|Nick Bajzek, Products Editor|
As the products editor for Professional Remodeler, it is my pleasure to peruse and choose groundbreaking products that change the way we approach, bid and execute remodeling jobs. For more than two years now, I've filled these pages with the best products I've seen on job sites, in trade show booths and in the press releases that flood my desk and inbox. Normally I only get a few pages to feature my choices. But in rare instances such as these, I get the other staff editors on board to pick through products that have either been featured in our pages or have just recently been called to our attention.
It's pretty amazing to see where the industry has gone and how far it has yet to go. Yes, times are tough and it's not easy to attract customers, but at least our manufacturers haven't stopped their R&D efforts. Some great new products have hit the market this past year. It is my sincere wish that we have chosen the best the industry has to offer. Like our sister publication Professional Builder's 100 Best Products, we have the same selection criteria.
Our aim here is to emphasize innovation and new technology — not just clever marketing — and to highlight manufacturers who have made great leaps in product research and development. The editors' choices were based on:
Technological advancement: Real technological advancement is hard to come by; we're looking for more than a new color or slight upgrade from previous models. We're talking about serious innovation that puts the product ahead of its competitors.
Significant product improvement: Again, this is much, much more than a new paint job or new wood choices. We're looking for categorical shifts in the product's structure or features.
New product line introduction: This is sometimes the hardest part to determine. We get a lot of product-related correspondence here at Professional Remodeler, and it's not always readily apparent when the product hit the market. Although we allowed some exceptions (a month or two at most), all of the products here have been released within a year of the publication date.
Increasing the competition of a product line: This criterion is my personal favorite. Products chosen based on this have changed the market so dramatically that the competition has been forced to innovate.