Glass and Glazing Contractors

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 6,110 glass and glazing contractors in the US install glass panes in prepared openings and perform other types of glass work for buildings. Projects include new installations, additions, alterations, maintenance, and repairs. Smaller operators generally specialize in residential projects and emergency glass repair. Commercial projects include interior projects, such as the installation of decorative room dividers, and exterior projects, such as the replacement of storefront windows.

Dependence On The Construction Industry

Demand for glass and glazing services is highly dependent on the health of the construction industry, which is cyclical and influenced by economic conditions.

Specialized Labor Shortage

Glass and glazing contractors struggle to find qualified glaziers, who are workers that cut glass and perform the physical installation process.

Industry size & Structure

The average glass and glazing contractor operates out of a single location, employs 12 workers, and generates $2-3 million in annual revenue.

    • The glass and glazing contracting industry consists of about 6,110 firms that employ about 72,700 workers and generate $14 billion annually.
    • Small, independent companies operate within a limited geographical market.
    • Large firms that manufacture, design and install building exteriors, such as aluminum curtain walls, stone, and composite panels, often also work with glass products.
    • Large firms include Harmon, Karas and Karas Glass, and Giroux Glass.
                              Industry Forecast
                              Glass and Glazing Contractors Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Recent Developments

                              May 8, 2024 - Industry Poised for Rebound
                              • The US glass and glazing contracting industry is expected to post steadier growth after a period of weakness in some customer subsectors of the building construction market, primarily residential. The industry’s year-over-year sales are expected to rise by 1.1% in 2024 after increasing 3.2% in 2023, according to Inforum and the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, Inc. Annual sales growth is expected to increase by 6.8% in 2025, 7.4% in 2026, 6.7% in 2027, and 6.3% in 2028, according to Inforum and the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, Inc.
                              • The total value of nonresidential building construction starts decreased 9% in March from February, according to Dodge Construction Network. The drop was primarily due to a 58% decline in manufacturing starts. Commercial construction starts were off by 1% amid fewer office and hotel projects. March’s institutional starts rose 4% as some very large healthcare projects broke ground. Residential building starts gained 1% in March as a 9% in single-family starts barely offset a 9% decline in multifamily. Dodge Construction Network chief economist Richard Branch said, “The construction sector has hit a soft patch to start 2024. However, this should not be overly surprising given high rates and restrictive credit. There are bright spots though as single-family starts are moving higher and federal dollars are lifting nonbuilding starts. The recent hot inflation readings likely mean that rate cuts won’t happen until later in the year, and as a result, the commercial and multifamily sectors will continue to languish.”
                              • Total nonresidential building construction spending is projected to rise 9% in 2024 over 2023, according to FMI’s second-quarter 2024 North American Engineering and Construction Outlook. With growth of 19%, manufacturing will lead 2024 nonresidential building construction, followed by lodging (+14%), public safety (12%), transportation (10%) educational (+9%), and healthcare (+8%). Some other segments of the nonresidential building sector face headwinds, including high interest rates, inflation, and tighter lending standards. These pressures will reduce commercial project spending by 2% in 2024. High vacancy rates will hinder office spending and keep growth at a muted 2% over 2023. High interest rates will also challenge the housing market. Single-family construction spending is forecast to be flat in 2024. Spending for multifamily is expected to decline 8% in 2024 after projects in development peaked at 1 million units in mid-2023. Home improvement project spending will rise 2% in 2024.
                              • Apartment buildings are getting taller amid sustained demand for rentals, scarcity of land, and some cities’ willingness to change zoning rules to attract development, according to The Wall Street Journal. Between 2021 and 2023, US cities added more than 2,900 buildings with more than 200 units, a 17% increase of the number built between 2018 and 2020, according to property data firm Yardi. High interest rates and single-family home prices continue to prop up demand for rentals, even among those with relatively high incomes. Some cities are easing some zoning rules, such as minimums for parking. The economics of multifamily development have also changed. Higher construction costs mean buildings need to have more units to be profitable.
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