Allen Associates is renowned locally for the job it does, but it’s also unique in how it operates. Ten associates work from home offices, running about 140 projects a year. Typical remodels range up to $400,000. Any associate could be a contractor on his own.

Management by objective promises bonuses up to 50 percent of base pay for the senior employees who meet personal and company goals.

“We’re a bit of a unique fish,” Dennis Allen (standing, fourth from right) says. “Our structure, our market, the range of projects we handle.”

The company has won the green category award from its builders’ association since the award’s inception. It brought solar houses to its market and is versed in pise de terre, or rammed earth, construction. It recycles waste, avoids CCA-treated lumber and high-VOC paints. Allen founded the local green building alliance—professionals dedicated to sustainable building practices. The company does seismic retrofits, and its concrete division builds floating foundations, a solution for bad soil and seismic activity.

“We work in a wealthy community, so there’s a lot of demand for quality,” Allen says. “We love that because it lets you show off your craftsmanship and care. But you have to keep your nose clean. One mistake, people know it.”