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How are KBB installers doing compared to other trades?

While it’s no surprise to anyone that the market is, to put it mildly, difficult at the moment for many in the kitchen and bathroom sector it’s never easy to see it in black and white.

A new report by commercial insurance provider Simply Business analyses and compares the quotes filed by trades in 2022 and 2023 and the results are sobering.

On average, tradespeople have seen their turnover fall by 17% across that period.

Of the top 20 highest-turnover trade professions in the UK, only 40% had seen an increase in their figures for the year – which of course means 60% saw their 2023 turnover fall below 2022.

What this interesting report does give us is a benchmark that we can use to compare the relative performance of different trades, so where do kitchen, bedroom and bathroom fitters fall?

KBB installers, the report found, were 3% worse off in 2023 than 2022, with their average turnover falling from £73,667 last year, to £71,562 in 2023. All things considered, I don’t think that’s too bad as a broad evaluation.

In fact, it could be a lot worse, electricians and landscape gardeners were both down by an average of 5%, and tilers and plasterers saw a decline of 6%.

Bricklayers were found to be the worst affected group by a wide margin, with a 17% turnover reduction. Average turnover for bricklayers was £80,933 in 2022, which plunged to £67,455 in 2023.

In fact, kitchen and bathroom installers are faring somewhere in the middle compared to many other trades. Many others actually saw an increase from 2022 to 2023, for example painters and decorators were up by 3%, flooring contractors up 8% and gas fitters by 11%. The trade with the highest reported percentage increase in turnover was dryliners with 17%.

So that’s increases or decreases in turnover, but who actually earns the most?

The Simply Business analysis said that builders were the highest-earning trade profession, with an average 2023 turnover of £114,353 but even this was a slight decrease on 2022 which saw average turnover at £115,550.

All of this tells us that despite the difficult market, kitchen and bathroom installations are holding up comparatively well. That will come as little comfort to those who are struggling individually – averages by their nature never tell the full story – but as a broad picture ‘it could be much worse’ is as good as it gets.

Market conditions will always fluctuate but the KBB sector, by its very nature, is changing rapidly too. Keeping up with the latest products, skills, technology and design trends is vital for making sure you can maintain your own level of expertise and attractiveness to clients.

That’s why InstallerSHOW should be a must-attend event in your diary. This is your chance to see all the latest developments under one roof in just one day and ensure your own professional development is always moving forward.

Those that keep ahead of the market in this way will undoubtedly be the ones giving themselves the best possible opportunities to succeed in the future, and especially if times remain tough.

Installer Kitchens & Bathrooms will launch alongside InstallerSHOW at the NEC, Birmingham on 25-27 June 2024. To see the latest in kitchen innovations and smart products alongside a packed live content programme, register for your free ticket here.

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