During the past few years, Dwight Sailer says, there has been an influx of remodelers in his town of Fort Collins, Colo. “We've seen them disappear as quickly as they pop up.” To set Hight-Craft Builders apart, Sailer began offering a five-year warranty on workmanship. “Peace of mind is a big part of our business, and the general feedback from customers is that remodeling offers little peace of mind. Doing this takes anxiety away from clients.”

Most calls are manageable issues, Sailer says — repairing hairline cracks in drywall, replacing a sump pump, adjusting doors, and fixing mortar lines. “It's not that hard to send someone out for half a day,” he adds, and it has led to a lot of repeat business and referrals. “It means the world to people when you fix their front door. Then we follow up with a note saying that the work has been completed.”

Every time he gets one of these calls, Sailer sees it as an opportunity. “We get to spend time with clients again, get into neighborhoods again. We've turned it into as much of a marketing tool as an ad in a magazine.”