Hindsight may not always be 20/20, but it has taken on a stunning clarity in the aftermath of a building boom that most segments of the remodeling industry now officially consider history.

For this Web-only report, we invited remodelers to participate in a survey asking what we characterized as “tough questions” — tough not in the sense of a grueling academic exam, but in the sense that answering them could be emotionally painful, could require a fair amount of soul-baring and humility, and could even force them to rethink their overall game plan going forward.

Ten owners of very different remodeling companies stepped up to the plate. They had the option of answering the questions anonymously, but all generously agreed to go public with their answers, in the hope that their experiences might prove helpful to their peers.

Here is the full list of respondents, followed by links to the 12 questions and relevant answers. We thank these remodelers for their candor and their honesty, and we wish them all the best. Feel free to share your own answers by clicking on the “comment” link at the end of each article.

Tim Burch, Burch Builders Group

Tim Burch, Burch Builders Group
Warrenton, Va.
2007 revenue: $2.7 million 
2008 revenue: $4.8 million
Company founded in 1954, third-generation remodeler  

Craig Durosko, Sun Design

Craig Durosko, Sun Design Remodeling Specialists
Burke, Va.
2007 revenue: $8.6 million
2008 revenue: $8.1 million
Company founded in 1988

  

Peter Feinmann, Feinmann Inc.

Peter Feinmann, Feinmann Inc.
Lexington, Mass.
2007 revenue: $5.6 million
2008 revenue: $4.2 million
Company founded in 1987  

Dennis D. Gehman, Gehman Custom Remodeling

Dennis D. Gehman, Gehman Custom Remodeling
Harleysville, Pa.
2007 revenue: $2.4 million
2008 revenue: $2.7 million
Company founded in 1990

  

Alex Iosa, Iosa Construction

Alex Iosa, Iosa Construction Corp.
Tampa, Fla.
2007 revenue: $585,000
2008 revenue: $473,000
Company founded in 1988  

Paul Irwin, Pattern Builders

Paul Irwin, Pattern Builders
Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
2007 revenue: N/A
2008 revenue: $800,000
Company founded in 2007

  

Chris Landis, Landis Construction

Chris Landis, Landis Construction Corp.
Washington, D.C.
2007 revenue: $9 million
2008 revenue: $8.5 million
Company founded in 1990

   

John Murphy, Murphy Bros. Designers & Remodelers

John Murphy, Murphy Bros. Designers & Remodelers
Minneapolis
2007 revenue: $4.6 million
2008 revenue: $2.9 million
Company founded in 1983

  

Jane Regan, HB Building and Design

Jane Regan, HB Building and Design
San Francisco
2007 revenue: $450,000
2008 revenue: $890,000
Company founded in 2002

  

Alex Shekhtman, Elite Remodeling

Alex Shekhtman, Elite Remodeling
Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
2007 revenue: $637,000
2008 revenue: $612,000
Company founded in 1996

Click on these links to jump to answers to any of the following questions:

Question 1: Looking back over the last three to four years, what were your biggest mistakes?

Question 2:

What do you vow to do less of in 2009 and beyond, and why?

Questions 3 and 4: What do you wish you had done more of - or more quickly? How will you do more of this in 2009 and beyond?

Question 5: What red flags will you never ignore again?

Question 6: What marketing strategies no longer work for you?

Question 7: What marketing strategies are working for you?

Question 8: How much will you cut your profit margins to get a job?

Question 9: If you have to cut staff, how will you decide whom to cut first?

Question 10: When business picks up again, what indicators will you need to rehire staff?

Question 11: What sacrifices have you made on a personal level to keep your company afloat?

Question 12: If you could rebuild your remodeling company from the ground up, what would it look like?