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Authors: Indroneil Ganguly, Ivan Eastin, Pablo Crespell and Chris Gaston
OverviewThe demand for decking and fencing materials is driven by several factors, including the macroeconomic environment, demographics, construction expenditures, and the repair and remodel sector. In addition, competition within the decking and fencing markets has recently been significantly altered by regulatory constraints on the forest products industry that have restricted harvest levels, by increasing imports of softwood lumber and by expanding competition from non-wood substitute materials. These last two factors are likely to have the greatest impact on the specification and use of decking and fencing materials in the mid to long term as the markets adjust to the changing regulatory environment and changing consumer perceptions and preferences. This report will explore the extant literature related to the demand for decking and fencing materials in the residential, non-residential, public and non-building segments of the construction industry.
US Decking MarketThe demand for decking products is projected to increase from 4.7 billion board feet (bbf) in 2000 to 5.6 bbf in 2010, a 19.3% increase over the ten year period. This market expansion will not be distributed evenly across the three major types of deck materials, however. Whereas wood-plastic composite decking (WPC) is expected to increase by an astronomical 491% and plastic decking by a healthy 152%, the demand for wood decking is expected to decline by 8.5%. Further, the demand for redwood is projected to decline by over 15% between 2000-2010, although the decline in the demand for redwood lumber is attributed to supply constraints rather than declining demand. These demand outlooks are driven by two fundamental end-user attributes: durability (long-deck life) and low maintenance. Very little consideration was paid to price and price sensitivity of either new home builders or home owners. As a result, these demand estimates are more heavily weighted towards the higher priced substitute materials than the actual market situation might otherwise justify, particularly in the 2005-2010 period.
The primary construction application for decking is repair and remodel (approximately 86%) followed by new home construction (approximately 14%). While the demand for decking products in new construction is expected to experience strong growth between 2000 and 2010, the sheer size of the repair and remodel market make it a much more attractive market segment for producers. In addition, new home builders are a much more price sensitive set of buyers compared to home owners given the nature of the project expenditures. In addition, decks on new homes tend to be smaller than repair and replacement deck projects.
Residential construction is the primary market for decking materials, followed by non-building projects (docks, marinas, park structures, etc.) and non-residential construction. The demand for decking materials in the residential market is expected to grow by 24.3% between 2000 and 2010 while demand is expected to grow by just 6.9% in the non-building market. Again, contractors in the non-building segment are much more price sensitive given the nature of the bidding process in these types of projects.
Almost 80% of decking material is installed by professionals as opposed to homeowners (DIY). While demand is expected to grow substantially in both segments, the highest growth is projected to occur within the DIY segment (27.7%) rather than the professional segment (15.9%). Given the profit constraints facing most professional installers, this segment of the market tends to be more price sensitive than the DIY segment.
Finally, the deck market can be segmented into deck platforms versus rails and accessories (benches, stairs, planters, etc). It is important to note that only 59% of the total demand for decking materials is derived from the construction of deck platforms. The remaining demand can be attributed to deck rails and accessories, suggesting that overall demand for a specific product may be influenced to a substantial degree by the availability of rails and accessory products manufactured from the same material. Growth in both of these market segments is expected to be strong.
The projections indicate that the largest demand region for decking products is the US south while the US west is the smallest demand region. Interestingly, the largest growth in demand for decking materials is expected to come from these two regions.
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Positioning and Market Analysis of the US Decking Materials Market: A Perceptual Mapping Approach
Authors: Indroneil Ganguly, Ivan Eastin, Pablo Crespell and Chris Gaston
OverviewThe demand for decking materials is driven by several factors, including the macroeconomic environment, demographics, construction expenditures, and the repair and remodel sector. In addition, competition within the decking market has recently been significantly altered by regulatory constraints on the forest products industry that have restricted harvest levels, by increasing imports of softwood lumber and by expanding competition from non-wood substitute materials. These last two factors are likely to have the greatest impact on the specification and use of decking materials in the mid to long term as the markets adjust to the changing regulatory environment and changing consumer perceptions and preferences. CINTRAFOR has been collecting market information on the material usage trend in the U.S. deck building industry since 1995. This report will present an analysis of the material usage trends and practices in the decking materials market.
