The focus on home maintenance and improvement is continuing apace, according to TrustMark, the Government-endorsed scheme for tradespeople, which has announced that it has recorded another bumper year of helping homeowners.
More than 8.1 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 – an increase of 12% compared to the same period in 2014 and up 55% since 2013.
Searches for interior designers, bedroom and kitchen specialists saw the biggest rises last year and have been among the most sought-after trades out of the 38 licensed trades offered by TrustMark. TrustMark is the only Government-backed quality scheme that covers all trades to do work in and around the home, from aerial installers to flood recovery specialists.
Carpenters and joiners, followed closely by painters and decorators, have also seen increasing demand, indicating a continuing trend to improve rather than move. There was a 29% increase in search results provided for TrustMark-registered electricians, a 21% increase for plumbers and heating engineers, and similar demands for handymen. Search results provided for carpet and upholstery cleaners leapt by 58% in 2015.
Following the major storms at the start of 2014, TrustMark-registered roofers and tree surgeons saw their busiest months during January and February. Unsurprisingly, homeowners began to focus on their gardens when the weather recovered, with fence installers (up 19%), garden landscapers (up 15%) and drive and patio contractors all seeing a significant increase on their searches during the spring and summer.
Simon Ayers, chief executive of TrustMark, said, “Homeowners are increasingly understanding the importance of only using professional firms to do their home improvements and repair work, particularly at a time when people are concerned about their finances. TrustMark provides homeowners with extra security, the reassurances they are looking for and the confidence that they are working with tradespeople who are the best in the business.
“We continue to work closely with our approved scheme operators and TrustMark-registered firms, as well as with influential consumer organisations such as Age UK, Citizens Advice and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. Together we are all signposting the public to TrustMark. By providing advice and a free list of reputable firms, we can guide people through finding the right tradespeople for jobs in their homes and be a trusted avenue for support as and when needed.”
All TrustMark firms work to Government-endorsed standards and are uniquely checked for three cornerstones of quality – their trading practices, customer service and their technical competence. TrustMark continues to expand its database of over 13,000 individual firms in the UK, providing national coverage with more than 21,000 licenced trades searchable on its database.
For further information and to stay up-to-date with developments at TrustMark, visit www.trustmark.org.uk