Repeated lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have changed the way most of us think of our living spaces, and with extended restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic encouraging us to spend more time indoors, it can really come as no surprise that the home renovations industry is experiencing a boom because of it.
Tradesperson directory Rated People has carried out extensive research into homeowners’ appetites for renovation, redecoration and home improvements throughout 2020 and into 2021 – and the results look exceedingly positive for those working in these sectors. Indeed it may have felt, at times, like we were all stuck on the sofa watching big cat documentaries and only rising to make sub-standard banana bread or to track down an illusive toilet roll, but in fact, us Brits were hard at work around the house!
The annual Trends Report by Rated People highlighted that British homeowners saw their inspiration for home improvements rise as early as March 2020 – right at the beginning of lockdown 1.0. From here, their appetites only increased and developed throughout the year; no doubt a combination of wanting to enjoy the spaces we were mandated to stay in as much as possible, and looking forward to welcoming others to spend time with us within them. Indoor house maintenance and repair topped the list of jobs that we needed professional help with during the first lockdown, and restrictions on visiting public recreation areas meant we were keen to make sure our gardens were fit to spend time in; right in time for the initial restrictions easing for summer 2020 (of course, this didn’t go quite to plan… but the intention was there!). Overall, there was a reported 12% increase in demand for home improvement jobs throughout 2020 – an impressive statistic when we consider how many people were out of work and unable to access substantial finances.
The UK has seen wide-ranging and varied restrictions through 2020 and into the beginning of 2021, with at one point up to 55% of the working age population working from home. Those not limited to work from home or placed on furlough schemes were trade businesses – who remained relatively unaffected by government restrictions and were, for the most part, classified as essential workers. Indeed Rated People note seeing a surge in homeowners using their site to access trades information and listings; with an overall 12% increase in the number of jobs posted year-on-year. This was, obviously, of huge benefit to those tradespeople who using such online directories, who were able to continue working throughout pandemic disruptions and offer others help and hope through extended lockdown periods. This confidence in allowing tradespeople to enter homes also demonstrates the public’s faith in their professionalism and safety brilliantly: they are clearly well-trusted.
The Trends Report found that overall, a hefty 46% of homeowners across the UK took on a house renovation project of some type during 2020. There were notable regional variations in this, with those living in Birmingham and Glasgow leading the way.
So now that lockdowns are lifting, what lies ahead for homeowners in terms of home renovation and improvement works? Those surveyed by Rated People certainly still seem to intend to continue with their projects. More than half of homeowners (51%) are planning to enhance their homes in some way during 2021. The most popular project is interior painting and decorating (44%), followed by bathroom refits (18%), kitchen renovations (17%) and loft conversions (10%). This will naturally include some of those who already carried out works on their homes in 2020 as well as some that will be doing so for the first time, enjoying a relaxation in attitudes toward having someone outside of their direct household ‘bubble’ enter the property.
Of course, these figures don’t include those who don’t own their homes – who although may find they’re less likely to take on large renovation works, still spent considerably more time indoors than usual during stay-at-home orders and may have taken some form of action with their living spaces!
The big cities who saw high levels of home improvements in 2020 are set to repeat the trend through 2021. The top locations of homeowners intending to embark on property enhancements in 2021 are:
People have been looking more closely at what they can do with the space they currently have to make their homes more inviting for the day when they can finally welcome friends and family back inside again. The fact that so many homeowners across the UK felt comfortable allowing tradespeople into their homes during a pandemic is testament to the professionalism of trades businesses and their commitment to following the latest health and safety guidelines. Like many other sectors, tradespeople faced significant challenges in 2020, but the industry adapted quickly to restrictions, bouncing back strongly in the second half of the year.
With the steady increase in home improvements seeing no sign of slowing, now is the time to invest in a renovations franchise. Existing franchisees are exceeding turnover records month after month and lead generation is at an all time high with homeowners desperate to improve their homes following a year stuck inside.
Now is the time to begin your Refresh Renovations Journey.Get in touch to book onto one of our discovery days!
Anyone seeking an opportunity with Refresh should contact us now.
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Dave Georgetti, Franchise Owner