John DeCiantis (center, wearing green hat) works in a picturesque sea village with a large fishing community where wealthy homeowners have recently begun renovating their 18th-century houses. When they want a remodeler, they call on DeCiantis. In fact, he’s made a name for himself doing difficult remodels. His company restored a 160-year-old stone masonry church, put an addition on a local library, and completed a bookstore fire restoration. “We get a lot of calls for remodels other contractors won’t do,” DeCiantis says.

For the church remodel, DeCiantis’ crew gutted the inside of the cut-block granite structure. They first removed pews, then photographed, numbered, and documented them. The crew pulled down the plaster walls and rebuilt them and replaced the floor. Most of the wood wainscoting was reused, but workers had to stain the few new panels to match the old wood patina.

DeCiantis has a fully equipped millwork shop, but, at this point, his crew does not have the time for detailed work. The company also plans to expand the showroom it opened three years ago. All this contributes to DeCiantis’ main goal of being 100 percent design/build. “People are willing to pay for it and you can control the project from the start,” DeCiantis says.