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By Gary Thill, IRE Business Update Editor
Roofers are nothing if not resilient. And the latest data from the NRCA combined with an IRE Business Update Flash Poll back up that reputation.
Despite what one roofer described as “ongoing and relentless” supply chain issues that have caused shortages of everything from shingles to nails along with spiraling costs, roofers seem to be weathering the economic storms.
At least so far.
"What the industry is seeing is unprecedented in the 46 years I have been in the industry,” said Rod Petrick, president of Ridgeworth Roofing Co. Inc., Frankfort, Ill., and NRCA’s board chairman. “We are seeing weekly updates with pricing increases and availability pushed our for months. I had recently seen a manufacturer's email which mentioned increase on certain products could be 100%.”
In fact, an unscientific IRE Business Update Flash Poll revealed that 94% of roofers are currently experiencing supply chain issues.
For now though, such volatility isn’t wholly dampening demand, at least based on the most recent Re-Roofing Market Survey from NRCA. According to the association:
Nearly 300 respondents completed the eight-question survey during a two-week period in April; nearly two-thirds of responses came from contractors, and the balance came from roof consultants. The results indicate market conditions generally are improving for the roofing industry in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Some topline excerpts of the survey:
Reports from roofers themselves back up those somewhat encouraging figures, along with some of the red flags they raise around shrinking project backlogs.
Derric Stull, president/owner of Ridge Valley Exteriors, Inc. in Kennesaw, Ga., had the following to report:
Though it is not daily, it surely feels like daily we are battling shortage notices, price increase announcements, etc.
Among the biggest challenges we are facing is product/color availability. This is causing some real challenges in scheduling and coordinating installs.
We are combating the challenges of supply chain shortages in a couple of ways:
Petrick echoed those strategies. He added: “We have also started to take factory directs to our shop if the project is not ready. This allows us to start as soon as possible once notified that the project is ready.”
He shared the following anecdote of how his business is being affected. “We are now placing orders as soon as contracts hit our office. We had placed an order yesterday for a project and were told possibly late August or early September for the insulation. This will not be acceptable to our client so we now are forced to look at other options.”
Despite these significant challenges, Petrick, like many roofers, remains optimistic.
“These issues make it an interesting year and will test the patience of all involved,” he said. “Hopefully, we will all be able to look back at this and talk about how we survived the great material availability crisis of 2021.”