Health insurance prices have risen dramatically in recent years, to the point that coverage is nearly prohibitively expensive for small-business owners. Remodeling, and the construction industry as a whole, has always lagged behind in providing health insurance for its workers, and that problem is only getting worse as costs rise.

However, “it costs too much” is no excuse for failing to take proper care of your employees. Many remodelers are increasing deductibles or are reducing the percentage they contribute as employers. It's not ideal, but it's better than nothing: Health insurance is essential, and it's a lot harder for individuals to get it for themselves than it is for you, as a company owner, to get it for them.

At Father & Son Construction, in Troy, Mich., Mat Vivona Jr. has asked employees who are able to get coverage on a spouse's plan to do so. “We were paying $1,000 a month for someone who was already covered by another plan,” Vivona says. “It's not punishment in any way; it's just that insurance is meant for those who wouldn't otherwise have it.”

In exchange, Vivona increased these employees' pay — though not by as much as he was paying for their health insurance.