Industry News: July 2017

Industry News - July 2017

Summer is in full swing and that is great news for the construction industry. This is when business booms. You may find yourself with less time to dedicate to staying up-to-date on industry news. Well, we’re here to help.

Homebuilding and remodeling trends are varying greatly across the nation, so it’s an important time to pay attention to what’s happening in your area. Here’s the news you need to know to help you plan for the summer and fall ahead.

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Housing Starts Down In May

Current trends in homebuilding show an overall decline. According to Builder magazine, housing starts fell 5.5% from April and is 2.4% behind pace as of May 2016. However, these decreases can vary greatly by region. The Northeast is seeing gains while Midwest starts have dropped year over year.

However, with the summer months ahead, we may see an upward trend by the end of the season nationwide. This variation in growth across the nation is a large reason why you must seek trends in your local area, as some parts of the country are seeing more business right now.

Housing Starts Down

Average Age Of Construction Workers Is 41

According to a survey by the National Association Of Home Builders, the average age of construction workers is 41. In some regions of the country, the median age is even higher, between 43 and 45 years old. As you can see, the workforce is skewing older. This is one of the hottest topics in the industry. The skilled labor shortage shows that the next generation has less of an interest in joining the construction industry. This is due to negative industry perception and lack of training.

If you live in Maine, check out the latest effort by the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Maine. They have started an apprenticeship program with paid job site training as well as class instruction. While the classes do have a cost, students will be partially reimbursed by the state.

Consider how you can be a part of the solution and encourage the next generation of workers. Perhaps that means networking in your community or training a younger worker. It could make a difference.

Demand For Asphalt Shingles

In the latest news for roofing contractors, the demand for asphalt shingles is expected to grow in the next four years. According to a study by the Feedonia Group, they predict a 5.9% increase in demand every year until 2021. Homeowners in areas that are prone to severe weather, such as hurricanes and damaging thunderstorms, are looking for durable options that will last. Also, homeowners are looking for sustainable options, making reflective asphalt shingles a smart choice.

This prediction means more business to come for roofing pros, especially those located in areas prone to storms.

Average Age Of Construction Workers Is 41

2016 Characteristics Of New Housing Report

If you’re interested in learning more about what homeowners are looking for, you’ll want to check out the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 Characteristics of New Housing Report. This report contains details on what’s hot in new homes. This could be a great sign of what current homeowners might be looking to remodel to improve their ROI. Here are a few interesting points from this report:

  • Majority of single-family homes completed in 2016 had air conditioning and four bedrooms or more.
  • Majority of single-family home sold in 2016 were a part of a homeowner’s association and had a two-car garage.
  • About a quarter of single-family homes completed in 2016 included stucco exterior walls and a full or partial basement.
  • Less than a quarter of single-family homes sold in 2016 had brick as their exterior wall material.

Hot Weather Safety Tips For Contractors

With summer here, many parts of the country are heating up. The Southwest has already seen temperatures as high as 115 degrees. The Journal Of Light Construction suggests that anyone working in temperatures above 80 degrees should be taking hot weather precautions. Heat stroke and other illnesses can begin to impact workers at this point. To stay safe this summer, here are a few tips:

  • Stay hydrated. It’s suggested to drink one quart an hour during hot weather.
  • Take regular breaks in shady areas.
  • Know the signs of heat stroke. Nausea, muscle weakness and shortness of breath mean it’s time to stop what you’re doing and cool off.
  • Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing.
  • If possible, work during the cooler parts of the day.
Demand for Asphalt Shingles Up


Your summer industry headlines are showing a sunny outlook for pros. While you will likely be busy this summer, take time to look at what trends you’re seeing in your area for your industry. As we can see from the news above, every region of the country will be different this season. Stay cool this summer!