Demand For Tradespeople Up By 50 per cent In Just Two Years

Like & share this news article:

  Posted by: electime      29th March 2022

Demand has skyrocketed, but tradespeople have also been hit with a series of challenges because of Covid and Brexit, so Rated People explores the true effects of ‘the home improvement boom’ and looks at what’s in store for 2022

  • 62 per cent of UK tradespeople said 2021 was the ‘busiest year they’ve ever had’ and 86 per cent expect to be ‘very busy’ in 2022
  • Carpenters, painters, tilers, handypeople and builders were the most in-demand trades last year
  • Nine in 10 (89 per cent) tradespeople say their costs increased in 2021, 84 per cent experienced material supply issues and 62 per cent had to cope with staff shortages
  • 43 per cent of tradespeople experienced increased stress last year, and one in four (25 per cent) say they suffered with exhaustion
  • Bathroom fitters, tilers, roofers, plumbers and plasterers are set to be the top five most in- demand trades in 2022

New research from the find-a-tradesperson platform, Rated People reveals homeowner desire for home improvement went through the roof in 2021. Nearly half (49 per cent) of UK residents improved their homes and demand for tradespeople increased by 32 per cent in just one year. Almost two in three tradespeople (62 per cent) say last year was ‘the busiest year they’ve ever had’. In fact, compared to the start of the pandemic in 2020, demand for home improvement has gone up by 50 per cent.

The findings are taken from the 2022 Rated People Home Improvement Trends Report, and the study shows that 77 per cent of UK tradespeople experienced increased customer demand in 2021. Carpenters/ joiners are the trade that’s reported to have experienced increased consumer demand the most, with almost nine in 10 (89%) saying demand went up in 2021.

The top 10 trades that say they experienced increased homeowner demand in 2021:

  1. Carpenter / Joiner – 89 per cent (say they felt demand increase in 2021)
  1. Painter and decorator – 83 per cent
  2. Tiler – 82 per cent
  3. Handyperson – 81 per cent
  4. Builder – 78 per cent
  5. Roofer – 75 per cent
  6. Plasterer / Renderer – 74 per cent
  7. Gardener / Landscape gardener – 73 per cent
  8. Electrician – 73 per cent
  9. Plumber – 72 per cent

Opportunity in a Challenging Time

The surge in demand since the start of the pandemic has brought about huge opportunities for tradespeople. But they’ve also been hit with a series of challenges – almost nine in 10 tradespeople (89 per cent) say their costs increased in 2021, 84 per cent experienced materials supply issues and just under half (44 per cent) had workforce shortages.

As a result, four in five tradespeople (83 per cent) had to increase their prices and almost two thirds (62 per cent) had to delay or cancel jobs.

More than one in three tradespeople (43 per cent) went on to say the challenges from last year led them to feel an increased level of stress, and a quarter (25 per cent) say they felt exhausted. But, one in three UK tradespeople (34 per cent) did also say that the opportunities resulting from increased demand meant they felt an increased sense of motivation, and a quarter (27 per cent) said they had increased job satisfaction and an increased sense of achievement last year.

Material and workforce shortages

Unsurprisingly, Covid was a major cause of disruption in 2021, but the main reason for cancellations and delays was actually materials shortages, with 44 per cent of tradespeople saying they had to delay or cancel work because of supply issues.

Supply issues were felt across the industry. Plasterers/renderers were the most affected, but nearly all trades experienced shortages. Between 75 per cent and 96 per cent of the top 10 most affected trades found it difficult to get the materials they needed.

The top 10 trades that were most affected by materials shortages in 2021:

  1. Plasterer / Renderer – 96 per cent (experienced materials shortages)
  1. Builder – 95 per cent
  2. Gardener / Landscape gardener – 87 per cent
  3. Carpenter / Joiner – 87 per cent
  4. Painter and decorator – 85 per cent
  5. Bathroom fitter – 85 per cent
  6. Handyperson – 81 per cent
  7. Electrician – 77 per cent
  8. Plumber – 77 per cent
  9. Roofer – 75 per cent

Workforce and contractor shortages were also experienced by many trade businesses in 2021, with the main causes being Covid isolation and a lack of skilled workers.

The top reasons why UK trades suffered workforce shortages in 2021:

  1. Needing to isolate because of Covid – 29 per cent
  1. Lack of skilled/experienced workers – 22 per cent
  2. Staff/subcontractors not wanting to work because of Covid risks – 15 per cent
  3. Loss of staff members due to Brexit – relocating out of UK – 15 per cent
  4. Fewer people getting into the trades industry – 14 per cent

Increasing Costs = Increasing Prices For Homeowners

This year, nine in 10 tradespeople (91 per cent) expect their costs will increase, and 82 per cent say they will need to put their prices up in 2022. 97 per cent of builders, 91 per cent of heating engineers and 89 per cent of plasterers say they’re planning to increase their prices this year. And when looking at the top 10 trades most likely to charge higher prices, a minimum of 77 per cent from each trade say they will need to put their prices up in 2022 to remain profitable.

The top 10 trades increasing their prices in 2022:

  1. Builders – 97 per cent (are upping their prices this year)
  1. Gas/ heating engineers – 91 per cent
  2. Plasterers/ renderers – 89 per cent
  3. Carpenters/ joiners – 89 per cent
  4. Handypeople – 88 per cent
  5. Plumbers – 84 per cent
  6. Roofers – 82 per cent
  7. Gardeners – 81 per cent
  8. Painters/ decorators – 79 per cent
  9. Electricians – 77 per cent

The Most In-Demand Trades in 2022

This year, demand doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon, as 86 per cent of tradespeople across the UK say they expect to be very busy in 2022.

According to the study, all of the bathroom fitters and tilers surveyed said they are gearing up for another year of unprecedented demand, and across the top 10 trades set to be the busiest this year, a minimum of 82 per cent expect to be very busy.

The top 10 trades with the most homeowner demand in 2022:

  1. Bathroom fitter – 100 per cent (expect to be very busy in 2022)
  1. Tiler – 100 per cent
  2. Roofer – 89 per cent
  3. Plumber – 86 per cent
  4. Plasterer / Renderer – 85 per cent
  5. Electrician – 85 per cent
  6. Carpenter / Joiner – 85 per cent
  7. Painter and decorator – 85 per cent
  8. Builder – 84 per cent
  9. Gas / Heating engineer – 82 per cent

Adrienne Minster, CEO of Rated People commented: 

“The last two years have been challenging for many reasons, but it’s great to see just how much homeowner demand has increased for all things home improvement and renovation.

The volume of work completed in 2021 is a testament to how well tradespeople and homeowners worked together, because in a Covid and post-Brexit landscape, material supply issues, cost increases and labour shortages affected home improvement work across the UK.

This year, it’s clear there are massive opportunities for tradespeople as a result of this high demand, and we want to help tradespeople make the most of this time for their business success. So if you’re looking to capitalise on the home improvement boom, head to Rated People to find out more.”

To see the full research and the newest edition of the Rated People Home Improvement Trends Report, visit: