Not only is Marymoor Construction located in an affluent area in east Seattle, the city also has strong employers including Microsoft, Google, and Boeing. “We thought we were recession-proof,” remodeler Duane Stiemert says.

He has cut back the company’s budget, but still plans to replace some older vehicles. Though he missed the Cash for Clunkers program deadline, he thinks it’s still a good time to make a deal.

Until last year, Marymoor Construction’s sweet spot was $250,000 to $300,000 additions. “[Now] those are hard to come by,” the company owner says. He recently signed a $160,000 remodel that was cut back from $220,000 and took a year from design to contract, partially due to home equity loan issues.

Though Stiemert is currently bidding on some larger projects, most of his recent jobs have been small, including several master bath remodels.

He has decided not to start bath projects until he has all the products in storage, which tightens the production timeline. “By turning jobs like that around quickly, we’ll hopefully make money,” he says.

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.