Quality Leaders

These 55 Quality Leaders have the highest level of customer satisfaction among remodelers as measured by
GuildQuality Inc.

Satisfying customers is not a merely a feel-good byproduct of a job well done. Apart from Total Quality Management, customer satisfaction has become a business discipline unto itself. Through decades of implementation at firms like Ford Motor Company and many others in the Fortune 500, customer satisfaction measurement — the rate at which your firm satisfies its customers — is a highly predictive indicator of future success in business. That is why Qualified Remodeler partnered with the leading firm offering customer satisfaction surveying and measurement to the remodeling industry, GuildQuality Inc. of Atlanta. The result is a list of remodeling firms that excel at satisfying their customers. It can be argued that these 55 remodeling firms — all members of GuildQuality’s 2010 class of Guildmasters – represent the best of the best in all of the remodeling industry. Their profiles on the following pages offer a glimpse of the way forward for all remodeling firms.

What is customer satisfaction, and why is it now widely acknowledged to be a predictable indicator of future success? Beginning with W. Edwards Deming, an early quality management proponent who introduced TQM to the world through Japanese automotive firms after World War II, down through thousands of firms and many subsequent business scholars, it has been shown that satisfied customers — those who are willing to hire again or who are willing to refer to a friend — are the lifeblood of most businesses. When remodeling company presidents and owners confidently state that they do very little marketing and advertising because their word-of-mouth advertising is so strong, they are testifying to the success of customer satisfaction.

Today, during a housing downturn and slower economic times, satisfying customers can very well mean the difference between success and failure. If your phone has stopped ringing, it may have less to do with your success as a marketer than it does the lingering effect of past customers who are not willing to hire you again or those who would not be willing to refer you to a friend. Satisfied customers generally tell five people about their positive experience doing business with a firm, while those who are dissatisfied generally tell nine people about their experience. The lesson: Bad news travels a lot faster than good news. If you are staking your business and your future posterity on anything, it should be on the satisfaction level of past clients.

Presented in alphabetical order, the following 55 Quality Leaders, represent most forms of remodeling companies — from full-service and design/build to home improvement firms that focus only on the exterior — yet the one thing they all have in common is that more than 90 percent of their recent customers are willing to refer them.

A K Associates LLC, DBA Case Handyman & Remodeling
Full-service — Wallingford, Conn.
2009 Revenue Range: $500,000 to $750,000
Survey Responses: 31 ¦ Referral Rate: 94% ¦ Years in Business: 8
Best Practice: Honesty is our best practice. That means giving advice to ensure projects meet the needs of our clients, guiding them through the decision-making process with real-world experience of what to expect and selecting the best products to fit their lifestyle. Honesty is no surprises to the customer. Honesty is caring for their world, not just the GP of the project.

All County Exteriors
Exterior contractor — Lakewood, N.J.
2009 Revenue Range: $5 Million to $10 Million
Survey Responses: 560 ¦ Referral Rate: 95% ¦ Years in Business: 28
Best Practice: Our success over the past 28 years is attributed to our commitment to all stakeholders in our company. Our customers need to be satisfied at all costs. Our employees must be fulfilled and compensated competitively for their efforts. Our field staff and subcontractors are paid in a timely and fair manner that solidifies our commitment as partners.

ARC Design-Build, Inc.
Design/build — Huntsville, Ala.
2009 Revenue Range: $750,000 to $1 Million
Survey Responses: 32 ¦ Referral Rate: 100% ¦ Years in Business: 11
Best Practice: Our tagline is “Love your house (again)” and we take that mission to heart. Our goal at the end of each job is for the client to love their house either for the first time or fall in love all over again. When it comes to our vendors, tradespeople and employees, we consider our mission to be “Love your contractor/work/results again!” We believe it’s people and relationships (happy ones) that make our company great, and in turn make the work top-notch.

Atlanta Design & Build
Design/build — Marietta, Ga.
2009 Revenue Range: $1 Million to $2 Million
Survey Responses: 45 ¦ Referral Rate: 100% ¦ Years in Business: 14
Best Practice: During the economic downturn of 2008, we undertook significant initiatives to help rebrand and retool our marketing efforts. We clarified Atlanta Design & Build’s difference in the marketplace. Clients surveyed clearly stated the ADB benefit as “transforming homes and enriching lives,” providing our new tagline. We then developed our HOMEStyle System™ with its DeepDiscovery document, InspiredDesign, MasterPlan and its twice-the-industry-standard HOMEStyle Warranty.

