In a competitive market, forward thinking companies are the most successful; complacency is business suicide. Wally and Cindy Mencavage, the husband and wife owners of Castle Creek Construction, are anything but complacent.

When they found that client expectations weren't realistic, they incorporated customer education into their marketing materials with a booklet that addresses common concerns and misperceptions about remodeling. And after trying to straddle the line between cost-plus and fixed-price contracts and finding value in each, they created a hybrid three-tier proposal that includes fixed numbers and allowances, allowing customers a degree of hands-on involvement and limiting the need for change orders.

The two aggressively push their business forward on every front, even contributing to antisprawl efforts in the hopes of steering buyers toward existing homes. "We're trying to encourage it instead of new home construction," Wally says. "We're looking at remodeling as the future."