According to railing dealers, the fastest-growing railing product over the next three years will be aluminum: a material that is less expensive than stainless steel and which can be used on any type of unit (single family and multifamily low- or high-rise). Aluminum is a favorite of multifamily builders because it is durable and low maintenance, meets commercial code, works with multiple types of infill, and can be powder coated to match a cladding aesthetic.Read the full article
Residential builders and contractors surveyed last year by Principia named ease of installation above all other material decision drivers, followed closely by the cost of material and energy cost savings.
Ease of installation is critical to builders and contractors as a result of an ongoing labor shortage plaguing the construction industry. Ninety-three percent of contractors and 90% of builders indicated that lack of skilled or reliable labor would negatively impact their business over the next three years.Read the full article
Lumberyards sell more than half of residential exterior trim in the United States, with almost 6,000 locations nationwide. Big-box retailers—such as The Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Menards—are the second-largest outlet for exterior trim materials, with over 3,700 locations, although specialty one-step dealers sell more exterior trim materials by revenue.Read the full article
Homeowners are replacing windows in stages more frequently due to budget constraints. This behavior aligns with manufacturers’ price increases, which are being influenced by labor, freight, and raw materials costs. For example, a homeowner may want to improve curb appeal by updating windows in the front of the home and then finish with replacing the remaining windows in the home in following years as finances allow.
Over 17,000 LBM pro dealers and retailers exist in North America, with over 30,000 locations. The most common channel outlet is the lumberyard, with more than one-third of the total pro dealer and retailer locations nationwide. Big box stores account for about 4,000 U.S. locations but represent a growing portion of building products demand despite their national footprint.
In 2018, 37% of homeowners reported that they hired a decking contractor for their recent decking project. When a contractor was used, the deck was twice as likely to be a wood alternative material rather than wood compared to when a homeowner built the deck without a contractor. Homeowners who hire contractors are also likely to take their advice on brand, not just material.
Movable glass wall systems, or MGWS, remove the boundary between the indoor and outdoor living space, and are a popular trend in home design. MGWS are typically comprised of multiple glass panels that lift, slide, or fold along track systems, and are commonly referred to as multi-panel patio doors. MGWS demand is growing, reflected by the 2015–2018 compound annual growth rates (CAGR) for folding, hinged, and sliding MGWS doors shown below.
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Lumberyards and one-step distributors continue to add showrooms to the retail layout within their locations to meet the needs of contractors and DIY homeowners who want to “touch and feel” the products. Nearly 75% of all dealers now have showrooms, typically displaying the product categories that fit their product line focus. According to LBM distribution companies surveyed by Principia, the top five product categories displayed are windows/ doors, millwork, decking, siding, and railing in 2019.
U.S. residential demand for building insulation products was valued at $4.4 billion net manufacturer revenue in 2018. Commercial demand for building insulation totaled $3.9 billion in 2018. Residential and commercial diverge in terms of top material and construction type.
The predominant material in the residential market is fiberglass. Fiberglass represented 63% of the residential building insulation market by value in 2018. Commercial insulation is dominated by foam with 81% by value.