As I was saying ...

The rites of spring

It's March, which marks two important occurrences in the U.S. The first is the beginning of spring training for major league baseball players, our annual demonstration of hope and encouragement and assurance that all is right in the natural balance of the universe.

The other is the beginning of the roofing season, which generally is accompanied by the introduction of new products, marketing plans, budgets ... and uncertainty.

Chicago Cubs fans, in particular, understand uncertainty. Across the street from Wrigley Field, an apartment building owner displays a running tally of the number of years since the Cubs have won their division, National League pennant and World Series. For the latter, the number this year will be 98.

Unlike the Cubs, the roofing industry had a good 20th century. And with the optimism of spring, there is much to be hopeful about this roofing season. Despite all the talk of the housing bubble bursting—or even hissing a bit—we'll be adding close to 2 million homes to the national inventory this year. And sales of homes (new and existing combined) will be at the third-highest level ever.

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