Blackdog Builders, Inc.
Full-service — Salem, N.H.
2009 Revenue Range: $2 Million to $5 Million
Survey Responses: 203 ¦ Referral Rate: 94% ¦ Years in Business: 21
Best Practice: The overarching theme that touches just about everything we do is systems. We are a systems and process driven company. From the time the first phone call comes in from a prospective client to the initial sales call to the preconstruction meeting and ultimately to any needed warranty work, we follow established procedures that help our team members deliver a great experience. We have always looked at remodeling as a service business, not a product business, and having processes allows us to deliver on our promises and minimize uncertainty for our clients.

Boardwalk Builders
Full-service — Rehoboth Beach, Del.
2009 Revenue Range: $2 Million to $5 Million
Survey Responses: 217 ¦ Referral Rate: 96% ¦ Years in Business: 24
Best Practice: We believe that our clients want to know that we know what we are doing, financially, technically and operationally. They want to be listened to and cared for, and they want their houses treated with respect.

Byggmeister Associates Inc.
Full-service — Newton, Mass.
2009 Revenue Range: $2 Million to $5 Million
Survey Responses: 200 ¦ Referral Rate: 100% ¦ Years in Business: 27
Best Practice: The single best practice to which we attribute our success is staying in close contact with past clients by means of regular unsolicited warranty follow-up visits, during which we adjust, repair or replace components or features that are not holding up as well as we think they should. This practice works for us on several levels: good client relations; effective feedback loops with regard to construction and design quality; reliable risk management; and highly cost-effective marketing.

CARNEMARK
Design/build — Bethesda, Md.
2009 Revenue Range: $2 Million to $5 Million
Survey Responses: 72 ¦ Referral Rate: 97% ¦ Years in Business: 23
Best Practice: Always relearning how to see every aspect of the design/build process through the eyes of the client.

Carpentry by Chris
Design/build — Iowa City, Iowa
2009 Revenue Range: $750,000 to $1 Million
Survey Responses: 125 ¦ Referral Rate: 99% ¦ Years in Business: 9
Best Practice: Ensuring that homeowners understand that anything can be built with the only limitations being time and money. From that position, good communication during the design phase of the project is essential for having the best outcome on any project.

CASE Design/Remodeling
Full-service — Anoka, Minn.
2009 Revenue Range: $1 Million to $2 Million
Survey Responses: 40 ¦ Referral Rate: 100% ¦ Years in Business: 12
Best Practice: We have developed different processes the company follows depending on job size and type from damage claim restoration to handyman jobs to design/build. We define a project and follow the right steps to get it to construction with the best customer experience possible. We want to show clients what full-service means and how we can bring value to any project they have.

Case Design/Remodeling, Inc.
Full-service — Bethesda, Md.
2009 Revenue Range: $20 Million to $50 Million
Survey Responses: 2,667 ¦ Referral Rate: 91% ¦ Years in Business: 49
Best Practice: Our best practice is our focus on our team as our foundation. It is imperative that all team members are moving in the same direction and truly believe in the Case way so that every client experiences the level of professionalism and expertise on which Case has built its reputation. Our team focus encompasses constant communication, including them in the decision making process, promoting from within, and investing in their careers.

Case Handyman and Remodeling
Full-service — San Jose, Calif.
2009 Revenue Range: $1 Million to $2 Million
Survey Responses: 85 ¦ Referral Rate: 93% ¦ Years in Business: 6
Best Practice: The one aspect we continually emphasize is clear, coordinated, consistent communication. We answer or return every inquiry via phone or e-mail within four business hours. We schedule every consultation or handyman appointment on time; we don’t use “time windows.” At various times during the life cycle of a project with a client, any one of us may be the “lead” communicator but all of us are responsible for ensuring our clients receive timely, proactive information about their project or process.

Classic Remodeling & Construction, Inc.
Full-service — Johns Island, S.C.
2009 Revenue Range: $2 Million to $5 Million
Survey Responses: 185 ¦ Referral Rate: 97% ¦ Years in Business: 21
Best Practice: President and owner Bob Fleming’s core values of integrity, honesty, respect and teamwork are infused into the inner workings and daily interactions of Classic. Our work is a representation of who we are, an illustration of what we have accomplished and is the image that defines Classic Remodeling. We are united to achieve one goal — to provide an exceptional home remodeling experience. We will welcome unique challenges and personalities, seek out solutions and learn from our experiences.

