Builders are going it alone as housing slump takes hold
By Joe Brennan
Thursday January 17 2008
Onlinetradesmen.com, Ireland's largest accredited network for tradesmen and builders, has seen its membership surge 10pc since September, as hundreds of laid-off construction workers turn their hand to repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) work.
The company has over 9,000 tradesmen and builders nationwide registered on its site. Fears over large-scale job losses in the construction sector have been mounting in recent months as housebuilding activity continues to decline.
Experts say the overall construction industry, which employs 288,000 people, or one in eight of the entire workforce, could see layoffs of between 20,000 and 80,000 people as the number of homes built in the country fall from about 78,000 homes in 2007 to as low as 45,000 units this year.
"The recent increase in tradesmen striking out on their own in the RMI sector will no doubt lead to more competition and the potential for reduced prices for consumers," said Ted Laverty, who is managing director of onlinetrades men.com.
"We have seen a significant number of builders, carpenters and plumbers in particular sign up in recent months."
The firm, which has processed in excess of 100,000 building and home improvement projects, worth over €1.2bn, since it was set up at the end of 2005, has found that growing competition for work has driven the use of the internet as a marketing tool in the search for work.
Looks like the journalists in the RoI are digging deeper to show the times they are a changing. Pity the BT has little in the way of credible journalism