Jarrow firm bucks the trend to rake in record £7million turnover despite global challenges

A South Tyneside construction firm has overcome huge challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic, haulage crisis and soaring costs to celebrate its best ever year – achieving a record turnover of £7million

By Victoria Williams
Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 12:54 pm

Tyneside Home Improvements (THI), based in Jarrow, said the housing boom had helped it weather the storm, which saw the cost of some items rocket to ten times the normal price.

But managing director Kevin Kerr believes the company’s strong performance is mainly due to hard work and a drive to please its clients.

"Omicron, material shortages and high costs are just a few of the massive issues we have faced. Some items rose in price from £6 to £50,” he said."When the property market took off there was an increase in demand for our services which was fantastic."But it meant sourcing goods was even more difficult."Everyone in our industry was experiencing the same surge and so we were competing against firms who were able to buy in the millions as opposed to our thousands."It was very difficult to get supplies.”

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Tyneside Home Improvements (THI) managing director Kevin Kerr.

Mr Kerr said hard work and ‘intelligent buying’ helped the company not only get by, but thrive.He said: "I spent long hours into the night researching the market, establishing where we could get goods at reasonable prices.

"We bought in bulk and crucially were able to keep costs down for our clients.

"We increased orders by 15% during the pandemic and are very proud of our success given the unprecedented challenges we had to tackle."

Kevin said THI is on track for another record breaking year after it achieved a turnover of £2million in the first quarter, with projected orders of £8million.

Managing director Kevin Kerr with operations and CRM chief Anthony McMahon and financial controller Chris Green.

He said problems the company faced were in part mitigated by the housing boom, as a reduction in the number of properties on the market led to an increase in home owners seeking to improve rather than move.

THI saw a surge in demand for garage conversions, as clients working from home sought office space.

New build orangeries and conservatories became more popular as customers looked to extend their properties.

Kevin added: "We are also specialists in Supalite 'warm roofs'. We repurpose older conservatories by adding lightweight tiled roofs.

An example of THI's work.

"This is a way of rejuvenating a disused space, and essentially adding an extra living room to a house.

"The work we carry out improves the home for the customer's enjoyment, but it can also add a lot of value when they come to sell.

"Our ethos is hard work, and we like to do a fantastic job for people, leaving them happy.

"We want their next door neighbours to come to us when they need work doing.

"Client satisfaction is what matters to us the most."

THI was founded 15-years ago by Kevin who at the time had just one member of staff.

The firm, which offers a 10-year guarantee on all products, has now grown to employ 45 permanent and contract staff, as well as two apprentices, over several disciplines and trades.

THI's head office is in Jarrow, but it operates across a huge area which takes in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, Durham, Stockton and Teesside.