When you're a "paper contractor," relying on subcontractors for all installations, you coddle them. Jack Machise rewards subs who come in ahead of schedule with 10% of their contract labor -- or with an impromptu overnight vacation. "Better to give back," Machise says. "Then they send me clients."

Using outside designers, the Machises build jobs three times on paper before moving ahead.

Luann handles marketing. The company lands 85% of its customers through its Remodelors Council Parade of Homes. It also markets via a brochure, "10 Questions You MUST Ask a Contractor Before You Sign a Contract."

Jack, a former local Remodelors Council chair who is also a pilot, is involved in his community, sometimes flying "Angel Flights" that ferry sick kids to hospitals or donated organs to those in need.