Exterior Contractors: Stimulated

In the depths of the shock and awe of the financial crisis, Todd Whitworth, CEO of the largest window installation firm in the United States, stood in the lobby of his North Wilksboro, N.C. office, smiling. It was February of 2009 and at that moment just about every remodeling company in the United States was feeling the pinch of lower consumer interest in home improvement. And yet Whitworth was host that day to NASCAR driver John Andretti who would be driving a Window World sponsored vehicle during the coming race season. It was a sponsorship that demonstrated not only how far the company had grown in a little over a decade, but also signaled that the company was bullish for the coming year. Whitworth explained the No. 1 reason for his smile that day was a monthly sales report that showed his same-store sales of windows would be up almost 10 percent in the midst of all of the muddled financial news.

Window World, which was listed as the third largest Nationals firm among all remodeling franchise and dealer holding companies, is experiencing an expanding top line for a number of reasons. First there is the momentum from an innovative business model that offers homeowners a lot more transparency in pricing. And then there was a new tax credit to help close more deals.

“I am a pretty conservative guy,” Whitworth said. “But I love the new stimulus package.”

From the very beginning, most exterior contracting firms realized the benefit of the $1,500 tax credits for new windows and roofing products that are Energy Star rated. It provided just the amount of encouragement and energy to spur the entire exterior sector of the remodeling market during one of its gloomiest hours. Whitworth explained that every sales representative at every Window World dealer went to each meeting armed with the government paperwork required to qualify for the tax credit.

Several of Whitworth’s dealers are listed on this year’s Top 500. The corporate organization was ranked No. 3 on the Top 500 Nationals Firm List following the two largest insurance restoration operations nationally. (In November, Qualified Remodeler will publish the Exterior 200 List, in which the parent Window World company will likely be listed as the No. 1 window installation firm due to a different set of eligibility rules.)

Here is a sampling of the hurdles and opportunities as the top Exterior Contractors see it:

American Exteriors, LLC, Littleton, Colo.
Biggest hurdle: “Stabilizing sales in Q4 and finding lending sources.”
Biggest opportunity: “Acquiring market share from struggling competitors.”

Thermo-Tite Window Systems, Port Chester, N.Y.
Biggest hurdle: “Lead cost, lead cost, lead cost.”
Biggest opportunity: “The tax credit.”

Weather Tight Corp., West Allis, Wis.
Biggest hurdle: “Helping production keep up with steep increase in sales volume, and restructuring management in sales and marketing to allow for future growth.”
Biggest opportunity: “New showroom opened with great success; looking to launch second satellite showroom in 2009.”

K-Designers, Gold River, Calif.
Biggest hurdle: “Third party financing for our remodeling projects.”
Biggest opportunity: “Introducing new products.”

Brothers Home Improvement, Inc., Roseville, Calif.
Biggest hurdle: “Restructuring the company to accommodate market conditions.”
Biggest opportunity: “Revisit company methods and procedures, and fine-tune operations.”

Top 500 Methodology

Qualified Remodeler’s annual Top 500 rankings are based on dollar volume of remodeling activity. The Top 500 is open to all remodeling contractors. Invitations to apply for the list appear in the magazine and on its Web site. Additionally, direct mail and e-mail are used to promote applications.

The deadline is in early May. However, previous applicants to the list, as well as large remodeling companies that qualify to be on the list, often receive e-mails and phone calls from staff encouraging them to submit their applications after that deadline, if they have not done so.

Four years ago, Qualified Remodeler began requiring verification of remodeling dollar volume figures. Companies that appear on the list must submit a letter from their CPA or accountant that verifies answers provided on the application.

Companies interested in submitting an application for the 2010 Top 500 should look for an application in the pages of the January 2010 issue of Qualified Remodeler or go online to www.qualifiedremodeler.com/forms/top500 to apply online or download an application beginning in January 2010.

For additional information or to submit comments, contact Patrick O’Toole at patrick.otoole@cygnusb2b.com.

