The Office of Fair Trading commissioned research firm TNS-BMRB to perform a through and complete study regarding the Home Improvement and Home Repair Industry. The study was completed and copyrighted at the end of 2011. It is available for public viewing.
The intent of the report was that it would be used by the business and consumer communities to analyse business trends and consumer protection deficiencies. The report identified 144,339 home improvement and home repair services in the UK. The services ranged from one man operations to companies with more than 50 employees.
Firms With 1 -10 Employees Dominate Industry
Far and away, services with between 1 and 10 employees dominate the landscape of the industry. There were 18,763 external service businesses with 10 or less employees in the UK during 2011. Companies with 11-49 employees totaled 2,323 and there were just 335 businesses performing external services with 50 or more employees. 21, 620 companies provide exterior services.
In the growing residential solar energy sector, there are just 173 qualified contracting firms. Only one of these entities has more than 50 employees. A strong majority (153) have between 1 and 10 employees.
Double Glazing Dilemma
The number of double glazing installation companies totaled 5,310 showing a definite effort by UK residents to insulate their residence. Unfortunately, consumers filed 15,000 complaints with Consumer Direct. This is an inordinate number of complaints and suggests that UK providers need more training in this craft that can save homeowners much money of the service is provided properly.
There are 41,815 General Building Contractors in the UK. The home repair and home improvement sectors provide £27 billion to the UK GDP.
The UK has 43,894 plumbing, heating and electrical contractors. Of these companies, 40,626 have between 1 and 10 employees. There are another 8,804 building maintenance and repair service businesses.
The UK has 41,815 builders. A sign of the time is that a large majority (36,186) of these construction firms have between 1 and 10 employees. Many of these businesses have consolidated their services and have entered the home improvement sector. The new construction industry has been one of the hardest hit sectors. Unemployment is this area is rampant as a generation of craftsman has buckled under the weight of the recession and a fragile, tenuous recovery.
The problem now is when demand for new housing rises if there will be enough experienced workers to meet the challenge. There are hopes for several government-backed construction projects but the initiatives are slow developing.