The February edition of Roofing Contractorhas historically served as one of our most important issues. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that this is the Official Show Issue of the International Roofing Expo, the industry’s premier trade show and educational conference, which is held in conjunction with the annual convention of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA).

The emergence of the roofing season is right around the corner as well. Many manufacturers and service providers choose these events and this issue of our publication to announce their new offerings. So it only makes sense that this is the issue featuring our annual State of the Industry Report.

To bring you a well-rounded report on the State of the Industry, Roofing Contractorcommissioned a survey of roofing contractors to ask their opinions on a number of topics ranging from sales trends to business issues to codes and government regulations, to name a few.Roofing Contractor’s editor, Chris King, has prepared a comprehensive report on the findings of the survey along with comments and insights from some of the industry’s top movers and shakers.

The survey produced some interesting insights into the thought processes of our sampling of roofing contractors. The outlook for business prospects is decidedly optimistic, particularly for roofing contractors performing primarily residential work. I believe this tracks with other metrics we have studied lately that say commercial construction should improve this year but at a slower year-over-year pace than residential.

To the extent that roofing contractors believe their business prospects are improving, many will put their money where their mouth is with capital equipment expansions and improvements to their technology systems. The vast majority contractors surveyed expect to employ the same number or more than they did in 2012.

In addition to the very important topic of business development in the year ahead, our survey respondents came across with some very intriguing answers to the question of how they intend to grow and improve their enterprises. The theme of “back to basics” stood out to me. Basics like honesty — being honest with employees, subs, customers, and suppliers. And communication — making sure that customers know what to expect and then following through as promised. One contractor even suggested going one step further by doing something for nothing, such as replacing a piece of bad sheathing at no charge. The resulting good feelings from such action may turn into the kind of referral that money cannot buy.

There are quite a number of other hot topics addressed in our report, and I encourage you to take advantage of it. By take advantage of it, I mean pick out one or two things that may improve your roofing business, share them with your team and put them to work. Your success is the reason this publication exists.

 The 2013 State of the Industry Report begins on page 48 of this issue, and the survey results begin on page 70. The State of the Industry Report is also the subject of a webinar on Feb. 14, so visit to register for the live event or view it on demand.