MALVERN, Pa.--()--Residential decking and railing demand exceeded $3.5 billion in 2012 and overall market demand is expected to increase more rapidly than the overall economy based on pent-up replacement demand and a shift toward higher priced products. Moving forward, the competitive battle will be for market share between wood and wood-alternatives, and within the individual product categories.
The price spread between wood-alternatives and wood is a key determinant of share, and has increased in recent years to the point where current composite retail prices are already pushing towards levels where further penetration against wood is constrained, particularly at the ultra-low maintenance end of the market.
However, as Steve Van Kouteren, Principal at Principia, points out “Property owners are now very familiar with the distinct advantages that wood-alternative decking and railing offer. Consequently, wood-alternative decking and railing, including wood-plastic composites and cellular vinyl, are expected to continue to capture share from wood, driven by improved wood-like aesthetics coupled with ultra-low maintenance, which form a strong value proposition.”
Product innovation will continue to drive wood-alternative product share in decking and will take wood replacement to the next level. Two types of product categories have been introduced, lower price point capped composite board to compete with wood, and high-end capped composites to compete with tropical hardwoods.
Brand distinction is critical to the success of any wood-alternative producer’s business. The dealer channel is looking for products with a unique value proposition where homeowner pull-through leads to carrying high volume fast-movers and accommodating in-demand special orders.
Wood decking is responding to the challenge with renewed vigor. Traditional products have been improved with added colors and preservatives to improve performance. Further, modified-woods have been introduced with minimal warping, splitting, and color fading for long-term performance comparable to wood-alternative products.
Railing continues to present opportunities and challenges. The wide range of options in railing and accessories represents an upselling opportunity as customization grows; however, SKU proliferation is a management challenge for distributors.
To quantify these trends, Principia is launching its latest multi-client edition of Residential Decking & Railing 2013, an exhaustive market report that reveals key market data organized for strategic marketing and business planning. The report includes analysis identifying best growth opportunities through 2015, strategies for value creation and competitive advantage, and the changes in distribution channels serving the decking and railing market.
The report includes a unique interactive Market Model and Forecasting Tool that allows subscribers to model hypothetical market performance based on their own assumptions of metrics such as remodeling expenditures, refinancing, etc. using the data compiled in the report.
Principia is conducting direct interviews with 150 professionals representing building product manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and decking contractors. Residential Decking & Railing 2013 launches in first quarter of 2013, and will be delivered to subscribers by the end of second quarter 2013.
Principia serves the building products industry through products and services aimed at profitable growth, helping clients grow market share and revenues and improve margins. Services include strategy consulting, market research, and industry conferences and reports. Principia is headquartered in suburban Philadelphia, with offices and affiliates worldwide. See PrincipiaReports.com, and PrincipiaConsulting.com.