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Enter The 2018 CotY Awards

Early Bird Deadline, 10/9/2017

Standard Deadline, 10/20/1017

The red button below takes you to the official entry website.  You will need your NARI national login credentials.  If you've misplaced your login credentials, please contact NARI headquarters at 847-298-9200 or info@nari.org.   Specific forms for your entry are available for download below, these forms are also available to download once you begin to submit a project.

  • All entrants must have at least one representative in attendance during our evening of excellence.  Failure to attend will result in a disqualified entry.  Your entry entitles you to discounted ticket rate!
  • You can watch a video about entering a project.
  • A list of CotY Rules is below.  Please read them thoroughly to avoid an entry being disqualified.
  • Double check that your before and after photos are named properly according to the rules.
  • Visit NARI's National Site for Regional and National CotY Awards information.
  • Please contact Conal Roney with any questions you might have.




Should you have any questions, please contact Conal Roney


CotY Rules

  • All entrants must have at least one representative in attendance during our evening of excellence.  Failure to attend will result in a disqualified entry.

  • Only NARI members in good standing are eligible to participate.
  • Entered projects must be completed between December 1, 2016 and October 20, 2017.
  • Only entries that have never been submitted in prior NARI awards contests are eligible.
  • CotY entry and photographer’s release forms must be completed and returned for each entry. These forms will not be seen by the judges and are the only area where the member’s identity (or anyone involved with the project) can be revealed.  Forms are available during the entry process.
  • Entrants are required to provide a project summary, 100 words or less, in addition to their presentation. This summary will be collected via the online form and will be used to describe winning projects after winners are announced. Although the Judges will not see the summary included in this field, this information may be repeated in the presentation.
  • Team members may be included in the entry at the National level and if offered at the chapter level. Team members are other NARI member companies that also worked on the project. Team member details will be collected during the entry process.
  • Green Project Recognition and Universal Design Project Recognition can also be attained by meeting established criteria, submitting the proper forms, and fees at the National level and if offered at the chapter level. Forms are available during the entry process.
  • The presentation must be submitted in PDF format and can be up to 30 pages long. The file can be up to 15MB.  We suggest using PowerPoint, Publisher, Word, or similar program to build your entry, and then save to a PDF file. If you don’t have a PDF creator on your computer you can try doPDF which will convert any printable file to a PDF file.  Be sure to include a project statement, drawings, images, and any descriptive text or captions that will help the judges understand the details of the transformation.  ‘Before’ photos are required and are best used immediately preceding ‘After’ photos.  Present photos from the same angle if possible.  Don’t include the company name or any individual’s names in your presentation, or otherwise identify yourself or the client in any way. Don’t use photos with people in them. This presentation is the only file the judges will see.
  • We’ll need the before and after images you included in your project presentation in .jpg, or .jpeg, format. Do not include in-progress images. These images will be used for our presentation and promotion purposes and the judges will not view these. Each image must be a high-quality resolution of at least 300 dpi, a minimum of size of 4 x 6 (1200 x 1800 pixels), and no larger than 12 MB each. You can upload up to 20 images, but we require a minimum of 10. If you don’t have 10 photos from the project, repeat one of the images to meet the requirements.
  • Any photo enhancement is limited to brightness, contrast, or sharpness.  No items may be added or removed through photo enhancement techniques.  Do not add or subtract items, or change the image in a way that may increase or decrease the value of the project. 
  • All projects entered in CotY categories must be an improvement or addition to an existing structure.  Entries for new structures will not be accepted except where specifically noted in the category description.
  • The same project may only be entered in one category.  If you have a large, multi-area project, and would like to enter just a portion of it, it’s fine to break it down.  For example, if your project included the remodel of an entire house, you can enter an Entire House category OR enter a Kitchen category, an Interior category, and two Bathroom categories, etc.  Keep in mind you will have to break out costs for each project on each entry form.  If you enter your project in this way, you will not be able to enter any of the same remodeled areas again.
  • The Awards Committee and Judges reserve the right to disqualify, adjust the category, or deduct points from any entry that does not follow these rules and guidelines, without prior notice.
  • All entry fees are nonrefundable, non-transferable, and cannot be carried over to subsequent years.

Photo Tips - Think "WOW Factor"

  • Since your project cannot be judged in person, good quality photos are key elements in your presentation.  Whether or not you use a professional photographer, please keep the following in mind:
  • Take “before” photographs before the start of every project.  If you make this a standard practice, you will be ready when the job you anticipated to be an average remodel turns out to be a National CotY contender.  Take these shots from many angles. 
  • Take photos for work-in-progress if it will help show the complexity of the process or the obstacles encountered. 
  • Take the “after” shots from the same angles as the before photos whenever possible.  This helps give the judges a good perspective of the transformation and it’s helpful if the judges can see these photos consecutively. 
  • Include both vertical and horizontal photos.  If your project is published, it stands a better chance of being featured on a magazine cover if the editors have vertical shots from which to choose.
  • Only include photos that will enhance the project entry.  Although you have 30 pages to display the project, you don’t need to use them all.
  • Label your photos in order of preference.  For example your best picture should be named best1.jpg or after1.jpg, best2.jpg or after2.jpg, etc.  Equally, your "best" before picture(s), in order of preference, should be named before1.jpg, before2.jpg. Labeling your photos this way ensures your favorite images are used for the awards presentation and for media opportunities.

The Judging Process

  • Winners are selected by an impartial panel of judges who are experts from within the industry.  The evaluation process is done without revealing company names.  A CotY Award winner is an entry that demonstrates remodeling excellence.  Entries are judged on functionality, problem-solving, aesthetics, craftsmanship, innovation, the degree of difficulty, and entry presentation. 
  • All entries are judged against other submissions from the same region in the same category to select regional winners.  All regional winning entries are then re-judged to select the national winner in each category.  On rare occasions, no winner is selected in a particular category if NARI standards are not met, and the decision of the judges is final. 

Judges Scoring Criteria – All programs

  • CotY judges will consider the following questions when reviewing CotY entries.  Be sure your presentation addresses these points when applicable.   Points will be awarded on a scale from 1-15. Scores will be made available to entrants after winner announcements are made.
    • To what degree were the expressed needs of the client met?    
      • Did the entry describe the client’s needs and desires?
      • Did the contractor show that those needs were met?
    • To what degree does the project enhance the existing structures functionally?                   
      • Do the room’s new floor plans function well?
      • Is the counter space or work area adequate to perform necessary tasks?
      • Is there good traffic flow?
      • Is safety addressed adequately?
      • Are the materials functional?    
      • Is lighting addressed – both general & task?
    • To what degree does the project enhance the existing structure aesthetically?    
      • Line & rhythm, continuity & repetition, texture, color & contrast, symmetry & balance, emphasis
    • Is there evidence of superior craftsmanship?    
      • Moldings, woodwork, stairs, cabinetry, countertops, tile, glass, marble, metal, stone, masonry, etc.
    • Were innovative uses of material and/or methods of construction used in the project?        
      • Are innovative uses evident, or were any described and noted?
    • Did the contractor overcome difficult obstacles?    
      • Were difficult obstacles encountered as described by the contractor and overcome in a creative way?
    • Residential Historic Renovation/Restoration will also consider the following:
      • Were original uses of materials duplicated in the project?    
    • Were methods of application used to improve or enhance the original style of the structure?


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