A survey of over 1,600 tradespeople across the country by Travis Perkins has revealed that the vast majority are optimistic on their prospects for 2021.
Almost 87% of respondents, who represent a snapshot of the nation’s builders, electricians, plumbers, joiners and other tradespeople, believe their workloads will increase or remain the same this year versus 2020, while more than a third (36%) expect their materials purchases to increase in the next two months.
The results continue to show that domestic repairs and maintenance will be the key component of workloads for the vast majority of the UK’s tradespeople with 78% expecting this area to be the major driver of their work over the next two month period.
Responses to the survey highlight the impact of the pandemic and corresponding restrictions on the types of domestic work being undertaken with a notable increase in the number of projects involving office builds and study conversions (34% reporting an increase), driven by the expectation of a future where homeworking is significantly more commonplace.
Similarly, there has been an increase in garden landscaping work (27% reporting an increase) as homeowners prioritise outdoor projects that are easier for tradespeople to undertake during lockdown while also undertaking work that will see them enjoy their gardens more in the spring and summer coming months in anticipation of increased time at home.
The survey also showed that 92% of respondents expect a greater impact on their work from COVID-19 than from Brexit during 2021.
The survey is the second full publication of Travis Perkins’ RMI Index following the inaugural report published in August 2020.
Nick Roberts, CEO of Travis Perkins plc, said: “This report bears testament to the ability of the UK’s tradespeople to see through short-term headwinds and plan for the longer-term economic recovery. Challenges still remain, both in emerging from the COVID-19 crisis and dealing with the aftermath of Brexit, but the overarching picture from the tradespeople that we surveyed is one of cautious optimism.
“Workloads remain robust, projects continue to be undertaken despite the lockdown restrictions, and homeowners are increasingly looking to adapt their homes to deal with the changes we as a society have seen over the past year.”