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24 trade business ideas for 2024

With a new year comes new ambitions. If you're an employed trade then you might be looking to go self-employed. If you're self-employed you may want to explore tapping into a different market and offer your customers a new service. Here are some ideas for you based on last year's Checkatrade search data.

2023 was an interesting tough year for many people, due to the ongoing impact of the cost of living and global political situations. Following a challenging time the year before, homeowner demand began to see an increase when it comes to hiring trades for home repairs and improvement.

Popular topics included increasing the value of their home, to save money on energy usage, or better their living arrangements.

Predicting future trends is hard, but we do have data behind what rose in popularity last year and those jobs that are still as popular as ever.

Here is our list of some of the trade businesses or services that were highly searched in 2023.

Homeowners are making their homes more efficient

Green and eco-home improvements continued to increase in popularity in 2023 and are set to continue in 2024. With a government ban on new gas boilers coming into effect in 2025, consumers will begin to switch even more to alternatives and their potential cost savings.

Electric vehicle charger installation

Electric car charging in garage

There was a 5% increase in searches for electric vehicle charger installation from 2023 compared to 2022.

Due to the planned government ban on petrol and diesel cars, there’s no sign of electric vehicles slowing down either. In November 2023, ZapMap reported that there were almost 1 million electric cars on the UK roads, and a further 570,000 hybrids that can also use plug-in charging.

Powered with solar

House with solar panels installed

Searches for solar panel servicing grew by 269% on Checkatrade.

As more and more homeowners invest in renewable energy for their homes, there will likely be continued increases to demand for servicing and repair too.

If you’re thinking about starting a solar panel installation business, check out this free business guide.

Other solar searches that increased in popularity include solar thermal heating servicing/repair (up 66%) and solar roof servicing/repair (34%).

So there are different options as to what you offer, whether you specialise in one type or all the various solar options.

Powered by wind

Along with the huge increase in searches for solar, searches for home wind turbines continued to grow. There was 60% more interest in 2023 than in 2022, showing a continued desire from consumers.

Energy-efficient lighting

If you’re an electrician, there’s a big demand for your skills currently.

Searches for LED lighting increased by 7%. Leading to over 100k job searches in 2023.

Central heating continues to get hotter

Air source and ground source heat pump installation

As with 2022, there was a good number of air source heat pump (ASHP) installation searches on Checkatrade. ASHP saw over 38K job searches, while ground source heat pump (GSHP) saw a further 6k searches.

There was also continued growth in the search for air and ground source heat pump servicing and repairs. For example, ASHP saw a 35% increase in searches.

Boiler installation, service and repairs

Engineer fixing a boiler not working after power cut

Always in demand with homeowners – and definitely a necessity in the UK – Central Heating services generally influence a lot of searches on our website.

Gas central heating services and repairs saw a 68% increase in 2023. The incoming ban on new gas boilers for 2025, did affect customer interest. Both installation and servicing for gas boilers saw less interest than 2022.

Building work drove demand

Builders are consistently one our most searched for trades year in year out, and 2023 was no different. There are a lot of big home improvements generating work for Checkatrade builders.

Picking up the most searched jobs under builder include:

  • General building work (up 92%)
  • Extensions/conversions (up 58%)
  • Home Improvements (up 3%)
  • Refurbishments (down 4%)

Being a builder means you could package up different services or even choose a speciality that now know is popular on Checkatrade search.

Roofers were sky high in popularity on Checkatrade searches

Searches for roofing jobs were the most popular from homeowners, with over 3 million searches on the Checkatrade website.

In the dry roofing

Very specific roofing repairs, in particular, led to rises in searches from consumers. Pitched roofing repair saw a colossal 313% increase, dry ridge repair leapt 236%, balcony roofing repair grew 187% and slate roof repair increased by 167%.

It’s no surprise, given the large volume of wet weather we have experienced over the past 12 months.

Window and door experts in demand for different reasons

Across the board, there were increases for a variety of job types when it came to windows, doors and conservatories.

From what we can see, it’s based on aesthetics as well as efficiency.

Exterior doors repair saw a phenomenal upsurge of 580% increase in search volume. With Fire door repair leaping 320% in interest on the Checkatrade site.

There was an increase for uPVC doors installation, which saw a sharp 173% increase in searches, along with uPVC window repair by 259%.

Window cleaning grew 16% in searches

Window cleaning services as a whole grew by 16%.

Should you start your own window cleaning company, you’ll have to think long and hard about the type of services you offer.

As a search term ‘window cleaner’ generated interest for 265k jobs in 2023. This is contrasted with general cleaning services, which dipped in searches compared to 2022.

An alternative to window cleaning is ‘gutter cleaning and clearance’ which also increased by 14% popularity on the Checkatrade site compared to the year before.

The 24 ideas to start a business or services to add to your business

  1. Electric vehicle charger installation
  2. Solar panel installation
  3. Solar panel repairs
  4. Solar thermal heating installation
  5. Solar roof installation
  6. Home wind turbines
  7. Energy-efficient lighting
  8. Air source heat pump installation, servicing and repairs
  9. Ground source heat pump installation, servicing and repairs
  10. Extensions
  11. Loft and garage conversions
  12. Door repairs
  13. Sustainable construction
  14. Workshop design/construction
  15. Garden studios
  16. Emergency roofing
  17. Triple glazing installation and replacement
  18. Timber windows/door replacements
  19. Window shutter fitters
  20. Solar panel cleaning
  21. Commercial/office cleaning
  22. Holiday let cleaning
  23. Gutter cleaning
  24. Window cleaning

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And if that doesn’t convince you, here’s a preview of what to expect…

* Based on Checkatrade’s search data in 2023 compared to 2022

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