Although this year's class of Big 50 remodelers displays great variety in size, business structure, target market, project focus, and geographic location, the averages tell a fairly consistent story. Here's a look at the statistical highlights.

Best net

It's misleading to think that volume is what puts the "big" in the Big50. While four in five winners this year are among the 4.1% of all remodeling firms producing more than $1 million worth of work annually, net profit is what really matters, numbers-wise. By this measure, small- and large-volume companies in this year's Big50 class performed about the same, with most averaging net profit of between 8% and 9%. In fact, the highest overall net profit of 19% was achieved by a company with less than $1 million in sales and a gross margin of 42%. Two other companies showed a net profit of 17% and 16% on sales of about $1.9 million, and overall, 18 companies achieved a net profit of more than 10%.

Slippage. Those numbers would have been higher had slippage not raised its ugly head. Slippage is the difference between estimated margin and actual produced margin, and while many companies set a target margin of 40% or more, only 14 companies in this year's class achieved or surpassed it. Another 19 companies reported produced margins of between 30% and 40%. Average slippage for the group was 4.5%.

People and productivity

Despite vast differences in volume and number of employees, the average field/office ratio is remarkably consistent at between 2.1:1 and 2.4:1. Average productivity, both in the office and in the field, was also fairly consistent. The exception is companies with more than $3 million in volume, which on average had nearly twice the productivity of most smaller companies.

Risk and reward

Many company owners receive more than a salary. They also benefit from the value of using a company vehicle, deducting the expenses of an in-home office, or additional revenue from leasing a personally owned commercial space back to the company as office space. Average total compensation for Big50 company owners follows a fairly regular progression. But a look at the Risk Ratio, which relates compensation to total sales, shows that owners of larger companies risk more -- often two or three times more -- than owners of smaller companies.

Average Volume & Margin

Company Size Total Sales Produced Margin Net Profit Slippage
Under $1M $748,604 31.5% 8.5% -4.6%
$1M - $2M $1,554,959 35.5% 9.0% -5.4%
$2M - $3M $2,401,121 33.1% 8.8% -3.8%
Over $3M $4,332,265 32.9% 6.3% -4.3%

Average Productivity

Company Size Revenue per Office Emp. Revenue per Field Emp. Field/Office Ratio
under $1M $436,256 $215,594 2.3:1
$1M - $2M $493,056 $252,689 2.4:1
$2M - $3M $546,125 $281,107 2.1:1
Over $3M $883,599 $506,882 2.3:1

Average Owner Compensation & Risk

Company Size Total Owner Compensation* Risk Ratio
Under $1M $95,575 8.3
$1M - $2M $153,092 15.4
$2M - $3M $200,788 15.4
Over $3M $235,105 22.1
*Includes salary, company vehicle, home office tax deductions, lease-back of company office, etc.