Think you've got what it takes to join the Big50? Here's your chance to strut your stuff—The application period for the 2016 Big50 is now officially open. If you're not familiar with the award, here's what you need to know:

REMODELING'S Annual Big50 Award

The Big50 is a remodeling business excellence award for best practices. Every May, REMODELING inducts 50 new companies that have set the standard for professionalism and integrity through smart marketing, exemplary business practices, unique design, and extraordinary impact on their community or the industry at large. Big50 remodelers run successful, growing companies of various sizes that have taken the lead in raising the standards of the industry. To date, more than 1,000 remodelers who have demonstrated such excellence can boast being a member of the Big50. 


The selection process begins in November and December, when we ask all of our editors and columnists for nominations. Additionally, we ask for suggestions from the leadership of NARI and the NAHB Remodelers Council, along with leaders in larger chapters of these associations.

We also include the names of remodelers who have, in effect, nominated themselves over the course of preceding years. Typically, these companies have already sent us the kind of information about their firms that we eventually seek from all nominees. The kinds of materials we like to see include clippings about special projects or community-based efforts they're involved in; distinctive marketing or presentation materials they use with clients; descriptions of unique internal management systems and sample forms; and photos of their work (especially if they want to be considered for the design category). Most important, nominees provide a paragraph or two explaining why their firm is different, why their approach to doing business is better, and how our readers can learn from their company. Many also include references and testimonials from fellow business people and other remodelers.

Making the Picks

Once we've received nominations, we'll get to work narrowing the field. Companies nominated by more than one source are strong candidates, as are companies who get strong recommendations from their peers. We talk with a variety of people at the companies themselves, and often to their competitors, clients, suppliers, and subcontractors. Big50 contractors must meet industry standards of operating excellence, and must measure up to certain financial benchmarks.

After all this research is complete, the REMODELING editorial staff selects 50 remodelers who exemplify the very best of the industry and have something to offer other remodelers in proven practices.

Over the years, Big50 has become a tightly knit community of more than 1,000 remodelers who return regularly to the Remodeling Leadership Conference, a series of seminars that includes the awards banquet at which the current winners are announced. One of the most valuable side benefits of selection to the Big50 is the opportunity to build relationships with other winners, many of whom keep in touch with each other throughout the year.

In the end, the name "Big50" is something of a misnomer, since the awards have little to do with a company's size. The award recognizes excellence and leadership, and the companies who belong to this select group set an example for the rest of the industry.

Learn more about the Big50, including the class of 2015, here.

The deadline to apply to is Monday, Feb. 1.  Click here to start filling out your application.