Construction Ahead Inc.
Design/build — Atlanta, Ga.
2009 Revenue Range: $750,000 to $1 Million
Survey Responses: 103 ¦ Referral Rate: 98% ¦ Years in Business: 17
Best Practice: Our focus has always been on providing the client an exceptional experience to create lifelong customers. This is very simple to achieve. We under-promise and over-deliver. Prompt callbacks, clear communication, clear expectations, superior craftsmanship, and good follow-through have kept us busy through good times and bad.

Craig Custom Builders Inc.
Full-service — Wayne, N.J.
2009 Revenue Range: $2 Million to $5 Million
Survey Responses: 48 ¦ Referral Rate: 98% ¦ Years in Business: 24
Best Practice: Listen and then communicate. We listen attentively to our clients and then we communicate with them. The lines of communication are always open. We find that helping the client understand the building process from beginning to completion through open lines of communication helps Craig Custom Builders deliver great customer service.

Creative Contracting, Inc.
Full-service — North Wales, Pa.
2009 Revenue Range: $1 Million to $2 Million
Survey Responses: 36 ¦ Referral Rate: 100% ¦ Years in Business: 22
Best Practice: In the last year our best practice has been downsizing and economizing. We are now hiring subs as needed for a variety of skills. We downsized our office and have adjusted our sales process. We have also found affordable ways of advertising through social networking and e-news. We continue to forge personal relationships with our clients and offer the best possible service.

Crimson Design & Construction, Inc.
Design/build — Naperville, Ill.
2009 Revenue Range: $1 Million to $2 Million
Survey Responses: 46 ¦ Referral Rate: 100%
Years in Business: 10
Best Practice: In one word — communication. The reason we continue to receive high marks from our clients is that we include them in every step of the project. They are kept informed of progress and challenges along the way. This gives them a high degree of trust in us. Also, communication allows us to set expectations well in advance so that there are no surprises for the client.

Degnan Design Builders, Inc.
Design/build — DeForest, Wis.
2009 Revenue Range: $1 Million to $2 Million
Survey Responses: 46 ¦ Referral Rate: 100% ¦ Years in Business: 29
Best Practice: I think it would be to maintain flexibility in our job type. We are able to work for clients who are the best for us rather than be defined by certain types of jobs. I attribute our success to working primarily with the lead carpenter system where I can send a lead carpenter out to do handyman jobs and fill in time between larger jobs which are fewer and farther between.

Distinctive Remodeling Solutions, Inc.
Full-service — Roswell, Ga.
2009 Revenue Range: $1 Million to $2 Million
Survey Responses: 69 ¦ Referral Rate: 94% ¦ Years in Business: 8
Best Practice: The remodeling industry is very dynamic. We continue to excel because we treat the company like a business. We utilize proven business practices to create and implement systems for marketing, sales, financial management, motivating employees, and more. Customer satisfaction, in the form of raving fans, is the ultimate test of how well our systems are working.

Don Foote Contracting
Full-service — Stoneham, Mass.
2009 Revenue Range: $1 Million to $2 Million
Survey Responses: 45 ¦ Referral Rate: 100% ¦ Years in Business: 19
Best Practice: Quite simply, we try to never forget that we are in the service industry. We reinforce this simple fact company wide, so any client’s interaction with any employee will reflect this. We also select subcontractors with this as an important criterion. We never want to forget that we work for our clients and that satisfying them one at a time, everyday, is our most important goal. It is old school and timeless at the same time.

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen
Full-service — Springfield, Ill.
2009 Revenue Range: $750,000 to $1 Million
Survey Responses: 78 ¦ Referral Rate: 96% ¦ Years in Business: 11
Best Practice: By becoming a turnkey solution for our clients’ kitchen and bath remodeling needs, we have eliminated unnecessary stress for the homeowners and improved the quality control on all of our projects. Our typical client is someone who doesn’t have the time or doesn’t want to take the time to drive all over town to pick out items for their remodel. We simplify the process and schedule the project for on-time and on-budget completion. These things along with great communication throughout the process lead to very satisfied customers.

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Ann Arbor
Full-service — Ann Arbor, Mich.
2009 Revenue Range: $1 Million to $2 Million
Survey Responses: 57 ¦ Referral Rate: 98% ¦ Years in Business: 7
Best Practice: A highly system-driven business process which provides a consistently repeatable experience and project timing from client to client is our best practice. This ensures that new clients being referred will receive the same experience as those clients who provided the referrals.

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Mid Ohio
Design/build — Mansfield, Ohio
2009 Revenue Range: $250,000 to $500,000
Survey Responses: 37 ¦ Referral Rate: 100% ¦ Years in Business: 10
Best Practice: We are firmly committed to our code of values. Embracing these values becomes a part of who we are and allows us to easily extend these values to our clients. Listening with the intent to understand what is being said and acknowledging that what is said is important to the speaker is our philosophy.

DuKate Fine Remodeling, Inc.
Full-service — Franklin, Ind.
2009 Revenue Range: $750,000 to $1 Million
Survey Responses: 48 ¦ Referral Rate: 98% ¦ Years in Business: 23
Best Practice: When we founded the company, we committed to one concept: that a good name was the most valuable asset. Over the years we have stayed true to that commitment and sought to enhance it. This means that we must guard against areas of compromise, and the closer we move to integrity in the minutiae, the more clear our customers’ trust in us becomes. The more the client finds comfort and trust in us, the better our options for win-win.

Eberle Remodeling
Design/build — Sacramento, Calif.
2009 Revenue Range: $1 Million to $2 Million
Survey Responses: 80 ¦ Referral Rate: 100% ¦ Years in Business: 25
Best Practice: Our best practice is to focus on the details. Detailed, comprehensive proposals for construction allow for a smooth remodel process where all involved understand the components of the project. Our design/build process also allows for a very detailed plan in the design phase, which ultimately leads to the very detailed proposal for construction. This, in turn, allows us to stay on the same page with our clients.

Feinmann Inc.
Design/build — Lexington, Mass.
2009 Revenue Range: $2 Million to $5 Million
Survey Responses: 55 ¦ Referral Rate: 94% ¦ Years in Business: 22
Best Practice: Our company’s success can be attributed to the design/build niche we have developed with our clients. Our success is due to the fact that our client base perceives us as a design firm as well as a build firm and this allows us to set ourselves apart from the many build/design companies in the marketplace. We have successfully reinforced this brand through our Web site, print advertising, marketing and signage.

Fick Bros Roofing & Exterior Remodeling Co.
Exterior contractor — Baltimore, Md.
2009 Revenue Range: $2 Million to $5 Million
Survey Responses: 76 ¦ Referral Rate: 100% ¦ Years in Business: 61
Best Practice: Our primary goal is to focus on our customers’ needs and to totally satisfy those needs. We establish lasting relationships with our customers through the sale of maintenance agreements and quality repair services. These agreements and services have tremendous practical value to the customer and turn trial customers into loyal patrons. We are committed to exceeding our customers’ expectations through strict quality standards and providing services at the customers’ convenience. Our success is measured by 100 percent customer satisfaction.

Foster Remodeling Solutions, Inc.
Full-service — Lorton, Va.
2009 Revenue Range: $2 Million to $5 Million
Survey Responses: 100 ¦ Referral Rate: 96% ¦ Years in Business: 27
Best Practice: We have many systems in place that make our company efficient and hold our staff accountable. We measure our performance in many ways to assure we create a great client experience and provide our clients with the best possible design, workmanship and customer service. We deliver this message to our market as often as possible.

G&L and Sons Renovations, LLC
Full-service — Cedar Grove, N.J.
2009 Revenue Range: $500,000 to $750,000
Survey Responses: 27 ¦ Referral Rate: 100%
Years in Business: 25
Best Practice: We include all of our trades at the beginning of estimating a project so they understand what they are being asked to do. If the project is complex, we introduce our trades to the homeowner during a pre-estimate walk-through. We have them there so the homeowner has a chance to see how our team operates and communicates with each other. By the time the project starts, the homeowner doesn’t feel like they have strangers walking through their home.

Harth Builders
Full-service — Spring House, Pa.
2009 Revenue Range: $1 Million to $2 Million
Survey Responses: 127 ¦ Referral Rate: 92% ¦ Years in Business: 14
Best Practice: Our best practice is having a clear understanding of our customers’ expectations before we start work, then ensuring we meet their expectations throughout the project. We also make sure that everyone buys into systems, procedures and accountabilities to mentally take ownership of the company.

HartmanBaldwin Design/Build
Full-service — Claremont, Calif.
2009 Revenue Range: $5 Million to $10 Million
Survey Responses: 56 ¦ Referral Rate: 100% ¦ Years in Business: 30
Best Practice: The secret to our success is our unwavering commitment to provide exceptional client service. We pride ourselves in the relationships our company has built over the past 30 years. We don’t just build homes; we build relationships. As a company we believe entering someone’s home and being entrusted with it is the ultimate privilege. Treat the home as if it were your own and care about the client as you would like to be treated, and the result, inevitably, is a remarkable one.

Home Enhancements, the Remodel Division of Wayne Harbin Builder Inc.
Full-service — Yorktown, Va.
2009 Revenue Range: $1 Million to $2 Million
Survey Responses: 57 ¦ Referral Rate: 100% ¦ Years in Business: 1.5
Best Practice: Advertising to our existing clientele for whom we previously had built homes is our best practice. We have always remodeled through our core company, Wayne Harbin Builder Inc., but we never advertised about remodeling. So, we created the separate remodel division, Home Enhancements of Virginia, within our new-home construction company to help fill a need in this area.

Hopkins & Porter Construction Inc.
Design/build — Potomac, Md.
2009 Revenue Range: $2 Million to $5 Million
Survey Responses: 81 ¦ Referral Rate: 97%
Years in Business: 33
Best Practice: Our best practice is to invest in our people. We support as part of our mission the training and advancement of our employees in all positions and at all levels. When we look to fill a new position in the company, we always look at our staff first, and this leads to a sense of opportunity. Training our staff to be leaders is what inspires our clients to say, “It’s the people at Hopkins & Porter that make the difference”.

Jackson Design and Remodeling
Full-service — San Diego, Calif.
2009 Revenue Range: $5 Million to $10 Million
Survey Responses: 127 ¦ Referral Rate: 97% ¦ Years in Business: 21
Best Practice: For more than 20 years, Jackson Design and Remodeling has developed and refined an innovative design build process which is truly unique in the industry, supported by a unified team of accomplished designers, architects and construction professionals. JDR’s emphasis on process and people takes the concept and practice of design/build remodeling to a whole new level, providing clients with a dedicated team, enhanced communication and increased accountability.

Ken Spears Construction, Inc.
Full-service — Shabbona, Ill.
2009 Revenue Range: $2 Million to $5 Million
Survey Responses: 99 ¦ Referral Rate: 98% ¦ Years in Business: 35
Best Practice: Our clients report that our best practice is honoring our commitments: Doing what we say we will do when we say we will do it. I think that takes a lot of the fear out of the dubious reputation that repair/remodeling companies have endured in the past.

Kirkpatrick’s Construction
Full-service — Clifton, Va.
2009 Revenue Range: $1 Million to $2 Million
Survey Responses: 37 ¦ Referral Rate: 100% ¦ Years in Business: 8
Best Practice: We attribute our company’s success to hiring key members of the team based on values and morals first, not on position-specific talent. Being able to hire team members that are equipped with the indefinables is invaluable and has proven to be a great part of our success. When all of your employees work well together, it has a positive effect that spills into clients’ homes, and they love that we are able to express how passionate we are about what we do.

McClurg Remodeling & Construction Services
Full-service — Marcellus, N.Y.
2009 Revenue Range: $5 Million to $10 Million
Survey Responses: 162 ¦ Referral Rate: 100% ¦ Years in Business: 33
Best Practice: The most critical component of our success has been taking care of past clients, both in terms of new work and warranty on existing work. They take first priority and are often scheduled in immediately. Over the years, we have seen that growth can stress our ability to meet our customers’ needs, which means we have had to be willing to make constant adjustments to ensure that our system continues to produce the product our client demands.

Melton Construction, Inc.
Full-service — Boulder, Colo.
2009 Revenue Range: $2 Million to $5 Million
Survey Responses: 76 ¦ Referral Rate: 96% ¦ Years in Business: 17
Best Practice: The best practices idea that has attributed to Melton Construction’s success is our mission: To exceed our client’s expectations by delivering superior quality, value and service. We do this by offering comprehensive design and construction ideas that lead to the development of lifelong relationships with all of our residential and commercial clients.

