North American demand for decking and railings is predicted to increase by 8% per year through 2013, according to a new report by Principia Partners. The industry is expected to top out at $3.4 billion this year and reach $4 billion in 2013. The growth is largely attributed to price increases for most all plastic-based decking and railings, as well as a shift in demand from lower-priced, uncapped wood-plastic composites (WPCs) to premium capped WPCs and cellular vinyl decking.
Wood decking and railing products currently make up 60% of the market at $1.9 billion, while plastic-based and synthetic products make up 34% of the market and metal deck and railing products compose 6%.
"Wood decking and railing, including pressure-treated, cedar, redwood, other softwoods, and imported hardwoods still command the major share of the decking and railing market, on a volume basis, and have maintained their market share position against plastic-based decking and railing products since 2005," said Steve Van Kouteren, principal at Principia Partners.
The ultra-low maintenance decking category, which includes capped WPC decking, now accounts for almost 45% of all synthetic decking demand, an increase of 30 percentage points from 2008. Growth in demand, as well as expansion of channel partnerships and a customer base that favors the larger, established companies, were cited as the reasons for the industry expansion. The top four companies in the industry account for more than 75% of the market.
"The market has enthusiastically embraced the new ultra-low maintenance decking products, including the new capped WPC decking," said Van Kouteren. "Ultra-low maintenance properties and the new improved aesthetics drive demand for capped WPC decking by nearly six fold in 2010 vs. 2009."