Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Sales hit record high at Southern Sheeting - fuelled by a DIY pandemic boom

Published: 8 July 2021 - James Mead

Building materials supplier Southern Sheeting has reported record sales driven by the nation’s craze for DIY as customers decided to make home improvements during the pandemic.


The business posted an 84 per cent increase in revenue growth from its domestic products such as fencing and decking, compared to 16 per cent growth for products it supplies to trade customers.

Research commissioned by Southern Sheeting also revealed UK residents have grown more ambitious in the DIY projects they are taking on. It also highlighted that more women than men have completed home improvement projects - challenging an old-fashioned view of the DIY enthusiast.

Tony Hobbs, Managing Director, Southern Sheeting, said: “We have had an incredibly busy year dealing with customers aiming to carry out lockdown home improvement projects, with sales rising far higher than we anticipated.

“Garden decking was a runaway success in lockdown with sales of our ranges of Trex Composite Decking increasing by almost 140 per cent as people spent more time in their gardens and less money on holidays, going to the pub or eating out. This compared to a 19 per cent increase the previous year.

“Sales of products such as Cedral Weatherboard Cladding, to give homes a fresh look, also rose dramatically, up 40 per cent, as did Scandinavian style RoofArt Metal guttering system, up 25 per cent.

“Online sales rocketed, perhaps not surprising when so many customers were shopping at home instead of visiting us in person. The scale of the projects our customers have been taking on has been impressive too, from installing their first decking area, right up to building a houseboat or their very own shepherd’s hut or garden office. We’ve expanded our workforce by 20 per cent to meet demand.”

Southern Sheeting commissioned a nationwide poll of 1,500 members of the public, covering all demographics, which asked them if they had completed more home improvement projects since the first lockdown began than in previous years, with more than one third (34 per cent) of Brits answering ‘yes’.

The results also showed that new groups are joining the market – including a greater number of women and young professionals.

  • More women (38 per cent) than men (30 per cent) reported completing an increased number of home improvement projects than before previous years.
  • Young people aged 16-24 were the most likely to have attempted more DIY projects than in previous years – in fact nearly half of them said so at 45 per cent.

In another poll commissioned by Southern Sheeting, people were asked to rate their DIY skills. The results showed that passion and talent for DIY is equally shared equally by men and women.

The total number of competent DIYers was 83 per cent for men and 78 per cent for women - extremely high figures which should be a boost to the industry and a wake-up call for anyone who thinks DIY is a male-dominated passion.

To download Southern Sheeting’s new white paper on the boom in lockdown home improvements, visit


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