Sure, we all know construction has been in the dumps for several years now, and 2011 has not progressed as we all hoped as far as a new construction recovery, but all is not doom and gloom as so many pundits would like us to believe. There are several flickers of life in our industry that seem to be getting brighter by the day, and maybe they will allow us to see a tomorrow that we can get excited about.
First of all, the demographics of the US are incredibly good for our industry. We add about 4.5 million new people each year on average, to the US population, and there are about 3 people per household, so the drumbeat of 1.5 million new households a year is pretty constant. Sure, it goes up and down as immigration issues and the economy goes, but still, despite the difficulties, people still want to live and work in America. Those 1.5 million “families” need a place to live. Right now there is a mini boom going on in getting affordable housing built to supply the demand. They may not be buying McMansion’s , but they need a place to live, and a 1200 square foot apartment will do for now.
Second, we have as many feet of buildings that need sprucing up and renovation, as we have deficit dollars in Washington, DC. That’s a lot of trillions of feet! Many owners are doing their best to improve the appearance and function of their existing buildings, since they can’t finance new construction. Remodeling is hot right now! Sto has some incredible Specialty Coatings, such as Lotusan, that have taken the recoatings market by storm the past few years.
Third, building codes are changing, and it all points to more energy efficient new construction via air and moisture barriers being required by code, and continuous insulation on the outside of the structure. All this bodes well for companies such as Sto, as we have been the leaders in energy efficient construction for the past 50 years all around the world. We are truly excited about the future, as we know the construction market will emerge from it’s funk, and we could not be better positioned for the next era of energy efficient design and building management.
So, why all the gloom? The companies that have survived the past 4-5 years in construction and construction supply, have all learned some great lessons, and are now leaner and better positioned than ever before. They are ready to make this next cycle a more balanced and sustainable one, if the folks in our nations capital will just get their business done and get out of the way.
At Sto, we can’t wait for the glimmer of hope we see today, become a bright shining beacon of growth and prosperity for our industry.