New research from the find-a-tradesperson platform, Rated People, has revealed homeowner desire for home improvement went through the roof in 2021.

As nearly half (49%) of UK residents improved their homes in the last year, demand for tradespeople increased by 32%. Almost two in three tradespeople (62%) 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%.

The findings are taken from a 2022 Rated People Home Improvement Trends Report, and the study shows that 77% 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.

While the surge in demand since the start of the pandemic brought huge opportunities for tradespeople, they’ve also been hit with a series of challenges – almost 9 out of 10 tradespeople (89%) say their costs increased in 2021, 84% experienced materials supply issues and just under half (44%) had workforce shortages. As a result, 4 in 5 tradespeople (83%) had to increase their prices and almost two thirds (62%) had to delay or cancel jobs. 

This year, 9 out of 10 tradespeople (91%) expect their costs will increase, and 82% say they will need to put their prices up in 2022. 97% of builders and 89% 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% of each trade say they will need to put their prices up in 2022 to remain profitable.

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.”