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Custom Install Market Faces Slower Growth

1/07/2008 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Installers can't deny it any longer; installer-level custom install revenues aren't growing as rapidly these days, thanks to two consecutive years of the sharpest declines in new housing starts.

And installers will have to slug it through one more year of declining housing starts in 2008 before things turn sharply around, according to a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) forecast (see table, p. 152).

Unaccustomed to anything but industrywide double-digit percentage growth, some installers have closed their doors or merged, but others have begun to aggressively market themselves to drive business into their doors rather than wait for it to come to them. And with the time they lacked before, some have begun to look at their operations to weed out unnecessary costs, according to a panel of industry executives questioned by TWICE.

The participants responded to a questionnaire emailed by TWICE. Here is what they had to say about these and other industry topics: