Nick Virgilio (front) started out in the construction business as a partner in his brother's exterior remodeling company before finding his true forte: kitchens and baths. His business survived a 1990 fire that decimated his showroom.

He currently operates his kitchen and bath installation business mostly with his own carpentry crews, as well as tapping loyal subcontractors when necessary. "I've ridden the roller coaster of subs vs. payroll over the years," he says. "They both have advantages and disadvantages."

Add to that the fact that it isn't easy finding a good trim carpenter in the Chicago area and that Virgilio likes both sales and carpentry, and the company's flexibility really becomes an asset.

The next step for Janco Design Group is to open a new showroom and add more carpentry staff.