Ben Timko worked in the window and siding industry for several years, then ran an Owens Corning Basement finishing franchise for someone else before striking out on his own. In a short time he has found a specialty he can bank on.

Clearfield, Pa., a former coal, timber, and railroad town, boasts century-old Victorian homes. Timko focuses on redoing porches, entryways, and porticoes, and is a dealer for various products. “We specialize in what we do. We might do a $20,000 railing job,” says Timko, who taught building trades at a local technical college where he had several of his current employees as students. The company will also do the occasional addition, kitchen, or bath for clients.

By locating his business as a mall anchor, Timko is able to have a huge showroom with decking samples, pergolas, railings, and windows.

Not only does Timko know how to please his clientele, but he pleases employees as well. The first day of hunting season is a company holiday.