You need teamwork to bang out a $1 million remodel of a 12,000-square-foot mansion in six months. For most, it would take a year. But for Michael Matrka, pre-planning and scheduling that includes architects, subcontractors, and "beating projects to death on the table before you start the job" allows his team to deliver so much, so fast.

But this team isn't all about work. The office has ping-pong tables and an outside basketball court. "We really have fun together," says Matrka. "I have a passion for people and in creating an organization that can survive me. Part of that is treating people well."

He has offered health insurance since the 1980s and had a retirement plan when few in the industry did. If an employee's child gets sick, he is told to go home, and his work will be covered. Employees' enthusiasm for their jobs translates well to demanding, high-end clientele. Their word-of-mouth provides Matrka, who does no advertising, with his sole lead source.