Year of the specialist?

As our homes become more complex through the advent of new technologies and energy efficiency systems, homeowners are now seeking specialist tradespeople to carry out their home improvements according to TrustMark, the government-endorsed scheme for tradespeople.

In 2016, more than 8.3 million search results were provided to homeowners who used TrustMark’s website and telephone helpline to find local firms and expert tradespeople to carry out their home improvements and repairs. Although the statistics reveal continued growth in demand for key trades such as builders, electricians, window installers and glaziers, there was also a significant upturn in demand for specialist trades.

There was a 21% increase in search results provided for TrustMark-registered builders, a 6% increase for window installers and glaziers, and similar demands for electricians. 

But renewable energy trades dominated the searches and saw the biggest rises last year.

Searches have soared for heat pump installers (up 217% on the year before) and solar panel installers (up by 130%). Flood resilience specialists, home entertainment system installers and Velux installers and repairs have also been among the most sought-after trades out of the 49 licensed trades offered by TrustMark.

Aerial installers, CCTV installation and leadwork specialists, followed closely by tree consultants and home adaptations for the elderly and disabled have also seen increasing demand.

Simon Ayers, chief executive of TrustMark, said: “With technology in our homes becoming much more sophisticated, coupled with rising expectations of home comforts such as air conditioning, home entertainment systems and adaptations for accessibility, we predict an increasing need for specialist businesses and tradespeople to help us maintain our homes.”

All TrustMark firms work to government-endorsed standards and are checked for three cornerstones of quality: their trading practices, customer service and their technical competence.