Menold Construction and Restoration
Full-service — Morton, Ill.
2009 Revenue Range: $5 Million to $10 Million
Survey Responses: 709 ¦ Referral Rate: 95% ¦ Years in Business: 33
Best Practice: Our company culture drives our company’s success. We work to maintain a culture that aspires to please our customers by providing friendly customer service, by continually monitoring that service, by constantly aspiring to improve our service to our customers, and by providing a strong warranty program. We strive to maintain culture of urgency throughout the company. We focus on hiring people that fit our culture and their position within it and have the desire to please customers.

Payne & Payne Builders
Design/build — Chardon, Ohio
2009 Revenue Range: $5 Million to $10 Million
Survey Responses: 65 ¦ Referral Rate: 100% ¦ Years in Business: 18
Best Practice: Setting high expectations and then exceeding them. Our success is primarily based on our referral business. Therefore, it is critical that our clients are very happy with the home and experience. By focusing our culture on this pursuit, we have been able to significantly out-perform our market.

Penguin Windows
Replacement Windows — Mukilteo, Wash.
2009 Revenue Range: Over $50 Million
Survey Responses: 2,586 ¦ Referral Rate: 96% ¦ Years in Business: 26
Best Practice: Our best practice is the evolution of our installation department, the jewel of our company. Using only AAMA certified crew chiefs and AAMA certified inspectors, Penguin Windows ensures a near perfect installation almost every time and fulfills the promises made by our sales representatives.

R. Craig Lord Construction Company
Full-service — Moorestown, N.J.
2009 Revenue Range: $1 Million to $2 Million
Survey Responses: 65 ¦ Referral Rate: 100% ¦ Years in Business: 30
Best Practice: As a company we maintain open and honest communication with our clients. This is achieved by managing client expectations through detailed written estimates and contracts. Once the job has started we hold regular meetings, we execute timely change orders, and respond to any query within 24 hours. At the completion of the job we provide a project binder that encompasses all relevant project information including contact information and warranty details. We collect customer experience and service data from our clients to continue to improve customer satisfaction.

Renewal Design-Build
Design/build — Decatur, Ga.
2009 Revenue Range: $2 Million to $5 Million
Survey Responses: 155 ¦ Referral Rate: 97%
Years in Business: 9
Best Practice: We attribute much of our success to our narrow geographic focus. Because we concentrate our work within a six-mile radius of our office, we are able to oversee projects more closely and communicate with our clients and trade partners more efficiently. We cut down on travel time, are experts on the types of homes in the area, and have excellent relationships with all the local authorities. It also allows us to target our marketing more efficiently, and because the area is so concentrated, our audience sees us in multiple sources, creating strong brand awareness.

Revival Construction, Inc.
Full-service — Atlanta, Ga.
2009 Revenue Range: $1 Million to $2 Million
Survey Responses: 117 ¦ Referral Rate: 98% ¦ Years in Business: 10
Best Practice: We strive to be proactive in all aspects of our business so that we can help bring order to a naturally disorganized process and can focus on the client’s experience, not just the end result.

Roberts Construction Group Inc.
Design/build — Evanston, Ill.
2009 Revenue Range: $500,000 to $750,000
Survey Responses: 61 ¦ Referral Rate: 100% ¦ Years in Business: 28
Best Practice: Without question the single most important practice to which we attribute our success is establishing long-term quality relationships with our clients. Fostering life-long client relationships is at the core of our philosophy, and it clearly hinges on the consistent delivery of outstanding design, construction and service. Building our client relationships on trust and respect is our ultimate goal, and this strategy revolves around communication, service and keeping in contact with our clients long after the work is completed.

S.J.Janis Company, Inc.
Design/build — Wauwatosa, Wis.
2009 Revenue Range: $500,000 to $750,000
Survey Responses: 90 ¦ Referral Rate: 96% ¦ Years in Business: 59
Best Practice: We manage the remodeling process well which is where most contractors fail. Most contractors are skilled tradespeople and provide quality finished projects. We set expectations that are high but achievable and communicate those to our clients constantly through weekly meetings. From day one, we do what we say we are going to do and that is why 99 percent of the projects are on time or ahead of schedule. We have great systems in place and must continually follow them to be successful.

