In the highly competitive world of building materials distribution, one of the key factors that can set a distributor apart from its competitors is the ability to offer unique and innovative products to customers. By staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the industry, building materials distributors can provide a valuable service to their customers, helping them stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive themselves. Check out our other Blog posts about many of the different trends for flooring, cabinets, interior design, and building materials used in construction projects.
So, what types of unique and new products should building materials distributors be offering to customers? Here are a few ideas:
Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Building Materials
With an increasing focus on sustainability and reducing our impact on the environment, building materials that are sustainably sourced or eco-friendly are becoming more popular. Distributors that can offer these types of products to customers will be viewed in a positive light by those who are looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
There are many sustainable and eco-friendly building materials offered around the world, but unfortunately they are not “standard products” yet. Check out this article, posted on The Spruce, that highlights many of the different types of green materials. It lists examples of flooring, walls, ceilings, finishes, adhesives, exterior cladding, roofing, insulation, and others used in the construction industry.
U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a good source for sustainable and eco-friendly information related to the construction industry. They focus on raising awareness for sustainable and eco-friendly building materials, and best practices.
Smart Home Technologies
As the world becomes more digitally connected, smart home technologies are becoming increasingly popular. Distributors that can offer these types of products will likely find a receptive audience among homeowners and builders who are interested in the latest in home automation. With technology changing at such a rapid pace, there are always new “Smart Home” technologies being released, so it can be tough to keep up with the newest products. PCMag.com, a leading authority on technology, posted an article that highlights the top “Smart Home” products for 2023.
High-Performance Building Materials
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is the leading voice for the housing industry and conducts extensive research on all things related to the housing industry. Their website lists 9 industry issues that impact builders around the country, with 1 being resiliency. They point out the importance of building materials and techniques used to produce buildings, landscapes, and communities to reduce damages and costs that stem from poor-quality and mother nature (normal weathering and natural disasters). This is important for new housing affordability, long-term cost of ownership (i.e., insurance and maintenance), and sustainability efforts.
In addition to durability, energy efficiency is a top concern for homeowners. Building materials that offer high-performance (such as better insulation, air sealing, and impact resistance) are in high demand. Distributors that can provide these types of materials will be well-positioned to cater to a growing market.
Customizable Products and Services
Many customers are looking for products that are tailored specifically to their needs. Building materials distributors that can offer customizable products, such as windows and doors that can be made to fit any size or shape. Since most building materials distributors offer customizable products like these, you must look beyond the normal customizable products. Having the ability to offer more customizable products and services is critical to setting yourself apart from your competition.
There is almost an unlimited amount of customizable product and service options in the building materials industry. Your creativity is the only limit when it comes to offering customizable products and services as a building materials distributor. Some examples of services would be custom milling, pre-finishing, and pre-assembled parquet panels. Customizable products can include anything from the customer’s logo on house wrapping to truly one-of-a-kind live edge slabs.
Alternative Building Materials
Traditional building materials such as wood and concrete are always going to be in demand, but there is also a growing market for alternative materials. Distributors that can offer these types of materials will be able to cater to a growing market that is concerned with sustainability, efficiency, and affordability. The 3 most commonly used in place of wood and concrete are hemp-based products (including, but not limited to, hempcrete and compress hemp fiber into “boards”), bamboo, and rammed earth. The U.S. New wrote an article highlighting 22 alternative building materials that are gaining traction in 2023.
In summary, building materials distributors that can offer unique and innovative products to their customers will find themselves in a prime position to remain competitive and capture market share. By keeping an eye on the latest trends and technologies in the industry and being open to new ideas and approaches, distributors can stay ahead of the curve and provide real value to their customers. The key is to be constantly looking for new products and ideas to add to the portfolio, in order to provide a wide range of options for customers and to maintain a competitive edge in the market.
Get in contact with us to discuss how Coastal Custom Products can help you stay competitive in your market by being your source for unique building materials.