Western Residential Roofing Market Still Going Strong
by Marc Dodson, editor
It seems to be defying all odds. The Western steep-slope market just keeps growing. Last year, as many made the switch to the home office, remodeling, expanding, and purchasing vacation homes became the norm. In numerous instances, corporate office space is permanently being downsized. Now, with the light visible at the end of the pandemic tunnel, many companies have come to realize that having employees work remotely is a viable long-term option. It’s something nobody would have predicted a year ago, but the pandemic-induced home office is no longer temporary, but is here to stay.
Reports from contractors throughout the West show a substantial improvement in new residential roofing. Steep-slope reroofing also continues to rise and new residential construction projects around the West are being built. With few exceptions, we’re pretty much hearing the same report all around the West. New residential construction projects and reroofing projects are definitely on the rise.
Supply & Demand
This new steep-slope demand is not without its problems. Many manufacturers of steep-slope reroofing and recover products have told us that they’re busy, but could be busier. Manufacturers are operating under COVID-19 restrictions enacted by local governments. With social distancing, only a portion of their workforce is available. Raw material suppliers are in the same boat. Consequently, not all types and colors of steep-slope products are available. Many have limited their product line to just their most popular items. Shipment delays have become the norm.
Meanwhile, people are on the move, and are either remodeling, reroofing, or looking for new digs. Prices of existing homes are increasing monthly, especially in vacation areas. This activity has increased the demand for residential roofing significantly, and the West seems to be doing much better than the rest of the nation.
The Western steep-slope market will likely account for 46% of the roofing pie, which is up significantly from last year’s 42%. According to a number of sources, including industry experts, construction industry associations, financial institutions, and our own surveys, this trend will likely continue.
2021 Western Residential Market Share
Residential Product Mix
As mentioned, some residential products may not be easy to acquire right now. Custom homes and upscale tract homes are again being built, but roofing material options are limited. The high-end products, such as tile, slate, metal, and premium fiberglass shingles are all doing well.
The construction and sale of single-family homes has been increasing, while work on multifamily residences has also increased. Some are moving to smaller upscale condos, either as a second home or as an office away from home.
Reroofing & New Construction
While reroofing continues to dominate the Western steep-slope market, this year new construction will take an increasingly larger share. Reroofing will capture a predicted 49% of the total Western residential volume. This is about the same as last year. Repairs and maintenance will account for 19%, down slightly from the previous year. The remaining 32% goes to new construction, up ever so slightly.
Once again, the most popular steep-slope roofing product installed in the West is, was, and remains fiberglass shingles, with a lion’s share of 63.5% of the market. This market percentage for fiberglass shingles is up slightly from last year. Metal, concrete tile, clay tile, and slate remain approximately the same as last year. All this sounds good, but as mentioned previously, we’re hearing of material shortages, particularly fiberglass shingles.
Residential Market Share
Down the Road
Everyone is wondering just how long the current residential boom will last. There are many unknowns, including the current pandemic and the worldwide economic climate. Plus, there’s the ever-present challenge to find enough warm bodies to work on the roof.
The construction industry is currently experiencing a steady upswing in both low-slope and steep-slope construction projects. While reroofing will always remain the dominant portion of the market, we’re seeing more and more new construction on the boards. The majority of industry sources seem to agree that this trend will continue for the immediate future. Right now, Western roofing contractors are busy just trying to keep up with the demand.