The annual Best In Class Survey conducted by the research staff of Professional Remodeler magazine shows how the industry's leading manufacturers carve up the market. Although mainstays like Tyvek, James Hardie and Owens Corning top our lists, there are some upstarts that have been turning out innovative products and eroding some of the market share the big names have enjoyed for so long. The survey focused on brand awareness, use and preference of the products made by the top manufacturers in the building and remodeling industry.
|Andersen Windows ranks slightly higher than its chief competitor, Pella.|
Between Aug. 22 and Sept. 17, 2007, survey invitations were e-mailed to randomly selected remodelers who are recipients of Professional Remodeler magazine. A total 352 remodelers or restorers from every major region in the U.S. completed the survey via the Internet. Of those surveyed, 44 percent listed themselves as both a residential and commercial contractor; 21 percent specified as residential-only; and 19 percent referred to themselves simply as a general contractor. Also surveyed were kitchen and bath specialists; residential fire damage or insurance restoration contractors; and historical renovators. Most of the respondents identified themselves as president, owner or CEO, but we got down into the trenches and found supervisors, foremen, purchasing directors and estimators to chime in.
The survey was conducted in a similar fashion to our sibling publications Professional Builder and Custom Builder magazines. Although remodelers are traditionally quicker to embrace newer products and technologies than production builders, the responses were remarkably similar, suggesting the major manufacturers are getting their message out quite effectively — which is encouraging news for the big players in a down market.
Respondents identified the products they evaluate, recommend, specify, approve or purchase for use in the homes they work on. To minimize respondent fatigue, each survey participant was asked brand questions for no more than six products for which he or she has purchasing involvement. The following are the results of 2007's Best In Class Survey.
Awareness and preference of Cultured Stone tops the brick and stone category. Owens Corning and Eldorado Stone are almost even on use, with Owens Corning maintaining a slight lead in user preference.
Like the results in our sister publications, composite board manufacturer Trex holds a distinct advantage in brand awareness, use and preference in decking. Georgia-Pacific holds a solid second place in use, though TimberTech has the slight upper hand in preference.
|Overhead Door - Ranked highest in awareness, use and preference for garages.|
Entry doors is an extremely competitive category. Most of the companies are within a point or two for brand awareness. As such, few of the major manufacturers enjoy a commanding lead over their competitors in use. Therma-Tru doors, interestingly, ranks slightly behind others in awareness, yet 46 percent of those surveyed reported using a Therma-Tru entry door. Jeld-Wen and Pella, at 34 and 32 percent respectively, account for most of the rest of the market.
Exterior and interior molding manufacturers are in a dead heat across all categories. It appears Georgia-Pacific is slightly better in getting the word out, but there isn't more than six percentage points difference in the usage. On the exterior side, most remodelers preferred using AZEK trim products.
Similarly competitive is the garage door market. Manufacturers have been stepping up style and durability in their products, such as carriage style doors. Forty percent of our respondents used Overhead Doors on the job within the past year and a half.
|Tyvek is the #1 housewrap on the market, but Owens Corning and Typar are gaining market share.|
All three magazines report Tyvek still has the housewrap segment all wrapped up, with nearly all of those surveyed reporting brand awareness and 87 percent reporting using the venerable product. Typar and Owens Corning housewrap products still hold significant market share.
Windows are probably the first thing your customers are concerned with when it comes to remodeling their homes. Andersen and Pella are locked tightly in awareness, with Andersen being used and preferred slightly more often. Marvin and Jeld-Wen are dead-even in awareness, though Jeld-Wen appears to have been used slightly more often by remodelers.
|Owens Corning - The pink stuff is still the top dog in the insulation market.|
R-values are a chief concern among homeowners, respondents report. Although newer alternative-material insulation products have hit the market, Owens Corning's old-fashioned "pink stuff" enjoys the highest awareness (98 percent), use (78 percent) and preference (55 percent). CertainTeed, Johns Manville and Dow's Styrofoam share the remaining market.
According to our research, higher wind resistance, greater durability and decades-long guarantees are the hallmarks of the latest roofing products. CertainTeed, GAF and Owens Corning snag most use in the field, but innovation is high and the competition is fierce as more manufacturers have entered the fray in recent years.