In Marin County, Calif., property values soar as high as the redwoods, customers demand peak service, and the ever-present threat of earthquakes leaves little room for errors in design or production. Caletti Construction president John Caletti knows that to succeed as a remodeler there, you have to supply precise answers to complex problems. For the past 15 years, Caletti and his well-schooled and time-tested crew of supers, project managers, and production crews have done just that.

With five of the company's six superintendents boasting 20 or more years in construction (the sixth claims 18 years in the industry), Caletti Construction thrives on complexity. "We face demanding structural issues because of seismic activity," says production manager Jeff Jungsten, noting that the company "specializes in finding big problems before they happen."

To ensure consistency, the company documents its rigid production standards and practices in a production manual and keeps most of its labor in-house. The results, Caletti says, speak for themselves: "One of our best forms of marketing," he says, "is the work."