Editor’s Note: Gauging the pulse of the roofing industry annually continues to be a challenge as roofers adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace. In addition to the survey circulated last fall that laid the foundation for the 2024 Roofing Report, RC also sought out the opinions of leaders from all segments of the industry.

As part of RC’s continuing coverage, here’s what Keith Stevenson, vice president of sales, Huntsman Building Solutions, shared with us.

RC: How would you characterize the state of the roofing industry in 2024?

KS: There will be strong opportunities in 2024. I think we will see normal seasonality when it comes to activity, but there is definitely room for optimism. While the economy will impact our industry of course, the demand for roofing will continue in both the retrofit and new construction arenas.

RC: Are there any recent trends that you will continue to monitor this year?

KS: A trend that we noticed last year that is economically driven has to do with property owners delaying reroofing opportunities to defer spending. Some owners are delaying re-roofing their buildings and, instead, extending roofing maintenance plans. For many of these owners and operators, budgets exist for complete reroofing, but because of the current situation with the economy many plan to keep their existing roofs on their properties longer. At some point, however, they’ll need to complete these projects, which will ultimately be good for the industry.

RC: Our annual survey of roofing contractors showed a lot of optimism in the marketplace. Why do you think that is, and do you share that viewpoint?

KS: I do share this opinion. Despite the world that we live in, where there are economic headwinds, property owners are always going to protect their investments. So, I see that as a reason for optimism in our industry. Additionally, in our area of roofing, which includes spray foam roofing and coatings systems, the products continue to evolve. The technology will continue to get better and better, providing even longer lasting roofing systems.

RC: What economic factors will play the biggest role in a roofing contractor’s success this year?

KS: Labor availability, training and quality products all continue to be key to a roofing contractor’s success. As is the case with all construction trades, there is no way to be successful without the talent to complete the job. Additionally, the best roofing contractors are well trained and get the job done correctly the first time. They don’t need to return time and time again to the job site to fix things, which is obviously a costly process. If using quality products, contractors will typically have access to a steady training cadence. Talent, training and quality products are thus all key components in a recipe for success.

RC: How is your company adapting to meet the anticipated demand in roofing projects and materials?

KS: We have invested heavily over the past couple years to increase both our capacity and raw materials storage. We are also fortunate to be supported by a parent company that is able to fund additional capacity projects if needed.

RC: What product categories or new technology are you most excited about in roofing?

KS: Our coatings technologies continue to evolve and are really fantastic solutions for the roof. They are better than before and easier to apply.

RC: How is your company responding to the growing consolidation and private equity in the roofing industry?

KS: Consolidation is certainly a reality within any industry. Huntsman Building Solutions is part of Huntsman Corp., a publicly traded company that provides long-term strategy and stability. Alternately, private equity firms typically operate with the strategy of buying and selling a company within a few years. If you think about a customer buying a roof with a 15-year to lifetime warranty on it, I would hope that they’d see value in going with a manufacturer that has not only been in the industry a long time but that also has plans to be in it for the long-term. With Huntsman Building Solutions, our focus is with our customers and our contractors. We want both to know we are a stable company and that we have long term aspirations to continue on in the industry for a long, long time.

RC: What are the biggest concerns moving forward?

KS: The overall economy is a concern. Labor is one as well, as it has been for a while now. Something that isn’t necessarily a concern, but rather something to keep an eye on, is that we are now in an election year. Election years can be really fruitful or they can be interesting. We will have to see how things play out as the year progresses.

RC: What are you proudest of about your organization?

KS: We have retained our commitment to selling the highest quality, premium products. Additionally, we have spent a lot of time building a strong, highly capable sales team that is able to help customers work through all of their challenges.