State of the Industry Report and Survey 2016

State of the Roofing Industry 2016

Commercial Profile

Like residential, roof replacements were again the main vehicle for revenue in 2015 among respondents, with 24 percent. However, unlike residential, new construction accounted for 11 percent and commercial repairs just 8 percent.

Nearly all of the commercial contractors reported using single-ply roofing (96 percent) with metal a distant second (74 percent). TPO remained the top product, accounting for nearly half of single-ply roofing sales, followed by EPDM (27 percent) and PVC (23 percent).

“With low slope roofs, TPO continues to gain more of the market share,” said Timothy Dunlap, president and COO of CentiMark. “Pricing pressures and relative low equipment costs have enabled entry into this market, making this roof system more of a commodity. We’re constantly looking for value-added services that we can provide to this roof system installation.”

In the metal roofing category, architectural standing seam (52 percent) accounted for more than half, followed by structural standing seam (18 percent). Nearly a quarter of contractors also selected ‘other’ in this category.

Exploring further into product type, the data shows single ply roofing (55 percent), low slope (13 percent), and metal (10 percent) account for the majority of commercial contractor sales. Conversely, concrete tile, garden roofing, slate, SPF spray foam, solar and wood shakes combined for less than 5 percent of all commercial sales.

Both residential and commercial roofing contractors also stayed diversified in 2015, with many offering services beyond roof installation. Seventy-nine percent of residential contractors and 65 percent of commercial contractors indicated they offered gutters. Skylights (74 percent residential, 62 percent commercial) were the second-most popular exterior systems. Vinyl siding (54 percent) and windows (48 percent) were the next highest on the residential list. Waterproofing (47 percent) and metal cladding (36 percent) were next for commercial contractors.


Source: Roofing Contractor.

Four Ways to Build a Great Reputation as a Roofing Contractor

“It Can Mean Everything to Your Business and Marketing Plan”

Recently, I asked a very successful roofing contractor in his region about what he has done that was unique. His answer seemed counter-intuitive: he offers gutter cleaning services to older people in the neighborhood at cost.

This roofer knows that most of these customers won’t go on to buy new roofs, they’re at a stage of life where they’re thinking about paring down housing costs. However, they often have adult children with young families living in fixer-upper houses that do need roofs. When the roofer shows up in a crisp, clean uniform, makes time for friendly chit chat, and throws in a small odd job or two, they often tell their children about how nice the roofer was at the next Sunday dinner. When the time comes for these adult-aged children to replace their roofs, they remember the nice story their parents shared about the roofer.

As this small business owner discovered, success in many service businesses is driven by building and maintaining a good reputation. It’s a bit like choosing a surgeon or picking a babysitter for your newborn. Replacing the roof over your head is a time when reputation is far more important than price.

This was confirmed in the “What Customers Want from Local Businesses” survey we recently conducted. We learned that the three biggest reasons customers use their home repair provider are quality of work (41 percent), reliability (32 percent), and trustworthiness (28 percent).

So how do you make the most of the reputation you’ve built as a roofer to win new customers?

Finding creative ways to boost word-of-mouth advertising can go a long way, but it’s also important to make the most of digital and mobile outreach.

Four Strategies to Build Your Local Reputation

1. Have a Vibrant Website

In our survey, 70 percent of customers said they would like to see local home-repair providers improve their websites over the next year. However, in a different study, we found that more than half (52 percent) of small business owners do not have a website.

Whether or not your business is among the owners who currently have a website, remember that in today’s world your website is your front door, and it delivers the first impression you make on potential customers. Ask yourself whether your website makes an impact. Is it easy to use, clean and organized? Does it convey a personality and humanity that makes someone want to work with you? If you don’t have a website, get one! There are companies, agencies and free tool kits available online to help you create a website that’s easy to use.

2. Get and Use Reviews

Online reviews from customers are no longer nice to have, they’re a must have. In the roofing business, we’ve learned reviews are particularly important, especially since people don’t buy many roofs in their lifetime. When potential customers need to make that decision, they only have word of mouth or online reviews to help them decide whom to work with.

Still, we find many small business owners are not recognizing the importance of online reviews. A previous study we conducted found only half of small business owners thought it was important for their business to receive positive online reviews and almost one in four (23 percent) believed it was unimportant. These small business owners are missing out, as 90 percent of customers’ buying decisions are influenced by seeing positive online testimonials.

Plus, one of the great ways to build that website we discussed is by enhancing it with content like online reviews. You may be surprised by how many reviews you get. In the Yodle Insights Survey, we found fewer than one in 10 consumers (7 percent) have been asked to write a review of a local business even though the vast majority (89 percent) were willing to do so if they had a positive experience and were asked. We also found that three-quarters of all consumers surveyed said that having reviews either gives a local business a competitive advantage (36 percent) or is expected (40 percent).

