For the most part, the 21st century has not been kind to the
asphalt shingle manufacturing community. The list of challenges the
sector faces is daunting. It includes, of course, the subprime
lending mess, stagnant condition of the new housing market and
unrelenting increases in manufacturing costs, most notably with
It was only a few years ago we were talking about the commercial
marketplace being in the doldrums while we witnessed housing starts
climb to near-record levels of 2.3 million annually. Some experts
predict housing starts will dip below 1 million this year. Think
about having your business face a 60 percent decline in a primary
The residential roofing marketplace also has seen the emergence
of more new products, such as metal shingles and faux slate. On top
of that, the capacity for producing tile grew with the abundance of
new plants built in the aftermath of the 2005 hurricane season.
Happily, we have a resourceful group of shingle manufacturers in
the roofing industry. In a sense they have to be, but many not only
are surviving, they have identified new...
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