Here in the Western US, there’s hardly a week that goes by that someone doesn’t report on the expectation that the Pacific El Nino effect is expected to bring a much-needed soaking this winter. Last I heard those who watch these things expect an 80% chance of a particularly wet season. Being in the roofing business, I have to say that I’m very much hoping the predictions are correct, but what does El Nino mean for people thinking of re-roofing their homes?
One thing I have already witnessed in a big spike in demand for re-roofing bids and metal roofs in particular. All of the contractors I know are saying they are swamped with bids and orders. Most of them saying so for the first time in many years! I was talking to one contractor just this week who told me that his order books were nearly full and his schedule packed into the middle of November.
When you consider that the normal busy season for roof contractors (and manufacturers like us) is the fall, it’s rather unusual to hear production schedules so full this early in the season. All of that is probably quite predictable to anyone paying attention, but the reason I was motivated to write this blog is that he was quick to add that it was time to raise prices! All of his quotes of new work for this fall are going to be priced higher than he has been quoting for most of the year. While I was at first a little taken aback, it was only a moment’s reflection that had me understanding the logic: demand is high, order books are filling fast, and so anyone wanting to get a good roofer hired in the peak of demand will of course pay a premium! The free market at work, right there!
I have been speaking to folks who have been actively seeking prices from roofers for work this fall, and it’s been very interesting to hear of their experiences. One theme was uniform in the vast majority of reports: The roofers that were readily available were all rather unprofessional and of questionable depth, and just about every roofer with a good reputation was extremely busy.
All of that to say that is to really say this: if you’ve been putting off a roof job for a few years because the winters have been so mild, this may be a good time to get it examined and move on a new roof. True, the good roofers and manufacturers are busy - and pricing may be a little higher than normal - but the price of doing nothing in the face of a very severe winter may be much higher than the small premium it will take to hire a good roofer and make sure he uses premium materials - like a permanent metal roof, for example.
If you're considering a new roof, see why metal may be a smart option for you. Our website is a great source of information, and we offer a number of free downloads on our Resources page that will open your eyes to the pros and cons of metal and other roofing materials.