In Silicon Valley, where homes sell for $2 million over asking price, Wayne Neylan (second row, third from right) has learned there are no limits. One recent remodel logged 200 change orders; 60 is average.

“Some people have a budget, but they usually blow it,” says Neylan, a business major who, in the 1970s, did not enjoy booming business from tech company CEOs, venture capitalists, and MDs. Asked by a friend to build a deck during a school break, Neylan never returned to college. He built fences, hot tubs, restaurants, and custom homes—always paying vendors, subs, and employees first, himself last. Now his healthy salary is fueled by million-dollar remodels and multi-million dollar new homes. Pool houses, earthquake-code upgrades, high-tech voice-sound-data networking, and construction via helicopter boom aren’t out of the ordinary at Neylan Construction.

Last year, when revenues doubled, Neylan brought in a production manager and office manager assistant to help track and execute change orders.

The remodeler insists the bedrock of his company, however, is community boosterism, client commitment, and dedication to craftsmanship. “We’re fixed in the community,” he says. “I know we’re going to be here forever.”