With a new year comes new project and if a roof for a new building or a re-roof for an older building is in the works, I thought it might be appropriate to start off with a quick overview of what’s new in metal roofs and what’s happening to metal roof prices around the nation.
There is a definite trend toward higher-end architectural products in the construction industry, and this includes just about all details as well as metal roofs. As I visit job sites around the country what strikes me is a growing interest in quality and aesthetics with a definite eye for long-term performance instead of just low prices. You see things like stucco walls, better quality windows, tile and stone flooring, higher-end fixtures, and many other details that were once reserved for only the most exclusive homes and buildings being chosen more and more by owners and builders for even “mid range” construction. Going the way of eight-track tapes are many of the cheap, poorly made surfaces that once dominated the home-building market.
Metal roofing is a great example of this trend, as it is becoming more and more common to see it specified and used. Not only metal roofing as a type of roofing, but the better versions of metal are becoming a bigger and bigger portion of the mix. Copper, zinc, aluminum, and porcelain roofing are catching the eye of designers and owners more and more, even though the prices for such roofing systems are much higher than what has been the norm for decades.
The increase in demand for roof-top solar panels has also had a very positive effect on the use of metal roofing. No roof material is friendlier to solar panels than metal, and not only does it allow solar panel mounting without penetrations (and the chance of leaks that comes along with those), but also the many Energy Star finishes that are offered by metal roofing means that the extra light bouncing around will even increase the power output of many solar panels. Definitely a win/win.
One of the things that is affecting prices for metal roofs in 2017 is labor shortages in many markets. It’s always been the case that good roofers who have experience with metal have been hard to find, but that circumstance is as challenging as ever. It’s easily one of the most common complaints I hear from builders and owners, and with more and more regulatory hurdles being added to the construction labor market last year I’m quite confident it will remain an issue for some time. Labor prices for quality metal roof installations aren’t going to be low any time soon, but paying more for a metal roof is always good value because it will last so many generations into the future that it just won’t matter in the long run.
From all of us at Metal Roof Network, Happy New Year!