Remodeling, Lynn Motheral says, requires X-ray vision. That's one reason Motheral (Big50 1996) moved to insurance restoration last year.

Another reason is that Calvary Construction owner Frank Jones told Motheral that the Dallas-Fort Worth branch of Jones' Houston-based restoration company could match the home office's $6.5 to $7 million in sales. Longtime friends, the two joined forces.

"I was only doing $1 million a year in remodeling," Motheral says. "I figured this would be the easiest way to expand."

Calvary absorbed Motheral's Stonegate Construction in January 2002. Jones set Motheral up with his systems and let Motheral do the rest. "I was scared to death, but it's been a great move for both of us," Motheral says.

Motheral says the insurance restoration business is similar to remodeling but set up for higher profits. In remodeling, he says, you pay for unexpected problems. "The insurance industry understands you don't have a crystal ball; you don't know what's behind that wall. If you run into a problem, you can charge extra for it." That means Motheral doesn't need those X-ray glasses any more.