There are a number of factors that justify John Murphy's decision to turn his remodeling company into a design/build firm nearly a decade ago. It's a better fit for the homeowners the Murphy Bros. targets as clients, and it gives the company more control over the sales process. In Murphy's words, it allows them to do “the right jobs for the right people.”

One byproduct of that decision is that as the staff grew, the final product went up in quality. “Our design has gotten better,” Murphy says, adding that his team of five designers “cares more about kitchens than I ever did.”

Murphy's business model is geared toward establishing relationships with clients, and it's working: about two-thirds of the company's business comes from repeat customers and referrals. The company's recently opened selections center helps make that always-difficult process run smoothly.

Murphy Bros. has three project managers who oversee a total of 10 carpenters, and the company's in-house painting division provides an extra measure of quality control. “Our painters leave a lasting impression as the last people on a job,” Murphy says.