Franchise Spotlight: Restoration

With new opportunities in restoration on the horizon despite the downshift in the wider economy, this industry is primed for growth in the years to come.

Regardless of previous experience and career field, now is the time to weigh up the idea that a restoration should have pride of place in the franchising world.

There's no shortage of restoration franchise opportunities. But before you start comparing offers, make sure you can fully make the decision between a career in renovation, or restoration.

Renovation aims to upgrade a property to bring it back onto the market or enhance its appeal to the current owner.

Restoration aims to restore a heritage property to its original state. It involves reaching an agreement with the local council, sourcing period materials, and carrying out work based on rigorous guidelines.

The Future

More than half of all homeowners in the UK have carried out one type of renovation/restoration project or another in the past decade.

Most of the work focused on bathrooms and kitchens, which is not surprising, considering bedroom extensions, loft conversions, and new kitchen-diners raise property prices by over a tenth.

But there's recently been an uptick, and it's a universal phenomenon.

UK homeowners would rather spruce up than move on. In 2017, 27% of London homeowners chose renovation over relocation. Overall, 26% of home owning millennials across the country made the same choice.

The Rewards

House prices, the state of the economy, local planning restrictions, and income fluctuations are just some of the factors driving this rise in private renovation and repair.

As all these factors are very likely to continue to have an impact on home buying decisions in the years to come, renovation and restoration service providers will stand to gain.

So, although the average turnover for one of these franchises is currently in the £35k to £70k range, depending on field of practice, there's potential for those figures to double in some parts of the country in the next 4-5 years, all things being equal.

Types of franchise

There are several types of franchise operations that fall in the renovation or restoration category. 

  • Surface repairs and emergency repairs;
  • Decorating and landscaping;
  • Timber frame restoration;
  • Heritage roofing and repairs;
  • Painting and weatherproof coating;
  • Design and installation;
  • Smart systems and sustainable refurbishing.

Typical franchise models

Renovation and restoration franchises are generally small-scale operations employing only a handful of people.

A typical renovation franchise consists of the franchisee, who may be based at home, the production manager, and one or two on-site workers. Long and flexible hours are common in this line of work.

There's an element of seasonality, as with all builders and tradespeople, but much of the work can be carried out throughout the year, weather permitting.

Company vehicles, machinery, and equipment are usually supplied by the franchisee, so ensure that your investment budget can accommodate this, or bring this up when selecting a franchise. Many franchises are able to offer special rates on equipment to their franchisee that you would otherwise pay full price for externally.

A day in the life of

Even without expensive degrees and qualifications or hefty business textbooks, many are able to enter into a restoration franchise with minimal experience. 

Your workload - and ultimately your lifestyle - will depend on your territory, so make sure you have a clear idea of if there is a clientele list in your territory already, what is the profit viability of that territory – not just the franchise – and does that fit in with your availability.

Investing in a renovation and restoration franchise can bring you a stable source of income, as well as a host of transferable skills and opportunity to diversify your career.

Paulyne Antoniou

About the author

Paulyne as Head of Content has produced regular videos and editorial for many years with small businesses, franchises and industry professionals.