A plumber has revealed coronavirus is causing business to surge – as almost every trade is inundated with calls to get something fixed.
Alex Taskun, the director of GT Plumbing in Sydney, enjoyed a 20 per cent jump in revenue in May.
He has done well as fortunes have also improved for floor layers, fencers and carpenters.
Call outs for blocked toilets soared, as more people working from home flushed the wrong things down the drain.
‘There’s more wear and tear. They flush the toilet more often, they block the toilets because they’re using wet wipes again,’ Mr Taskun told Daily Mail Australia.
A plumber has revealed the coronavirus pandemic has led to a surge in business
‘Due to the shortage of toilet paper, people are using newspapers – they’ve cut them up into little square sheets.’
Where demand for tradies has soared
Flooring: up 227.52 per cent
Paving: up 110.46 per cent
Asbestos removal: up 76.73 per cent
Fencing: up 62.05 per cent
Roofing: up 45.65 per cent
House cleaning: up 37.56 per cent
Home handiwork: up 35.14 per cent
Electrical services: up 23.35 per cent
Carpentry: up 20.61 per cent
Plumbing: up 18.10 per cent
Plastering: up 17.80 per cent
Rubbish removals: up 16.93 per cent
Furniture removals: up 8.08 per cent
Concreting: 6.84 per cent
Air conditioning and heating: up 6.47 per cent
Renovation: 6.21 per cent
Architects: up 2 per cent
House Painting: down 0.53 per cent
Tiling: down 3.10 per cent
Gardening: down 8.66 per cent
Pest extermination: down 57.15 per cent
Source: ServiceSeeking.com.au data for May 2020 based on the number of customers seeking quotes
The good news followed a 50 per cent plunge in April as COVID-19 public health orders in New South Wales kept people at home, other than for essential travel.
The easing of some coronavirus restrictions has seen a jump in demand, as more people were able to work again.
‘People are earning an income again so they’ve got the confidence to spend the money,’ Mr Taskun said.
The plumber of 11 years, who previously worked in agribusiness banking, said while demand for office block maintenance had fallen, home owners were increasingly getting their plumbing repaired.
‘There are certain things that have been pestering them and they want to get it fixed,’ he said.
He is far from the only tradie doing well.
Tradie job site ServiceSeeking has revealed a 27 per cent surge last month in the number of customers seeking quotes.
This followed an 18.3 per cent plunge in March and a flat April.
‘We are hopeful that demand for Australia’s tradies inspires a V shaped recovery in the Australian economy,’ ServiceSeeking co-founder Jeremy Levitt said.
Flooring jobs had the biggest increase of 227.5 per cent in May, followed by paving which saw a 110.46 per cent rise.
Plumbers saw an 18.1 per cent soaring in demand – a level broadly in line with Mr Taskun’s experience.
The GT Plumbing boss, who is based at Erskineville, in Sydney’s inner-west, said business rebounded as people were allowed to leave their homes again.
Alex Taskun, the director of GT Plumbing in Sydney, enjoyed a 20 per cent jump in revenue in May
‘The fact we saw the increase in traffic on the road, automatically jobs started coming though again,’ he said.
Not all trades saw demand for their services increase with interest in pest exterminators plunging by 57.15 per cent.
Even before the COVID-19 lockdowns, the building sector was already in trouble.
Construction work done by value dived by 6.5 per cent in the year to March, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed.
In New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, it plummeted by 17.3 per cent, marking the steepest annual decline in almost 19 years.
The Property Council of Australia is proposing a $50,000 handout for those who buy a newly-built home.
Call outs for blocked toilets soared, as more people working from home flushed the wrong things down the drain, including wet wipes
Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the government was considering a stimulus scheme to underpin the construction sector, amid speculation it could cost $4billion.
‘It is about creating jobs and supporting jobs in our residential construction sector,’ he said.
‘The tradies and all the others, the apprentices and others who work in that home building sector are a sector we know are going to feel a lot of pain unless we can keep a continuity in the business of house construction whether here in New South Wales or anywhere else.’
Despite having a good month, Mr Taskun said demand for his plumbing services from commercial office building managers had plummeted, with residential customers holding up his business for now.
‘Now it’s a transfer over to domestic plumbing,’ he said.
‘The commercial side of it has gone down, the commercial maintenance being on the large construction buildings or existing buildings.’
While toilet paper is returning to supermarket shelves, possibly diminishing demand for plumbers, Mr Taskun said he would happily fix for free block drains for needy people aged 70 and over.
‘I’m happy to help out one elderly person per week for free,’ he said, after recently helping out an old man whose wife had slipped and broken bones.