At the 2004 International Builders' Show, three companies were honored with National Housing Quality (NHQ) silver awards. The NHQ Awards, which are patterned after the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, represent the highest recognition by the home building industry for quality achievement.

This year, the NHQ Award judges selected one Silver Award winner in each of three divisions: for the Builder Division, Grayson Homes of Ellicott City, Md.; for the Remodeler Division, Boardwalk Builders of Rehoboth Beach, Del.; and for the Trade Contractor Division, Schuck and Sons Construction Co. of Glendale, Ariz.

The NHQ Awards are open to all U.S. residential construction companies. Entries are judged by panels of experts who evaluate the role that customer-focused quality plays in construction, business management, sales, design, and warranty service.

Grayson Homes manages an extensive survey mechanism for buyers during construction and after closing, links employee compensation to customer satisfaction, and hosts monthly trainings conducted by trade contractors at sales and production meetings. In 2002, its trades began training with the NHQ Certified Trade Contractor program. In 2003, Grayson began participating in the pilot NHQ Certified Builder program. The company has a 96 percent rate of zero defects at closing.

Boardwalk Builders, a $2.15 million remodeling company, engages in ongoing exchanges among managers, employees, trades, suppliers, and customers to monitor progress against its annual business plan and a three-year strategic plan. The company had a zero percent turnover rate in 2003, and repeat customers represent one-third of its current volume. By the end of 2003, Boardwalk had signed $2.9 million in contracts for 2004 projects.

In its almost 40 years of operation, Schuck and Sons Construction Co., is one of the largest carpentry contractors in the country. Craig Steele, president and CEO, has actively promoted the home building industry's quality efforts for years, most recently serving on the NHQ Program's Advisory Council. Company managers report that customer feedback resulting from its dedication to quality has been very positive.

For more information on the National Housing Quality Program, visit or e-mail