Here we are years beyond a pair of horrible hurricane seasons (2004 and 2005), and the fallout continues to take shape. FM’s 1-29 Loss Prevention Data Sheet has been reviewed and changed; it is available for free download at www.roofnav.com. The Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues Inc. (RICOWI) has released its Hurricane Katrina Report on roofing investigations. If you are in a hurricane zone, you may want to check it out. Copies are available on the cheap or even free by downloading from their Web site - www.ricowi.com . This may prove to be an influential report going forward. We’ll see.
Our good friends in Florida have been hit with a new rule that has many residential reroofing contractors in a real pickle. In spite of common sense and efforts by roofing and other contractors in the state, it seems that the insurance lobby prevailed on the Florida legislature to cook up a “windstorm loss mitigation” statute. It calls for certain existing structures to undergo improvements to reduce loss from windstorms when certain types of reroofing or roof covering improvements are performed. These are expensive improvements - the kind that have the potential to cause owners to shy away from reroofing. The inmates are running the asylum down there. The Florida Roofing, Sheet Metal, and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (FRSA) has unveiled some contract work-arounds and is working continuously to change this legislation.
Time For Some Medicine?2007 came in like a lion and is going out like a lamb for many of the nation’s roofing contractors. The residential sector is in the tank for many of us, while commercial activity seems to be steaming forward. But that, like everything, may change in 2008. A number of economic indicators point to dark skies ahead. I’m no economist, but it seems that we are headed for a period of either recession or inflation. If indeed these are our only two choices, in my view recession would be preferable.
My reasons are fairly simple. In my experience, times of reverse growth have a cleansing effect on many parts of the market. In the world of roof contracting, it has a tendency to clear away some of the weak players that arguably should not have been there in the first place. Inflation, on the other hand, is just brutal and comes with no real redeeming quality.
Best of Success IVTo those of you who joined us in Phoenix in September for our fourth Best of Success Conference, I say, “Wasn’t that awesome?” To those of you who did not, you need to make plans to join us next year. You may all read our comprehensive coverage of this year’s conference on pages 138-163. Look for the date and location of the 2008 Best of Success Conference to be announced soon at www.roofingcontractor.com.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our sponsors and advertisers, without whom the Best of Success Conference or this magazine or our Web site would not be possible.