MAY 2014 / remodelingmag.

com
M
A
Y

2
0
1
4




B
I
G
5
0

|

A
C
H
I
E
V
E

W
O
R
K
-
L
I
F
E

B
A
L
A
N
C
E

|

S
E
A
T
T
L
E

R
E
H
A
B

|

R
O
B
O
T
S

I
N

Y
O
U
R

F
U
T
U
R
E
?
r
e
m
o
d
e
l
i
n
g
m
a
g
.
c
o
m
Y O U R T O O L B OX F O R S U C C E S S
Best practices
from this year’s
top remodelers
Darryl Rose,
Get Dwell,
Winnetka, Ill.
OUR VISION, REFLECTED
PAINTS - COATINGS - OPTICAL PRODUCTS - SILICAS - GLASS - FIBER GLASS
Bringing innovation to the surface.

The PPG logo and “Bringing innovation to the surface.” are trademarks of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc.
www.ppg.com/CSR
Read our latest corporate sustainability report and see how our
focus on sustainability shows.
At PPG, we believe that a sustainable world and a sustainable company are not
mutually exclusive—they’re complementary. We deliver innovative and sustainable
products and services to customers in markets from aerospace to automotive,
marine to commercial and residential construction. As the world’s leading coatings
and specialty materials company, we focus on sustainability to help ensure the
enduring success of our business, and yours.
Find our 2013 Corporate Sustainability Report at www.ppg.com/CSR
By investing $7.4 billion a year in American manufacturing Whirlpool Corporation
is building the highest quality appliances. High-quality appliances mean more happy
homebuyers. And more happy homebuyers mean a better bottom line for you.
OUR EXCEPTIONAL MANUFACTURING IS YOUR INSIDE ADVANTAGE.
PICTURED FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: WHIRLPOOL® WGI925C0BS, ASSEMBLED IN CLEVELAND, TN; WHIRLPOOL®
WDT790SAYM, ASSEMBLED IN FINDLAY, OH; WHIRLPOOL® WRF989SDAM, ASSEMBLED IN AMANA, IA.
Visit InsideAdvantage.com today
®
/™ ©2014. All rights reserved.
MONEY SPENT ON
GOOD TOOLS IS MONEY
I’LL EARN BACK.
Derek Davidson–Weatherford, TX
1. KIT INCLUDES DRILL, IMPACT DRIVER, AND LITHIUM-ION BATTERY
2. CHOOSE FREE RECIPROCATING SAW, CIRCULAR SAW,
MULTI-TOOL, OR EXTRA BATTERY
3. BATTERY CHARGES IN 30 MINUTES
F
r
e
e

M
a
k
i
t
a

1
8
V

L
X
T

t
o
o
l

o
r

b
a
t
t
e
r
y

$
1
1
9

v
a
l
u
e

o
r

l
e
s
s
.

O
f
f
e
r

v
a
l
i
d

3
/
3
1
/
1
4

t
o

6
/
2
/
1
4

a
t

p
a
r
t
i
c
i
p
a
t
i
n
g

U
.
S
.

T
h
e

H
o
m
e

D
e
p
o
t

s
t
o
r
e
s
.

S
e
e

s
t
o
r
e

f
o
r

d
e
t
a
i
l
s
.

©
2
0
1
4
,

H
O
M
E
R

T
L
C
,

I
n
c
.

A
l
l

r
i
g
h
t
s

r
e
s
e
r
v
e
d
.
FREE TOOL OR BATTERY WITH PURCHASE OF A
MAKITA
®

18V LXT COMBO KIT

UP TO
$
119 VALUE
MAY 2 0 1 4 / R E MO D E L I N G 5 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
O N L I N E N O W
Show and Tell takes on
new meaning with the
creation of a Video Gallery
at remodelingmag.com.
Check out more than 130
videos on topics such as
lead-safe practices, new
products, and marketing.
WHAT’S HOT?
Readers rule in our new
“Trending” section on the
home page. That’s where
we list two of the week’s
most popular stories.
REMODELING (ISSN 0885-8039) Volume 30, Number 5, is published monthly by Hanley Wood, One Thomas Circle NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20005. Copyright 2014 by Hanley Wood. Opinions expressed are those of
the authors or persons quoted. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited without written authorization. REMODELING is sent free of charge to qualified readers involved in the remodeling industry. Publisher reserves the right
to determine recipient qualification. Out-of-field subscription rates: US and possessions: $44.95; Canada $59.95 (Canadian dollars); all other countries $65 (US funds). Single copy price: $8.00 except Buyer’s Guide, $10. For
subscription information, write Circulation, REMODELING, PO Box 3494, Northbrook, IL 60065. Canada Post Registration #40612608/G.S.T. number: R-120931738. Canadian return address: Pitney Bowes Inc., PO Box
25542, London, ON N6C 6B2. Periodicals Postage Paid at Washington, DC, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to REMODELING, PO Box 3494, Northbrook, IL 60065. Member: BPA
Worldwide (BPAWW) and American Business Media (ABM).
P
h
o
t
o
:

C
o
l
i
n

L
e
n
t
o
n
47
COVER STORY / BIG50
Our annual search for the newest members of America’s remod-
eling elite uncovers a group that excels in management, market-
ing, personnel, and operations. Borrowing their good ideas could
make a big diference at your company.
70
BEFORE + AFTER / CURRENT AFFAIRS
A Seattle home gets its final strategically targeted remodel to put
the finishing touches on what has been an Asian-inspired work
in progress for several years.
10
FROM THE EDITOR
17
PUNCH LIST
Visualizing the Big50 / A look
at the location and size of the
elite group’s newest members
Survey / How the Big50’s gross
margins compare with the
nation’s top performers
Regs / Feds ramp up their
crackdown on lead-paint rule
violations
Projects / A remodeler
revamps Frank Lloyd Wright’s
only synagogue
Technology / Will robots
occupy a spot on your payroll?
27
YOUR BUSINESS
Operations / Prevent
employees from running to
the supplier too often
How-To / Maintain work-life
balance
Good Form / Master draw
schedule to get paid on time
Contracts / A way to ensure
that clients read the fine print
Finance / Tips for maintaining
even cash flow
Management / The passion
behind blue-collar work;
stepping stones to steady
growth
39
DESIGN FOCUS
K+B / At Milan’s EuroCucina,
a bowl motif inspires an
entire kitchen’s design
Home Performance /
Installation practices make or
break product efectiveness
Products / Noise-reducing
windows, an energy-efcient
entry door, and more products
for the exterior
80
YOU BUILT IT
Nautical theme kids’ bedroom
VOL. 30, NO. 5 Contents 05.14
On the cover: portrait of Darryl Rose of Get Dwell by Brian Kelly
47
IS MORE THAN

If you can imagine the ultimate living environment, our collection of handcrafted products makes it
possible. You know us for our authentic stone, and now we’d like to share some of our other passions.
To request your free Idea Book, call 800.925.1491, or visit eldoradostone.com/inspiration
MORIAL CONVENTION CENTER | NEW ORLEANS, LA
EXPO: OCT. 22-23 | CONFERENCE: OCT. 22-24
GREENBUILD CAN SHOW YOU HOW
Greenbuild, the largest sustainable building and construction event in the U.S., continues
to make strides in the green movement by expanding options for the residential industry.
- In-depth education sessions show you how to get into & profit from green building
- 750 exhibiting companies featuring innovative products and cutting-edge technologies
- Residential product pavilion showcasing high-performance products to help you
maximize savings on sustainability
- LEED v4 Platinum*, net-zero electricity demonstration home built out on the show
floor with tours
Join 23,000 of your peers and let Greenbuild show you how green building will
benefit your clients and boost your company’s bottom line.
Registration opens soon! Visit www.greenbuildexpo.com today for the latest
news and updates!
Questions: 888-529-1641
*Final certification will occur after reassembly on Make It Right Foundation site in New Orleans.
GOING GREEN IS EASIER AND MORE
PROFITABLE THAN YOU THINK.
Congratulations
TO HANLEY WOOD’S JESSE H. NEAL AWARD WINNERS
AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE
APARTMENT FINANCE TODAY
AQUATICS INTERNATIONAL
ARCHITECT
ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING
BIG BUILDER
BUILDER
CUSTOM HOME
ECOHOME
ECOSTRUCTURE
MULTIFAMILY EXECUTIVE
POOL & SPA NEWS
PROSALES
PUBLIC WORKS
REMODELING
REPLACEMENT CONTRACTOR
RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECT
THE JOURNAL OF LIGHT CONSTRUCTION
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Hanley Wood is committed to publishing quality content
that serves the information needs of construction
industry professionals. Our editors have once again
been honored by the most prestigious editorial awards
program. Join us in congratulating them.
2014 WINNERS
JOURNAL OF LIGHT CONSTRUCTION | Best Technical Content
REMODELING | Best Profile
REMODELING | Best Subject-Related Package
2014 FINALISTS
ARCHITECT
AQUATICS INTERNATIONAL
BUILDER
MULTIFAMILY EXECUTIVE
POOL & SPA NEWS
The following Hanley Wood brands
have been recognized over 95
times for editorial achievement.
R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
From the Editor /
P
h
o
t
o
:

E
l
i

K
a
p
l
a
n
R E MO D E L I N G MAY
W
ork is extra fun when you’re learning something new every minute, and
so it was for me when I edited the reports on this year’s Big50. In profile
after profile, I found myself making mental notes to remember creative
ways to bring in revenue, operate more ef ciently, find potential custom-
ers, and assure those clients will become customers for life. The Big50’s
ways of doing business are sure to help you tune up your operation as the
weather warms and business quickens. Here’s my list of ideas worth embracing.
• Buresh Home Solutions owner Brian Buresh talks to suppliers to find potential
new hires. Re-Bath of Tucson uses interns from the local business college.
• Crescent Builds has implemented a $250 charge for preliminary estimates.
This helps screen out ambiguous leads. The fee is deducted if the client signs.
• Distinctive Design Remodeling’s Jonathan Penn re-measures every job him-
self after it’s sold, but not because he mistrusts his team. This way, new cus-
tomers get to meet the company owner. In addition, Penn says, “I want to
know what was sold and to make sure that everybody understands” exactly
what is in the contract.
• DreamMaker of Bakersfield ofers two-hour seminars on kitchen remodeling
and what to look for in a remodeler. The company provides dinner, wine, and
dessert, which one of the owners makes herself.
• The handyman service at Get Dwell charges every client a “day fee” of $45 to
cover transportation, and the fee is included regardless of whether the project
manager is at the house all day or just part of it.
• Last fall, Majestic Exteriors called past customers in select markets to ofer
them a free gutter cleaning in return for allowing the company to post its yard
sign. Forty people responded in one town.
• Messier Construction’s Rick Messier personally delivers employees’ paychecks
each Friday. “It forces me to visit the jobsites,” he says.
• Once a home project is complete, Outback Decks hosts a party there, where it
invites neighbors to view the company’s work.
• Re-Bath of Illinois ofers clients a lifetime supply of its proprietary cleaning
product. Each quarter, clients can come into one of the franchise’s of ces to get
a free bottle. It keeps the company on the customer’s mind.
• A popular event for past, existing, and prospective clients of Tenhulzen Resi-
dential is “cooking without a kitchen.” A professional chef visits the showroom
and demonstrates how to prepare meals with just a microwave oven, refrigera-
tor, and sink—handy for those in the middle of a kitchen remodel.
• All employees at West Construction take the DISC personality profiling test. It
helps match team members to prospective clients.
• Salespeople at Window World of Baton Rouge don’t get their checks until the
company gets paid.
• Yankee Home Improvement’s marketing takes homeowners by surprise in or-
der to get their attention. For instance: Instead of a letter or a postcard, the com-
pany mailed out bottles with messages inside them.
My favorite takeaways from this year’s Big50
Steal These Ideas, Please
Craig Webb, Editor-in-Chief
cwebb@hanleywood.com
THE MONEY IS IN
GETTING THE JOB
DONE FASTER
Jason Linson–Oak Harbor, WA
1. FAST-SETTING–JUST ONE HOUR
2. 300% STRONGER THAN MOST CONCRETE
3. EASY TO USE–JUST ADD WATER
©

2
0
1
4
,

H
O
M
E
R

T
L
C
,

I
n
c
.

