For most of its history, J & B Construction, founded in 1958, did residential roofing. Six years ago, the company expanded, creating a division that does sheet metal and flat work in commercial applications. J & B also specializes in copper roofs and gutters and recently added a siding division that handles replacement windows as well. The goal, says operations manager Tom Dooley, is to be a full-service exterior remodeler.

In a business where pickup truck operators predominate, J & B Construction distinguishes itself by being one of three roofing companies in the Milwaukee area to hand-nail shingles, and possibly the only one to offer its clients -- high-end lakeshore homeowners -- a 12-year warranty on both parts and labor. "We're telling the customer we're with them for 12 years," Dooley says.

J & B encourages crews to become certified installers by adjusting compensation upward if employees take the course. "The cost to us is only the employee's time," Dooley says.