MRA Predicts Major Demand for U.S. Metal Roofing Installers this Spring

With a hot U.S. housing market and still-favorable interest rates, the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) is predicting a heavier than usual demand for qualified metal roofing installers and contractors for spring 2018.

For homeowners planning improvement projects this season, that means the time to swing into action is now, says MRA’s Executive Director Renee Ramey. That’s especially true for metal roofing, which is booming in popularity thanks to its durability and exceptional performance in severe weather.

“Not only are we seeing greater demand in general, we’re also coming off a tough winter which leads to the need for more qualified re-roofing contractors,” said Ramey. “In many cases, homeowners should be aware that these factors can significantly increase the competition and the timeframe for being able to complete re-roofing projects.”

Even with the flurry of activity predicted for this spring, MRA is cautioning homeowners to take their time and do their homework to vet contractors thoroughly before embarking on any re-roofing job. Inexperienced installers may prey on homeowners’ impatience and the high market demand, using it as a means to overcharge or push sub-quality services and materials. Inadvertently or not, rushed contractors under pressure or anxious to get to their next job may cut corners or overlook key details, so it’s up to homeowners to make sure the job is done to their satisfaction each step of the way.

“No matter what the material, a new roof is a major investment, so homeowners will want to take the necessary steps now to ensure their home is protected, comfortable and will perform reliably for many years to come,” said Ramey.

MRA is reinforcing these tips for homeowners seeking quality metal roofing installers this year:

  1. Don’t assume all roofers are equally skilled

Some contractors push homeowners towards a certain roofing material, not because it’s the best or most appropriate for their home, but because it may simply be the option the installer is most familiar with.  Make sure your installer is properly trained, experienced and skilled in installing metal roofing. Ideally, look for a roofer that has been in business for at least five years; roofers who don’t do quality work usually don’t last that long.

  1. Get referrals

Reputable installers are typically involved in the industry and are committed to keeping abreast of the latest trends and techniques. Check to see if the prospective installer is a member of MRA and other reputable trade alliances. Be sure to ask for and contact recent references. When contacting references, ask if they were satisfied with the work, if the process went smoothly, if the installers were careful and courteous and they did what they promised, including sticking to the estimate and change orders.  Also, ask the installer to provide you with a few recent job locations so you can drive by and check out the work. While pictures may be helpful, there’s nothing like seeing how a roof looks first-hand.

  1. Do your own homework

With metal roofing alone, there are hundreds of different options, material types, finishes and installation techniques. Request the highest-rated, longest lasting material you can afford and always do your own research for whatever product recommendation your installer suggests, verifying it’s what you want for your home. For resources about metal roofing materials, styles and options, check out www.metalroofing.com or visit the manufacturer’s website directly.

  1. Protect yourself

Make sure that installers are licensed, insured and carry workers’ compensation coverage. Don’t be afraid to ask for proof-of-insurance certificates and the insurance agent’s name. A reputable installer won’t hesitate to provide you with that information. Don’t pay the full amount of a job upfront; ideally, pay one-third upfront for materials, and the remainder when roofing and clean up are completed to your satisfaction. It goes without saying that evaluating warranties is essential: make sure it covers not only materials and finishes, but leaks, flashing failures and other labor-related defects.

  1. Be thorough

Putting on a new roof is only part of the equation. Replacing eaves flashing, pipe boots and roof jacks is less complicated when reroofing, so consider having it done at the same time if needed. Be sure to have your contractor or HVAC provider verify proper attic ventilation. Poor ventilation can cause significant damage, high utility bills and worse case, can lead to serious safety issues.

“Metal roofs are one of the best and most reliable ways to protect a home for the long run,” said Ramey. “We’re encouraging homeowners to invest some time and effort upfront before their re-roofing project begins, and it will pay off with many years of loving their home’s roof.”

For more information, visit www.metalroofing.com.

 

MCA Offers Metal Roofing Training

The market for residential metal roofing continues to grow rapidly as homeowners are learning of its many energy-saving, aesthetic and long-lasting benefits. Contractors wanting to capitalize on this expanding metal roofing market can find in-depth educational resources about metal roofing training for existing and incoming personnel on the MCA website.

On the website, visitors will find comprehensive training in the form of a Metal Roofing Installation Manual and an optional online exam. The manual is a free download, which includes 20 chapters and hundreds of pages and illustrations to help ensure industry best practices are used when installing metal roofs. The accompanying online exam was designed to confirm that installers and contractors have a full grasp of the best practices outlined in the manual.

The exam includes tests for each different chapter with 10 questions each. A “Save and Resume” feature is enabled for the participant’s convenience. Each question addresses the various topics of metal roof installation and related accessories and includes questions pertaining to both new construction reroofing and retrofit projects. A certificate of completion is sent electronically to successful participants. The exam is available for $100 from the association’s online store accessible at www.metalconstruction.org. Unsuccessful participants may retake the exam at no additional charge.

Both are valuable resources to educate new and experienced roofing installers and can help spur contractor growth in the expanding metal roofing market.

MCA is also involved with the Metal Roofing Alliance, a great resource for residential roofing information and promotion through its national consumer marketing program.