Top Exterior Firms from the Top 500

Rank

company

2008 remodeling gross sales

2008 jobs

% remodeling roofing

% remodeling kitchen additions

% remodeling basement finishing

% remodeling bath additions

% remodeling sunrooms conservatories

% remodeling other room additions

% remodeling detatched structures

% remodeling windows

% remodeling insurance restoration

% remodeling doors

% remodeling decks porches

% remodeling outdoor living
areas

% remodeling other

% remodeling siding

2

Champion Window & Patio Room Co. — Cincinnati, OH

$324,576,246

 42,200

0

0

1

0

26

0

0

54

0

6

0

0

0

13

5

K-Designers — Gold River, CA

 $55,078,768

 5,737

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

45

0

2

0

0

3

50

6

Castle, The Window People — Mount Laurel, NJ

 $53,886,525

 9,157

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

100

0

0

0

0

0

0

7

Penguin Windows — Mukilteo, WA

 $53,706,968

 4,390

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

100

0

0

0

0

0

0

11

Power Windows and Siding, Inc. — Brookhaven, PA

 $42,817,834

 5,300

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

52

0

8

0

0

0

40

12

Windowizards — Levittown, PA

 $40,950,325

 9,750

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

95

0

0

0

0

0

5

15

Universal Energy Corp. — Greenbelt, MD

 $32,189,202

 819

0

0

0

5

35

0

0

45

0

0

0

0

0

15

16

Homefix Corp. — Whippany, NJ

 $30,675,000

 3,112

13

0

0

0

0

0

0

65

0

2

0

0

0

20

21

Thermo-Tite Window Systems — Port Chester, NY

 $26,318,634

 3,289

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

99

0

1

0

0

0

0

22

American Exteriors, LLC — Littleton, CO

 $25,856,492

 3,639

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

80

0

0

0

0

0

20

24

Statewide Remodeling — Grand Prairie, TX

 $25,518,392

 1,996

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

36

0

0

0

58

0

3

25

Cedar Valley Exteriors — Minneapolis, MN

 $23,682,000

 2,368

86

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

1

1

0

0

9

26

Thompson Creek — Landover, MD

 $23,081,364

 3,548

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

69

0

5

0

0

22

4

27

Win-Dor Inc. — Anaheim, CA

 $23,005,412

 5,100

0

0

0

0

 

