Located near Pennsylvania’s Seven Springs Mountain and Hidden Valley four-season resorts, Critchfield Construction has developed a substantial second-home niche. “We have a lot of clients we have never even met,” owner Richard Critchfield (third from right) says. To work this way, Critchfield has had to make sure he runs a trustworthy company with a solid reputation, quality workmanship, and excellent communication.

Critchfield taught skiing for 28 years and made a lot of connections that way. He is also active in the local Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary club and advertises his company in the resort homeowners’ publications. Critchfield Construction does handyman work as well, and is high on the homeowners’ referral list. “That business has always fed us new jobs, and we market most intensely to our past client base,” Critchfield says. “Once they’re in our database, we touch them four times a year, asking about how they’re doing and if they need other work [done].”

In 1999, Critchfield Construction branched out to offer fire, water, and reconstruction services, which now comprise about 50% of the company’s jobs. “Cold weather gives us a lot of work — broken pipes, ice damage,” he says, and this winter was no exception.

After two decades in the remodeling industry, Critchfield says that his main job now is to coach his employees.

- Stacey Freed