Of all the Top 500 lists that have appeared in Qualified Remodeler since 1978, this one is perhaps the most special.
This year we required each of the companies to submit a letter or audited statement from their CPAs to verify their total volume of installed sales. In the recent past, submittal of a CPA letter or statement of verification was optional. It would earn that company bold lettering on the list. The benefit of taking this optional step, from the perspective of the applying company, was that nobody — particularly fellow competitors in a local market — would be able to question the veracity of their total dollar volume listed in our magazine. For last year’s Top 500 list, approximately two-thirds of the applicants submitted some type of verification purely on this voluntary basis.
But this year we took a leap of faith and required verification for all comers. So as you peruse the list, you will notice that the system of bolded letters is no longer there. That is because, now, more than ever, we stand by the numbers shown. And this, we hope, will send an important message to the hundreds of remodelers who have been reluctant to send us their Top 500 applications for fear of unintended consequences — namely, being placed behind a local competitor on the list whose numbers you don’t completely trust. To you, we say, it is okay now. Our ranking is much less susceptible to these upward rounding errors.
This year’s Top 500 is not only remarkable for its total commitment to accuracy, but it also brings greater attention to the intangibles that separate the merely good companies from the truly great. Our 5-year-old Star System highlights, among other things, how long companies have been in business, their level of professional certification, and their industry and community involvement. Being a great remodeling company is not just about size. It is about its position and stature in its respective marketplace. Among The Top 500, there are so many remodeling companies that have become true assets to their local communities. This is a big part of why we are so proud to produce this list each year — we help get the word out about the good guys in our industry.
Lastly, I would like to congratulate each of the companies listed on the 2006 Top 500. The remodeling industry is far richer for your effort. We hope that your companies and others will continue to serve as beacons of the very best.