0

0

85

0

15

0

0

0

0

33

Window World of Baton Rouge — Baton Rouge, LA

 $21,100,590

 6,700

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

100

0

0

0

0

0

0

34

Evans Glass Inc. — Seattle, WA

 $20,327,178

 2,903

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

90

0

4

0

0

0

6

36

State Roofing — Monroe, WA

 $19,089,684

 1,306

76

0

0

0

0

0

0

13

0

0

7

0

0

4

37

Woodbridge Home Exteriors — Dallas, TX

 $18,604,362

 1,729

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

72

0

0

0

0

0

28

38

P.J. Fitzpatrick Inc. — New Castle, DE

 $18,325,558

 1,902

36

0

0

0

0

0

0

38

0

0

0

0

0

18

41

Paramount Builders, Inc. — Virginia Beach, VA

 $17,670,619

 1,992

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

57

0

3

0

0

0

40

42

Pacific Home Remodeling, Inc. — Los Angeles, CA

 $17,088,806

 1,300

0

2

0

0

1

0

0

55

0

0

0

0

43

0

44

Brothers Home Improvement, Inc. — Roseville, CA

 $16,598,055

 3,131

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

90

0

10

0

0

0

0

46

Paramount Improvements, Inc. — Flint, MI

 $16,325,427

 2,922

4

3

1

1

7

0

0

71

0

1

1

0

0

11

50

Unique Home Solutions — Indianapolis, IN

 $15,407,488

 1,675

1

0

0

5

0

0

0

40

0

4

0

0

10

40

51

Northwest Exteriors, Inc. — Rancho Cordova, CA

 $14,680,000

 1,900

0

20

0

0

20

0

0

50

0

0

0

0

0

10

52

Weather Tight Corp. — West Allis, WI

 $14,065,938

 1,447

16

0

0

0

19

0

0

49

0

1

0

0

6

9

54

Nationwide Window & Siding — Clifton, NJ

 $13,764,000

 1,582

0

0

0

0

10

0

0

50

0

10

10

0

0

20

58

American Home Renewal — South San Francisco, CA

 $12,725,600

 934

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

60

0

10

0

0

0

30

63

S & K Roofing, Siding & Windows, Inc. — Eldersburg, MD

 $12,206,334

 2,138

63

0

0

0

0

1

0

12

0

1

3

0

6

14

65

Duramade Windows & Doors, Inc. — Clearwater, FL

 $11,492,362

 1,025

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

65

0

14

0

0

21

0

67

Verengo — Orange, CA

 $11,260,000

 1,446

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

50

0

0

0

0

10

20

69

American Home Design, Inc. — Goodlettsville, TN

 $11,172,185

 1,385

0

0

0

12

38

0

0

39

0

3

0

0

0

8

71

A Cut Above Exteriors & Construction — Portland, OR

 $11,132,880

 529

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

48

0

0

1

0

0

25

73

Universal Windows Direct, Inc. — Oakwood Village, OH

 $10,722,500

 1,382

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

75

Western Products, Inc. — Fargo, ND

 $10,502,016

 1,082

35

0

0

0

2

0

0

13

0

1

0

0

1

48

76

Appleby Systems, Inc. — York, PA

 $10,483,759

 1,099

0

0

0

8

21

0

0

70

0

0

0

0

0

1

78

Absolute Roofing and Construction, Inc. — Parma, OH

 $10,251,908

 761

65

5

0

0

0

5

0

5

5

0

0

0

5

10

81

Apex Energy Solutions — West Chester, OH

 $10,000,000

 1,100

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

85

0

5

0

0

0

10

83

Tom Adams Windows and Carpets — Churchville, PA

 $9,750,000

 

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

45

0

15

0

0

35

5

88

American Eagle Builder Supply Inc. — Arlington, TX

 $9,404,877

 

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

70

0

0

0

0

5

25

91

EZ Home Solutions — St. Louis Park, MN

 $9,239,000

 

55

0

0

0

0

0

0

10

0

0

0

0

0

35

92

ABC Seamless of Fargo — Fargo, ND

 $9,143,734

 1,693

7

0

0

0

4

0

0

24

0

0

0

0

18

47

93

WeatherTite Windows — Girard, OH

 $9,126,013

 2,401

5

0

0

0

2

0

0

69

0

8

0

0

0

10

94

America’s Window LLC — Borden, IN

 $9,081,961

 1,570

0

0

0

0

5

0

0

88

0

1

0

0

0

6

100

DIAL ONE/Renewal by Andersen — Laguna Hills, CA

 $8,698,222

 828

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

69

0

31

0

0

0

0

102

Euro-Tech, Inc. — Bensenville, IL

 $8,488,386

 900

0

0

10

0

0

0

0

40

0

10

0

0

10

30

105

DreamHome Remodeling Inc. — Springfield, VA

 $8,408,154

 688

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

45

0

0

15

0

0

35

108

Advanced Metal Roofing — Wilmington, NC

 $8,187,085

 522

100

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

110

Peoria Siding & Window Co. — Washington, IL

 $8,164,378

 1,162

11

0

0

0

20

0

0

41

0

0

0

0

0

28

112

Sound Glass Sales, Inc. — Lakewood, WA

 $8,055,909

 

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

63

0

1

0

0

0

0

113

Legacy Roofing, Inc. — Redmond, WA

 $8,000,000

 500

95

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

2

0

0

2

119

Pinnacle Energy, Inc. — Elkridge, MD

 $7,801,492

 918

20

0

0

0

0

0

0

50

0

0

0

0

0

30

121

Rhode Island Home Improvement, Inc. — Warwick, RI

 $7,795,000

 724

17

0

0

0

7

0

0

39

0

0

0

0

0

37

125

ClearView Home Improvements, Inc. — Placentia, CA

 $7,469,803

 887

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

80

0

0

0

0

15

5

126

Legacy Remodeling, Inc. — Pittsburgh, PA

 $7,459,077

 793

9

0

36

0

15

0

0

22

0

6

2

0

0

10

128

Ambassador Home Improvements, Inc. — Mechanicsburg, PA

 $7,405,751

 642

0

0

12

0

0

0

0

68

0

2

0

0

16

2

132

Minnesota Rusco, Inc. — Minnetonka, MN

 $7,168,312

 

0

5

0

0

15

0

0

55

0

10

0

0

0

15

134

Carolina Home Remodeling LLC — Charlotte, NC

 $7,045,652

 503

10

0

0

0

28

0

0

30

0

7

0

0

17

8

136

Custom Patio Rooms, Inc — Pittsburgh, PA

 $6,987,001

 364

0

0

0

0

70

0

0

15

0

0

15

0

0

0

138

Selig Construction Corp. — Chico, CA

 $6,981,882

 786

0

0

0

6

0

0

0

79

0

0

0

0

0

15

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