The judges at the Best Installer in America have named Jorge Perez of Sierra Insulation, of Corona, Calif., the winner at its the second annual contest held at Johns Manville in Denver. The company competed among five contestants from around the country. Johns Manville sponsored the program for InsulateAmerica, a national co-op of independent insulation contractors with more than 180 locations in 45 states. InsulateAmerica contractors were able to compete at regional contests in Kansas, California, New Jersey and Georgia, in an effort to identify the top installers who exemplify quality workmanship, safety and productivity.

The five best insulation installers representing the four regions met at the manufacturer's technical center in October. Contestants were required to insulate the walls, ceiling and crawl space of a wooden structure, complete with various other challenges found on a job site. Each contestant was given a variety of the company's formaldehyde-free fiber glass insulation products to use, including kraft-faced and unfaced insulation in a variety of R-values.

"We tried to make the structure for the final competition as true-to-life as possible, complete with challenges such as irregular spacing and plumbing fixtures to consider," said Dud Colton, manager of national accounts for Johns Manville. "Each contestant had equal opportunity to insulate the room as efficiently as possible and all the guys did extremely well."

Though the contestants were timed, the final results were weighed heavily on quality of workmanship, safety principles employed and professionalism. Denver judges included James Carey of the Carey Brothers "On the House" syndicated radio program, Bob Hill of the National Association of Home Builders and Richard Kinnee of Professional Insulators Inc.

For first place, Perez received an all-expense-paid trip for him and his family to Disney World. The runners up won $1,500 gift certificates.

"To be singled out as the best installer in their area and to compete among the best in the country was a treat in itself," said Perez. "Taking home the top prize was icing on the cake."