A new year means new opportunities for Valley roofing contractors and a new year also brings a new set of challenges in 2024. The last few years have been plagued by labor and supply chain shortages; however, things began to move close to normal as inflation cost of goods and labor remained high, but those materials and labor were easier to come by. Many of those challenges remain in 2024 along with a few new ones we are anticipating this year. As a Mesa roofing contractor for over 30 years, I have dealt with many of the challenges contractors face. Here are some of the biggest challenges roofing contractors need to be aware of in 2024. 

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A tight labor market when roof repairs are due

The number one challenge for contractors remains difficulty finding the right amount of labor. Roofing companies continue to compete with a small labor pool making it hard to find skilled labor at anything less than premium pay. Hiring experienced workers costs more than many contractors can reasonably afford. Training new workers is an option, but training takes time that many roofing company owners don’t have. Finding the right amount of labor is going to be especially hard this year as roofs made during the housing boom before the 08 recession are due to be replaced. A roof in Arizona typically lasts for twenty years. This means we expect a large number of requests for roof repairs and replacements. It is going to be hard for many roofing companies to hire and retain large enough crews to complete those jobs on time. Roofers are going to need to prepare for a busy Spring and Summer. Roofing company owners need to keep pay and benefits up to entice competent roofers and load up on materials now so you are ready for a busy year. Most roofing companies are going to need around 10 percent more staff this year. 

The Heat

Arizona roofers are no strangers to hot weather. Working on a hot roof in the desert is the standard for Valley roofers. However, last year’s heatwave drastically affected our industry’s ability to do our jobs and we need to prepare for the possibility that higher temperatures might be here to stay. Usually roofers can manage the summer heat by starting jobs earlier in the day, but at one point last summer we had 31 straight days of 110 degree or higher temperatures. Many of those days never broke under 100 degrees at any point of the day. This means we can’t necessarily rely on cooler early morning temperatures to get jobs done. We think heat will remain a massive challenge in 2024. We had to limit our hours of work last year and we expect the industry to have to do so again this year. This means starting as early as possible and getting off the roof when temps hit 105. Under extreme heat a typical eight hour work day is not possible and most contractors will have to limit their work to five hours per day. The best way to deal the limited summer hours is signing more jobs in Winter and Spring while working more hours to make up for the work time you lose during the Summer. It is also important that superintendents on site know the signs of heat exhaustion and contractors are supplied with proper protective clothing and water. Don’t bank for a cool summer prepare for a hot one and hope for a cooler one.   

High material costs

Arizona is just one State in the country and Arizona roofers have to compete for materials with other roofers across the country. This means there is potential for supply shortages as natural disasters cause damage to homes in other parts of the country. For example right now there is a nationwide shingle shortage due to hurricanes and hail storms increasing demand. There are going to be periods this year where it is hard to find materials. A hurricane in Florida this year could make it harder for Arizona roofers to find what they need during monsoon season. Stock up on any supplies you can so you can avoid paying higher prices later. This is not always possible, but don’t assume prices will remain stable throughout 2024. 

Contractors are going to deal with challenges in 2024. Hiring, weather, and cost of materials will affect the bottom line of roofing companies if they aren’t resourceful and think ahead. Prepare for the issues in 2024 and overcome them. 

Author: Pat Overson is the Owner of Overson Roofing, a Roofing company in Mesa Arizona. Overson Roofing has been providing the Valley with residential and commercial roof repair for over 30 years.