By Cass Jacoby.
It is no secret to anyone who has recently filled up at the pump that gas prices have skyrocketed. While this increased price tag definitely affects transportation, it is also impacting things that have nothing to do with cars. From food prices to energy bills, and yes, even in roof repairs, we all feel the consequences of the rising gas prices in many other areas of our life.
Why? Well for starters, there is oil in asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles are a long time go-to material in the U.S., and while they remain more cost effective than slate or tile, they are primarily made out of oil. The Washington Post reports combination of a recovering economy, increased demand for travel and a geopolitical upheaval that have pushed gas prices higher are also affecting the cost of oil"
“A couple of years ago, shingles were down around $70 a square and now they’re up over $100 a square, and it’s, you know, it gets to be costly because now it isn’t just the shingles, I mean, all your accessories, your drippage, your ice guard, your felts, your nails. All that stuff is increased due to the fuel cost,” co-owner of Roof Juice, Greg Corson told WKBN27.
However, it isn’t just the cost of shingles that is affected by rising gas prices. Throughout the entire production cycle of a reroof the effects of rising gas and oil prices compounds. According to roofcalc.org contractors are charging 15-20% more for a job. "I think it’s just kind of like the perfect storm," Kevin O'Connell, owner and operations director of Joyland Roofing in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania tells Fox 43. "There’s so many variables driving prices up and up.”
On top of rising materials costs and an ongoing labor shortage, contractors are now feeling the pinch of higher gas prices too. The truth of the matter is that everything roofers do is more expensive in the current climate be it purchasing materials, transporting them or installing a new roof. In addition to the widely used direct ingredient of asphalt, gas is a huge indirect cost of roofing materials. Both raw materials and finished roofing products have significant transportation costs because of size and weight.
In an Angi survey on how this spike in gas is impacting roofing businesses, 95% of contractors and service providers said they expect higher gas prices to affect their business this year. And nearly three-quarters of them (73.5 percent) plan on raising their prices because of it.
No one likes it, but home renovation projects are just going to be more expensive while gas prices remain so high. Ultimately, contractors will need to watch that bottom line. Mischa Fisher, Angi’s chief economist discussed in a Roofing Economic Outlook episode the ways that contractors can negotiate this price hike by adding a clear surcharge and communicating with customers honestly about the effects of higher gas prices.
“Adding a clear surcharge for consumers to see tells them you’re not just unilaterally raising your price, but as long as gas is $5 a gallon this is my surcharge for driving around and if you build that in there maybe you can get more efficient use of it,” says Mischa. “This also increases the importance of really smart planning in terms of routing and trip planning and not needlessly being inefficient in your usage.”
Ultimately, it seems like gas prices aren’t going down anytime soon. Homeowners and contractors will have to work together to deal with rising gas prices and their effect on the roofing industry.
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Cass works as a reporter/writer for RoofersCoffeeShop, AskARoofer and MetalCoffeeShop. When she isn’t writing about roofs, she is putting her Master degree to work writing about movies and dancing with her plants.
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