Over the course of their career, builders spend an average of two and a half years at builders’ merchants, according to a new report.

The Federation of Master Builders surveyed thousands of builders across the UK to find out how many minutes they spent each day carrying out certain tasks.

The figures reveal that, during their working life, the average builder will spend the equivalent of:

• Two years and nine months talking to clients

• Two years and six months driving their van

• Two years and six months at the builders’ merchant

• Two years and one month training or supervising junior colleagues or apprentices

• One year and nine months eating lunch

• Eleven months trying to locate a particular tool

• Six months making tea.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said the research “dispels the myth that builders spend a big chunk of their time drinking tea”.

He said: “In reality, if builders are downing their tools for any reason, it’s so they can chat to their customers and ensure they have happy clients.”