A
l
l

r
i
g
h
t
s

r
e
s
e
r
v
e
d
.
RAPID SET
®
CONCRETE MIX
R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
Sal Alfano Editorial Director salfano@hanleywood.com
Gillian Berenson Chief Design Director gberenson@hanleywood.com
Craig Webb Editor-in-Chief cwebb@hanleywood.com
Sarah Bell Art Director sbell@hanleywood.com
Ingrid Bush Managing Editor ibush@hanleywood.com
Lauren Hunter Chief Editor, Products lhunter@hanleywood.com
Carey Hodges Assistant Managing Editor chodges@hanleywood.com
Tim Regan Assistant Editor tregan@hanleywood.com
Chelsea Blahut Editorial Intern cblahut@hanleywood.com
Kim Lofgren Graphic Designer
Jen Aranyi Graphic Designer
Austin Heller Web Editor
Jim Cory Contributing Editor
Contributors
Joanne Cleaver, Victoria Downing, Chuck Green, George LeVines, Judith Miller, Carl Seville, Bruce D. Snider,
Martha Spizziri, Paul Winans
Margaret Coulter Lead Production Manager
Marni Coccaro Production Manager
Bernadette Couture Production Coordinator
Pamela Fischer Inside Sales Ad Traffic Manager
Betty Kerwin Prepress Coordinator
Mary Leiphart Audience Marketing Director
Paul Ruess Group Director/Audience Marketing & Circulation
Lois Landa Customer Service Manager
Chara Anderson Circulation Promotions Designer
Ann Russell Reader Service Manager
Holly Miller Director/Channel & Product Marketing
Megan McCloud Creative Services Art Director

Rick Strachan Group President/ Residential Remodeling
Kim Heneghan General Manager Online / Residential Remodeling

HANLEY WOOD MEDIA
Dave Colford President
Joe Maglitta Executive Vice President /Executive Programs
Tom Rousseau Executive Vice President /Strategic Marketing Services
Jennifer Pearce Senior Vice President/ Strategic Marketing Services & Consumer Media
Sarah Welcome Senior Vice President /Audience Operations
Mari Skelnik Senior Director/ Media Services & Account Coordination
Cathy Underwood Senior Director/ Print Production

PUBLISHED BY HANLEY WOOD
Peter Goldstone Chief Executive Officer
Frank Anton Vice Chairman
Matthew Flynn Chief Financial Officer
Dave Colford President / Media
Andrew Reid President / Digital
Rick McConnell President / Exhibitions
Jeanne Milbrath President / Marketing
Christopher Veator President / Metrostudy
Paul Mattioli Senior Vice President /Corporate Sales
Michael Bender Vice President / General Counsel
Sheila Harris Vice President / Marketing
Ron Kraft Vice President/ Business Planning & Analysis
Keith Rosenbloom Vice President / Corporate Controller
Editorial and Advertising Offices: One Thomas Circle, N.W., Suite 600,
Washington, D.C. 20005–5811 Phone: 202.452.0800 Fax: 202.785.1974
Subscriber Customer Service: omeda.com/rm
rm@omeda.com Phone: 888.269.8410 Fax: 847.291.4816
Privacy of Mailing List: We rent our subscriber list to reputable companies.
If you do not wish to receive promotional material from other companies,
please call us, toll free, at 888.269.8410
Postmaster: Send address changes to Remodeling, PO Box 3494, Northbrook, IL 60065
Printed in the USA
Remodeling will occasionally write about companies in which its parent
organization, Hanley Wood, has a business interest. When it does, the magazine
will fully disclose that relationship.
Articles in this magazine are intended for informational purposes only
and should not be construed as legal, financial, or business management advice.
Railing Dynamics, Inc.
135 Steelmanville Road
Egg Harbor Twp, NJ 08234
Ph: 877.420.7245
Fax: 866.277.5160
www.rdirail.com
www.rdirail.com
Nobody expects more from us than we do
®
©2014 Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.
COUNT ON US
1,350 locations. All 50 states. 300 showrooms.19,000 associates.
61 years in business.
With Ferguson, you get so much more than appliances and plumbing supplies. You get a long and
distinguished history of dependable service, a coast-to-coast network of resources, and the benefit of
dedicated professionals who deliver so much more than what goes onto the truck.
APPLIANCES
FAUCETS
FIXTURES
LIGHTING
FERGUSON.COM
Customer Satisfaction Made Easy
DesignRai,. Aluminum Rail Kits offer your customers a beautiful,
ultra-low maintenance, view-friendly railing option that easily mounts
between wood posts. Kits include a powder-coated top rail, bottom
rail and intermediate picket, pre-drilled to support 1 /8" CableRail by
Feeney cables (sold separately).
byfeeney�
For catalog dealers,
1-800-888-2418
or visit www.feeney16.com
feene
y�
okes if eos;
remodeling
YOUR T OOLBOX FOR SUCCESS
ADVERTISING SALES OFFICES
Rick Strachan
Fr edderick Chandler
Kim Heneghan
Jamie Volpe
Clare O'Dower
Kay Ross-Baker
Carol Weinman
John Magner
Stuar Smith
Michael Tsui
Mark Mak
Headquarters
Group President, Residential Remodeling
202.736.3332 Fax 202.785.1974
rstrachan@hanleywood.com
Vice President, Sales, Remodeling&Distribution Groups
202.729.3544 Fax 301.898.7367
fchandler@hanleywood.com
General Manager Online,
Residential Remodeling
202.380.3831 Fax 202.785.1974
kheneghan@hanleywood.com
Northeast I Mid-Atlantic
Senior Strategic Account Director
( Including ME, NH, V, MA, Rl, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC,
VA,WV)
203.397.1231 Fax 203.397.1168
jvolpe@hanleywood.com
Midwest I Southeast
Strategic Account Manager
(Including Ml, OH, KY, TN, AL, GA,NC, SC, FL, IL)
202.372.5665 Fax 773.824.2401
codower@hanleywood.com
Midwest I South Central
Strategic Account Manager
( Including NO, SO, MN, WI, IL, IN, lA, NE, KS, MO,
OK, AR, MS, LA, TX)
773.824.2576 Fax 773.824.2401
krossbaker@hanleywood.com
West Coast
Senior Strategic Account Director
(Including 10, MT, WY, CO, NM, AZ, UT NV,
CA, OR, WA)
831.373.6125 Fax 831.373.6069
cweinman@hanleywood.com
Canada
York Media Services
416.598.0101 ext. 220
Fax 416.598.9191
jmagner@yorkmedia.net
United Kingdom I Europe
Regional Sales Manager
+44 (0)20 8464 5577
Fax +44 (0)20 8464 5588
stuart.smith@globalmediasales.co.uk
China
ACT International
michaelt@actintl.com.hk
Hong Kong
ACT International
markm@actintl.com.hk
CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING
Maura Jacob
Phil Guerra
John Magner
Account Executive - South
678.451.8627
mjacob@hanleywood.com
Account Executive-North & West
516.586.4 797
pguerra@hanleywood.com
Account Executive - Canada
416.598 0101 ext. 220
jmagner@yorkmedia.net
Subscription inquiries and back issues: 888.269.8410
For list rentals: Scott Perillo. 203.778.8700 ext 132
For a media kit: Phillip Herandez, phernandez@hanleywood.com
Reprints and licensing: Wright's Media, Nick lade marco
877.652.5295 ext. 102, niademarco@wrightsmedia.com
Published by Hanley Wood
REM 00 ELl N GM AG.COM
REAR VIEW
area behind you
shown on the center
display, and visual
guides that
• the
available rear view camera*
comes in pretty handy.
Suppose that every year, a small fleet
has to help over 6,400 drivers with
mechanical problems and 3,628
people who run out of gas. Maybe
they help clear around 1,250 traffic
accidents. That's why"""'• ...,·  
  with all the seats
folded behind the first row is extremely
helpful. And since there's a pretty good
chance a lot of those people will need
a ride, it's comforting to know that the
Transit Connect can seat up to seven
with the most seating configurations
in its class.**
BEST-IN-CLASS
EPA-ESTIMATED HIGHWAY RATING OF M PGt
2014 Transit Connect Van offers an EPA-
estimated rating of • when properly
equipped with the available 1.6L EcoBoost®
engine.t And the Transit Connect Wagon shown
offers an EPA-estimated rating of 28 hwy mpg
with the standard 2.5L Duratec® engine.tt
YOU OWN THE BUSINESS
NOW OWN THE WORK
    ....... '""' Running a business isn't easy,
especially when you have to run it from the road.
That's why Transit Connect offers versatile seating,
cargo space, fuel efficiency and plenty of other
smart features designed to help you come to the
rescue or simply get the job done. And if you're
one of the lucky ones, you get to do both.
THE2014 ••
TRANSIT ·
CONNECT '
ford.com
Q
Q
m
O
¤
C
¯
u
2
c
C
+

¯
:
¤
¯
1
m
C
Punch List
Every circle shows a Big50 winner. The size represents total number of employees (from 1 to 95),
while the color gradation shows the year the company was founded.
PRODECK CONSTRUCTION ¬
BLUE SKY REMODELING
1973 1980 1990 2000 2010
-·····
DISTINCTIVE DESIGN
REMODELING
WEST CHESTER
DESIGN/BUILD
Í1W!11111!WJ!.¹!W
I
ROLF SCHROEDER
GEN. CONTRACTORS
HOME SWEET HOME
IMPROVEMENTS
' RISHER­
MARTIN
FINE
HOMES
BURESH HOME
SOLUTIONS
'  EURO DESIGN/BUILD
REMODEL
WJ` ¿1²÷ Í Ñ1W11111T½ J¯
R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
Punch List /
This year’s Big50 members post gross margins in line with
the nation’s top performers
Head of the Class
Lowe’s will pay a record
$500,000 civil penalty
to settle allegations that
contractors it hired violated
the federal Lead Renovation,
Repair, and Painting (RRP)
rule, the Justice Department
and Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) announced.
The penalty—by far the
largest ever imposed for an
RRP violation—came after
the EPA reviewed records
from projects performed by
companies working under
contract at 13 Lowe’s stores.
Lowe’s was accused
of failing to provide
documentation showing that
specific contractors had been
certified by the EPA, had been
properly trained, had used
lead-safe work practices,
or had correctly used EPA-
approved lead test kits at
renovation sites.
As part of the settlement
announced on April 17, Lowe’s
must institute “a robust,
nationwide program” at all
1,700 of its U.S. stores to
ensure its contractors are
properly certified. That
program will include a checklist
that contractors must follow
to assure they follow-lead safe
practices. Contractors won’t
get paid until they complete
the checklist.
Feds Ramp Up
RRP Crackdown
Big50 companies are pacesetters as well as role models, and this year’s contin-
gent is no exception. The average Big50 member (excluding Window World, which
at $446.2 million alone dwarfs the other 49 together) reported an average gross
margin of 34.3% of revenue in 2013 and an average net profit of 8.8%. That gross
figure is right in line with the average for the top 25% of all Remodelers Advantage
Roundtable members through the first half of last year, while the net is a couple
of points behind. Gross margins went as high as 59.3%, while three companies
reported net profit margins topping 20%.
While useful as benchmark, the Big50 and Remodelers Advantage numbers
lump together all types of remodelers, and thus hide diferences between com-
panies that are full-service or design/build firms and those that are replacement
contractors or handyman shops. So let’s examine those groups separately.
For the 26 Big50 members that do full-service or design/build work, the aver-
age gross margin totaled 26.6% while the average net was 4.8%. In contrast, the
23 replacement contractor and handyman companies (again excluding Window
World,) posted a collective gross margin of 38.5% and a net profit of 11%, This fits
with anecdotal evidence that consumers’ gradual increase in remodeling expen-
ditures following last decade’s housing crash had begun with the less expensive,
replacement contractor-oriented jobs than with the generally bigger-ticket proj-
ects that full-service firms ofer. In such a scenario, it’s logical that replacement
contractors would rebound first.
As usual, owner salaries varied dramatically. Among full-service companies,
the average pay in 2013 was $107,109 but the actual amount ranged from $8,654 to
$200,000, and that person at the lower end took a bonus of more than a quarter mil-
lion dollars. Replacement contractor owners’ average salaries also varied widely: the
average was $135,835 but the range went from $54,000 to $300,000. —Craig Webb
R E G S
B I G 5 0
1 8 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4
AVERAGE REVENUE ($ THOUSANDS)
2012 2013 2014 (f)
Full-service* $1,505 $2,106 $2,546
Replacement** $4,305 $4,638 $5,980
*Includes design/build firms
**Includes handyman, decking, and K+B specialty firms
NOTE: Revenue for Window World as a company was omitted to avoid overly skewing the results.
2013 MARGINS
Gross Net
Full-service* 32.6% 11.8%
Replacement** 41.1% 18.4%
BIG50 BY THE NUMBERS
HOW THE BIG50 SPEND THEIR REVENUE
Material
Subs
Field labor
Sales commissions
Non-field labor
Marketing
Office/vehicle
expenses
All other costs
30
21 20
4
6
8
5
6
%
S
u
n
b
r
e
l
l
a
®

i
s

a

r
e
g
i
s
t
e
r
e
d

t
r
a
d
e
m
a
r
k

o
f

G
l
e
n

R
a
v
e
n
,

I
n
c
.
Surround your customers with the world’s most beautiful, worry-free fabrics for shade and seating. sunbrella.com/porch
P
h
o
t
o
:

