A “Paris flat” isn't the term most people would use to describe their truncated living quarters while the rest of their house is being remodeled. But one of Gary Moffie's clients did, and she meant it affectionately. “Another contractor had actually offered them money to move out,” says Moffie. “We segregated a small part of the house, created a little kitchen, and it worked out real well” — even without the view of the Eiffel Tower.

Whole-house renovations are Moffie's specialty, and most of his projects are closer to Boston than to Beverly, 20 miles to the capital's north. That's because architects' referrals account for most of his business. He also belongs to the Boston Society of Architects, and he constantly meets new architects by targeting mailings to those who work in his preferred neighborhoods.

Moffie (in tie) attributes much of his company's success to his employees and rewards their hard work with strong benefits and the prideful sense that the company is their own. “When things go wrong, they take it as hard as I do.”