State of the Roofing Industry – 2023 Outlook – Ch. 11

What is the 2021 outlook for those companies in the roofing industry? Here is the roundup of some key facts and statistics on how Covid-19 has impacted roofing contractor and roofing materials businesses to help inform trends and predictions for what the state of the industry looks like for the rest of 2021.


While 2020 started out strong and promising for the roofing industry, the pandemic brought many businesses to a halt. Worldwide shutdowns affected the supply of roofing materials from China like solar panels, where 70% of these panels are made. Other materials like aluminum, plastic, timber, and rubber also declined.

Government restrictions on business activity plus social distancing requirements have forced the roofing industry to adopt technology advancements that help maintain the health and safety standards of both their workers and customers. An example of this is mobile apps many roofing contractors now use to get work orders (virtual sales) and to quickly service the customer’s needs in a safe way. Also, up to 57% of roofing professionals are now using estimation software.


Despite the harrowing third quarter of 2020, the roofing industry looks like it is positioned for a promising 2021 as contractors are optimistic with projects starting back up again. However, workforce shortage continues to plague the roofing industry as the ongoing challenge for the roofing industry to fulfill current projects while crippling the ability to meet the increased demand for new projects.


Positive Trends in Roofing Industry


  1.  For property owners of a home or business, the maintenance, repairs, and preventative upkeep are vital for preserving their long-term investment and they’re less likely to deprive that investment of a chance to stay sound. This is why the roofing industry is recession-resistant.
  2. For this reason, the roofing industry in 2021 is expected to reach $20 billion. 68% of industry professionals that responded are expecting solar-related sales to remain consistent, with only 25 percent expecting the green option to experience significant growth (Kingdom Roofing).
  3. Roofing replacements make up to 94% of the total volume in North American roofing projects, as well as 91% of the value. Roof replacement is a necessary need as buildings that were constructed 25-30 years ago will always need roof repairs and replacement.


Roofing Industry Data, Trends, Statistics 2020


Residential Roofing Industry:


In 2020, 18% of revenue came from metal roofing for residential roofers. More than half of respondents said they expect metal roofing to grow to 68% in sales in 2021.


Roof replacements services were the main source of revenue for residential roofing contractors at 31%, compared to repairs and new construction (both at 13%).


Interestingly the steep-slope asphalt shingles were the top revenue generators for contractors at 28%. A close second place was the steep slope whose sales are expected to grow by 65% in 2021.


Despite this, residential contractors anticipate that metal roofing will experience the most growth in sales in 2021.  The most common challenge residential contractors expect to face in 2021 is lowball pricing and bidding wars (54%) and increases in building material costs (49%).


Commercial Roofing Industry:


2021 has begun well for commercial roofing contractors around the country. A large number of commercial roofers (68%) expect sales to increase again this year. A further 11% of respondents anticipate sales. Just 14% of contractors felt sales would decrease in 2021, and 7% expected losses.


Commercial contractors said that single ply roofing was the dominant product preference with 91% of respondents. 38% contractors, reported using TPO, followed by EPDM (30%) and PVC (18%). Metal was the second most popular roofing system category at 77%, followed by coatings (68%), low slope asphalt (59%) and steep slope asphalt (50%).


Commercial Roofing Industry expected change, roofing industry outlook




The main challenges of contractors continue to be the lack of qualified, skilled workers (61%), and lowball price bidding (48%). Additionally, the increased costs of building materials, the overall weak economy, and insurance and healthcare costs rounded out the top five.


Commercial Roofing Industry perceived challenges, roofing industry outlook




Commercial Roofing Industry Statistics 2021


  1. The largest product segment in the roofing industry is BUR (built-up roofs) and is valued at $700 million.
  2. 78% of roofing professionals believe the growth of commercial roofing sales will continue to increase after 2021. [Kingdom Roofing]. Of those expecting sales increases, more than half said it would be in single-ply systems, and 53% surveyed anticipated a spike in metal jobs.
  3. About 80% of roofing professionals have experienced a 10% increase in labor costs over the last 2 years.
  4. About 70% employed full-time employees to complete the majority of their projects, while about 20% hired subcontractors regularly.


Future of Roofing Industry 2021


Some current trends and effects of external factors on the roofing industry going into 2021:


#1: Use of Mobile Apps


The rapid growth of technology has made mobile apps inevitable for roofers. They are affordable, easy to use, and help roofing professionals with:


  •  communicating and sending project images to employees easily
  • creating reports and sharing them with team members
  • sharing estimates with your customers
  • quickly creating invoices and sharing them with your customers
  • communicating with clients


#2: Increase in Metal Roofing


Metal roofing is expected to expand in 2021. Roofing companies now prefer to use metal because it is visually attractive, durable, and can stay strong for years. Metal roofs are great for places that often experience snow because snow does not cling to metal surfaces. They are also good insulators, reflecting the sun’s rays and keeping the building cool during the warmer months. By staving off dangerous rays and excess heat, property owners will save a lot on their energy bills.


#3: Solar Roofing Panels and Tiles


Solar roof panels and shingles are gaining popularity for their ability to save on electricity costs and energy. Corporate responsibility trends have also increased the need to use solar panels to reduce the impact of global warming and climate change. Other advantages are their durability, attractiveness, and affordability. This trend will expand for years to come.


#4: More Use of Drones


Formerly used to inspect buildings and job sites, drone technology is now used by roofing professionals to check, analyze, and evaluate roofing projects.


One of the significant contributions drones have to roof is improved safety. With high-resolution drones, users can take crisp aerial images that can be used for mapping and measuring roofs. From there, they can plan and avoid potential hazards. Workers don’t have to go onsite to do these.


The high-quality pictures and videos that are taken can be uploaded to the company’s website where potential clients can see and can even be used in ads to get massive leads. Before and after images are more likely to capture an audience and turn them into clients because it can prove work quality. In essence, drones and the pictures and videos they take can help build your company and brand.




Assessing the state of the roofing industry in 2021 must be continuous and companies must roll with the punches by remaining flexible to adapt and change with technology and more.


The biggest challenge and threat for the roofing industry continues to be finding and hiring a qualified workforce. The team here at Definitive Search Partners has been specializing in recruiting top talent for the roofing industry for over 15 years.


We invite you to contact us free Discovery Call to discuss your hiring needs. Unlike many recruiting search firms, you won’t be assigned to a novice sales rep. When you book a discovery call with us you’ll get to speak directly to Jim McKenna, President of Definitive Search Partners.


Click the link below to schedule a time today.




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