J
a
y

R
e
e
d
/
F
l
i
c
k
r
.
c
o
m
Remodeler takes on project in the famed
architect’s only synagogue
In a Wright State
BY CRAI G WE BB
Former Treasury Secretary Donald Regan once compared his
job to being in a shovel brigade that follows a parade of elephants
down Main Street. John Hanson would be excused if he felt the
same way about Frank Lloyd Wright—an elephant among archi-
tects, with a massive collection of achievements. He also left a
mess for engineers struggling to keep his works upright and re-
modelers charged with updating his buildings for modern needs.
Fallingwater is an example of the former, while Beth Sholom Syn-
agogue outside Philadelphia is Hanson’s challenge.
Hanson, owner of Hanson General Contracting, in Philadelphia,
has begun work installing an elevator to provide handicapped ac-
cess in the 65-year-old building. It’s the only synagogue Wright
designed and has been a National Historic Landmark since 2007.
One of Hanson’s challenges is to put a device that depends on
straight lines into a building where no walls are plumb and the
roof is translucent. “It’s really an ambitious piece of architec-
ture,” Hanson says. “Each piece of glass on the roof is 200 to 300
pounds. No walls are plumb or square—by design. It’s eccentric.”
Working with architect John Milner, he’s taking over a stairwell
for the new elevator. Work should be complete by early October.
“One thing we can confirm is that, as with Fallingwater, he
comes up with really cool, ambitious architecture that is memora-
ble and humbling,” Hanson says. “But the detailing of it. … the roof
has leaked since it was built. That’s what happens with his work.
It’s really challenging to get it to perform.”
P R O J E C T S
Punch List /
Creative
Challenge.
As remodeler
John Hanson
will attest,
architect
Frank Lloyd
Wright’s
genius didn’t
extend to
engineering
prowess.
give your
clients more
space for
living.
To find local awning
fabricators, visit
sunbrella.com/local.
Punch List I
TECHNOLOGY
Coming to
Your Payroll?
It isn't even 5 feet tall, but the blue-
limbed worker known as SCHAFT
is getting outsized attention these
days. That's because SCHAFT is the
top candidate to win the $2 mill ion
DARPA Robotics Challenge. It also
could be a prototype for your staff
one day.
SCHAFT -product of a Japanese/
American firm of the same name,
which was recently acquired by
Google-garnered its fame by
winning the trials phase of the
chall enge last December. Over t wo
days, it walked over ramps and
concrete blocks, opened doors,
cleared a pile of 2x4s, drove a small
vehicle, connected a fire hose, shut
off valves, and even climbed a ladder.
(Watch SCHAFT work on You Tube.)
The finals, to be held between
December 2014 and June 2015, wi ll
present even tougher tests.
The Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency (DARPA) is the
same Pentagon outfit credited with
creating much of the foundation for
today's Internet. Now it's sponsoring
the Robotics Chall enge to encourage
the creation of robots that can work
in disaster areas and in hazardous
conditions-not unlike some
remodeling jobsites.
Future Worker? SCHAFT's potential
onjobsites is clear. It still needs a lot of
electronic hand-holding to do its work,
but improvements are coming quickly.
ct.
n::
<(
0
iii
'" t
::J
0
u
B
0
£
0..
THAT’S WHY I CHOOSE
KILZ
®
PRIMER.
Learn more about KILZ
®
primers
by scanning this QR Code, or visiting
solutions.kilz.com

Like it or not, you’re judged by your last project. So there’s little room
for error. When it has to be done right the frst time, choose the brand
that has earned the trust of professionals like you… KILZ primer.
my reputation
is everything
Cleveland, Oh
Before you create or convert
leads, you need LEADERSHIP!
Canvass Managers Call center Managers Event Coordinators Sales Managers Sales Reps
1-888-HIRE WOW www.TonyHotyTalent.com
* Custom Crafted iPad Presentations
* Convert from paper or PowerPoint
* Embed & Edit your videos & photos
* Sync your training with your presentation
* State of the art sales training available
* Remote Support via online webinar
1-844-4-ANGLIS
www.MyiPadPresentation.com
Advertisement
Increase your profit on reroofing jobs by up to $800
by replacing an old skylight with an innovative VELUX No Leak Solar Powered “Fresh Air” Skylight.
©
2
0
1
4
V
E
L
U
X
G
r
o
u
p
remodeling
SHOW
JLCLIVE
RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION SHOW
3 EVENTS . 2 DAYS . 1 LOCATION.
�XIiBIT 1ALL: OCTOB�R 23-24 I CON��R�NC�: OCTOB�R 22-24
BALTIMORE
Check out our new website! www.RemodelingDeck.com

Remodeling Show sponsored b
y: NAHB.
remodg
NAHB Remodelers
Deck�xpo sponsored
b
y �  dek builder
l W Youi
MAY 2 0 1 4 / R E MO D E L I N G 2 7 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
Your Business
P
h
o
t
o

i
l
l
u
s
t
r
a
t
i
o
n
:

J
o
h
n

K
u
c
z
a
l
a
In management consultant Leslie Shiner’s presentation,
“10 Easy Things That Can Put Me Out of Business,” error No. 7
involves running to the supplier too often. Your crew’s time
is too precious, and their per-hour costs too dear, for you to
let them fritter away hours and dollars by driving of to the
local supplier. Once you figure those expenses, she asks, how
much did that forgotten box of nails really cost?
It’s in that context Shiner suggests you do something that
might seem odd: Set up an agreement with a taxi company to
pick up your order from the supplier and bring it to you. That
errand could cost $50, but it’s still cheaper than the produc-
tivity you lose when full-time workers spend an hour going
to and from the yard, she says.
And if you’re working in a city, you might soon have other
options. Uber, the Web-based alternative taxi service, has
just rolled out a courier service in New York City called Uber
Rush. It uses bicyclists and pedestrians to ferry goods across
Manhattan now, but if the concept succeeds, Uber could ex-
pand its service in other cities as well as consider deliveries
via auto.
BY CRAI G WE BB
Material Mileage
O P E R A T I O N S
2 8 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
Your Business /
T
here are many reasons to shoot for work-life balance be-
yond simply wanting to enjoy personal time. For exam-
ple, it’s been shown that people don’t think as creatively
when they’re stressed and that our productivity improves
when we take breaks.
But some people think that the idea of work-life balance
is all wrong. “‘Balance’ assumes that we spend an equal amount
of time in all or most areas of our life,” writes Ivan Misner in his
blog. Misner is the founder of the business networking organiza-
tion BNI. He calls the idea of balance a myth, preferring the term
“harmony.” One area of life—work or personal—may predominate
at certain times, but in the end it can work out to a healthy mix.
DIFFERENT TYPES
Similarly, researchers Ellen Ernst Kossek and Brenda Lautsch
prefer to speak about flexibility rather than balance. They refer
to two types of people: Separators, who maintain firm boundar-
ies between work and personal life, and Integrators, who switch
back and forth between the two (think of the typical workahol-
ic checking his or her smartphone at the soccer game). A third
type—called “Volleyers” or “Cyclers”—switch between Integrator
and Separator styles.
Integration gets a bad rap, but Kossek and Lautsch say that
some people can integrate successfully. And sometimes, work
and personal life naturally intersect. For instance, Dawn and
Tom Wotton, owners of Home Sweet Home Improvements, in
Bealeton, Va., find that they get many business leads through
volunteer activities such as scouting and parent-teacher groups.
Tom says that a rapport spontaneously builds among volunteers
who are working toward a common cause.
But, he cautions, just be sure that you’re volunteering for the
right reasons. “It’s a mistake if you’re there primarily for the
purpose of developing a lead and not because you are passionate
about being involved in the program,” Tom says.
Don’t stress out about achieving work-life balance. There are ways you can integrate your
home and business lives.
BY MART HA SP I Z Z I RI
Finding the Sweet Spot
H O W- T O
FINDING THE BEST FIT
Each approach to crafting a life has pros and cons. What’s im-
portant is finding one that works for you. Whatever your current
style and situation, these tips can help you (and your employees)
achieve the goal.
• Track your time. Kossek and Lautsch suggest taking note
of when you feel the most stress. That will indicate which
areas you should change.
• Experiment with diferent schedules (and periodically
reevaluate). As your life circumstances change, you may
need to switch strategies.
• Schedule “appointments” for important leisure activities.
• Think ahead. Before accepting a job, consider how it will
afect your schedule. The Wottons will pass on a project if
the prospect’s scheduling expectations are unrealistic or if
the job requires long commutes for their employees.
• Try a four-day workweek during the summer. At Home
Sweet Home Improvements, the Wottons have found that
this can be a boon for employees with families, since they
can spend long weekends with the kids and save on daycare.
Clients may also prefer this schedule. Just be sure that you
set expectations up front.
• Have standard operating procedures in place. This makes
it much easier to delegate tasks, says building-industry con-
sultant David Lupberger.
• Outsource. An expert marketer, bookkeeper, or computer
tech can do certain jobs much more efciently than you.
(Lupberger suggests that administrative and marketing
work are often the first things it makes sense to outsource.)
Finally, ask others how they manage their time. Friends, fam-
ily, and colleagues face the same challenges, after all. —Martha
Spizziri is a freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience writ-
ing for magazines and websites. She also contributed to this month’s
Big50 report.
“ You cannot have balance as an entrepreneur, but you can create
harmony. ... Harmony is something diferent.”
—Ivan Misner, founder and chairman of global networking organization BNI, quoted in Inc.
facebook.com/behrpro
twitter.com/behrpro
Excellent dirt, fade, and rain resistance:
BEHR MARQUEE