Further this report will provide a comprehensive product positioning and marketing analysis of the major decking materials in the US.
An interactive web-based survey was used to collect the data and information presented in the report. Sufficient care was given to ensure that the respondents of the survey had significant deck building experience, hence, only those deck builders who had built more that 5 decks over the past two years were allowed to take the survey. A total of 372 qualified respondents completed the survey, representing 44 states and providing representation across all regions of the US. The number of residential decks built by the respondents in 2008 ranged from 1 to 250, with more than 60% of the respondents building between 3 to 8 decks. A substantial number of respondents (12% of the respondents) indicated that they built more than 20 decks in 2008.
US Decking MarketWith the decline in US housing starts in 2007 and 2008 the focus of the deck building industry has shifted away from new decks for new houses. This study shows that the primary revenue generator for the US decking industry in 2008 was repair and remodel (approximately 44%) closely followed by building new decks on existing houses (approximately 42%). Under the present scenario, constructing new decks in new homes only marginally contributes (approximately 14%) to the overall revenue of the US decking industry. This trend is more or less consistent across all the regions of the country with the repair and remodeling projects and deck construction in existing houses strongly dominating the industry’s revenue generation. This result confirms that when homeowners live in their houses longer they tend to invest in remodeling their houses; remodeling existing decks or installing new decks has traditionally been important aspects of renovating and remodeling houses. Moreover, such a trend also indicates that the deck building industry is at least partially insulated from the housing downturn.
The survey results reveal that the size of the decks built in the US have not changed significantly since a previous survey conducted by CINTRAFOR in 2003, averaging 438 square feet. However, the average unit construction cost of decks built in the US has increased substantially from $13.50 per square feet in 2003 to
$18.62 in 2008. Regional differences in the unit construction cost were also observed in the study. The average unit construction costs of decks built in the Northeastern and Western regions were approximately $20 per square feet, whereas, the average unit construction costs of decks built in the Southern region of the country were approximately $16 per square feet. Finally, the average cost of decks built in the Western region (approximately $9,533) was significantly higher than the national average ($7,319).
Decking Material Usage TrendsThe market for residential decking materials in North America has become increasingly competitive over the past decade. Past studies have indicated that wood plastic composite decking (WPC) and plastic lumber (PVC) are increasingly replacing treated softwood lumber and naturally durable timber species (i.e., redwood, western red cedar and tropical hardwoods) in deck building applications. Our 2009 survey results indicate that this trend of gradual market displacement of naturally durable timber species and treated softwood lumber decking materials has continued. Over 66% of the respondents surveyed indicated that they have increased their usage of WPC and 37% of the respondents increased their usage of PVC between 2006 and 2008, with less than 10% reporting that they had decreased their use of WPC and PVC. In contrast, a high percentage of respondents indicated that they have decreased their usage of pressure treated lumber (31%), western red cedar (36%) and redwood (35%) while less than 20% reported increasing their use of these materials.
The deck market can be segmented into the three main end-use applications; deck substructure, deck surface, and rails/accessories (benches, stairs, planters, etc). It is important to note that only 59% of the total demand for decking materials (based on value) is derived from the construction of the primary substructure and deck surface. The remaining demand can be attributed to deck rails and accessories, suggesting that overall demand for a specific decking material may be influenced to a substantial degree by the availability of rails and accessory products manufactured from the same material. Growth in both of these market segments is expected to be strong. While pressure treated lumber (PTL) remains the dominant material used in substructure applications, with a market share over 80%, PTL only has a 30% share of the national deck surface market.
WPC is now the market leader in deck surface applications across all regions of the US, with the exception of the South where almost 40% of deck surfaces were still built using PTL. In contrast, only about 10% of the deck surfaces built in the western US used PTL and WPC has emerged as the market leader with a 34% market share. The western US is also the region with the greatest use of naturally durable wood decking, perhaps reflecting the greater availability of these products. Plastic decking made its greatest inroad in the northeast where almost 18% of deck builders reported using this product.