Suburbia: It has been a panacea and an expletive. Touted for affordability and maligned for automobile dependence, suburbia is a fact of life in the U.S.
Although roofing tile is hard to come by, relief is on the way.
Since hurricanes Charley and Ivan struck Florida at the end of 2004, roofing tile has been in short supply. Hurricane repairs are primarily to blame, and manufacturers can't keep up with the supply and demand. Hurricane Katrina's striking New Orleans last August didn't help the problem.
The demand of roofing tiles also stems from new residence construction in Florida. "All the new communities want tile roofs," says Steve Munnell, executive director for Florida Roofing, Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors Association. "That's the new upscale for homes."
Despite the demand, in recent months, "manufacturers have been able to step up production," says Munnell. "We're starting to make a dent in some of the hurricane work, and that has helped too."
Relief in the supply and demand of tile has also come from tile manufacturers' opening up new locations to increase the production levels, as Charlotte, N.C.-based Hanson Brick & Tile Company and Stuart, Fla.-based Entegra Roof Tile Corporation did.
"That will help," says Munnell, "but it's still going to take time, assuming we don't have anymore hurricanes in 2006. Assuming we don't, it would still be another year before the supply caught up with the demand."
And whenever supply and demand increase, so does the price. In Southern Florida, near the end of 2004 the price of tile per 100 square feet priced out at $600. Today's price has reached over $1,000 per 100 square feet. That price includes tearing off the existing roof and putting on new tiles.