stain-blocking exterior paint & primer
A
fter years of testing and
development, the chemists
at Behr have created a one-of-
a-kind paint that actually helps resist
dirt and fading, keeping your projects
looking freshly painted longer.
Dirt-defying properties
Specifcally formulated to deliver a tough,
nonstick surface, BEHR MARQUEE
stain-blocking exterior paint & primer
helps repel dirt. In fact, in side-by-side
testing, it delivered more than two-
times the dirt resistance of competitive
products.
The result is a fnish
that looks fresh long
after your fnal brush-
stroke.
Make weather  
worries a thing  
of the past
Thanks to an innova-
tive new formulation,
this product’s paint
flm actually resists
rain as early as 60
minutes after application, giving you
more time to work and less to worry
about. Plus, the fnal fnish is mildew
resistant, a bonus in any climate.
Don’t fear the fade
Because the sun is as dulling as dirt is,
and even more so in
some settings, Behr
chemists included
advanced UV protec-
tion in this product’s
formulation. In fact,
this product provides
excellent fade resis-
tance compared to
other similar quality
and priced brands,
meaning colors stay
truer longer.
Additional side-by-
side testing has also shown that this
paint provides greater tannin resis-
tance, gloss retention, and corrosion
resistance than other competitive
products.
To see new BEHR MARQUEE stain-
blocking exterior paint & primer in
action, contact your dedicated BehrPro®
Rep to schedule a demo or visit
behrpro.com/prtmarqrem
BEHR MARQUEE
Exterior Paint
Leading National
Competitor
Original Color Original Color
Fade: Advanced protection*
BEHR MARQUEE
Exterior Paint
Leading National
Competitor
Original Color Original Color
Dirt: Exceptional resistance*
*Digital recreation based on actual lab test panels.
3 0 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
Your Business /
To view and download this and other forms, go to http://remodeling.hw.net/GF
Big50 member Diane Portelli of Quality Home Renovators,
in St. Petersburg, Fla., has worked hard at refining the com-
pany’s standard contract. And her work has paid off: Portelli
credits the contract with helping head off many potential
disputes. The 14-page core contract also includes several
side documents, one being a master draw schedule that’s
used in conjunction with a separate construction schedule.
It’s a simple Microsoft Word document, but using it helps
assure that money flows to the remodeler at a steady rate.
Draw Poker
G O O D F O R M
Draw Percentage Breakdown
1
10%
$11,969
At contract signing
2
20%
$23,938
Permits secured, demo work complete
3
20%
$23,938
Framing, block work, doors, rough trades
complete
4
20%
$23,938
Drywall, plaster complete
5
20%
$23, 938
Tile, paint, terrazzo floors complete
6
Final 10%
$11,969
Granite, final trades/inspections, punch-
out complete
Contract Document C
Mr. INeedARemodel Master Draw Schedule
111 Dr S, St. Petersburg, FL
Contractor Date
Homeowner Date
Remodeling consultant Leslie
Shiner isn’t known for being a
fan of the rock group Van Halen
or its former lead singer, David
Lee Roth, but her advice at a
recent JLC Live seminar echoed
a practice that Roth and the
band became famous for in the
1980s involving Brown M&Ms.
In those days, Van Halen’s
concert contracts stipulated
M&Ms were to be provided
as backstage snacks, but
that all brown M&Ms had to
be removed. If they weren’t,
the promoter wouldn’t get
paid. To help make their point,
band members trashed their
dressing rooms when they saw
the offending candy.
Today we know why: Van
Halen was putting on an
unprecedentedly huge road
show, and thus promoters
needed to be aware of the
band’s lighting, sound, and
electrical needs. Inserting a no-
brown-M&Ms provision gave
the band a quick indication of
whether the promoter had read
the contract.
You may lack the band’s
1980s hair, but you too benefit
when clients take time to read
the contract, particularly the
section on change orders. So
Shiner suggests you add a
line in that section stipulating
that you charge a $200 admin
fee for every change order
requested. It gives you an
opportunity to discuss why
change orders matter. Then, if
you’d like, offer to waive that
fee for the first few orders. This
makes you look good—and the
client never even knew your
main objective.
How to Rock
the Fine Print
C O N T R A C T S
The New Sprinter
Engineered to exceed expectations.
© 2014 Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC
*Excludes all options, taxes, title, registration, transportation charge and dealer prep fee.
Options shown. Not all options available in the U.S.
Since inventing the van over  years ago, Mercedes-Benz has a history of recognizing
specific business needs and engineering innovations that make working easier, safer and
more efficient. With a -stage turbo diesel engine, industry-first safety features, class-leading
payload capacity and the flexibility to carry up to five people on board, the new Sprinter
once again exceeds expectations—and sets the standard for commercial vehicles to follow.
Learn more at www.mbsprinterusa.com.
2500 Crew Van 144", Low Roof, 4-Cylinder
$37
,
710
*
Starting At:
Your Business /
W
ith the market growing stronger by the day, one would
think that remodelers’ problems would be over. But now
the best of the bunch have encountered a new dilem-
ma: They’re growing themselves right out of business.
This rapid growth is causing severe cash flow short-
ages, and too many remodelers lack the resources and
the know-how to manage these issues.
I spoke with Walt Mathieson, an accountant and president of
Mathieson Consulting, in Glendale, Ariz., who shared some tac-
tics for remodelers who are beginning to feel that cash crunch:
1. Use metrics and modeling to forecast when to add staf.
I NSI GHT BY VI CTORI A DOWNI NG
Boom or Bust
F I N A N C E
“Create a metric for the amount of production volume a produc-
tion manager, a project manager, or a lead carpenter can handle,”
Mathieson says. “Then create your schedule with an eye toward
when you will have maxed out your current staf.”
2. Use the client’s money to finance their project. Never bor-
row to produce a job, and don’t use your own money, either. In-
stead, collect as much up front as you can. Invoice frequently and
be firm on collections.
3. Review your formula for developing your selling prices.
“Growing companies often need to invest in additional support
staf, equipment, and more,” he says. “This means that overhead
goes up—requiring additional gross profit dollars to cover it.”
4. Collect receivables quickly. Mathieson’s warning: “This mon-
ey can have a huge impact on easing the strain of poor cash flow.”
5. Regularly monitor client satisfaction. Unhappy clients
may hold back payments.
6. Be profitable and build a cash reserve. Experts agree that
an “emergency” fund equal to four to six months of overhead
should be on hand to help when cash flow gets tight.
Most remodelers are delighted to be in a growth market again.
Just keep your eye on the cash to make sure you don’t grow
yourself out of business. —Victoria Downing is president of Remod-
elers Advantage, an organization dedicated to helping remodelers build
high-performance, profitable businesses.
How to maintain steady cash flow
Partnering in your success for over 30 years
Roofng | Siding | Windows | Gutter | Tools | Accessories
Your Competitive
Edge
www.abcsupply.com
At ABC Supply, we pride ourselves on providing
superior services designed around your needs.
Our nationwide footprint enables us to stock an
assortment of brands you trust at a competitive
price helping your business grow and giving you
the competitive edge.
Look to ABC Supply for:
• Broad selection of brands, products, tools
and accessories
• Order accuracy, prompt communication,
and on-time delivery
• Competitive pricing, hassle-free returns and
electronic billing
• Marketing support to help grow your business
Experience the ABC Supply
diference for yourself
See us at the Western Roofng Expo • June 8-11, 2014 • Las Vegas, NV
Your Business /
I
n the U.S., being a blue-collar worker is often not considered a
desirable way to make a living. This is a huge change from the
’50s and ’60s, when one worker was able to support an entire
middle-class household.
As someone who banged nails back in the day, it’s always a
pleasure to read about blue-collar workers who are proud of what
they do—regardless of the trade.
In Berkeley, Calif., there’s a small chain of hot dog eateries called
Top Dog. They serve nothing fancy, just good sausages with the
works. Recently I came across an interview with an employee at
Top Dog, someone who has worked there with pride for 23 years.
Blue-collar work isn’t just a job, it’s a passion
I NSI GHT BY PAUL WI NANS
Your Best Work
M A N A G E M E N T He preferred to go unnamed, so we’ll call him Top Dog Guy.
Here are a few quotes from Top Dog Guy that I think are useful for
anybody who has passionate workers on their staf.
• “There’s this perception in America that a truly educated man
wouldn’t work with their hands. But why is a person that
works with their hands any less intelligent than one that sits
at a desk?”
• “Whatever happened to being an honest person who does a
good job and is proud of the work they do to make a living?
There’s nothing wrong with getting dirty and sweaty at
work—that’s what showers are for.”
• “My job gives me a sense of pride because I’m someone who
believes that anything can be an art. You can be an artist
and make food as long as you do it with pride, skill, dedica-
tion, and passion.”
What’s the point here regarding your company? Simple: You need
to foster workers who have pride in what they do. Not doing so can
cause a drop in business, your employees to leave, or worse, your em-
ployees to continue to “work” at your company while sabotaging it.
Celebrate those employees who get it, and make sure that they’re
more than fairly compensated. By doing so, you’re helping to make
blue-collar work as respected as it should be. —Paul Winans, a veter-
an remodeler, now works as a facilitator for Remodelers Advantage, and as a
consultant to remodeling business owners. paul@remodelersadvantage.com
If your tiles could talk
this is the grout
they would ask for.
Globally Proven
Construction Solutions
^
U
n
ite
d
S
ta
te
s
P
a
te
n
t N
o
.: 6
,8
8
1
,7
6
8
(
a
n
d
o
th
e
r P
a
te
n
ts
)
. †
B
a
s
e
d
o
n
2
0
1
3
C
le
a
r S
e
a
s
R
e
s
e
a
rc
h
-
E
p
o
x
y
G
ro
u
t P
re
fe
re
n
c
e

^
^
S
ta
in
P
ro
o
f (
re
s
id
e
n
tia
l in
s
ta
lla
tio
n
o
n
ly
)
to
c
o
m
m
o
n
h
o
u
s
e
h
o
ld
c
le
a
n
e
rs
, liq
u
id
s
a
n
d
o
th
e
r g
o
o
d
s
. C
le
a
n
a
ll s
p
ills
im
m
e
d
ia
te
ly
.
*
S
e
e
D
a
ta
S
h
e
e
t 2
3
0
.9
9
fo
r c
o
m
p
le
te
w
a
rra
n
ty
in
fo
rm
a
tio
n
.
©
2
0
1
4
L
A
T
IC
R
E
T
E
In
te
rn
a
tio
n
a
l, In
c
. A
ll tra
d
e
m
a
rk
s
s
h
o
w
n
a
re
th
e
in
te
lle
c
tu
a
l p
ro
p
e
rtie
s
o
f th
e
ir re
s
p
e
c
tiv
e
o
w
n
e
rs
.
A
-5
5
4
2
-0
4
1
4
Snap for more information.
Warranty
www.laticrete.com
l
1.800.243.4788
SPECTRALOCK
®
PRO Premium Grout
^
Q
Easy to install; no call backs
Q
Unmatched durability and performance
Q
Superior color uniformity
Q
Stainproof
^^
THE FUTURE IS ON
®
© 2014 Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. All rights reserved.
Hot and Humid.
Great at the beach.
Not at home.
Monitoring and controlling dampness and humidity in the home is easy and convenient
with the new Humidity Sensor and Fan Control. By detecting excess humidity and
automatically turning on the ventilation fan, the Humidity Sensor takes control to help
lessen condensation which helps reduce mold and mildew. Plus, with its built-in timer
you can be assured that the fan will never be left running long after the moisture has
disappeared. Now that’s a smart solution!
Visit us at leviton.com/humidity
Our new Humidity Sensor
and Fan Control makes
clearing the air a breeze.
Your Business /
A
few weeks ago a swarm of potential new clients descended
on my ofce, all asking the same question: “How do I stop
the madness and grow my company to the next level?”
Let’s step back and look at this from 30,000 feet to clar-
ify which are the problems that most threaten success as
you grow. (And be aware that anything more than 20%
growth from last year threatens company survival.)
First ask: “Where do I want my company to be in five years?”
Follow that with: “Where am I now?”
Spend some time answering the first question. Just as archi-
tects create cloud diagrams to rough out the flow of a house, so
Put systems in place to manage growth and achieve your dreams
I NSI GHT BY J UDI T H MI L L E R
Stepping Stones to Growth
M A N A G E M E N T
should you create big pictures of the business you’re working hard
to create. Write a paragraph or two describing your company for
the “remodeler of the year” award you hope to accept in 2020. Then
break down that paragraph into discreet components and define
each to the best of your ability.
Here are some ideas to get you thinking.
First, the owner: Alpha Baker Charley is 50 years old and lives
with his wife and their three children—two boys and a girl ages 17,
14, and 6. Their house is nearly paid of and they’ve saved sufciently
to support all three kids through college. Their retirement funds are
on track to allow them to work minimally after age 65. They enjoy
three family vacations a year; Mr. Charley is often unavailable to the
ofce for two weeks at a time. They are charitable contributors to
their community.
Then, the company: ABC Remodeling’s ofce consists of 1,000
feet of showroom and ofce space designed and remodeled by Mr.
Charley. ABC is a full-service design/build firm working with high-
end clients. It has 14 people in the field and five in the ofce. Known
for its outstanding systems, ABC has a 98% GuildQuality rating and
relies on a combination of return clients/referrals and an expanded
network of new clients brought to it by marketing opportunities.
Volume ranges between $3 million and $3.8 million per year, with
an average job size of $175,000. Gross profit margin over the past
three years has averaged 32%. Company bonuses were given at New
Year’s and the owner enjoyed an annual salary close to $300,000.
Sounds pretty good, right? Although the company described is fic-
titious, it’s a combination of many firms that I’ve known. Though it
may take 10 years of hard work, mistakes made, and lessons learned
to grow a company such as this, the time to start is now!
So onto the next question: “Where am I now?” You can figure
this out by focusing on the seven primary functions that every
company—regardless of size or product or market—must efec-
tively manage to be successful. Once you’ve completed that focus,
you can pinpoint your greatest opportunities for improvement
this year.
1. Marketing: A system that brings you the right clients.
2. Estimating: A system that develops accurate, complete pricing.
3. Sales: A system that converts the right client to construction at
the right price, which produces sufcient profit for the company.
4. Production: A system that produces the job on time/on budget
with satisfied clients and no accidents.
5. Finance/admin: Two interrelated systems, each of which man-
ages the flow of accurate, complete information throughout the
organization. Finance manages job cost and accounting informa-
tion; administration manages the rest.
6. Resource management: A system that controls and protects
company assets.
7. Leadership: A system to develop and maintain company cul-
ture that attracts the right staf and clients and increases the
company’s value to the community.
Each of the seven functions requires efective systems to be
successful. A system consists of a set of processes that, when
followed by the right employee, regularly produce the desired
results over time. Identify the areas where you need to focus
attention for the next three months by rating your company’s
ability to produce predictable, consistent desired results in each
of the seven areas. Use a five-point scale. Anything under a five
requires immediate attention, but because you shouldn’t throw
too much change at your company at once, focus on just one area
at a time.
Stepping stones to growth start with a clear understanding
of your goals, both personal and professional. Combine that with
systems designed to control the most obvious voids in current
company operation, and establish metrics by which to mea-
sure. Then track progress against goals and rework as necessary.
—Judith Miller is a Seattle-based business consultant and trainer.
r & CPKOCVKQPU DTKPI GPGTI[
UCXKPIU JQOG
r +PVGTCEVKXG VQQNU EQORCTG
INCUU RCEMCIGU
r 8KFGQU UVCTV EQPXGTUCVKQPU CDQWV
JKIJ RGTHQTOCPEG YKPFQYU
Guardian’s Window InSight app
makes high performance windows
an easy sell – and it’s free!
WindowInSight.Guardian.com
Open this app.
Close the deal.
Window InSight
)WCTFKCP +PFWUVTKGU KU C INQDCN NGCFGT KP INCUU
HQT TGUKFGPVKCN CPF EQOOGTEKCN CRRNKECVKQPU


Best Life
Best Fit
TM
upto
Longer
LIFE
30
X
30×
Longer Life
vs. conventional bi-metal blades*
Longest Life
in Metal
OIS is a trademark of Robert Bosch Tool Corporation. *Based on internal testing.
Register for a chance to WIN
Bosch tools and accessories
boschtools.com/30xlife
OIS™ Best Life
Sweepstakes
MAY 2 0 1 4 / R E MO D E L I N G 3 9 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
Design
P
h
o
t
o
:

