John Kolton and John Gradle worked for a developer designing, constructing, and managing health care facilities for a decade before going out on their own. A veteran carpenter, Les Hamell, came in as a junior partner 10 years later.

The trio has found success in Gradle’s Lake Wawasee community, where, as he puts it, “We were able to pick up projects no one else wanted — older homes and cottages that people wanted to [remodel]. A lot of remodelers shy away from that.”

With Gradle’s engineering and design background, he wasn’t afraid of those projects — with poor soil conditions and in a flood plain. The company established itself as the go-to place for high-end remodeling projects on the lake.

Milestone’s design/build platform differentiates the business from competing remodeling companies, and most clients come via word-of-mouth and referrals. “Our happy clients are our best marketers,” Gradle says.