Some business owners are shy about asking customers for reviews, so if you’ve been putting it off, make the task easier on yourself; after you’ve successfully completed a job, use an automated system to request a review by email.

3. Let Photos Tell the Story

Roofing is fascinating to watch. It’s not a common occurrence to see people 12-20 feet in the air working effortlessly. To the average person, it’s scary and exciting to witness, so celebrate that!

Take candid shots of your employees hard at work, your on-site logos, before and after pictures, etc. Images like this help show you’re engaging, professional and, of course, illustrate the high-quality work you do. They’ll also bring your company to life on your website and social media pages, so remember to ask members of your crew to snap candid shots of your team in action. Don’t forget to make sure everyone is smiling and looking at the camera, as it will improve response.

4. Stay in Touch

Many roofing contractors get too busy to promote their services during their best season, but that can lead to peaks and valleys in cash flow. To keep up the pace of your marketing, you could, for example, share offers for cleaning, repairing or smaller jobs throughout the season, as well as tips on snow or ice removal. You could also share your thoughts on the latest materials and technologies evolving in the industry. The goal is to mix both promotional as well as informational content.

One way to make sure you have a steady flow of jobs is to automate more of your marketing, such as email promotions. Our survey found that 71 percent of local home-repair providers’ customers would like to receive communications such as service/appointment reminders and advice/helpful tips, either via email or social media.

Remember, not every message you send out has to be a sales pitch. Many of your customers will welcome an article on a useful topic like how to keep your roof from springing leaks or how to keep a new roof looking great—and your valuable tips will remind them of what a great resource you can be.

By finding ways to stay in touch, without bombarding them, you’ll keep your company top of mind when they’re ready to hire a roofer.

In conclusion, reputation matters and it takes a while to develop. You’ll need to invest over time. Remember, it’s the accumulation of many small things over time that add up to a great reputation and a steady flow of business for you and your team.


*This article has been produced based on the idea of residential roofing. Here at Pinkston-Tadd, we only work in the commercial & industrial sector – not to be confused. This article is simply being used for education.



Safety on the Job

OSHA to Increase Fines in 2016

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently made an announcement that there WILL be an increase in fines for companies that break safety code, where employees, customers, etc.  are hurt or put in danger. This will be the first increase that the U.S. economy and industry has seen since 1990.

Specifically, the fine schedule goes as follows:  Severe penalties are increasing from $70,000 (which it was) to $125,000. Serious penalties see the same percentage increase from $7,000 to $12,500 now. The major increase in the fines represent the cost of inflation over the last 25 years. It is believed that fines will now continue to increase with inflation on more of a consistent level and not take on a 25-year silence, like that previous.

Why is OSHA all of the sudden making this huge jump? The answer rests in political agenda of the U.S. current presidential office, which includes the Assistant Secretary of Labor, David Michaels. He was recently quoted, while speaking before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections in October, 2015. Michaels said, “Simply put, OSHA penalties must be increased to provide a real disincentive for employers accepting injuries and worker deaths as a cost of doing business”.

So, moving forward, it is very important for any business (especially in the construction industry) to take incredibly seriously the idea of up-to-date safety training seminars, safe procedures and protocol and efficient health and accountability programs to protect their company, staff and clients from harm or even death. If they don’t take their stance seriously, they will have to forfeit major financial penalties as a result and possibly have to ‘close shop’ forever.


Source: Marino, Frank, J. “OSHA to Raise Fines in the New Year”. CRCA Today. Fall 2015/Winter 2016.



While Pinkston-Tadd, Inc. strives to make the information on this website as timely and accurate as possible, the company makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of this site, and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the contents of this site. The information provided herein is Pinkston-Tadd, Inc.’s opinion and provided for educational purposes only.

Why ‘Pull Test’ On Your Roofing System?

“The attachment of the fastener to the roof deck is critical to the performance of the roofing system. Therefore, before deciding which OMG fastening solution to use on your next project, it’s a good idea to have a pull test completed.pulltest

Pull tests are used to determine on-site conditions. While pull tests are freq
uently requested for new construction projects, good roofing practice suggests they should always be preformed on re-roofing projects to determine the condition and suitability of the deck. This is particularly important as buildings age. Deck materials – steel, concrete, wood, cementitious wood fiber, gypsum, lightweight insulating concrete, etc. – are subject to a wide variety of conditions that can affect their performance and ability to hold fasteners or adhesives over time.

The ANSI/SPRI FX-1 standard requires 10 pullout tests for roofs up to 50,000 sq. ft., and another five tests for each additional 50,000 square feet or portion thereof. At least 50% must be conducted in corners and around the perimeter. Additional pull tests may be necessary based on the condition of the substrate.

OMG field technicians are trained to perform these tests to help ensure that you get the best solution for your project.” -OMG