DENNIS TOWNSHIP – Daryl Coach, the owner of Cape Insulation Co., Inc., has seen the demand for insulation rise and fall repeatedly during nearly 28 years at his business, which has close ties to new construction trends.
So when construction slowed significantly in 2007 and Coach was forced to make the difficult decision to reduce manpower by nearly two-thirds, he made what turned out to be a very wise decision.
He kept his fleet of about a dozen trucks. For several years, they were road-ready and insured. Unneeded at the time, they were parked at the business on Woodbine-Ocean View Road in Dennis Township.
Then, new construction began to pick up again, and, last year, Hurricane Sandy meant many flooded homes would need all new insulation. The business was ready.
Now the business is nearly back to its previous complement of employees.
“It put me in a position last year to pretty much immediately do a lot of work,” said Coach, 57, of the Seaville section of Upper Township. “If you’re going to be in for the long haul, you’re going to have to carry it through some tough times. It never stays really good forever and it never stays really bad forever.”
New construction-related insulation remains a major component of what the business does. So does a growing trend of homeowners looking to decrease utility bills and improve energy efficiency through proper insulation.
Ohio-based market research company Freedonia Group expects national demand for insulation to rise about 8 percent a year and reach nearly $9 billion by 2016.
A rebounding housing market and reduced energy consumptions are expected to be major drivers in the coming years.
“Builders will construct homes with larger amounts of insulation to make them more desirable to potential buyers… (and) the large stock of older U.S. homes – many of which are under-insulated – will offer growth potential as home owners add insulation to attics, walls and basements to lower utility bills,” the firm wrote in an industry study.
Coach, who has worked in construction since age 16 and worked as a roofer to help put himself through college, started the insulation business in 1985 with his former boss, the late William Szathmary Jr., who died in 2011.
Coach’s sons, Dave and Pete Coach, work at the business with him.
“I think we’re going to be in for a little run over the next five years. I think we’re over the hump. There’s a lot of activity. We’re seeing a lot of blueprints from people-people are doing things again,” he said.
“There’s a huge emphasis on quality and sustainability. You want to put in products that are going to last 50 years and work for 50 years, and conserving energy is a big thing,” he said.
Coach said owning a business means a major time commitment and long hours.
“It’s perseverance more than anything. You’ve got to press on no matter what. There are a lot of sacrifices I’ve made by going into this business,” he said.
Contact Brian Ianieri:
Cape Insulation Co., Inc.
Location: 458 Woodbine-Ocean View Road, Dennis Township
Owner: Daryl Coach, 57, of Seaville, Upper Township
Employees: About 25