Hundreds of miles often separate the clients of Encore Construction from their Cape Cod vacation homes, but distance is no obstacle to peace of mind when you can check your project's status — the latest photos and schedule updates — through your own password-protected Web link. Or make selections electronically. Or even have an Encore employee keep an eye on your home on a regular basis during the off-season, protecting it against storms and intruders.

“Our niche is second-home owners who value the type of service we provide,” says Dale Nikula, who went into business (until 2003 as Dale R. Nikula Co.) after a post-college career as a carpenter. “They're very busy, so communication is extremely important both verbally and visually.”

“Encore Means More” is the company's slogan, and recent developments live up to those words.

About 80% of its business remains residential remodeling, but since 2005 Encore has offered kitchen design services, property management, and commercial construction. Carefully executed systems keep it all under control, as do smart ideas such as a part-time “retiree pool” that provides skilled workers on an as-needed basis.

“One of the things that our people really like about working here is the fact that we're always looking to do things better,” Nikula says. “They know that if they have suggestions, we're going to take them seriously.”