MALVERN, Pa. — To help contractors optimize labor efficiency across all commercial roof covering types, CertainTeed Corp. and Trinity | ERD have released “Factors Impacting Low-Slope Roofing Costs: A National Labor Study.

This five-year study — one of the most comprehensive of its kind to date — analyzes factors impacting labor efficiency and profitability across 45 North American roof installations, utilizing six different roof covers in 18 configurations.

According to CertainTeed Commercial Roofing Product Manager Abby Feinstein, the intent of the study is to help commercial roofing contractors generate more earnings from their existing roofing crews through a deeper understanding of how product selection, project profile and project management affect labor efficiency.

“Commercial roofing contractors are faced with the challenge of delivering a quality, watertight low-slope roof system, profitably and with limited labor resources,” said Feinstein. “This study provides a benchmark analysis of labor associated with the installation of popular bituminous and single-ply roof covers across the country and summarizes observed best practices and opportunities to reduce labor across all roof coverings. The goal is to help roofing contractors know all the factors affecting their crews, so they can do more with less labor.”

Challenges securing and retaining labor have impacted the construction trades for decades, and roofing is no exception. According to a recent National Roofing Contractors Association poll, 92 percent of employers reported that the skilled labor shortage is negatively affecting productivity, employee satisfaction and turnover. The study aims to arm roofing contractors with information to help their crews work smarter, improve job management and decrease labor costs.

Roofing contractors who utilize the study will:

  • Learn how labor efficiencies compare across various common roof systems at a task level, such as field application, drain details, base flashing, etc.
  • Understand the impact that project parameters such as climate and roof design/features have on labor efficiency across multiple roof coverings and improve their ability to adjust estimates appropriately
  • Learn common mistakes low-slope roofing contractors make that have major impacts on labor expense and profit—and how to avoid those mistakes

Architects and roofing specifiers who utilize the study will:

  • Acquire the relative difference in installed cost, broken out by labor and materials, of nationally common multi-layer and single-ply roof coverings
  • Improve their ability to provide clients with an accurate cost-to-value analysis of recommended roof systems
  • Understand the impact project parameters like climate, roof design and roof features have on labor efficiency across multiple roof coverings and improve their ability to adjust specifications and/or client cost expectations appropriately

To download or learn more about the commercial roofing labor study, visit