Third of 50-60 year-olds distrust tradespeople who come to make ‘vital home adaptations’


New research from the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) has found that almost a third (32%) of adults in their 50s and 60s distrust tradespeople, discouraging them to make vital home repairs and adaptations.

The research examines the barriers facing older people when attempting to make essential improvements to their homes that are necessary to ensure their ongoing independence.

The data showed that over a third of people aged 50 to 70 highlight that tradespeople being a member of an accredited trade association instils them with more confidence

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Carried out by Ipsos MORI for the Good Home Inquiry, an independent review of England’s poor-quality housing stock commissioned by the Centre for Ageing Better, the survey was conducted online with adults in England aged 18-75 to understand people’s attitudes around home improvements.

In particular, the survey examined what factors caused distrust and instilled confidence in tradespeople among those aged 50 to 70, with a significant percentage (32%) stating that they did not trust tradespeople.

Examining the top three causes of mistrust among this demographic, the research highlighted that concerns over tradespeople not doing a good job was the biggest factor (59%), closely followed by worries that tradespeople won’t give a fair cost for the job (56%), as well as wariness having experienced problems with tradespeople in the past (44%).

Additionally, fears over the price of work increasing (42%) and people being encouraged to pay for unnecessary work (39%) also ranked highly among those aged 50 to 70.

The results emphasise the need for older people to be able to trust tradespeople to carry out home repairs in their homes, to ensure they can remain healthier and independent for longer and reduce pressure on NHS and social care services.

Along with uncovering the causes of mistrust, the research also surveyed which factors instil more confidence in people aged 50 to 70 when hiring a tradesperson. Notably, a significant one in three (34%) people confirmed that the tradesperson being a member of an accredited trade association, such as the BHTA, increased their level of trust.

Dr Simon Festing, chief executive officer of the British Healthcare Trades Association, commented: “The results of this research reveal all our fears of dodgy tradespeople. But we believe that with the right approach, older people can still go ahead and get essential adaptations and improvements to their homes, which they need to live healthier and independent lives.

“As one of the longest-established trade associations in the healthcare sector, the BHTA understands just how important trust is when it comes to having work carried out for vital installations, such as handrails, stairlifts, ramps and level access bathrooms.

“We would encourage all consumers to go ahead and make the necessary changes to their homes to keep themselves safe, mobile and independent, by seeking out a BHTA member. Our members commit to our Code of Practice, ensuring they uphold standards over and above the law, to give consumers confidence that they are professional and ethical.”

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Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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