S
c
a
v
o
l
i
n
i
Contain Your Enthusiasm
K + B
EuroCucina, Europe’s biennial celebration of kitchen de-
sign, brought 128 exhibitors to Milan, Italy, last month hoping
to start trends that will cross the Atlantic. Among them was
Ki (shown), a line for kitchens and baths created for Italian
manufacturer Scavolini by the Japanese designer Oki Sato.
“Ki” is the Japanese word for “container” or “bowl,” and the
Ki line exemplifies this. “Instead of blending a living room–
like environment with a kitchen, Sato used a rounded-white-
bowl motif in both a bathroom and kitchen setting,” wrote
Dan Rubinstein, who covered EuroCucina for Remodeling’s
sister publication Architect. “Ki” also can mean “wood” in
Japanese, and Sato’s design uses plenty of it. Regardless of
which of the three available finishes are used, the Ki line
promotes ultra-uniformity, Rubinstein wrote. “The shape of
the bowls are used repeatedly throughout, from the stove to
the sinks, in both designs,” he noted. “Even the backs of the
kitchen chairs are reminiscent of the container.”
For more from EuroCucina and the rest of the Milan Furni-
ture Fair, go to architectmagazine.com and search for “Post-
cards from Milan.”
Bowl motif permeates all aspects of this kitchen design
R E MO D E L I N G MAY R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
Design /
H O M E P E R F O R M A N C E
I
am often asked my opinion about “green” building products.
My standard answer is that green building and remodel-
ing is about the process—not the products. The “greenest”
products in the world, when not installed as part of a well-
thought-out building system, won’t make a building green.
And with a few exceptions, almost any standard building
product can be part of a green building when used properly.
Now that I have that of my chest, let’s get to the good stuf.
I’ve used some products recently that, when used correctly,
can be a part of a good, green home. One that I recommend
is Huber’s Zip System. Although I was skeptical when I first
saw it, having recently used the product on my own addition I
must say I’m impressed.
The Zip system consists of OSB with a water-resistant coat-
ing sealed with tape at all joints, including window and door
openings. My initial skepticism with the product comes from
the lack of an overlap at its horizontal joints. Instead of the
overlap, it relies on tape to provide an excellent weatherproof
and air seal. This is a great opportunity to create a continuous
weather and air barrier, critical to high-performance building
and remodeling.
As with any product, correct installation is critical. The tape
must be installed on a dry surface and pressed tightly onto the
panels with a roller.
On my own house, I installed Home Slicker vented rain-
screen between the Zip System and the siding. Vented rain-
screens can significantly reduce the amount of water and va-
por that gets into a house through sheathing, allowing for both
drainage down and evaporation up and out before any mois-
ture enters the sheathing. Without a vented rainscreen, siding
attached directly to sheathing—even with a housewrap—can
allow vapor and water to get into the wall structure.
It’s hard to sell something that your clients can’t see, partic-
ularly when they really want those granite counters, but using
high-quality products and methods that improve the durabil-
ity of your projects will, over time, improve your reputation
and reduce callbacks and warranty issues.
Some high-performance products may cost a bit more than
traditional materials, but the minimal extra costs are worth
it considering the long-term benefits. —Carl Seville is a leading
authority on single and multifamily green remodeling and certifi-
cation. He is co-author of Green Building: Principles and Prac-
tices in Residential Construction. skcollaborative.com
lnstallation practices nake or break product e!!ectiveness
I NSI GHT BY CARL SE VI L L E
It’s Green But ...
1ool lust is an incurable condition,
wnat does cnange is tne
particular tool tnat renodelers
are nost likely to nave and nost
likely to want. Larlier tnis year,
FLicbLLitc’s sister publication
1ccLS cr 1-L 1RAbL asked pros
to list wnetner tney owned any
o! cc di!!erent 1B·volt cordless
tools. A total o! cLG renodelers
responded. O! tnat group, D1%
nad a drilljdriver, topping all otner
products, wnile tneir nost·wanted
product was a jigsaw, at cc%.
Objects of
Desire
Drill/driver
Wood cutting
circular saw
BO%
1^%
D1%
^%
Recip saw
Impact driver
(hex chuck)
BO%
1B%
¯D%
B%
Hammer drill/
driver
¯B%
¯%
Jigsaw
^1%
cc%
18V Cordless Tools That
Remodelers Own or Want
Already nave tnis tool
Wisn tney nad tnis tool
P R O D U C T S
Learn more: nahb.org/whynahbr
NAHB Remodelers leads the industry in advocating
for professional remodelers on
· Pro-small business policies
· Lead paint and OSHA regulations
· Tax and legal issues
· Energy retrofits
· And more
National Association of Home Builders
4 2 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
Design /
2
3
E X T E R I O R P R O D U C T S
1. WILLKOMMEN, REMODELERS // KOEMMERLING WINDOWS
& DOORS
Germany’s Koemmerling Windows & Doors has entered the U.S. market
with a variety of products, including its PremiDoor Lift/Slide door line.
With a sash height of 8 feet, PremiDoor’s 19-foot-wide sash can be
extended to 38 feet. Despite their size, a 600-pound Koemmerling
door can be opened and closed with one finger, the company says.
The threshold is made of a wood-plastic composite. PremiDoor |
800.330.2239 | koemmerling.com
2. QUIET INNOVATION // THERMAL WINDOWS & DOORS’
SILENTGUARD WINDOWS
SilentGuard windows offer to the replacement market a line of windows
with noise-reducing technology that cuts exterior sound by 43%
compared with single-pane aluminum windows, Thermal Windows &
Doors says. The windows have a sound transmittance class of 34. (Most
single-pane windows top out around 28, while double-pane windows get
you to about 33.) The line includes woodgrain interior finishes, exterior
paint finishes, and decorative hardware. SilentGuard | 800.245.1540 |
thermalwindowsanddoors.com
3. IT’S A BRISA // ODL BRISA RETRACTABLE SCREEN DOOR
ODL introduced the Brisa Retractable Screen Door, promoting it as a
product that can be installed on an in-swing, out-swing, or sliding door
in 30 minutes using just a power drill. Brisa fits 32- to 36-inch-wide
doors and, with two cuts, can be customized for doors that are 28 to
31 ½ inches wide, the company says. When Brisa isn’t being used, the
screen retracts into a thin housing that blends into the door frame. ODL |
866.635.4968 | odl.com
4. LEAF ME ALONE // PLY GEM GUTTER PRODUCTS
Ply Gem has added two brands to its line of gutter products. Leaf Logic’s
rippled design is intended to help keep wet leaves from sticking to its
surface, while a front trough and drainage holes maximize drainage.
Enjoy Spring With These 8 Products
1
COMP I L E D BY CRAI G WE BB
Ix.oinv rnv Possivi:irivs
LvsionPvo Iivvvo:.ss
See all our Design-Pro fiberglass doors at jeld-wen.com
©2014 JELD-WEN, inc.
You’:: I.:: In Lovv wirn Ouv
Nvw Iivvvo:.ss Loovs Too.
4 4 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
Design /
tube ready to use and can be painted in two hours. Roof Plus Sealant |
800.347.4583 | titebond.com
7. CURB APPEAL // SIMONTON DECORUM WINDOW UPGRADES
Personalize window interiors and exteriors with an array of options from
the Decorum by Simonton custom upgrades collection. Styling choices
include exterior colors in cream, brick, pine, chocolate, bronze, tan, and
driftwood. For interiors, laminate finishes offer the warmth of woodgrain
in antique cherry, maple, and contemporary oak. Finish the look with
window and door hardware in standard finishes, plus a selection of metal
finishes including oil-rubbed bronze, brushed nickel, and polished or
antique brass. An infrared-cured coating minimizes scratching. Decorum
| 800.746.6686 | simonton.com
8. READY TO EMBARQ // PROVIA EMBARQ FIBERGLASS DOOR
ProVia cites independent testing to claim that its new Embarq Fiberglass
Entry System is the most energy-efficient entry door in the U.S. The
doors have a U-factor of 0.10 in part because they are 2 ½ inches thick.
There’s a dual perimeter seal and a custom-designed sweep. Embarq
comes in six styles and three woodgrain looks: cherry, mahogany, and
oak. Different styles and finishes can be applied to either side of the door.
ProVia | 877.389.0835 | proviaproducts.com
It has a 20-year warranty. Leaf Smart (shown) is a mesh screen with a
raised back and arched shape that’s intended to prevent buildup of twigs
and debris. It features a five-year material warranty. Leaf Logic/Leaf
Smart | 888.975.9436 | plygem.com
5 WOOD YOU TRY IT? // ROYAL BUILDING PRODUCTS CELECT
CELLULAR EXTERIORS SIDING
Celect Cellular Exteriors is a lap siding and trim line designed to provide the
aesthetics of wood with the low maintenance and durability characteristic
of cellular PVC. Its maker claims that Celect can be installed 50% faster
than wood without the need for special tools, and its patented interlocking
system minimizes the appearance of seams and keeps out moisture. The
siding comes in 18 colors; trim is white. The line also offers four types of
shutters. Celect | 855.523.5328 | royalbuildingproducts.com
6. SEAL THE DEAL // TITEBOND ROOF PLUS SEALANT
Roofs have lots of stuff on them, and many sealants work with only a few
of them. Titebond introduced Roof Plus Sealant to provide adherence
to a wide variety of products, including metal trim, solar roof systems,
architectural metals, painted metals, shingles, tiled roofs, sheet roofing,
wood forms, flashings, and ridge tiles. It works at temperatures between
20° F and 100° F, the company says. Roof Plus Sealant comes out of the
8 7
6
5
4
The Undisputed LEADER
Panasonic Advanced Ventilation Solutions—A Legacy of Innovation
2013 2014
One Fan - Multiple IAQ Solutions
Most Efficient 2014
Ultimate Energy Efficient
Fan/Light Solution
CALGreen
Compliance Solution
ASHRAE 62.2
Compliance Solution
Multi-Family Solution Retrofit Solution Quiet Solution Balanced Air Solution Design Solution
For over two decades, Panasonic has delivered innovative, high
performance ventilation solutions that have set new standards for quiet
operation and energy efficiency. We’re delighted to be recognized by ENERGY
STAR
®
for the fifth consecutive year, receiving their Sustained Excellence 2014
Award. Our latest breakthrough offering is our incomparable WhisperGreen Select

.
It features our intelligent DC Motor with SmartFlow

technology, as well as Plug ’N Play
customization modules that make it the right fan for virtually ANY application.
Learn more at us.panasonic.com/ventfans
What drives
your business?
Do more of that.
Compromise is not an option.
Today’s homeowners want low-maintenance
living and high-performance decking. That’s
why so many contractors rely on TimberTech:
for the highest-quality materials, unrivaled
design options and a 25-year warranty that
proves we have your back. Your reputation
rides on every deck – ours, too. See the line
at timbertech.com.
DECKING | RAILING | LIGHTING | FASTENING
MAY Z U 1 4 l R E MO D E L I N G R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
C
r
e
d
i
t

-

S
t
a
g
S
a
n
s
_
6
/
7
Role models can be hard to find, much less emulate. You’re so busy pursuing
leads and managing pro|ects that there’s little time to track down and learn
about the peers whose expertise, business |udgment, professionalism, and
financial success merit a second glance. That’s why we do the searching for
you. Every year since 19B6, ReucbeLInc has sought out people at 6D com-
panies whose stories merit making them members of our Big6D. We read their
applications, ask for financial data, and interview each company in order to
come up with a list of truly notable people. Read their stories on the following
pages |and in more detail online} to find dozens of ideas, tips, and thought-pro-
voking stories. While most on the list truly are big, with three-quarters fore-
casting revenue this year of at least !1 million, there also are companies in this
group that are far smaller. There’s something to be learned from all of them.
This year we again
partnered with
GuildQuality, an
Atlanta-based customer-
satisfaction polling
company, to identify
candidates for the
Service Excellence
Award. Based on the
results of customer
surveys, the award
recognizes incoming
Big50 winners who
consistently deliver an
exceptional customer
experience. They are
identified by this symbol
next to their names.
l REMODELI NG STAFF, WI TH JI M CORY, GEORGE LEVI NES, MARTHA SPI ZZI RI , AND CHELSEA BLAHUT l
4 8 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
P
h
o
t
o
:

