Was 2016 the year of the specialist tradesman?
As our homes become more complex through the advent of new technologies and energy efficiency systems, homeowners are now seeking specialist tradespeople to carry out their home improvements according to TrustMark, the Government-endorsed scheme for tradespeople, which today announced that it has recorded another bumper year of helping homeowners.
In 2016, more than 8.3 million search results were provided to homeowners who used TrustMark’s website (www.trustmark.org.uk) and telephone helpline to find local firms and expert tradespeople to carry out their home improvements and repairs. Although the statistics reveal continued growth in demand for key trades such as builders, electricians, window installers and glaziers, there was also a significant upturn in demand for specialist trades.
There was a 21% increase in search results provided for TrustMark-registered builders, a 6% increase for window installers and glaziers and similar demands for electricians. Search results provided for tree consultants was up by by 37%, fence installers was up by 2% during 2016. Although garden landscapers did not see an overall increase last year, there was a significant demand for them from homeowners from March through to May.
But renewable energy trades dominated the searches and saw the biggest rises last year.
Searches have soared for heat pump installers (up 217% on the year before) and solar panel installers (up by 130%). Flood resilience specialists, home entertainment system installers and Velux installers and repairs have also been among the most sought-after trades out of the 49 licensed trades offered by TrustMark. Aerial installers, CCTV installation and leadwork specialists, followed closely by tree consultants and home adaptations for the elderly and disabled have also seen increasing demand.
Many trades are seasonal. 2016 started off wet and windy across many parts of the UK, which resulted in TrustMark-registered roofers and fence installers seeing their busiest months during January and February. As spring emerged, garden landscapers, painters and decorators and drive and patio contractors all saw a substantial leap in demand as homeowners took care of home improvements and DIY projects. Unsurprisingly, heating engineers and plumbers and electricians saw their busiest months during the autumn months as homeowners prepared their homes for the winter ahead.
Simon Ayers, Chief Executive of TrustMark, said: “With technology in our homes becoming much more sophisticated, coupled with rising expectations of home comforts such as air conditioning, home entertainment systems and adaptations for accessibility, we predict an increasing need for specialist businesses and tradespeople to help us maintain our homes.
“But it’s not always easy to know where to find a specialist trades person in your local area, let alone one that has been genuinely vetted and inspected and can give you a warranty on their work. This is why: TrustMark was set up over 10 years ago to help homeowners. With more than 21,000 licensed trades on our database, people can feel confident that by employing a TrustMark registered business they are getting a trades person who is committed to working to Government-endorsed standards of competence and consumer protection.”
TrustMark is the only Government-backed quality scheme that covers all trades to do work in and around the home. All TrustMark firms work to Government-endorsed standards and are uniquely checked for three cornerstones of quality – their trading practices, customer service and their technical competence. TrustMark continues to expand its database of over 13,000 individual firms in the UK, providing national coverage with more than 21,000 licenced trades searchable on its database.
For further information and to stay up-to-date with developments at TrustMark, visit www.trustmark.org.uk