Sharon Bellamy, Bellamy & Sons Construction, Scotia, N.Y. Project: In 2003, Sharon and husband Bruce decided against moving and instead remodeled their basement office to create more space for their eight employees.
Method: The company temporarily set up shop in the Bellamys' living room during the four-month, $100,000 project, which they scheduled for the relatively slow winter months.
Lesson learned: Bellamy kept a foreman on the job full time, which turned out to be a good move. “If we had done it any other way, it would have taken forever,” she says.
Bonus: With 1,300 square feet, they now have room to grow.
Michael Fast, MRF Construction, Tacoma, Wash. Project: Fast recently left functional-but-bland rented space to move his five-person staff into a newly purchased and renovated showroom and office.
Method: Fast's crew completed the four-month renovation of the former barbershop and grocery store “in our spare time.”
Lesson learned: “Moving was the best thing we ever did,” Fast says. “I never want to go back.”
Bonus: The new digs are just minutes from Fast's home and bottom right, Compoa closer to the neighborhoods where he does most of his work.
David Heaney, Rockland Inc., Newport, Del. Project: In 2000, Heaney bought an 8,000 square-foot building for his residential and commercial construction business. bottom left, courtesy Rockland Inc.;
Method: Heaney's 10-person staff designed and remodeled the space, which includes a design center. “We managed the project mostly on off-hours,” he says.