Clients who sign on with George Strother's Castlerock Homes for what is typically a whole-house remodel do so with the stipulation that they vacate the premises for the duration of the project. Working on a house without anyone in it cuts costs and time, Strother says. This was a decision the remodeler made several years ago, when he also decided to steer his company in the direction of taking on only large projects, mostly built by subcontractors.

"The biggest challenge was the whole delegation thing," Strother says. "Then you have to have projects that warrant the people not living there. I tell them up front that we take these jobs to do them the way we want to do them and to make the numbers work."