SMALL building firms in Scotland have been urged not to overstretch themselves despite improving conditions and growing confidence in the property sector.

Accountancy firm Grant Thornton said there are fears smaller construction businesses could be tempted to take on too much risk.

The area of tendering was highlighted as one where in the past small companies have suffered by trying to bid too low in order to secure work and finding out they could not carry out contracts profitably.

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Lorraine Macphail, head of property and construction Scotland at Grant Thornton UK, said: "Firms should learn lessons from those difficult years and plan for more strategic, sustainable growth as market conditions gradually improve."