Revenue Breakdown Income from new residential construction dominated for this group last year, showing the economy continues in the right direction. The go-to category during the recession, renovation only represented 6 percent. Service, retail and commercial construction are low in part because these revenue streams are not considered in the Top 50 judging.
Top 10 Total Residential Revenue Residential revenue constitutes a significant portion of the scoring to determine the Top 50 and is calculated by combining income for new residential construction and renovation. High earners clearly continue to be well represented; however, several builders on this year’s list reported well under $5 million.
Most Renovation Revenue While renovation definitely takes a back seat to new construction these days, it still has made a showing. It accounts for $41.6 million of the revenue generated by the Top 50, or 6 percent. But, as can be seen with the 10 having the highest renovation revenue, it still represents a significant portion of some builders’ income.
Top Volumes in 2014 These 10 reported the most excavations last year. Though volume was not taken into consideration for scoring, it presents an indicator of industry activity. To avoid confusion as to which projects count, builders were asked how many excavations they performed. While we still don’t see companies building thousands of pools per year, volumes are beginning to creep up for this group, especially in areas that historically have seen high sales. But more boutique-type builders also appeared on the list, including 21 that sold fewer than 100 pools in 2014, and two with single-digit volumes.
The High-End Pack These builders reported the highest average residential pool price among Top 50 Builders. They also performed fewer than 60 excavations in 2014, and the two most high-end builders — Cipriano Landscape Design and Caviness Landscape Design — did fewer than 10. Though average pool price doesn’t factor directly into the scoring, these high numbers served to boost a figure that does have an impact — total residential construction revenue.
Industry Involvement Top 50 applicants also were scored on their participation and membership in various industry organizations, a key part of bettering the industry and staying up to date. These numbers represent how many Top 50 Builders belong to each industry organization.
Participation Outside the Industry Extending a company’s reach outside the pool and spa field not only helps garner more business but can provide positive exposure for the industry at large. For Top 50 Builders, this mostly means participating in construction and business organizations. The graph shows how many of the Top 50 belong to each type of organization.
Masters of Staff Management Because a company’s quality and success rest so heavily on the caliber of its employees, this category also weighed heavily in the scoring. Some of these received the same scores, so they are presented in alphabetical order. Scores were tabulated based on employee tenure and training, with high values placed on relevant certifications and degrees, as well as in-house training programs that are highly structured and involve regular, ongoing sessions. Of the Top 50, 20 had at least one employee with an APSP Certified Building Professional designation.
Strongest Online Presence Though not as heavily weighted as some of the other scoring categories, the online presence category represents an aspect of business that becomes more important every year. This score was arrived at by combining the website and social media scores.
Best Websites Websites were judged as one component of a company’s web presence score. Because these companies all came within a half-point of the others, they are shown in alphabetical order. Besides overall beauty, usability and quality of informational content, websites were scored on the use of up-to-date and engaging features such as opening animation and intuitive navigation.
Tops in Social Media These builders showed the best use of social media. They tended to set up shop in a large variety of platforms, including Facebook, Houzz, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. Not only that, but they also exercised high levels of engagement and garnered larger followings.
Social Media Engagement Among the Top 50, Facebook remains king of social media platforms — for now. Most of them have quickly and overwhelmingly come to see Houzz as a foregone conclusion, putting it in the second slot. Video is creeping up as well, with nearly half of Top 50 Builders taking up a presence on YouTube. Video postings range from television commercials to presentation of animated, three-dimensional project drawings to instructional content.
Top 50's Givers These builders were marked highest for the good deeds they do. Because some received the same scores, this list is presented in alphabetical order. Virtually every company in the Top 50 performed generous acts, such as donating pools, completing projects left unfinished by others, offering scholarships or providing free access to equipment and maintenance services. They also might hold an event to benefit a local nonprofit or create systems that help build a culture of volunteerism and giving among employees.