Market Survey: Steep-Slope Roofing

Continued Growth for Western Residential Roofing Market

by Marc Dodson, editor


The residential roofing market continues to grow in the West. In fact, while still lower in total market share, it’s now growing faster than the Western steep-slope market. From talking to roofing contractors from around the West, the market improvement we’ve experienced in the last few years in the steep-slope market shows no signs of slowing in the near future. Both steep-slope reroofing and new construction continue their upward trend, and we’re seeing new homes being built at a record pace. While there may be a few areas where construction is slower to recover than the others, we’re hearing pretty much the same report all around the West. New steep-slope construction projects and reroofing projects are definitely on the rise.


Looking Good

People are making the decision to move into new dream homes. Meanwhile, there are more new remodel and reroofing projects, significantly increasing the demand for residential roofing. The signs of a continued upward construction trend are very promising, and the West seems to be doing much better that the rest of the nation. Many manufacturers of steep-slope reroofing and recover products have told us that they are very busy, some stating they’re experiencing their best sales year in over a decade. As mentioned, it’s not just reroofing that’s on the rise. Manufacturers of products marketed toward new roofing are also experiencing an increase. Several tile manufacturers have stated they’ve added additional shifts and extended their production hours.

Home re-sales are also on the rise. As prices of existing homes increase, re-sales are spending less time on the market. New custom homes are once again being sold at a profit, with a much quicker turn-around time.

This year the Western steep-slope market will account for about 44% of the roofing pie, up a small but significant 1% increase over the previous year. This opinion is expressed by a number of sources, including industry experts, construction industry associations, financial institutions, and our own surveys.


Residential Mix

Multifamily homes, as well as custom and tract homes, continue to be built at a record pace. This is excellent news for contractors and manufacturers specializing in slate and tile. The construction and sale of single-family homes has been increasing, while work on multifamily residences has also increased as the baby boom population ages and moves to smaller upscale condos.


Reroofing & New Construction

Even while reroofing continues to dominate the Western steep-slope market, this year new construction will take a larger share. Reroofing will capture a predicted 49% of the total Western residential volume. This is down slightly from last year as new construction projects continue to increase. Repairs and maintenance account for 21%, also down slightly from last year. The remaining 30% goes to new construction, up slightly from the previous year. The average for all roofing in the West, including commercial applications, is 49% reroofing, 19% for repairs and maintenance, and 32% new construction.


Product Mix

The most popular steep-slope roofing product installed in the West is, was, and remains, and probably always will be for the foreseeable future, fiberglass shingles, with a commanding 62% of the market. This market percentage for fiberglass shingles is up again from last year. The increase is undoubtedly due to the fact that manufacturers continue to emphasize and market their high-end products to the new construction market. Metal, concrete tile, clay tile, and slate remain approximately the same as last year. While the market shares for the latter products remain the same, the overall volume of the market has increased.

The Road Ahead

What lies ahead for the remainder of the year? Western contractors state they expect the commercial roofing market to continue a steady growth, and they’re also very optimistic about the continued increase in the residential market.

The construction industry is experiencing a steady upswing in construction starts. Additionally, the resale of existing homes is on the increase, with less time on the market, and selling at higher prices. On the commercial side, new warehouses are once again being built. While reroofing will always remain the big elephant in the room, we’re seeing more and more new construction on the boards, and most industry sources agree that the trend will continue for the foreseeable future.