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How to Enter

CLICK HERE to download your ENTRY REQUEST FORM - COST $150 per Entry request thru 11/30/19 ($175 after 11/30/19); $300 per Team Entry

CLICK HERE to view the "How to Submit a CotY Entry" WEBINAR (NOTE: 25-seconds of audio is lost in 3rd slide)

STEP 1:  Request a CotY Entry

  • Determine how many projects you would like to enter
  • Complete an ENTRY REQUEST FORM 
    • List number of projects you are entering
    • Include payment of $150 per project if ordered prior to 11/30/19 ($175 for entries requested after 11/30/19; $300 per Team project)
  • Submit ENTRY REQUEST and payment to the NARI office by November 30, 2019
  • Once your request and payment has been received, you will receive an email invitation from Dropbox to access your CotY Entry file(s)

STEP 2:  Create Your CotY Entry

  • Review the COTY ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS for the complete Rules and Guidelines
  • Review the list of COTY CATEGORIES for complete description and requirements
  • Complete a set of Entry Forms for each entry:
    • Official Entry/Homeowner Release - Both NARI Member and Homeowner must sign.  Provide Category and Project Total Cost (include fair-market value for sweat-equity, subcontractors, and in-kind services)
    • Photographer's Release - The owner of the photographs must complete and sign this form
    • "What Products Did You Use" - List materials used, and include a 100 word (or less) description of the project.  (This information may be used for marketing.) 
  • Use Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, or an Apple equivalent to create your entry.
  • Entry is to be no more than 30 pages total
  • The first page is to include Project Total Cost in the upper right corner, and a one-page summary describing:
    • The client's needs and how they were met
    • How the materials used were functional/compatible and enhanced the existing structure
    • Any innovative uses of materials
    • Functionality of space, lighting, and attention to detail
    • Any difficult challenges encountered and how they were resolved
  • The remaining pages:
    • Arrange your photos, drawings, and project descriptions in a way that is easy to follow from the beginning to the end of the project.  Tell the story.
    • Avoid filling up your entry pages with too many words.  Include only details that help judges determine why your project deserves high marks.
      • TIP:  A bullet-point format is easy on the eyes for judging.
    • Show 'before' and 'after' photos on the same page when possible (so judges don't have to flip back and forth to view transformation)
    • Provide 'before' and 'after' shots from the same angle to give judges a good perspective of the transformation
    • Be sure to 'compress' all photos in your document to decrease file size (Use 'print' or 'screen' format)
  • Be sure to save your document frequently to avoid any accidental loss of the work you've done
  • Once entry is completed, save your entry in PDF format
  • DO NOT include company name, or any individual's name in your presentation
  • DO NOT enter the same project in more than one category (except Green category)
  • DO NOT alter or enhance photos beyond changing brightness, contrast, or sharpness
  • DO NOT exceed the 30 page limit
  • DO NOT reveal member identity or include people in photographs

STEP 3:  Upload CotY Entry in Dropbox

  • Scan entry forms and save in PDF format
  • Log in to Dropbox and click on your CotY Entry folder (i.e. C20032)
  • Click the "Upload" icon in the upper right menu
    • Select files to upload (i.e. Entry forms, CotY Entry presentation, one high quality set a before and an after photo files)
      • Provide one high quality (high resolution) set of a before and after photo (from the same angle, to be used in future marketing of your winning project) must be uploaded as a separate JPG for each photo
      • Be sure to name your pictures with the corresponding entry name (i.e. C20032 Before, C20032 After)
      • Each image must be a high quality resolution of at least 300 dpi, (1200 x 1800 pixels), and no larger than 12MB each 
  • NOTE:  Your CotY PDF Entry should not exceed 12MB in file size


  • Remodeling projects entered must have been completed between December 1, 2017 and November 30, 2019
  • ENTRY REQUESTS must be submitted by November 30, 2019
  • Completed CotY Entries must be submitted no later than December 13, 2019
  • CotY judging will take place early January 2020
  • Winners will be announced Friday, March 13, 2020 at the Annual Evening of Excellence being held at the Westin Downtown Cleveland
    • CotY participants will be notified by February 15, 2020 if they will be receiving an award or not.  No other information on the award(s) will be given until the Evening of Excellence

FAQs (CLICK HERE for more info)

    • Do I have to use a professional photographer to take the photos?  No, but it is recommended to give your project the best presentation.

    • Do I have to include 'before' photos, or will 'after' photos alone be sufficient?  'Before' photos are required

    • Do I have to get the homeowners signature on the Official Entry Form?  Yes

    • Is my fee refundable if I decide not to enter the competition after receiving my Dropbox folder?  No.  Once the entry is purchased, no refunds will be issued.  Entry fees cannot be carried over to subsequent years, awards, and/or events.

    • How do I determine which category to enter my project?  Read the list of COTY CATEGORIES and their criteria very carefully.  Don't forget to check out the Specialty, Green, and Light Construction categories that are very broad and cover unusual types of projects.

    • How do I determine my Project Total Cost?  Cost is defined as contract price, all extras, change orders, and the fair market value of materials and products that were purchased, sweat-equity and in-kind services provided, and/or any subcontract work.  The cost of all homeowner provided products, services, or labor should be included in this cost.  All mark-ups and profit should be inclued in the cost provided.  For member-owned projects, costs should include normal mark-ups as if the project was contracted to an outside client.


QUESTIONS?  Call Susie Wodarczyk at (216) 631-7764 Ext. 304
Email: [email protected]

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