Tom Luce (standing, second from left) credits his wife, Sunny, for the success of his company. Though she is now retired, it was her idea to build the foundation for a professional, full-service remodeling company. “It opened the door for turning from home improvement to structural remodeling and larger jobs,” he says. After more than 20 years, he has achieved a well-balanced life that includes a challenging job and quality time with family.

Luce constantly strives to improve his systems for the most efficiency. He and his office manager put together a system that tracks who was on the job, how long it took, how many tradespeople were required, and material costs. “This allows us to compare similar jobs and check profitability,” he says. He recently turned to using the cost-plus approach and finds it works well for both him and his clients. “They know exactly what they are paying for and I know exactly what I’m going to make on the project,” he says. It also lessens pressure on the subs and gives them quality time on the jobsite.

Though he now focuses on waterside projects that range from $25,000 to $400,000 and require a good deal of design work, early on in his business, he took small jobs. He says doing those small jobs such as hanging a door has paid off with clients, who return to him when they’re ready for a whole-house remodel. “Those are the kind of people we have nurtured along the way,” he says.