Most of Jeff Metke's work is on houses in and around a beautiful lake, many of them vacation homes. Metke (in blazer) describes his rustic, whole-house renovations as ending up having the feel of a lodge. Larger projects range from $150,000 to $450,000; smaller jobs run $30,000 to $60,000.

To capture his target market, Metke formed alliances with several architects and designers in the area. He prefers having a variety of designers to match with clients instead of one staff designer with a single vision.

He and his design partners refer clients back and forth, which makes for almost one-stop shopping for his clients. The customer signs a design contract and a contract with Metke that covers estimating and construction.

Metke does offer one type of in-house design: millwork, cabinetry, and architectural detailing, all of which is built in the company's cabinet shop. He can match or build whatever his clients want -- be it kitchen cabinets of a 1910 farmhouse or a custom fireplace mantel.