Qualified Remodeler

2019 Top 500: Power Forward

No slowdown in sight as the top remodeling firms push past previous benchmarks.

authors Patrick O'Toole  Kyle Clapham  Kacey Larsen 

If Qualified Remodeler’s 41st annual list of the Top 500 remodeling firms in the United States is a bellwether for the industry overall, then the health of the sector is very strong. Comparing aggregate data from the 500 listed companies year-over-year, gross sales were up 18.4 percent; remodeling revenue was up 18.7 percent; the total number of remodeling jobs was up 30.9 percent; and, perhaps most importantly, total gross sales forecast for the year ahead is 17.6 percent higher on top of the current gains.

top 500 listDespite the longevity of the current business cycle—over 10 years and running with forecasts for slower economic growth ahead—this remodeling market is surging forward for the remainder of 2019 and into 2020. What we do know is that the Top 500 is often atypical of the larger remodeling industry.

The biggest remodeling firms tend to gobble up most of the growth. Labor is perhaps the most critical variable at play in the market. A lack of skilled labor has been listed as the No. 1 challenge facing the Top 500 (and remodelers generally) for several consecutive years. The QR Top 500 remodelers are showing that they have the resources and benefits to attract top talent, which in turn enables them to turn jobs faster and keep up with increased lead flows and a higher number of sales. Momentum is carrying this market forward, and the Top 500 will continue to use their size advantages to grab a higher proportionate share of the remodeling pie.

Five Segments

The Qualified Remodeler Top 500 list has always been inclusive of many types of remodeling and home improvement firms. Over the years, the many distinct segments have been boiled down to five. All sectors, with the exception of one, Full-Service, showed growth this year; that was due to a slightly lower number of full-service firms making the list.

Full-Service is the most common type of remodeling firm. They tend to handle a broad range of jobs, from handyman to kitchens, baths and room additions. This year 125 Full-Service firms completed 71,602 jobs on $1.7 billion in revenue.

Design/Build firms focus on bigger, more comprehensive projects. As their name suggests, they are not just general contractors, but they also facilitate design services in-house. They do bigger, more complicated jobs and tend to rely on word-of-mouth to grow their businesses. This year 123 firms completed 16,095 jobs on $781 million in revenue, up from $700 million the year prior.

top 500 list

Kitchen and Bath firms target the sweet spot of the industry. They often market their services via showrooms and add value by helping clients make design and product finish selections. This year 29 firms completed 31,555 jobs on $355 million in revenue, up from $315 million a year ago.

top 500 listHome Improvement firms are specialty firms focused on one or two types of improvements ranging from windows, roofing and siding to basement waterproofing and replacement showers. This is the largest segment of the Top 500. The 191 firms on the list this year completed 762,716 jobs on $4.5 billion in remodeling revenue. Last year, the same group completed less than 696,773 jobs on $3.9 billion in revenue.

Lastly, the Insurance Restoration segment of the list also grew. These firms specialize in handling property-loss situations from storms, fires and floods. Thirty-two firms—including the No. 1 firm on the Top 500 list, Belfor—tallied $2.46 billion in activity on 192,463 jobs, up from $2.26 billion in activity last year.

More detailed information about each remodeling sector is found on subsequent pages. A company from each segment is profiled, which includes group totals for important benchmarks like average marketing spend as a percentage of revenue and typical customers. Click here for the 2019 Top 500 list. QR

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