Southwest Exteriors
Exterior contractor — San Antonio, Texas
2009 Revenue Range: $5 Million to $10 Million
Survey Responses: 1,000 ¦ Referral Rate: 99% ¦ Years in Business: 21
Best Practice: Southwest Exteriors is built around the mission of exceeding client expectations to earn referrals. That simple idea has shaped every aspect of the company, from its product lines to every encounter with clients, and has led to continuous growth. The mission is carried out in three main ways: Focused product offerings, top quality installation practices, and the ultimate client experience.

Steed Remodeling
Full-service — Kansas City, Mo.
2009 Revenue Range: $1 Million to $2 Million
Survey Responses: 50 ¦ Referral Rate: 98% ¦ Years in Business: 30
Best Practice: We take a holistic approach to every job. Projects run much more smoothly and faster when there is one company in control of everything. Taking care of all the tiny details that go along with the remodel project is what helps us deliver an exceptional remodeling experience to all our clients.

Sun Design Remodeling Specialists, Inc.
Full-service — Burke, Va.
2009 Revenue Range: $5 Million to $10 Million
Survey Responses: 163 ¦ Referral Rate: 95% ¦ Years in Business: 22
Best Practice: We practice the Great Game of Business (GGOB, open book management technique created by Jack Stack) which educates every employee on the financial standing of the company. Focus is on projecting the company’s finances for the coming month and communicating what can be done to improve the numbers.

Thompson Creek Window Company
Exterior contractor — Landover, Md.
2009 Revenue Range: $20 Million to $50 Million
Survey Responses: 1,393 ¦ Referral Rate: 97% ¦ Years in Business: 30
Best Practice: The driving force behind how every Thompson Creek employee performs their job is the goal of total customer satisfaction. Being able to measure that satisfaction through dedicated surveying of every contact — whether they ended up purchasing from us or not — gives us a very clear picture of where our strengths are and what areas we can target for improvement. Both groups are contacted by phone and e-mail and asked to complete a detailed questionnaire.

Trace Ventures, Inc.
Full-service — Nashville, Tenn.
2009 Revenue Range: $2 Million to $5 Million
Survey Responses: 64 ¦ Referral Rate: 98% ¦ Years in Business: 19
Best Practice: In a nutshell, our company’s success is due to our ability to reliably repeat positive remodeling experiences from client to client. This is due to consistently carrying out “The Trace Way” through tried-and-true processes and systems and through great people who care.

Tri-Lite Builders Inc.
Full-service — Chandler, Az.
2009 Revenue Range: $750,000 to $1 Million
Survey Responses: 114 ¦ Referral Rate: 97% ¦ Years in Business: 28
Best Practice: Service, service, service. Our commitment to providing a “dream remodeling experience” includes many special services including our famous mobile kitchenette and a Zip-Wall System used in conjunction with our portable Hepa air filtration system to eliminate 99 percent of the dust and odors during construction. Daily cleanup is also required of our project managers so our clients can continue to live in their home with the least amount of disruption and inconvenience.

Twin Cities Siding Professionals, Inc.
Exterior contractor — St. Paul, Minn.
2009 Revenue Range: $2 Million to $5 Million
Survey Responses: 121 ¦ Referral Rate: 100%
Years in Business: 16
Best Practice: A pervasive company culture that focuses on integrity is our best practice. We have full-time W-2ed employees doing the vast majority of our installations. We have studied building science, emerging trends in the industry and best practices requirements and implement them for our clients. Our employees are trained and constantly encouraged to do the right job for our clients. We have a zero defects policy: If it isn’t right, then fix it.

WicksteadWorks
Full-service — Decatur, Ga.
2009 Revenue Range: $1 Million to $2 Million
Survey Responses: 24 ¦ Referral Rate: 100% ¦ Years in Business: 7
Best Practice: Our best business practice is very simple. It is to keep our customers happy through what is, at best, a stressful endeavor. It may sound counter intuitive from a business point of view but the client and their project must be more important than the money. It is a leap of faith that living by this principle will pay off in the end, but it does.

Window Outfitters, Inc.
Exterior contractor — Savage, Minn.
2009 Revenue Range: $750,000 to $1 Million
Survey Responses: 75 ¦ Referral Rate: 97% ¦ Years in Business: 7
Best Practice: We put the customer first in everything we do. We keep tabs on the total customer satisfaction experience. My entire company is onboard with the program. The sales managers pay more attention to the details, and my job foremen are also measured by how well they monitor the customer experience. I review each customer survey with my staff. If there are any negative issues, they are corrected immediately.

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