A slow supply chain and material shortages are still hampering roofers as a new job season kicks into gear. Construction material prices rose 2.6% in February—a 24.4% jump year-over-year, according to www.abc.org. Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine is causing still more headaches.
"The war in Ukraine and the West's response are likely to have multiple effects on construction materials costs and availability," said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America. "The outlook for other materials is mixed."
In the midst of these downbeat reports, roofers may have missed some upbeat news that may finally help address the supply chain challenges they’ve undergone since the pandemic.
Here are four industry efforts to expand capacity that promise to alleviate future supply chain challenges:
1. Saint-Gobain (CertainTeed). Through its building products subsidiary CertainTeed, the company announced it will invest more than $400 Million to expand its production capacity at four key manufacturing locations in the United States. Combined together, the four capacity expansions represent the company’s largest organic growth investment in several years.
“This is an investment in our company’s future, and also in our future ability to ensure security of supply for our customers,” said Mark Rayfield, CEO of Saint-Gobain North America and CertainTeed. “We will continue to look for opportunities to strategically grow and expand our business, all while striving to become the world’s leader in light and sustainable construction.”
Specifically, the company will invest approximately $100 Million to double its production capacity at one of its roofing shingle plants in the Southeastern United States. The new production capacity is expected to be fully online in early 2024.
At the company’s insulation plant in Chowchilla, California, Saint-Gobain will invest $32 Million in a new oven and new furnace, which will allow the plant to expand its production by 13% at that location. The additional capacity will begin coming online in 2022.
At the company’s plant in Athens, Georgia, Saint-Gobain will invest $30 Million to start up an additional production line that will increase the plant’s capacity of loose-fill insulation. This expanded production is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2023 and will lead to the creation of up to 20 new permanent full-time jobs.
Additionally, the company will expand its production capacity of gypsum in the Southeastern United States by 900 million square feet per year. This expansion project, which will use natural gypsum as its raw material, will cost approximately $250 Million. The new capacity is
2. Owens Corning. The company’s plans for 2022-23 include a multimillion-dollar investment that will increase capacity across its shingle plant network, adding the equivalent of a full shingle line to its shingle production capability. In addition, the company will make significant investments in increased inventory levels and warehousing to meet demand surges during peak seasons.
“Given the industry’s fiberglass mat constraints, we are also excited to share that we have announced an expansion to our fiberglass mat facility in Arkansas that will significantly expand our mat capacity starting in 2023,” said Gunner Smith, president of roofing for Owens Corning. “These investments will increase our production capacity in our roofing accessory products...”
3. Eagle Roofing Products. The company is expanding capacity while offering a refreshed color palette for the Arizona, California and Nevada markets and surrounding regions, which also includes Western Canada. Eagle’s 2022 – 2023 Western offering will be comprised of approximately 100 flat concrete roof tile choices, as well as over 80 high and medium profile selections, and includes 35 new products.
“Our best customers have expressed great confidence that they expect continued growth in the U.S. residential housing market in 2022 and beyond,” stated Dave Skierkowski, Southwest Regional Director for Eagle Roofing Products. “We assessed our business in Q4, made some difficult decisions and executed a forward-looking approach that will enable us to significantly increase our manufacturing capacity in an effort to take care of the builders who have committed to grow with us.”
4. Kraton Corporation. The producer of specialty polymers used in modified bituminous roofing materials announced a significant investment in its Alpha Methyl Styrene (AMS) Resins facility in Niort, France. Kraton expects the investment will result in a 15% production increase at the Niort manufacturing facility by 2023. Kraton is exploring additional manufacturing expansion opportunities at the Niort plant beyond the 2023 horizon.