2006 Best In Class Survey

The 2006 Best in Class survey asked readers how they rate manufacturers of products they use. For the manufacturer, going the extra mile for customers inspires repeat business.

November 01, 2006
Best in Class 2006 Winners

What keeps a builder coming back isn't necessarily the bottom line price or a well-known name. The 2006 Best in Class survey conducted by the staff of Custom Builder asked readers how they rate manufacturers of products they use.

For the manufacturer, going the extra mile for customers inspires repeat business. Though many manufacturers were named as winners in Best in Class, a few stood out. The best overall manufacturers from the survey are Andersen for exteriors, Moen for interiors and Owens Corning for behind-the-wall products.

According to reader responses (see table on page 53), 43.1 percent of builders ranked the product's quality highest in terms of importance.

"It's a close one-two-three when it comes to service. It's like a trinity. The price may be good, but if the service and [quality] are lousy, forget it," says Tom Schiffleger, president of Schiffleger Construction in Glen Ellyn, Ill. The biggest problem he's had, he says, arises when manufacturers and suppliers don't deliver what they promise.

"I would have to say meeting their commitment is the biggest problem, be it the level of quality or the price they can deliver. Salesmen are what they are," Schiffleger says. Results show technical support such as supplying manuals, training and consultation are just as important to builders.

Excellent warranties rank a close third. Other elements such as product selections, name recognition and delivery times rounded out the bottom end of the responses.

Like the surveys conducted by our sister publications Professional Builder and Professional Remodeler, our staff began this survey several months ago. Those surveyed ran the gamut of company sizes, revenues and specialties. Based on the responses, we compiled a list of the manufacturers and products most often mentioned; those led us to the winners of the 2006 Best in Class survey.

2006 Best in Class Survey Rankings

Quality Products 43.1%
Customer service 20.8%
Excellent warranty 15.3%
Product selection 12.5%
Good literature 9.7%
Name recognition 8.3%
Timely shipping/delivery 6.9%
Other mentions 44.4%

Moen -- Best Overall Interior Products
Andersen -- Best Overall Exterior Products
Owens Corning -- Best Overall Behind the Walls Products


Best in Class 2006 Winners

Decking Trex
Entry Doors Therma-Tru
Exterior Moulding and Trim Fypon
Garage Doors Overhead
Manufactured Stone Cultured Stone
Patio Doors Anderson
Roofing CertainTeed
Fiber Cement Siding James Hardie
Vinyl Siding Alcoa
Skylights Velux
Vinyl Windows Andersen
Wood Windows Andersen
Waterproofing Thompson
Best Overall Exterior Andersen

Appliances - Kitchen General Electric
Appliances - Laundry General Electric
Bathroom Faucets Moen
Caulk/Sealants GE
Countertops Corian
Fireplaces Heatilator
Glass Block Pittsburgh Corning
HVAC Systems Trane
Interior Doors Masonite
Kitchen Faucets Moen
Lighting Fixtures Progress
Locksets & Hardware Schlage
Paints/Stains/Finishes Sherwin-Williams
Plumbing Fixtures (sinks, tubs) Kohler
Toilets Kohler
Water Heaters Rheem
Best Overall Interior Moen

Housewrap Tyvek
Insulation: Fiberglass Owens Corning
Insulation: Foam Owens Corning
Insulation: Rigid Dow
Nails Paslode
OSB Georgia-Pacific
Plywood Georgia-Pacific
Gypsum Wallboard U.S. Gypsum
Wet Area Wallboard U.S. Gypsum
Wiring Devices Leviton/Decora
Best Overall Behind the Wall Owens Corning

Hand Tools Stanley
Power Tools DeWalt
Trucks Ford
Vans Ford

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