No fear New year for builders and installers

Published:  26 January, 2010

YEOVIL: Tradesmen are reporting that homeowners seem to be more willing to spend as we approach the traditional home improvement season and are frequently 'calling someone in' to assist on bigger projects. 

According to Screwfix's Trade Pulse Index, which measures activity levels and confidence, tradesmen are much more confident about the economy than they were 12 months ago, with the index up from -55 points in December 2008 to 13 points in December 2009.

December saw tradesmen ending the year on a high, working right up to Christmas Eve to finish jobs as activity levels outstripped expectation, with the pulse turning positive for the first time since April 2008.

Although the index shows that many will not be sad to see the back of 2009 – with one in four tradesmen admitting they were short of work throughout the challenging year – optimism in the industry means many have no fear for the New Year.

While overall confidence has increased, tradesmen have reported increased competition when quoting for work and the need to promote themselves more and the need to make tough decisions in making redundancies have forced them to adapt to survive in 2009.

John Mewett, marketing director of Screwfix said: "Our data shows that builders and electricians were the busiest of the trades in the last few weeks of the year, with plumbers getting an additional boost thanks to the heating season and severe weather.

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