Ben Thompson, assistant vice president at Thompson Remodeling, says his Grand Rapids, Mich., market is in an extended down period. As a result, he's had to come up with more creative ways to keep the company in good financial shape.

In mid-April, the local HBA held its annual showcase of remodeled homes, an event smaller than the typical parade. While this is usually a time for remodelers to show off by displaying their flashiest project, Thompson went a different route, taking homeowners on a tour of what he calls “an everyman addition” — a modest, well-crafted remodel with a $90,000 price tag — and focused the presentation on the utility of the remodeled space.

“We didn't want to price ourselves out [of potential projects],” Thompson adds, noting that the company could have shown any of a number of larger projects.