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New Report on Metal Roofing Market

Paul DeffenbaughThis year, Principia Consulting, a Malvern, Pa.-based research and consulting firm focused on the building materials and construction industry, will roll out a report on the metal roofing industry. It’s a market that doesn’t often get this kind of attention, and during discussions at METALCON a couple of weeks ago, I learned that many people in the industry are anticipating this report with high expectations.

The shortage of information in the metal roofing industry—and the metal construction industry as a whole—hampers its ability to anticipate trends and identify growth opportunities. Many hope this report will start to address some of that shortage.

There are some surprises in the report, and Casey Olson, Industry analyst at Principia Consulting, recently penned a blog identifying three things about the industry that may surprise you. They are 

  1. Jobsite rollforming is expected to continue as a significant factor in the metal roofing
  2. Suppliers have the capacity and raw materials to keep up with demand, but there isn’t enough installation capacity
  3. Metal roofing has caught the interest of the large asphalt manufacturers and commercial building materials manufacturers

You can read Olson's blog entry about the metal roofing market on the Principia website here.

Among the more interesting points is the expectation that the metal roofing market “is projected to grow faster than any other roofing product overall.”

I spoke briefly with Olson, who has done the bulk of the heavy lifting on this project, speaking with industry participants, scrounging obscure and obtuse bits of data spread across dozens of sources and compiling it into an impressive spreadsheet that made me want to crawl through my monitor and just dive in.

Olson remarked on the shortage of information on the market, but says, “We were pleasantly surprised at how helpful people were. As an industry, everyone recognizes the dearth of market data and recognize they need that information to continue to grow.” In an industry dominated by smaller, privately held companies, that willingness to share information was indeed a surprise.

Using 2016 as its launch point in addition to 2017 projected volume and value, the report is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter and will include a comprehensive look at the market and estimated demand.  Principia's demand estimation modeling process begins with public and private data on new and existing structures, both residential and commercial.  Hundreds of quantitative surveys provide insight on material usage patterns along with qualitative channel checks to ensure demand balances with supply. “All said and done,” Olson says, “It should be complete by the end of the year.”

When I asked her for her biggest take away from the surprises she identified, she said, “The solid interest among large roofing manufacturers who focus on the commercial sector who  are interested in metal roofing as well as other residential roofing material manufacturers who see metal roofing as a growth segment.”

One of the difficulties in clarifying the metal roofing market is the use of jobsite rollforming machines. “There’s a lot of murkiness in metal roofing,” she says. “Not a lot of data.” Some of that can be traced to contractors who use jobsite rollforming machines. They can order their steel directly from steel service centers or other sources so their production is harder to track.

Take some time out of your day to read Olson’s blog. It will be interesting to see the market reaction to a flood of good information coming into it.

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