America’s biggest remodelers expect to see a 19.9% increase in revenue from 2012, while the nation’s largest home improvement contractors are looking for a 14.5% gain this year, the just-issued Remodeling 550 shows.
The top 300 full-service remodelers responding to this year’s survey said that they expect to take in $1.35 billion this year, according to the report in the August issue of REMODELING. That compares with $1.12 billion in 2012 collected on 47,278 jobs at an average value of $27,768.
Meanwhile, the 175 leading replacement contractors (companies that specialize in a home improvement services such as replacing windows or siding) said they look to collect $2.49 billion in 2013, up from last year’s $2.18 billion. In keeping with their line of business, replacement contractors did more than 10 times as many jobs in 2012 as full-service remodelers—499,695 in all—at an average job value of $4,355.
The Remodeling 550 also tracks 25 of the biggest companies that do insurance restoration work and just over 50 franchised businesses. The data is compiled from surveys by The Farnsworth Group of Indianapolis and then is supplemented and organized by staffers from Hanley Wood’s REMODELING and REPLACEMENT CONTRACTOR titles.
“There are more than a half million separate business entities that offer home renovation services,” notes Jim Cory, who organized and wrote this year’s Remodeling 550 report. “Most are single proprietors, and only a minority is big enough to float a payroll. So a $5 million remodeler is a large remodeler. In contrast, this year’s biggest full-service remodeler, Alure Home Improvements of East Meadow, N.Y., took in $39.5 million last year.”
Rounding out the top five full-service remodelers are Foxcraft Design Group, in Falls Church, Va., with 2012 revenue of $31 million; Greater Dayton Building and Remodeling, in Beavercreek, Ohio, $27.8 million; Gardner/Fox Associates, in Bryn Mawr, Pa., $23.9 million; and Patio Enclosures by Great Day Improvements, in Macedonia, Ohio, $23.2 million. (See remodelingmag.com for the complete list.)
“These leading remodelers have been on a roller-coaster ride since the housing market crashed in 2007,” said editor-in-chief Craig Webb. “When the economy began to sputter, these pros began pursuing lower-priced jobs in 2008 and 2009 to keep their businesses afloat. The tax credits given for energy efficiency retrofits boosted revenues and project counts in 2010, but once that economic stimulus expired, remodelers suffered again in 2011. Business started to rise once more in 2012, and 2013’s performance is making remodelers even more optimistic.”
The companies atop the replacement contractor list are much bigger, in keeping with a business model that allows them to operate at greater efficiency and across multiple markets. Sitting at No. 1 is Window World, from North Wilkesboro, N.C., with $413.2 million in revenue last year. Next comes Cincinnati-based Champion Windows, Sunrooms, Roofing and Home Exteriors at $208.7 million. Trailing are Beldon Group, in San Antonio, at $65 million; 1-800-Hansons, in Troy, Mich., at $56.7 million; and Castle Windows, in Mount Laurel, N.J., at $55.9 million.
Big as those firms are, the largest company on the entire 550 is Belfor Holdings, an insurance restoration specialist based in Birmingham, Mich. Its 2012 revenue totaled $1.19 billion. Two other insurance restoration companies cleared $100 million in revenue: Paul Davis Restoration, in Jacksonville, Fla., at $499.7 million; and American Technologies, in Orange, Calif., at $108.9 million.
And, finally, there are franchise operations. “Companies such as Grout Doctor or Mr. Sparky can be a point of entry for entrepreneurs with no construction experience or, in some cases, a sideline for established remodelers or for tradesmen looking for a turnkey business model built around their skills,” Cory says. “In home renovation, franchises are increasingly visible in insurance restoration and in maintenance and repair. For the industry as a whole, size matters because so many of these companies are so small.”