Sea Pointe Construction’s sales volume is up 40% this year compared with 2009. But, in 2009, company volume was 50% lower than in 2008. Owner Andrew Shore attributes the 40% increase to more aggressive marketing.

Shore started a home performance division, but then stopped marketing it because it was taking more money to market and fund than it was bringing in. (Sea Pointe Construction still offers clients optional home-performance audits, but these are generally for large projects.) Instead, Shore decided to concentrate his marketing dollars on direct-mail pieces and television ads showing modest projects that emphasize value.

The Irvine, Calif., company’s jobs are smaller this year, with more bathroom remodeling work. Middle market ($75,000 to $200,000) jobs significantly decreased because most of these owners rely on home-equity loans to fund projects. “People who think they have equity,” Shore says, “go check and find it’s only a quarter of what it once was.” Home values have dropped about 35% in Shore’s locale since the recession began.

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.