By REMODELING Magazine Staff. Remodeler: Jeff Bangs

Company: Kitchen Ideas Center, Madison, Wis.

Product: Corian by DuPont,

Solid Choice

Jeff Bangs has been installing Corian in countertop applications for 13 years and has found the material easy to repair, allowing homeowners to maintain their countertop's appearance through the years. Corian surfacing can be refinished to renew the appearance of a countertop, shower surround, vanity top, backsplash, and more.

"It is because of this ability to be able to renew or repair tops made with Corian that I can with confidence give my highest recommendation to my customers," Bangs says.

Bangs particularly likes the Corian warranty. "When you purchase a Corian installed top, you receive a comprehensive 10-year, all-inclusive [transferrable] warranty," he says.

Remodeler: Joan Stephens, CR

Company: Stronghold Construction, Boise, Idaho

Product: ACT! 6.0 Contact Management & Business Software, by Best Software Company,

Good Contacts

Joan Stephens has been using ACT! at Stronghold Construction since 1995, and since then, she says, "We have gone through several painless upgrades."

Stephens and others at Stronghold use ACT! to track leads, sales, volume sold, and data on the origin of leads. Networking the software allows everyone to instantly access data that others enter about a particular client. The more complete the information that is entered, the more valuable the program becomes, according to Stephens.

ACT! contact management software allows users to manage all customer and contact information and related documents in one place. It integrates with MS Word 2000/2002XP and WinFAX 9.0 or later. It's also compatible with QuickBooks Pro/Premier 2002, MAS 90/200, and Peachtree Accounting for Windows 2002/2003.

Remodeler: Mark Dixon, CR

Company: Legacy Custom Builders, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Product: Hewlett-Packard Jornada 540 Series Color Pocket PC,

Hot Pocket PC

Mark Dixon has been using his Jornada 540 for two years. Dixon appreciates the PC's ease of use and its familiar interface through Windows CE.

"Everyone in our company keeps their schedules on a network server," says Dixon. "This PDA offers me the opportunity to carry my schedule with me and yet update it every time I synchronize with our network. I also have the ability to keep all of my contacts and their numbers up to date."

The pocket PC allows users to check e-mail and surf the Web and to view and edit Word and Excel documents.

Dixon can also synchronize the Jornada 540 with his home computer, allowing his wife to access his schedule and, he says, "add to my 'honey-do' tasks for the weekend."