Scott McCollum (standing, far right), once a custom home builder, was drawn to remodeling by an architect friend who presented him a particularly difficult project and told him that "if I did a good job, we'd never be out of that neighborhood."

Seven years later, having added staff, the company is growing rapidly. Last year's average project was $200,000, and the company's $4 million in sales included only one custom home. Growth, McCollum says, came from realizing "we are not sticks and bricks guys. We are in the people business." The company subs out 100% of its work and runs the jobs with project managers. "We take our plans, specs, and scope documents to the vendors and trades and get hard numbers before we prepare the proposal," McCollum says.

"We are a learning company," he adds. All employees are required to work toward CR or CGR designations.