If your company's building needs a new roof, now might be the best time to hire a roofing contractor to do a project, industry professionals say.
That's because the warm winter weather that residents of southeastern Wisconsin enjoyed also allowed roofing contractors to get a lot more work done than usual. As a result the normal backlog they have heading into the spring was eliminated and roofing contractors are now bidding aggressively against each other for new work.
"New work is really competitive because there isn't a lot of it out there," said John Pilmaier, project manager for Milwaukee-based Langer Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc. "We don't have much of a backlog, but we are moving from job to job, keeping our guys busy."
Waterford-based SRS Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc. had its best first quarter ever, said Mike Hurst, president and CEO. But the warm winter and early spring weather had a lot to do with that, he said, and now roofing contractors are bidding aggressively for new work.
"The local roofing market is super competitive right now," said Tom Bechtel, commercial roofing estimator and director for SRS.
"If there's anybody thinking about doing a roof job right now is the idea time to do it," said Hurst.
When there is a lack of rain or snow there are much fewer roof problems and most people don't think about repairing or replacing their roof until it leaks, said Patrick Finger, president and co-owner of Pewaukee-based Velcheck & Finger Roof Consulting & Service.
"Roofers do not like good weather," Finger said. "The industry as a whole I would say is pretty slow because the weather was too warm during the winter. There's no roof damage. It's extremely competitive right now in the industry."
New construction projects, which ground to a halt during the Great Recession, have picked up, but some roofers say the number of new building projects is too low. However, Pilmaier said he has heard that architectural firms are doing increased business.
"At least it's moving in the right direction," he said. "But it's going to be months before it gets to us."