C
o
l
i
n

L
e
n
t
o
n
R E MO D E L I N G B I G 5 0
CHILDHOOD PASSION
Matthew Breyer
Breyer Construction & Landscape,
Reading, Pa.
Full-service remodeling
Years in business: 13
2013 volume: $1.5 million
Staff: 2 office, 5 field
Breyer has been working in
construction ever since he could hold
a hammer. He advanced from building
decks to designing them and finally
to selling them.
Today his company completes
about 150 projects annually. He
has ramped up marketing efforts
and invested in design software
that, he says, renders images “good
enough to ... get prospects to say
yes.” Breyer also added basement
finishing as a way to mitigate the
impact of seasonality.
As volume increases, Breyer aims
to add staff, redefine his role in the
business, and cut inefficiencies by
building controls into production
and cash flow. He takes advantage
of manufacturers’ installation
training and requires employees be
industry-certified.
GROWTH SPURT
Andy Schafer, Greg Wade
Advantage Carpentry & Remodeling,
New Berlin, Wis.
Full-service remodeling
Years in business: 5
2013 volume: $690,000
Staff: 1 field
Despite launching their company
right after the economic collapse,
Schafer and Wade have never been
without work.
The “carpenter’s mindset” they
started with—build the work for
wages—soon gave way to a hunger
to learn how to create and run a
remodeling business. They started
reading business books and joined
Remodelers Advantage.
The company began to focus
on interiors and gained a loyal
client base. It’s now hiring staff
as the owners shift from field to
office. An open, up-front sales
process aims to make a “positive,
lasting impression” on customers.
Both owners are involved in
projects throughout, using an online
project management system to
streamline communication.
TEAM PLAYERS
Charles Thayer
All Around,
Golden Valley, Minn.
Full-service remodeling
Years in business: 6
2013 volume: $12.7 million
Staffing: 21 office, 1 field
While others stressed about the
housing market collapse, All Around
made the most of it by cleaning
foreclosed homes.
Today, it operates a multi-service
rehab company with six corporate
clients, completing 400 to 600
projects per month that range from
full-scale remodels to carpeting,
roofing, and cleaning. Jobs average
about $7,000.
Because almost everything is
subcontracted—only roofing work
is done in-house—the company is
picky about who it partners with:
One in 50 contractors it uses works
out long-term. Job coordinators
receive incentives on top of their
base salary. A quality-control
employee with knowledge of the job
goes out to the site with an iPad to
ensure customer satisfaction. Real
estate agents are loved; one job will
often lead to 10 referrals.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS
Adam and Julie Rossi
Blue Sky Remodeling,
Broomfield, Colo.
Design/build remodeling
Years in business: 8
2013 volume: $2.8 million
Staff: 1 office, 5 field
“We win a lot of our smaller jobs and
basement projects with our fun,
flexible innovative designs,” says
Adam Rossi, who owns Blue Sky
Remodeling with his wife, Julie.
Blue Sky excels in part by out-
sourcing: the marketing director
works 40 hours a month, another
business provides IT support, and
bookkeeping is moving out so the
office manager can focus on sales.
Blue Sky’s employees have iPhones
and laptops, and the company uses
BuilderTrend’s scheduling and
communication tools to keep in touch
with clients and one another.
The Rossis worked with a business
coach for a few years to gain
business know-how they needed
but hadn’t learned while studying
engineering in college. Now they aim
for 33% growth this year.
Get extended Big50 profiles at Remodelingmag.com
NARI membership—
The right tool for your business.
NARI is:
Your medium for business
development.
Your platform for advocacy.
Your principal source for
remodeling industry intelligence.
Your place to network with
industry peers.
Your leading source of education.
* Including the Certified Kitchen and Bath
Remodeler program.
To learn more about membership,
visit NARI.org, e-mail info@nari.org
or call (847) 298-9200.
NARI_National NARINational
Follow us:
5 0 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
R E MO D E L I N G B I G 5 0
P
h
o
t
o
s
:

l
e
f
t
,

J
o
r
d
a
n

H
o
l
l
e
n
d
e
r
;

r
i
g
h
t
,

C
o
l
i
n

L
e
n
t
o
n
LESSONS LEARNED
Jonathan Penn
Distinctive Design Remodeling,
Lexington, Ky.
Design/build remodeling
Years in business: 7
2013 volume: $3.1 million
Staff: 6 office, 3 field
Distinctive Design Remodeling
(DDR) offers clients three products:
additions, basements, and garages.
No K&B, unless that’s part of the
addition. And when the company’s
salespeople—all designers/
estimators—call on prospects, their
goal is a signed contract that night.
Penn bought DDR in 2010 after
years working as general manager
for a large replacement contractor,
and the efficiencies common in
the replacement world are now
part of how DDR operates. It can
turn a job in half the time it would
take a competitor. DDR does this
because Penn looks at the jobs like
an assembly line; he doesn’t start too
many jobs at once and keeps crews
on the job; and he retains a core
group of 12 subcontractors, striving
to keep them busy 365 days a year.
UP THE ANTE
Mark Watson, Joseph LeVecchi
Exterior Medics,
Alexandria, Va.
Replacement/specialty contractor
Years in business: 7
2013 volume: $6.2 million
Staff: 5 office, 8 field
Watson and LeVecchi took a year
to do some serious planning before
opening Exterior Medics.
Prior to their partnership, both
men spent time in sales at roofing
companies specializing in storm
work, and both worked as suppliers
to home improvement companies.
So in putting together an exterior
contracting business, they knew
what they wanted to avoid. Their
first major decision: not naming the
business after themselves. “The
industry is filled with that,” Watson
says. Instead, the pair thought about
their company as a brand.
Today 55% of Exterior Medics’
business is roofing, and 20% of the
company’s sales come from repeat/
referral business. The company is
actively growing its commercial
division, which specializes in servicing
the property management side of
things, such as condo complexes.
KNOWS HER STUFF
Alan and Tania Goodman
Majestic Exteriors,
Freehold, N.J.
Replacement/specialty contractor
Years in business: 19
2013 volume: $2.4 million
Staff: 5 office, 21 field
Competitors hate seeing Majestic
Exterior’s trucks in a driveway
because, according to owner Alan
Goodman, “they can’t bring the level
of professionalism we bring.”
Another aspect that makes
Majestic Exteriors stand out from
the competition: company president
and salesperson Tania Goodman. The
Goodmans say that customers often
are surprised when a woman arrives
to sell them a roof, but that initial
shock quickly translates into sales:
Goodman has been so successful that
Majestic has more women in training.
In the early days this husband-and-
wife team worked on roofs together.
But thanks to an increase in business,
the couple has split responsibilities,
with Tania selling and making
executive decisions and Alan running
production. Over the last three years,
Majestic has grown from one or two
roofs a week to a four a day.
STAY THE COURSE
Chris Payson
West Chester Design/Build,
West Chester, Pa.
Design/build remodeling
Years in business: 7
2013 volume: $1 million
Staff: 1 office, 4 field
Payson admits that if he had
been able to foresee how bad the
housing economy would get, he
might have delayed launching West
Chester Design/Build. But Payson
persevered through the crash, even
when customers in his pipeline let
him know they couldn’t move forward
on projects.
Today Payson says that staying
the course proved to be a blessing
in disguise because “It made us
appreciate everything that came
our way and work even harder.” He
believes that customers appreciate
the “youthfulness, vibrancy, and
energy” that members of his staff
bring to projects.
“That’s how word has spread so
quickly about us,” says Payson, 32,
who was just 25 when he started.
MAY 2 0 1 4 / R E MO D E L I N G 5 1 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
P
h
o
t
o
:

B
r
i
a
n

K
e
l
l
y
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
Darryl Rose
Get Dwell,
Winnetka, Ill.
Handyman services
Years in business: 19
2013 volume: $442,000
Staff: 2 office, 7 field
Rose daydreamed about making it
as a handyman, and his initial plan
called for selling home maintenance
contracts. But he soon learned that
what his suburban Chicago customers
really wanted was someone reliable
to replace doors, repair drywall, and
rebuild stairs.
Get Dwell charges time and
materials, and Rose has learned
that it’s critical to have clear
communication. The company’s project
agreement establishes a scope, a
schedule, what homeowners want
done, costs involved, and how Get
Dwell is paid. More than nine out of 10
clients are female homeowners, and in
the beginning, before he could afford
to invest in marketing, Rose plugged
into “the Mom network” to get work.
Now, about half of Get Dwell
business comes from repeat
customers, much of the remainder
from homeowners searching online for
a tradesman.
SWITCH HITTER
Gary Carlson
Carlson Homes,
Scottsdale, Ariz.
Full-service remodeling
Years in business: 13
2013 volume: $2.4 million
Staff: 1 office
Though he focused on custom
homes when he started out, once the
housing crisis came Carlson turned to
remodeling and found he really liked it
because it was customer-intensive.
That shows in his process: After
an initial client meeting, Carlson and
the trade contractors walk the whole
house. “I’ve found that to be a very
positive experience for [customers]
because they know that they’re
dealing with people they can trust in
their home,” he says.
But Carlson doesn’t do formal
walk-throughs at the end of the job.
“It puts the customer in the position
of being an adversary,” he says.
Instead, he finds that by encouraging
customers to ask questions during
the course of the job, he gets
more information that, ultimately,
produces a better end result.
BRAGGING RIGHTS
Joe Pavone, Rob Quigley
Bradford & Kent,
Downers Grove, Ill.
Design/build remodeling
Years in business: 27
2013 volume: $6.3 million
Staff: 15 office, 8 field
When Pavone started Bradford &
Kent in 1987, his team sought to
deliver one-of-a-kind designs and
projects—a mission that they still
strive for today. Quigley began
overseeing the projects as general
manager in 2002.
The company has architects and
interior designers on staff, though
most of the production is done by
subs and is supervised by Bradford
& Kent construction managers.
Designers are also involved in the
sales process.
Customers get personal service
from both Pavone and Quigley, and
the community knows Bradford
& Kent as being a high-quality
contractor, Pavone says. “They know
we’re not the cheapest [but] that
we’re a good value and that when
[the job is] done, it will be something
they’re going to be proud to show
their friends and neighbors.”
CUSTOMER-CENTRIC
Brian Buresh
Buresh Home Solutions,
Clive, Iowa
Replacement/specialty contractor
Years in business: 11
2013 volume: $2.5 million
Staff: 4 office, 3 field
Buresh grew up in a contractor
family; his father is a custom home
builder with almost 50 years of
experience. But after graduation,
Buresh strayed from the fold and
worked in the corporate world.
Then a brief stint selling siding
and windows inspired him to go into
the remodeling business for himself.
In 2003, he founded Buresh Home
Solutions, whose services include
installing roofing, siding, windows,
decks, and patio covers.
Buresh prides himself on the
quality of his company’s customer
service and client communication.
To ensure consistent levels of
customer care the company uses a
manual it developed.
Sales and marketing are also
company strengths. “We really focus
on trying to help homeowners find
what works best for them,” Buresh
says. “I know a lot of people say that,
but we actually do it.”
5 2 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
P
h
o
t
o
:

I
l
o
n
a

O
r
a
m
n
z
h
i
R E MO D E L I N G B I G 5 0
FEEDBACK LOOP
Sarah Henry
Gaspar’s Construction, Seattle
Kitchen & bath remodeling
Years in business: 41
2013 volume: $3.5 million
Staff: 8 office, 11 field
When Rich Gaspar started Gaspar’s
Construction in 1973, it quickly
became a family affair. His wife,
Cathy, joined the company doing
office work, then received a degree in
interior design and started designing
projects. Daughter Sarah Henry joined
them in 2002 and is now the majority
owner; Rich and Cathy—members of
Remodeling’s Big50 Class of 2000—
recently retired.
One of Sarah’s most coveted
contributions was adding a handyman
business about seven years ago. The
business has grown to make up about
one-third of the company’s volume.
The company uses subcontractors on
its construction projects, but Gaspar’s
Construction employees run each
job. “They’re swinging hammers while
running the project,” Henry says.
Additionally, Gaspar’s is passionate
about seeking detailed feedback from
clients. Staff members meet weekly
with customers during production to
identify pain points.
LOCAL AUTHORITIES
Tom and Dawn Wotton
Home Sweet Home Improvements,
Bealeton, Va.
Full-service remodeling
Years in business: 24
2013 volume: $528,000
Staff: 1 office, 3 field
Tom and Dawn Wotton see themselves
as guides, helping clients navigate the
bewildering array of choices that come
with a remodeling project.
Surprisingly, much of the company’s
business comes through volunteer
activities in their small community.
“Believe it or not, we run into our clients
at those,” Dawn says. “You’re talking to
people in everyday situations instead
of [a situation where] I’m in their house
trying to pitch a kitchen.”
The company has started offering
seminars, which helps get their name
out and aids in finding promising leads.
“We scrutinize the leads we get,” Tom
says. “We don’t take them if we know
they’re not going to be profitable.”
Staff expertise also gets high
priority. “We spend a lot of time and
money training our employees so they
can answer homeowners’ questions,”
Tom says.
HOUSE DIVIDED
David Martin
Remodeling Concepts,
Langhorne, Pa.
Replacement/specialty contractor
Years in business: 10
2013 volume: $3.1 million
Staff: 2 office, 9 field
At the moment, Remodeling Concepts
has 220 reviews on Angie’s List.
And not by coincidence—half of the
company’s leads come from Angie’s
members. The company’s work is an
even split between exterior and interior
projects. Interior projects are done
with the help of an in-house designer
and a kitchen-bath showroom.
Owner Dave Martin knows a lot
about building. The entrepreneur
became a remodeler in college when
a landlord asked him to construct an
addition. He hired some buddies and
in 2004 started a business that grew
steadily until 2009.
Soon after the slump, Martin cut
overhead by 30%, joined Remodelers
Advantage, and consulted two
marketing companies to determine if
he should have two companies with
two names. Both told him the same
thing: Keep the name and figure
out how to cross-brand it. He’s still
working on that.
LIFETIME OF LEARNING
Jeff Kuhn
Kuhn Construction, Islip, N.Y.
Full-service remodeling
Years in business: 28
2013 volume: $3.7 million
Staff: 12 office, 14 field
Kuhn took a leave of absence from
teaching high school English in 1986
when he began taking jobs in roofing
and siding. He never went back to his
teaching job, but he also never stopped
learning. That’s especially true with
sales, which he did singlehandedly
for the first 20 years of Kuhn
Construction’s existence.
Like a lot of full-service remodeling
companies, Kuhn Construction saw
fewer projects with the onset of the
recession. So Kuhn bought into Liners
Direct, a one-day bath product.
That new business was a challenge,
Kuhn says, because success depends
heavily on generating leads. So the
company began putting marketers
in big-box retail stores and setting
up booths at local events. Today the
company divides its energies between
design/build and the liner business,
with handyman jobs helping to
generate additional large projects.
Grace Has You Covered.
For more information visit graceresidential.com.
Grace Ice & Water Shield
®
The Original, Best in Class Underlayment
Grace Ice & Water Shield
®
HT
Meets the Challenges Inherent in Metal Roofs
Grace Ultra


