The roofing repair and replacement industry is in an interesting position in 2023. After the demand for roof-related projects and supplies dipped a bit in 2022 amid inflation and economic uncertainty driving a comparative decline in home sales, this market segment is stabilizing back to norms experienced in 2018 and 2019.
Roofing projects are a staple project when it comes to maintaining and protecting the value of a house, and homeowners depend heavily on professional contractors to help with repairs and replacements—from selecting and acquiring materials to performing the actual installations.
What Homeowner Trends are Impacting the Roofing Industry in 2023?
Understanding the current state of the residential roofing market and how homeowners approach these key improvement projects can provide critical insight to building professionals and construction materials manufacturers in regards to product development, marketing, and distribution.
Here are some of the consumer behaviors and trends surrounding roof repair and replacement projects to be aware of in 2023:
1. Roofing Purchases Dropped in 2022 but are Bouncing Back
According to market sizing research available through the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI), the market experienced a roughly 4.2 percent decrease in consumer purchases of roofing materials and supplies in 2022.
This was due to a variety of factors, including economic uncertainty sparking a dip in home sales, inflation, and the increase in the cost of materials. These challenges have been exacerbated by skilled labor shortages and other market disruptions caused by the pandemic. However, supply chains are stabilizing and the housing market continues to correct.
As per HIRI, the roofing segment of the home improvement market is projected to increase by about 1.6 percent in 2023. Other sources anticipate the roofing industry to experience compound annual growth of more than 6 percent from 2023 to 2028.
At the ground level, 67% of exterior contractors, which includes roofing contractors, expect their company’s revenue to increase in 2023, with only 4% expecting revenues to decrease, according to findings in our Farnsworth Quarterly Contractor Index.
2. Natural Wear and Tear Leads to the Most Roof Replacements
Homeowners have a variety of reasons for wanting or needing to replace their roof. A majority tackle the project simply because it’s time. Roofs have an average lifespan of about 15 to 35 years, depending on how well they’re maintained and what material they’re made of.
When roofs start failing, it can cause other problems for the structural integrity of a house, and most homeowners understand that it’s important to deal with roofing issues quickly once they emerge. Seven out of 10 homeowners list the need to repair or maintain their house as a reason for their roof replacement project, according to research from HIRI.
A third of homeowners also mentioned wanting to boost their property value—which can be a standalone motivation, but often coincides with reasons related to selling a house.
As the housing market continues to experience short supply of available resale homes over the next several years, we anticipate the majority of roofing projects to arise for repair and maintenance needs to the benefit of the current resident, and that will drive how customers choose which materials and Pros they choose.
3. Natural Disasters are Another Primary Cause of Roofing Projects
Natural disasters also rank high when it comes to motivating factors for roof repair and replacement jobs, although it varies geographically. Unsurprisingly, this is a bigger factor in regions in the United States that are more prone to natural disasters, such as storms.
When a natural disaster is the cause for a project, however, it also influences how homeowners cover the costs. For example, research from HIRI found that insurance funds cover about 26 percent of roofing projects, compared to about 2 percent of other home improvement projects.
4. Homeowners Rely on Personal Recommendations for Finding Contractors
When homeowners are looking for contractors to oversee a residential roofing renovation or replacement, roughly a third hire a professional for the job through personal recommendations from friends, neighbors, and colleagues. That makes recommendations the top source for finding building professionals, even more so than advertisements and other types of marketing.
As a result, providing exemplary customer service and cultivating a good reputation that spurs positive word-of-mouth is essential for contractors. Any ways that your manufacturing can make roofing contractors that are loyal to your brand more accessible to homeowners is a good move to increase sales.
Additionally, about 10 percent of projects are contracted based on an insurance company recommendation, so establishing positive channel relationships and maintaining those relationships is important.
5. Comparatively Few Roofing Projects are DIY
In other areas of home maintenance, it is somewhat common to see individuals take on tasks or contribute to various residential repairs and upgrades. In fact, only about 1 in 5 home improvement projects are entirely contracted out to professionals.
However, do-it-for-me (DIFM) labor makes up the vast majority of roof replacement projects. 4 in 5 of these residential jobs are handed over to contractors and professionals because they are knowledgeable about local building codes, applicable warranties, and cost-effective and long-lasting materials. They also are better equipped to ensure the installation is done properly (and safely), which is important to homeowners when they’re making a major investment like a roof replacement.
Professional roofing installations also regularly come with contractor service warranties, beyond the manufacturer’s product warranties, both of which reduce the risk of starting a roofing project for the homeowner.
6. Homeowners Depend on Contractors to Pick Roofing Materials
Since homeowners are contracting out roof replacements at a higher rate than other home improvement projects, they also tend to have a smaller role when it comes to acquiring supplies and materials for the project.
They still provide input on materials—especially when it comes to aesthetics—but, by and large, they entrust their paid contractors to select both functional and design materials. For example, HIRI discovered that only about 32 percent of homeowners shop around for roofing materials, versus 83 percent for other home improvement projects.
Contractors also take care of purchasing materials and arranging deliveries for about three-fourths of roofing projects.
7. Roof Material Selections are Driven by Durability, Then Appearance, Then Price
Roofs are a crucial part of the structure, stability and safety of a home. As a result, most homeowners and contractors prioritize durability when choosing materials and products for a roofing project.
Homeowners in particular want some assurance that the major investment they’re making into their property is worthwhile—and for most tenured homeowners, a full roof replacement project is only a project handled a few times in an entire lifetime.
After durability, the next most important factor in the decision-making process is appearance, followed by price. In other words, homeowners are more willing to front some additional cash (or tap into lines of credit) to get a solid roof that has an inviting curb-appeal.
8. Eco-friendly Roofing Alternatives are on the Rise
As in other segments of the home improvement market, homeowners are increasingly on the lookout for materials and technology that improve sustainability and energy efficiency.
A few popular green roofing solutions include solar roof panels and photovoltaic shingles; cool roofs, which are manufactured to absorb less heat and offset cooling costs for homeowners; and green, or vegetated, roof systems.
Metal roofs are also becoming a more popular option. Although they present a higher upfront cost, they have a life expectancy of 50 to 70 years, which is why they’re considered a comparatively sustainable alternative.
Conducting Research on Residential Roofing Trends
To equip your marketing, brand, channel and product teams with the information they need in order to launch successful campaigns, it’s important for them to know who to target, what purchase motivations to speak to, where to invest marketing dollars, and when to ramp up efforts.
That’s where custom market research into consumer behaviors can help. Regardless of your company’s goals, our team at the Farnsworth Group takes the time to understand your specific needs, leveraging decades of industry knowledge and creating customized research to guide your home improvement strategy.