Many of you have been readers of Qualified Remodeler for years, if not decades. We value your interest because we aim to serve. One of the ways we assist you is by offering a first look at new products in the market. Since the very beginning in 1975, we’ve given you a way to get more information about the products you see by sending back an inquiry card to alert the product manufacturer of your interest. Even in this age of the Internet, these printed and mailed product inquiries number in the thousands each month, so it is a service that we won’t soon abandon.
I say all this because our annual listing of the The Remodelers’ Choice 100 top products, which we feature in this month’s issue, is based purely on these reader inquiries, both in print and online. The products listed beginning on page 30 are ranked according to the number of inquiries received over the preceding 12-month period.
We think this is an extremely democratic way to gauge the level of innovation and interest surrounding not only specific products, but also whole categories of product types. From the thousands of inquiries, distinct patterns emerge that tell a story of the remodeling market. Two or three years ago radiant heating products scored huge numbers of inquiries. (And they still do.) Before that, solar products garnered the most interest from our readers. (Solar products also remain hot, no pun intended.) This year, might aptly be seen as the year of the tankless water heater. In May, we ran a product spotlight section on tankless water heaters, and each product on those two pages received phenomonal response from all of you, and I think we can discern a clear pattern in all of this. Remodelers, perhaps at the behest of their customers, or through their own interest want to offer “green” products. Radiant heating, then solar, now tankless water heaters show a clear signal of green intentions. You want to be ready to recommend the right green products when called upon to do so by your clients.
As highlighted by our Green editor John D. Wagner on page 18, the amount of energy and resources devoted to heating and storing water is staggering. Our use of water is staggering. But we know that change is coming, in part because you voted with your inquiries and told us so.