Designed for Extreme Temperature Roof Assemblies
Grace Select


A Better Alternative to Granulars
Grace SYN 15


Overcomes Deficiencies of #15 FELT
Grace TRI-FLEX
®
Overcomes Deficiencies of #30 FELT
Self-Adhered Smooth Surface Underlayments Mechanically-Attached Synthetic Underlayments
P
h
o
t
o
:

J
e
s
s

L
o
w
m
a
n
5 4 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
R E MO D E L I N G B I G 5 0
YOUNG GUN
Chris Fox, Matt Carlson
Fox Home Innovations,
Manhattan, Kan.
Full-service remodeling
Years in business: 4
2013 volume: $514,000
Staff: 4 field
Fox sells, designs, selects, and orders
materials, while co-owner Carlson
“takes care of all the jobs while they’re
happening,” Fox says.
The company does projects that
range from handyman work to
six-figure remodels. Small jobs can
quickly get big: for example, a fix
on a porch railing morphed into a
$65,000 bathroom.
Leveling with clients is key to
gaining trust and preventing jobs from
becoming unmanageable. Not long
ago, Fox had a client who wanted the
company to remodel a master bath
and a kitchen simultaneously. Fox
advised against it. “It’s all about the
experience our customers have with
us,” he stresses.
“Once a month we shut down
to take an aerial view,” Fox says.
This frank discussion between the
partners is valuable even when spare
time is rare, he says.
OUT THE WINDOW
Tammy Whitworth
Window World (corporate),
North Wilkesboro, N.C.
Replacement/specialty contractor
Years in business: 19
2013 volume: $446.3 million
Staff: 20 office, 7 field
Window World is not only the
dominant seller/installer of vinyl
windows in the U.S., with sales
approaching $500 million, but also
the country’s largest dedicated
home improvement contractor. It’s
in the midst of a transition to a full-
fledged exterior remodeler, offering
siding and doors through its 150+
franchise units. Door sales at the
company have taken off, increasing
42% last year.
Charity work is important. Window
World is the No. 1 corporate partner
of St. Jude’s Hospital, the children’s
research hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
The company also has volunteered
use of its plane to Veterans Airlift
Command, which provides free air
transportation to post-9/11 combat
wounded veterans and their families
for medical and other purposes.
TURNING PRO
Michael D. West
West Construction,
Avon Lake, Ohio
Full-service remodeling
Years in business: 35
2013 volume: $1 million
Staff: 5 office, 4 field
West approached his first client on a
whim. “I walked up and said: My name
is Mike West. I do siding, windows, and
roofing and you need all three.” He got
three more jobs out of that project.
A move from the city to Cleveland’s
suburbs forced West to rethink his
business. For the first time he had to
advertise and keep books. He soon
found out that the two keys to building
well were also crucial to operating a
successful remodeling business: be
organized, and communicate.
West Construction evolved the
design agreement into a “partnership
agreement.” After an initial
consultation, designers develop a
budget based on similar projects
the company has built. The designer
prepares drawings plus selections.
With a preliminary budget analysis
in hand, clients are asked to sign a
partnership agreement—“a letter
of intent with tweaks”—committing
them to work with the company.
NICE NICHE
Lucas C. Papageorge Jr.
LCP General Contractors,
Fairfield, Conn.
Full-service remodeling
Years in business: 4
2013 volume: $802,000
Staff: None
A third-generation construction guy,
Papageorge started his first company
in 2000 while still doing side jobs. By
2005 its main focus was participating
in the Connecticut-version of “Flip This
House,” a TV program that featured
investors buying, remodeling, and
reselling houses at big profits in four
regions of the country. The 2008
recession, along with executive
disputes, killed the program, and
Papageorge and his business partner
also parted ways.
Today LCP General Contractors,
which does everything from siding jobs
to whole-house remodels, has a niche,
and the niche is a town: Fairfield, Conn.,
once a quiet bedroom community for
commuters to Manhattan but now
“booming,” with two universities.
Rethinking his approach to remodeling
had Papageorge making some
strategic decisions. His conclusion:
Transform himself and his company
into Fairfield’s remodeler.
In order to achieve our Split Shakes’ genuine hand-split appearance, scores of
real cedar molds are used to create random grooves and grain. Within each shake,
textured depth creates captivating contrast between light and shadow for an
unmistakably authentic look. See for yourself today at FoundrySiding.com
If our approach seems random,
that’s because it is.
A DIVISION OF THE TAPCO GROUP
5 6 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
P
h
o
t
o
:

L
i
V
i
g
n
i

P
h
o
t
o
g
r
a
p
h
y
R E MO D E L I N G B I G 5 0
LOYAL BREED
David R. Miller
D.R. Miller Design Build,
Hartville, Ohio
Design/build remodeling
Years in business: 11
2013 volume: $5.7 million
Staff: 1 office, 3 field
Having started out in the remodeling
industry 30 years ago by working
for his father, Miller eventually
struck out on his own with D.R. Miller
Design Build.
High-end kitchen and bath jobs are
the main source of business for the
company. Other favorite projects
include room additions and whole-
house remodels. Miller sells and
designs the jobs using Chief Architect,
and a cadre of trade contractors
ensure that quality work keeps the
company’s services in demand.
Homeowners get a detailed copy of
their job schedule to help manage
expectations and keep jobs on track.
The company also offers a two-year
workmanship warranty on all of its
work, and will often fix something after
even the warranty has expired just to
keep clients happy.
HOW IT’S DONE
Fred Finn, Stan Statkiewicz,
Anthony Navigato
Euro-Tech, Bensenville, Ill.
Replacement/specialty contractor
Years in business: 22
2013 volume: $7.5 million
Staff: 42 office, 1 field
Finn likes to compare his company
to an octopus moving in the water.
“There are three arms doing what
they’re supposed to do,” he explains,
“but five are going all over the place.
You’ve got to get some of those arms
under control.”
Euro-Tech has never had a year
when all eight arms were functioning
perfectly, but there have been years
when six arms were fully under
control. Much of that stability has to
do with the realistic attitude of its
three co-owners about who can and
should do what to ensure cohesion.
For instance, where some home
improvement businesses use up to
60 lead sources to keep the sales
team busy, Euro-Tech directs its
efforts into fewer than 10, including
canvassing, in-store demonstrators,
purchased leads, and referrals.
SOCIAL GENIUS
Robert Gockeler
KraftMaster Renovations,
Chatham, N.J.
Kitchen & bath remodeling
Years in business: 5
2013 volume: $1.6 million
Staff: 2 office, 1 field
KraftMaster Renovations is known for
helping clients throughout the entire
remodeling process, Gockeler says.
“Literally, it’s taking people shopping
and laughing and having fun.”
Most new customers find Gockeler’s
company on Facebook, where he posts
photos of the entire process—from
the first shopping trip to the finished
remodel. “It really helps potential
new clients,” he says. “They see the
exact same process on every single
job.” Additionally, Gockeler has a blog
detailing their finished projects and
offering design tips. He also posts and
buys ads on Houzz, connecting both
businesses and consumers.
When he’s not connecting with
consumers digitally, Gockeler is known
for his community involvement. After
Hurricane Sandy, he and his son
Robbie parked a truck downtown and
collected donations for relief.
BIG SPENDER
James Roland
Window World of Baton Rouge,
Baton Rouge, La.
Replacement/specialty contractor
Years in business: 12
2013 volume: $43.1 million
Staff: 34 office, 61 field
For a guy with a window replacement
empire, Roland is remarkably low-
key. His company is called Window
World of Baton Rouge, but it includes
branch operations in New Orleans,
Dallas, Houston, and Tampa/St.
Petersburg, Fla.
Roland was drawn to Window
World by the idea of going into the
house armed with an itemized menu
of products and options. It didn’t
take him long to thrive. By 2005, the
Baton Rouge company was Window
World’s second biggest dealer. Then
Hurricane Katrina happened.
Within three months, Katrina
sent Window World of Baton
Rouge sales skyrocketing from
1,600 to 2,000 units per month
to 11,000 units. To cope, the
company outsourced crews, moved
into a larger facility, and poured
excess cash back into advertising,
transforming Window World into a
brand in Southern Louisiana. Get extended Big50 profiles at Remodelingmag.com
Don’t just meet your customers’ hot water needs.
EXCEED THEM.
With Rinnai’s comprehensive line of Tankless and Hybrid
Tank-Tankless Water Heaters, you’ll satisfy all your customers’
hot water needs. Here’s how:
Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters
• Provide the ultimate experience of comfort and convenience with an enjoyable,
endless supply of hot water wherever and whenever your customers need it
• Save money through increased energy effciency and a longer average life span*
• Optimize space—with no tank necessary, a Rinnai uses less room due to its
space-saving design
• Maximize commercial operations and cost savings with technologies that
coordinate multiple units for exceptional water heating performance
Rinnai Hybrid Tank-Tankless Water Heaters
• Maximize your customers’ time with more available hot water
• Replenish hot water quickly so your customers spend less time waiting
• Install quickly and easily with standard tank connections
To learn more about the #1 selling tankless in North America or our new
innovative Hybrid Tank-Tankless Water Heater, visit us at rinnai.us
*Based on the DOE ENERGY STAR
®
life cycle estimates compared to traditional tank water heaters.
V65e Tankless
Water Heater
RL75i Tankless
Water Heater
RU80i Tankless
Water Heater
RH180 Hybrid
Tank-Tankless
Water Heater
5 8 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
P
h
o
t
o
s
:

l
e
f
t
,

J
e
n
n
i
f
e
r

V
a
c
a
;

r
i
g
h
t
,

C
h
u
c
k

A
r
l
u
n
d
R E MO D E L I N G B I G 5 0
SOLE FOCUS
Lou Pagnutti
Decks Unique, Commack, N.Y.
Replacement/specialty contractor
Years in business: 27
2013 volume: $2.3 million
Staff: 4 office, 6 field
When it comes to describing what
makes Decks Unique stand out from
the crowd, Pagnutti isn’t shy. “We’re
the biggest deck builder in New York
state, the biggest on Long Island, the
eighth-largest Trex installer in the
country,” he says.
Decks Unique builds decks and
only decks. Pagnutti has been a
designer, seller, and builder of decks
long enough to watch construction
go from nails, bolts, and pressure-
treated pine to the “jigsaw puzzles”
that his crews assemble today.
Homeowners “think a deck is a
deck—until you show them the
products,” he says. Company
salespeople offer homeowners a slide
show on a laptop equipped with a
drawing program and a materials list.
If homeowners like the design,
they come down to the Decks Unique
showroom and select materials. “We
want [clients] to pick everything,”
Pagnutti says.

