HVAC & Plumbing 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 105,000 HVAC and plumbing contractors in the US provide installation, repair, and maintenance services for air handling and water management systems. Just over 60% of HVAC and plumbing contractors are solo operators. Contractors may specialize in residential, commercial, institutional, or industrial service.

Dependence On Construction Industry

Demand for HVAC and plumbing services is highly dependent on trends in the construction industry.

Increasing Sophistication Of HVAC Systems

Demand for improved efficiency in the non-residential market has led to increasingly complex HVAC systems and automated monitoring programs.

Industry size & Structure

The average plumbing and HVAC contractor employs 11 workers and generates about $2 million in annual revenue.

    • The HVAC and plumbing contractor industry consists of 105,000 companies (including solo operators), employs more than 1.2 million workers and generates $218 billion annually.
    • Just over 60% of HVAC and plumbing contractors are solo operators and generate about $65,200 annually.
    • Major customer segments include single family homes (20% of industry business), office buildings (10%), manufacturing and industrial buildings (5%), educational buildings (8%), commercial buildings (7%), health care and institutional buildings (6%), and apartment buildings (4%).
    • Large companies include EMCOR Group, Comfort Systems USA, Johnson Controls, and ARS Rescue Rooter.
                                Industry Forecast
                                HVAC & Plumbing Contractors Industry Growth
                                Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                Recent Developments

                                Jun 18, 2024 - Industry Growth Poised for Turnaround in 2025
                                • The HVAC and plumbing contracting industry is expected to see almost flat sales growth this year, but demand is projected to improve in the following four years. The industry’s year-over-year sales increased by 10.6% in 2022 before dropping to 3.2% in 2023, according to Inforum and the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, Inc. Sales growth is projected to fall to 1.1% in 2024, then rise by 6.9% in 2025. The industry will then see steady average annual growth of about 6.8% through 2028, according to Inforum and the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, Inc.
                                • Amid a shortage of existing homes on the market, 61% of home buyers prefer new homes, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The survey’s results show the highest share of new-home preference since 2007 when 63% of home buyers preferred new construction. Homeowners who locked in a low interest rate before 2022, when the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates, are reluctant to sell and swap their low-interest loans for a higher rate. New single-family homes have filled the void in the market left by a lack of existing homes for sale. Residential construction is a key demand driver for plywood and engineered wood products.
                                • A recent downturn in Home Depot’s sales could signal that a decade-long surge in home improvement spending is softening, according to The Wall Street Journal. In May, Home Depot reported first-quarter revenue of $37.26 billion, down 4.2% from the same period a year earlier. The home improvement giant also revised its full-year guidance downward to a sales decline between 2% and 5% from a February estimate of flat 2024 growth. Some industry observers suggest homeowners may have completed many of their home projects during the pandemic. Consumers may also be pulling back on their spending amid growing economic uncertainty and high interest rates and inflation.
                                • The Dodge Momentum Index (DMI) increased 2.7% in May 2024 to 179.0 (2000=100), up from the revised April reading of 174.3. The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which has been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. On a monthly basis, the commercial planning component improved by 5.5%, but institutional declined by 3.4%. Dodge’s associate director of forecasting, Sarah Martin, said, “Owners and developers are gaining confidence in 2025 market conditions, alongside more stable and predictable interest rates – spurring stronger commercial activity over the month. Conversely, after last year’s growth, institutional planning is decelerating, as high material costs, labor shortages, and elevated interest rates seep into planning decisions. The overall DMI remains 40% higher than May 2019 levels, indicating a steady pipeline of construction projects that will be ready to break ground through mid-2025.”
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