Home Improvement Trends Report reveals the opportunities and challenges ahead

Home Improvement Trends Report reveals the opportunities and challenges ahead

Rated People’s Home Improvement Trends Report reveals the opportunities and challenges ahead. Lee Jones reports.

With over 50,000 tradespeople now using its site to find work and grow their businesses – and around a million jobs posted by homeowners annually – Rated People is well placed to identify some of the latest industry developments. The third edition of its Home Improvement Trends Report is a product of extensive data analysis of all that online interaction and represents a useful insight into property owners’ most popular building projects. As well as those all-important future business opportunities, the report also engages with some important social themes, including encouraging women in the trades, and the rise of eco projects.

The pandemic precipitated an explosion of interest in residential building projects, and the report’s headline figures reveal a huge increase in demand for trade services. In 2021, for example, nearly half of UK residents made improvements to their homes and some of the easier wins in enhancing a domestic space, including painting & decorating, top the list. The experience of lockdown has taught the nation to make better use of space so that more can be done in the home and, whilst open plan remains popular, building walls to make separate rooms is also now in vogue.

Whilst no-one would baulk at high demand it has created issues for the public in sourcing a good builder and projects have been delayed as a result. Similarly, materials and labour shortages have increased for the trades, with 89 per cent reporting an increase in costs, and 83 per cent of tradespeople have already had to raise their prices as a result. Some of the renovations that are likely to see some of the biggest increases in costs this year including bathroom and kitchen refurbs and loft conversions. Social media continues to drive design trends with TikTok coming to the fore, and the big theme for 2022 is again dedicated space.

The report also investigates some of the reasons behind the under-representation of women in trade services, who currently make up less than five per cent of the workforce. It identifies the challenges and negative stereotypes that women in the industry face, but also paints a more optimistic picture. Encouragingly, for instance, nearly half of all homeowners reported that they would hire a tradeswoman, and there is real interest from women clients in particular in hiring an individual of the same gender to come into their home. Rated People has also launched its own Empowering Tradeswomen Programme, which will include the offer of three months of free Rated People membership to women who are applying to the site as the primary account holder.

Minimising our impact on the planet is reflected in a 44 per cent rise in eco jobs, with car charging ports, green roofs and smart meters witnessing huge increases. It’s a movement that is reflected in trades businesses themselves with 7 in 10 declaring that they would expand their skillset to take on more green building projects Rated People also spoke to over 2,000 homeowners and 600 tradespeople directly. Additional layers of research included Google search volume trends, the direction of interior design on social media platforms, government data, and a partnership with RightMove that has revealed the added value potential of extensions in different regions of the UK.


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