For insights on the biggest trends in renovation and home improvement, take a look at the Rated People Home Improvement Trends Report 2022

The pandemic has been challenging for many reasons. But it’s also helped to stimulate a home improvement boom, with more homeowners than ever wanting to adapt and improve their homes.

We can reveal which trades have experienced the biggest increases in demand, which towns and cities in the UK have seen demand increase the most and how different tradespeople are planning to adapt their businesses to pull in more work during this home improvement boom.

We analysed more than 800,000 jobs on our site posted by UK homeowners to create the 2022 Rated People Home Improvement Trends Report and our research shows demand for home improvement went up by an incredible 32% last year (2021). If we look back to the start of the pandemic, about two years ago, demand has increased by an impressive 50%.

So, where are the biggest opportunities for tradespeople in 2022, and which are the best ways to capitalise on this boom in demand, whilst also future proofing your businesse for years to come?

Man surrounded with tools using spirit level on a stud wall while his dog is watching

The trades that are having the biggest spikes in demand

When looking at the top 10 trades that have seen demand increase the most over the past 12 months, demand for driveway pavers shot up by 73% – which is the biggest jump of any trade.

When compared to the year before, painters and decorators had 61% more enquiries from homeowners in 2021 and demand for traditional craftspeople increased by 53% last year.

In the top 10 list – demand increased by around 40% for every trade last year, and bathroom fitters, builders, stoneworkers, plasterers, kitchen specialists, roofers and cleaners also feature in the top 10.

 Top 10 trades with the biggest increase in demand in 2021:

  1. Driveway pavers +73%
  2. Painters and decorators +61%
  3. Traditional craftspeople +53%
  4. Bathroom fitters +50%
  5. Builders +46%
  6. Stoneworkers +46%
  7. Plasterers +42%
  8. Kitchen specialists +41%
  9. Roofers +40%
  10. Cleaners +39%

The places around the UK where demand is increasing the most

Map showing the top 10 areas where demand for tradespeople increased the most in 2021

If we look into the places around the UK where demand for home improvement rose the most, Llandrindod Wells in Wales saw demand increase by 131% in 2021, which is the biggest rise in the whole of the UK.

Two other places in Wales also make the top 10 – third place Llandudno saw demand go up by 76% and demand increased by 66% in seventh place Swansea. 

Second place Dumfries and Galloway saw demand go up by 86%, fourth place Exeter experienced a 71% increase in demand, and fifth place Harrogate saw demand rise by 68%.

Many coastal areas feature in the top 10 including Llandudno and Swansea in Wales, and Torquay and Brighton in England, which is likely because so many homeowners relocated to areas away from big cities with more space.

So, when it comes to opportunity hotspots for 2022 – it’s the smaller towns and cities where demand is increasing the most at the moment.

The top 10 areas where demand for tradespeople increased the most in 2021:

  1. Llandrindod Wells +131%
  2. Dumfries and Galloway +86%
  3. Llandudno +76%
  4. Exeter +71%
  5. Harrogate +68%
  6. Truro +66%
  7. Swansea +66%
  8. Torquay +60%
  9. Brighton 58%
  10. Carlisle +58%
White wall being painted with pastel colour

These are the home improvement jobs homeowners want to do the most in 2022

Overall demand for home improvement has increased by a huge 50% in just two years, so we asked homeowners across the UK which jobs they want to have done this year.

Painting is the top job – more than one in three homeowners (38%) want to revitalise their homes with a lick of paint this year. One in five (21%) are keen to have a new carpet and just under 20% of UK homeowners want to have some garden landscaping completed this year.

The top 15 jobs that homeowners want to do the most in 2022 include staple choices like new kitchens and new bathrooms, but pandemic-influenced improvements like creating multifunctional space, home bars and outdoor entertaining areas are also now more popular than ever.

One in seven homeowners in the UK say they want to have a new bathroom fitted this year, and one in 10 say they want a new kitchen.

One in 10 also say they want to adapt their homes to create multifunctional spaces, and one in 14 want to have a home bar built this year. Cheers to that!

The home improvement jobs UK homeowners want to do the most in 2022:

  1. Painting – 38% (of UK homeowners want to do this this year)
  2. New carpet – 21%
  3. Garden landscaping – 19%
  4. New bathroom – 14%
  5. New wooden flooring – 12%
  6. New kitchen – 11%
  7. Tiling – 11%
  8. New windows – 11%
  9. Creating multifunctional spaces – 11%
  10. Building an outdoor entertaining area – 9%
  11. New roof – 8%
  12. Creating a home bar – 7%
  13. Adding an extension – 7%
  14. Loft conversion – 7%
  15. Adding a garden room – 7%
An extension being built

These are the jobs homeowners want to spend the most money on in 2022

When looking at how homeowners are planning to invest their renovation budget in 2022 – their biggest priorities are around maximising space and enhancing the functionality of their homes. In fact, four of the top five improvements that homeowners want to spend the most money on are all around space optimisation.

The top priority when it comes to the amount of money homeowners want to spend, are extensions, with average predicted spend coming in at just under £20,000. A self-contained annex takes second place, with many homeowners craving extra space for new ways of living, and in third, it’s adding an en-suite bathroom.

The home improvements homeowners want to spend the most money on in 2022:

  1. Building an extension – £18,580 (average planned spend for this job)
  2. Building an annex – £16,731
  3. Adding an en-suite bathroom – £15,885
  4. New conservatory/orangery – £15,564
  5. Building a wall to create separate rooms – £13,977
  6. Creating a home bar – £13,939
  7. Creating a home gym – £13,574
  8. New kitchen – £12,057
  9. New porch – £11,252
  10. Adapting a room to make it multifunctional – £10,772
Man buying new chainsaw in power tools store.

How to capitalise on the boom in demand

The home improvement boom of 2021 doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon – 86% of tradespeople say they’re ‘very busy’ this year. So, to capitalise on the opportunities brought about by plentiful demand, many tradespeople are optimising their businesses for the short term, whilst also future-proofing their operations for years to come.

We asked over 600 Rated People tradespeople how they’re adapting their business this year, and investing in new tools and vehicles was the number one answer – almost half are planning to do this in 2022.

Many are also focusing on marketing and promotion – one in three (30%) are improving their website and social channels and one in four (27%) are investing in marketing to attract new business.

How tradespeople are adapting their business in 2022:

  1. Investing in new tools and vehicles – 45% (of UK tradespeople are doing this in 2022)
  2. Hiring more staff to complete the work – 36%
  3. Improving their website and social channels – 30%
  4. Investing in marketing/ advertising to attract more business – 27%
  5. Expanding skillset to offer more services – 26%
  6. Expanding into different locations – 21%
  7. Forming partnerships to facilitate more jobs – 14%
  8. Hiring support for business/ admin operations – 10%

See the full 2022 Home Improvement Trends Report.


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