and inviting. Alternatively, our ‘Elements’ range of timber stairparts and contrasting black balusters would help to achieve the modernist elements of this trend. Additional finishing touches of baby breath flowers, wicker baskets and soft textiles will ensure a home has that true contemporary farmhouse look from the first step inside. When it comes to mouldings, Richard Burbidge’s wall cladding, and pine shelving helps to continue the contrast between old and new throughout the home. In choosing a simple colour palette of white-washed wood or blue-grey painted mouldings, the muted colours will help to encapsulate the serene and calming characteristics of ‘Rustic Vogue’. This trend is not just an old-fashioned twist on modernist design, but a great opportunity to balance sustainable furnishings with contemporary flair, whether in a city, town, or village abode. Richard Burbidge’s stairparts and mouldings can allow any home to become a calm and serene haven away from hectic city life. View our full selection of products here. Request one of our brochures here.READ ARTICLE