Dale Ressler says his competitors tease him for his professional ways. But he's not complaining. In this small town, he's become the go-to guy to get it done just right. Whether a house is old or new, he says, “I enjoy adding whatever living space [my clients] are after, but making it look like it's always been part of the house.”

DER does little subcontracting, so field personnel have to be versatile and feel they can bring new ideas to the table. Ressler is ready to listen. In fact, at the suggestion of his employees, he has gone to a four-day work week, which suits everyone.

Ressler sets himself apart from competitors by returning calls within 24 hours, sending out a package of materials before meeting with clients, and keeping open lines of communication to him and the field personnel.

“I push communication with my guys,” Ressler says. “It's not just going in and busting walls and not talking and explaining.”