Colin St John, Freefoam commercial director, says cladding is the one to watch this Spring. It sounds crazy that as we clear the snow from our paths and driveways our customer’s thoughts will swing towards all the little maintenance jobs that need doing to the outside of their houses and gardens. For some, the focus will be on larger Home Improvement Projects.
According to recent research by Rated People, Cladding is King when it comes to Home Improvement. That trend had already been in play for a couple of years and was certainly accelerated by the impact of Covid lock downs and the shift to working from home creating the race for space through extensions, garden rooms and Home offices.
The report analyses 1.1 million actual home improvement jobs posted on the Rated People website last year compared to 2021. It also includes the results of a nationally representative survey of 2,003 homeowners and a separate survey of 315 UK based tradespeople. By any measure, that’s as authoritative as it gets. Among the Top 20, Door replacement came in at No 13 with strong +29% growth over the previous year. Electric car charging point installation was 6th with even stronger +169% growth, while way out in front at No 1, Cladding grew by a stonking +743%.
This was certainly confirmed by our own experience as demand for our cladding ranges has soared in the last two years.
As we move into 2023 research suggests that the demand for smaller repairs and maintenance work may get kicked into the long grass this year. The appetite for transformational Home Improvement products will continue.
So what is behind this ongoing trend?
As the pandemic effect comes to an end and the housing market calms down, many homeowners’ priorities have shifted from maximising space to optimising budgets to mitigate the effects of the cost of living crisis. However, it is reported that 1 in 6 homeowners intend to improve their existing home, and 1 in 7 homeowners, who missed out on buying their ‘ideal’ home last year, are looking at purchasing a property with a renovation project instead.
So whether they are improving not moving, or creating their ideal home instead of buying, it will result in more opportunities for manufacturers and more work for tradespeople in the home improvement market. And Freefoam believes that Cladding is the ideal transformation product.
Colin St John Freefoam Commercial Director explained “We’ve always had a traditional shiplap cladding board as part of our core fascia and gutter range in the UK. Looking at trends in Europe we could see that a retrofit cladding product was the next big thing and over the years have successfully developed a range of Claddings for the continental European markets.
“And with the growing trend in the UK towards replacing old, cracked render, or tired hanging-tiles PVC cladding has become the ultimate visual make over, offering a quick fix transformative solution. Benefiting from long life, low maintenance credentials, PVC cladding is a cost efficient choice, allowing homeowners to maximise the investment potential and add value to a property.
“Freefoam has developed and manufactures an extensive range of attractive cladding products, maintaining our tradition of providing homeowners with choice, and giving our installers and stockists the opportunity to win business.”