People in St. Louis come to Paul Kanyuck (second from left) of P.K. Construction wanting him to do the next-to-impossible. That’s the kind of project he specializes in. For example, a Swiss Chalet—for which he won an AIA award a dozen years ago—required him to fly to Idaho to hand select timbers. Each of the eliptic dormers on that job required 5,000 different birdmouth cuts. His company does much of its work in homes 70 years old or older, building off architects’ plans.

Big, complicated jobs are what Kanyuck says he loves. “We keep falling into one nice job after the next.” A tribute to both longevity and a reputation for quality work.

Several years ago the contractor and his brother developed the in-house estimating software that makes these plum jobs especially profitable. “We keep a very, very accurate cost analysis on our jobs,” says the one-time tool-and-dye maker who figures, at 52, “I’d better start enjoying the rest of my life.”