Exterior Contractors as a group have held their own in 2011, some keeping sales declines to a minimum while others reported gains. Prospects for 2012 and beyond are generally encouraging.
"Exterior home improvements in the markets we work in across the U.S. are down slightly," says Dana Deem, president of North Wilkesboro, N.C.-based Window World (No. 1 on this year's list). Deem nevertheless expects a 5 to 7 percent increase next year.
"Factors, such as the uncertainty of our current economy as well as the change in the energy tax credit in 2011, have slowed our rapid growth. However, strong referrals from our large customer base have slowed our 2011 sales decline," he says.
Power Home Remodeling Group (No. 3), Chester, Pa., has experienced growth in the past year and has updated its brand, changing its name from Power Windows and Siding. "Our growth strategy has been consistent over the past few years and is focused largely on building a team of men and women to strive to provide the highest level of customer service and satisfaction in each of our markets," says Adam Kaliner, co-founder, president and chief financial officer.
The market has not been without its challenges, however. Window World's Deem says customers are taking on projects in sections rather than completing work at one time and notes competition has become more aggressive. "We have aggressively marketed the brand, promoted financing and expanding our product offerings in 2011 to further sales growth," Deem says. Exterior contractors, for the purpose of Qualified Remodeler's 2011 Exterior 200 list, are those for whom more than 50 percent of their business as reported on their Top 500 application comprises roofing, sunrooms, windows, doors, decks and porches, outdoor living areas, siding and other jobs (such as gutter installation, etc.)