Over nine in 10 (93%) respondents to the survey, undertaken by Travis Perkins, the UK’s largest supplier of building materials and equipment, believe their workloads will increase or remain the same over the next two months, while over two-thirds (61%) expect their materials purchasing requirements to increase.
Furthermore, 71% of respondents are seeing an increased level of demand in the next few months from homeowners for projects designed to make their homes more energy efficient, such as heat pumps and renewable energy sources.
The impact of rising petrol and diesel costs has also altered how the UK’s tradespeople are operating, with eight in 10 saying they have changed how they do business. This includes passing on higher fuel costs to customers when pricing projects (39%), choosing to work more locally (31%), and requesting that products be delivered rather than collected (29%).
Tradespeople are also increasingly turning towards technology to help them combat higher prices at the pumps, with 12% saying that they are holding more virtual visits with clients instead of visiting them in person. 6% also said that they have decided to invest in more fuel-efficient cars, vans, or lorries.
The survey is the fourth full publication of Travis Perkins’ RMI Index following the inaugural report published in August 2020.
Commenting on the results of the survey, Nick Roberts, CEO of Travis Perkins plc said: “Having met the challenges posed by the pandemic head on, the resilience of the UK’s tradespeople continues to be tested, and they are, once again, having to adapt their businesses to deal with other challenges facing the wider economy.
"Nevertheless, they remain confident in the outlook for their businesses and, while many are having to adjust how they operate to deal with rising fuel prices, the increased demand for projects that improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock is encouraging. With one of the oldest housing stocks in Europe, the UK’s ambition of achieving net zero carbon by 2050 depends on remedial activity, which will lower the heating bills today and decarbonise our homes for the future. Along with housebuilders and developers, it is the UK’s army of tradespeople who will ultimately make this happen and, as the leading partner to the UK construction sector, we are ready to work in partnership with them to help deliver this vision.”
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