Knowing the options

It's important to choose the right tool in a competitive marketplace and still be profitable

Although all sectors of the building industry were affected by the housing downturn in late 2007, demand for roofing contractors has remained fairly steady. Most homeowners typically leave roofing projects to roofing professionals, and maintenance issues cannot be deferred indefinitely. Now that the construction market is growing, more opportunities are available—and you need to be prepared for the increased demand.

Marketplace shifts

As the construction market began to show signs of real recovery this year, the roofing industry benefitted from the uptick in demand. According to market research firm The Freedonia Group, Cleveland, the demand for roofing will have grown more than 2 percent throughout 2012. Driven by steady improvement in new construction activity, the residential construction market is projected to deliver the greatest roofing gains; however, the outlook for roofing demand in new nonresidential applications is also expected to improve. A majority of the demand for roofing work in 2012 will be from roof system replacements, according to The Freedonia Group's research. Additionally, repair work and preventive maintenance services will help keep roofing contractors and remodelers busy.

The success, safety and profitability of any roofing project depends on the management of time, labor and materials. The combination of the right tools and crew can make all the difference in delivering efficient and valued work. For any type of roofing work—from a simple repair job to new construction—there are universal best practices to follow when starting a new job. One of the things to consider is specialty parts and tools combined with the increased labor costs to pay experienced workers. Choosing between pneumatic versus cordless tools is one issue that should be addressed.