Metal roofs stay above the rest of construction market

Oct 01, 2010 | 07:13 AM | Lisa Gordon

With the economy still seeking a jumpstart from one of the worst recessions on record, consumers are looking for more bang for their buck—and might just find it with metal roofing.

The economic downturn has battered the construction market, but the metal roofing industry continues to enjoy growth and capture more of the overall roofing market, according to industry players.

An estimated 6 million households are in the market for a replacement roof each year, and metal has become a popular choice for its ability to outlast the traditional shingle roof.

Market players agree that demand for metal roofs has grown. "It will continue to capture market share as people continue to look for value for their dollar," said Dick Bus, president of Allentown, Pa.-based manufacturer Atas International Inc., and a past president of the Metal Construction Association, Glenview, Ill.

Demand for replacement roofs has maintained its health, a southern manufacturer agreed. "Residential replacement roofs appear to be as good as they were or better," Bernie Reed, president of Reed's Metals Inc., Brookhaven, Miss., said. "We manufacture way more replacement roofs right now, but simply for the fact that new construction is down. Reed's Metals is a regional producer whose Brookhaven manufacturing plant serves the Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee markets.

Unlike steel-framed homes, which represent less than 2 percent of residential construction and have been struggling to gain market share, homeowners are more open to switching from a traditional roof to a steel roof. "Sure they are more costly, but look at the longevity—you get a 40-year warranty on the paint and the roof lasts for 50 to 75 years," Reed said.....

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