When Allan Lutes was awarded Big50 in 1999, his company, Alpha Contracting, had a systems focus; Lutes' volume was 50% remodeling and 50% insurance reconstruction, and there were 10 employees. Now Lutes presides over Alpha Remodeling — whose name better reflects the business' current purview — and there are 24 employees.

Allan Lutes

Although Lutes is always improving systems, he says they've gelled to the point that the company is now in a growth phase. His goal is 10% to 20% growth per year. “We don't want to grow too fast and sacrifice company values,” he says.

Lutes has continued to expand the company's presence in design/build and has moved his operation to a 10,000-square-foot office and showroom he built in a growing area of Ann Arbor, Mich.

Alpha's other big growth areas are exterior remodeling and a separately branded insurance restoration arm. The exterior work is more than just replacements, Lutes says. “We're really doing more to change a home's appearance.”

As for insurance restoration work, which had waned over the years, Lutes sees renewed potential. With his systems in place and a growth pattern established, Lutes sees himself headed for a franchise model.