Home Innovation Insights

As reindeer pause, and Santa jump off his sleigh, he better know what’s underfoot!

Ed Hudson, MBA
December 17, 2019

Up On the Rooftop: Building Trends That Matter to Santa

As many of us prepare for the upcoming holidays, I thought I’d do my part by scouting out changes Santa might see as he readies to land on the rooftops of U.S. homes next week. I did some fact-finding in our Annual Builder Practices Reports to determine how changes in new home construction, particularly on roofs, may impact his annual Christmas eve mission. So below is my list – neither naughty, nor nice; just the facts as revealed in Home Innovation’s 2019 Builder Practices Reports … but I did check them twice!

  • Laminated and architectural asphalt shingles now represent 65% of roofing installed on new single-family homes, growing at the expense of three-tab asphalt shingles and clay or concrete tile.
    (This should make Santa happy—the surface granules have great slip resistance as he makes his way across roofs, and the heavier laminated shingles are more resistant to impact damage from reindeer hooves than three-tab.)
  • Raised-heel, or “energy truss,” roofs are quickly becoming more popular and now represent more than a third of trusses on new single-family homes.
    (This results in better energy performance – perhaps counteracting some of the heat loss from leaving the fireplace damper open for Santa on Christmas eve.)
  • Steep roof inclines are on the decline—8/12 and lower pitched roofs now represent about two-thirds new single-family homes.
    (This will bring a sigh of relief from the man in red – lower sloped roofs equal fewer missteps for him and his reindeer.)
  • Fireplace construction is down from previous years.
    (This may put a wrinkle in Santa’s usual M.O., but he’s had a special way of getting presents under the tree in homes without a chimney for centuries. No sprinkles off his cookie.)
  • About two-thirds of roofs on new homes include engineered wood trusses and ½-inch or less OSB or plywood. 
    (While the big guy is likely more confident with engineered roof structures, he may need to cut down on his cookie intake to ensure he doesn’t damage any thinner sheathing.)
  • Unvented attics now represent more than 8% of new single-family roofs. For those homes that do have vented attics, most (60%) have ridge vents, and the most popular styles are the under-shingle roll style (27%) and under-shingle sectional vent (19%).
    (While Santa is a BIG fan of unvented attics – after all, roof vents present a tripping hazard for those who walk on roofs in the dark — he’ll at least appreciate the prevalence of low-profile under-shingle vents.)

Clearly, not everyone (other than maybe Santa) needs to track roofing trends as closely as I do, but we offer reports in more than 40 building product categories:

Appliances | Bathroom Accessories | Beams & Headers | Cabinets
Countertops | Deck & Porch Railings | Ducts | Exterior Doors | Faucets
Fencing & Landscape Walls | Fire Sprinklers | Finish Flooring | Foundations
Garage Doors | Home Electronics | Home Mechanical Ventilation
Standby Generators | House Wrap & Radiant Barriers | HVAC Systems
Infrastructure | Insulation | Interior Doors | Interior Finish Materials | Lighting
Outdoor Structures | Patio Doors | Plumbing Fixtures | Plumbing Piping
Roofing | Roofing Underlayment | Sheathing - Floor, Roof, Wall
Siding & Exterior Finish | Soffit, Fascia, & Exterior Trim
Structural Systems - Floor, Roof, Wall | Swimming Pools | Underlayment
Vapor Retarders in Walls & Ceilings | Windows

Now until the end of 2019, we are offering a 20% end-of-year discount to buy ABPS data. But, if you’d like to see that discount really “go through the roof,” contact us directly to see if we can offer you an even bigger bargain. (We have a ho, ho, whole lot of data on products used in remodeling too!)

Home Innovation wishes you a happy holiday season, and a profitable 2020.

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