HONORED GUESTS
Brad Fluke
The Honey Do Service, Bristol, Va.
Handyman/small projects
Years in business: 12
2013 volume: $2.1 million
Staff: 20 office, 28 field
When Fluke’s father started a
handyman service called Tom’s Honey
Do, Fluke became its first employee,
operating out of a two-car garage.
He then built The Honey Do Service
by analyzing all the negatives
that homeowners associate
with remodelers and handyman
companies, then addressing them
one by one. He created a brand
out of such lessons, so that Honey
Do personnel would be viewed as
“honored guests” in the home.
A major difference between
Honey Do and other handyman
organizations is that the handymen
don’t sell the job. When a homeowner
calls, an estimator/salesperson
goes out to estimate and sell the job,
including collecting a deposit. And
while most handyman organizations
price their jobs on a time and
materials basis, Fluke’s works on a
fixed cost per proposal “because
that’s what the homeowner wants.”
VALUE ADDED
Ricky Scott, Robbie Edwards
The Kingston Group, Nashville, Tenn.
Full-service remodeling
Years in business: 7
2013 volume: $4 million
Staff: 1 office, 7 field
Scott and Edwards work with three
or four core real estate agents
who supply them with referrals.
That work, plus revenue from their
Property Services division—for
homeowner association boards,
mainly—makes up the bulk of The
Kingston Group’s growing business.
With companies imploding during
the recession, “We learned from what
we saw,” Scott says. He is particularly
adamant about not taking on debt,
and the company’s approach to cash
flow has allowed it to grow steadily.
And while many companies with
thinner margins have dropped their
health care and 401(k) plans, The
Kingston Group has recently beefed
up its benefits package as it seeks
to add talented staff. The company
also no longer allows trades to charge
time and materials, instead requiring
that they provide a lump-sum bid.
Kingston gets at least two bids on
each critical aspect of a project.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS
Robert and John Kulp
Kulp’s of Stratford, Stratford, Wis.
Replacement/specialty contractor
Years in business: 29
2013 volume: $5.7 million
Staff: 10 office, 29 field
Bob Kulp started his business at age
19, the same year he was married.
Always of an entrepreneurial bent,
he has at times branched out
into ancillary product lines, even
developing a substantial commercial
business that eventually overrode the
company’s residential roofing work.
The company has made successful
forays into solar and metal roofing—
today metal makes up somewhere
between 60% and 70% of the
company’s residential work.
Long active in the National Roofing
Contractors Association, Bob today
also sits in the Wisconsin legislature.
Where most roofing companies
install using subcontractors,
especially as a way of avoiding ever-
rising workers’ comp costs, Kulp’s of
Stratford installs with its own crews.
The practice leads to “better control
of the quality of customer service,”
president John Kulp says.
Flea Market
wilsonart.com/modernRM | @wilsonart
GOLDEN ROMANO MIRAGE FINISH WITH AEON

1871K-35
6 0 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
P
h
o
t
o
:

V
a
u
g
h
n

C
r
e
a
t
i
v
e
R E MO D E L I N G B I G 5 0
REMODELING REINVENTION
Seval and Melinda Dzinic
Euro Design/Build Remodel,
Richardson, Texas
Design/build remodeling
Years in business: 16
2013 volume: $1.1 million
Staff: 2 office, 5 field
Starting a remodeling company
wasn’t high on the list of career
ambitions for mining engineer
Seval Dzinic and his wife, Melinda,
both originally from Bosnia and
Herzegovina. The remodeling
company they created was started to
provide jobs for tradesmen arriving as
refugees from ethnic conflicts in the
region once known as Yugoslavia.
But if the Dzinics didn’t know much
about residential renovation when
they started, that’s all in the past. Both
now have industry certifications and
are active in industry associations.
They work as a team: Melinda is an
award-winning designer known for
building lasting relationships with
clients, while Seval runs the projects.
“We trained,” Melinda says,
explaining how a pair of outsiders
transformed themselves into the
owners of one of the Dallas area’s
premier remodeling companies.
STYLE MAVENS
Grady and Diane Portelli
Quality Home Renovators,
St. Petersburg, Fla.
Full-service remodeling
Years in business: 5
2013 volume: $960,000
Staff: 1 office, 5 field
“If you can take one of these
older homes apart and put it back
together, you can build anything,”
Diane Portelli says of the historical
homes that are the couple’s focus.
Beginning as little more than a
hobby for the couple, their operation
became so busy that it morphed into
a real business in 2009.
Once up and running, Quality
Home Renovators soon found itself
competing with a ton of former
home builders who had entered the
remodeling market by default, but
the Portellis weren’t deterred. “It’s
two different lines of work,” Diane
says,“building new versus taking a
house apart.”
And though whole-house remodels
are the core of the business, the
Portellis developed other lines of
work: insurance restoration and
a substantial sideline in property
rehabs involving 203(k) loans.
VERY, VERY SPECIALTY
Tim Brown and Tim Brown Jr.
Rain Gutter Specialties,
South Jordan, Utah
Replacement/specialty contractor
Years in business: 24
2013 volume: $2.4 million
Staff: 5 office, 15 field
Imagine if your company’s
average job was $1,100 and you
did somewhere between 3,000
and 5,000 jobs a year. Cash flow
challenges? You bet, says Tim Brown
Jr., owner of Rain Gutter Specialties.
That’s why Brown, whose family
has been involved with gutters for
about five generations, decided to
make some changes to the company
business plan. To increase the
average sale and net profit, he added
a gutter cover product and heat cable
installation. Next came the addition
of siding. And, beyond simply having
more products to sell, Rain Gutter
Specialties started charging the
right price, Brown says.
The result: The company’s average
sale increased by 22% last year—
and in 2013 the company enjoyed
the most profitable year in the
business’s history.
FAMILY AFFAIR
Rolf and Derek Schroeder
Rolf Schroeder General Contractors,
Ivyland, Pa.
Full-service remodeling
Years in business: 32
2013 volume: $600,000
Staff: 2 office, 2 field
For more than 30 years, Rolf
Schroeder General Contractors
has been exceeding homeowners’
expectations in Bucks and
Montgomery counties with its
designs and finished construction, a
fact to which its long roster of recent
awards attests. Derek—who has
worked on and off at the company
since he was 14—returned after
college in 2008 to work full time as
office manager. He also designs,
does the marketing, manages
projects, and is a carpenter.
Last year the Schroeders
revamped the company website
with a content management system,
allowing new material to be easily
added without the need for a Web
designer. At RSGC they “bring a
detailed scope of work, and what it
includes and what it doesn’t include,
so you know what you’re paying for,”
Derek says. “That establishes trust
up front.”
Exteriors
Siding
Decking
Trim & Mouldings
Shake & Shingles
Soffit
Siding Accessories
Shutters
Mounts & Vents
Columns
Not for the faint of home.
© 2014 Royal Building Products
Homeowners are making passionate decisions
and taking educated chances with their exteriors.
They’re taking the outside of their homes very
personally and challenging building professionals
to do the same. Check out how we’re meeting that
challenge at royalbuildingproducts.com.
6 2 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
P
h
o
t
o
s
:

l
e
f
t
,

C
y
n
t
h
i
a

M
c
D
o
n
a
l
d
;

r
i
g
h
t
,

S
o
l
a
n
o

P
h
o
t
o
g
r
a
p
h
y
R E MO D E L I N G B I G 5 0
REMODELING REALITIES
Everett and Patty Gray
DreamMaker of Bakersfield,
Bakersfield, Calif.
Replacement/specialty contractor
Years in business: 11
2013 volume: $1.6 million
Staff: 2 office, 3 field
Before the Grays bought a Dream-
Maker franchise in 2002, they were a
truck-and-ladder contractor working
out of their home. The franchise gave
them access to the systems needed to
manage and grow their business. And
business did steadily grow, to almost
$3 million in sales, until the 2008
recession hit and sales fell by 65%.
But the hard times proved instructive:
The Grays found ways to manage,
and operating with a smaller top line
provided a chance to rethink how they
do business. “I’d rather be at smaller
revenue and a bigger net profit … with
fewer employees,” Patty says.
The company is proactive on
warranties, calling at three-, six-, and
nine-month intervals after job close to
check in with clients, and it offers two-
hour seminars every other month on
kitchen remodeling at a local appliance
store that has working kitchens set up
for demonstrations.
BUSINESS BUILDER
Andrew York
ProDeck Construction,
San Marcos, Calif.
Replacement/specialty contractor
Years in business: 4
2013 volume: $750,000
Staff: 6 field
Just scraping by in his first year of
business, York caught his break after
appearing as a contestant on the
DIY Network building a gazebo is six
hours. He won the nationally televised
event, and one West Coat viewer who
owned a beach house hired him.
At the time, Trex’s composite deck
marketing featured a lot of East Coast
homes, so York pitched the West
Coast beach house to the company.
Trex agreed to supply the material
in exchange for the rights to take
photos. That led to ProDeck building
several display decks in San Diego
County, and York’s business took off.
ProDeck uses fixed price bidding,
and typically runs two jobs at a time,
each job usually taking two weeks. In
the future, York hopes to train another
project manager so he can add one
more crew and grow the business.
He’s also considering expanding
ProDeck’s services, but plans to use
subs in those cases.
GET ENERGIZED
Skip and Lorenzo Wyatt
Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield
County, Fairfield, Conn.
Handyman/small projects
Years in business: 10
2013 volume: $5.2 million
Staff: 6 office, 46 field
Skip Wyatt entered the handyman
business with no experience. He’d
been in sales and marketing, retired
early from IBM, and was looking for
something new to do. As a marketer,
he saw a need for the service Mr.
Handyman offers, and a contractor
was born.
Skip’s son, Lorenzo, joined the
business about four years ago. The
company has four lines of business:
handyman; remodeling; and home
energy, which has two components:
energy audits and energy upgrades.
The home energy business grew
rapidly and now makes up about two-
thirds of the company’s sales. Still,
Skip expects the remodeling portion
of the business to see substantial
growth this year. He recently hired
a designer to boost the franchise’s
capabilities.
PERFECT PARTNERS
Neal Sciacca, James Anastasio
New Jersey Siding & Windows,
Randolph, N.J.
Replacement/specialty contractor
Years in business: 15
2013 volume: $4.4 million
Staff: 13 office, 5 field
Sciacca was in clothing manufacturing
before he ever sold a window, though
he’s been selling products his whole
life. But when clothing manufacturing
went overseas, he became part owner
of a home improvement company,
giving him the know-how needed to
start his own a few years later. He
partnered with Anastasio to run the
production end.
Many home improvement companies
are great at generating leads and
converting them to sales. What they’re
often not so good at is ensuring
consistent quality. With Sciacca as
president managing marketing and
sales, and Anastasio attending to
production, New Jersey Siding &
Window is now a sales and marketing
machine. Anticipating an uptick in
business, the company is planning to
move and will transfer its operation to
a larger location this year.
Add a whole other level of awesome to your product line by adding Myriad
®
Sunroom and Enclosure
products into your customer offerings. Your customers will love the endless design options available
by adding more beautiful, comfortable and functional space to their homes.
We make it easy to sell and install Myriad Enclosures by backing our products with sales & marketing
materials, product training and installation training assistance. Available in 3- and 4- Season Sunroom,
Screen Room, Patio Cover & Arbor design styles, this product line will add tremendous value to your
customer’s home and take your sales to a higher level.
NT Window, Inc.• Fort Worth, TX • (800) 969-8830 • www.ntwindow.com
Arbors Sunrooms
myr·i·ad adj.
1. Constituting a very large, indefinite number; immeasurable.
2. Composed of an abundance of diverse elements or facets.
myr·i·ad adj.
1. Constituting a very large, indefinite number; immeasurable.
2. Composed of an abundance of diverse elements or facets.
ad adjj dd .. jjj
11. Constituting a . Constituting a vveerry la y larrgge, inde e, indeffinite number; immeasurable. inite number; immeasurable. ffff
2. Co 2. Commposed of an abundance of di posed of an abundance of di mmmm vv iiii erse elements or erse elements or ffacets. acets. ffff
myr·i·ad adj.
1. Constituting a very large, indefinite number; immeasurable.
2. Composed of an abundance of diverse elements or facets.
myr·i·ad adj.
1. Constituting a very large, indefinite number; immeasurable.
2. Composed of an abundance of diverse elements or facets.
Screen Rooms Patio Covers
Want to find out if Myriad Enclosure products
are right for your business?
Contact us today and let’s find out…
www.ntwindow.com/myriaddealer
6 4 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
P
h
o
t
o
s
:

l
e
f
t
,

T
h
e

M
i
l
l

P
h
o
t
o
g
r
a
p
h
y

S
t
u
d
i
o
;

r
i
g
h
t
,

K
e
l
l
y

M
i
h
a
l
c
o
e
R E MO D E L I N G B I G 5 0
BEYOND THOROUGH
Chris Risher, Jeremy Martin
RisherMartin Fine Homes,
Austin, Texas
Full-service remodeling
Years in business: 4
2013 volume: $3 million
Staff: 2 office, 2 field
College friends Risher and Martin
parted ways after graduating—
Martin worked in tech sales, Risher
in production building. But when
Martin took over his parents’ business
building spec homes, he invited Risher
to join him as a partner. Two years
in, the company found its identity in
whole-house remodels and additions
of $350,000 to $1 million.
The company offers general
contractor and project management
services, drawing on a network
of hand-picked trades to build.
Clients find their own architect, or
RisherMartin helps them find one, but
it doesn’t subcontract design work.
The company distinguishes
itself from competitors with
its pre-construction services
and fixed pricing structure;
microscopic level of project pre-
planning; and paperless office—all
project managers carry iPads to
communicate in real-time.
BUSINESS THAT LASTS
Steve and Melissa Cunningham
Cunningham Contracting,
Williamsburg, Va.
Design/build remodeling
Years in business: 26
2013 volume: $870,000
Staff: 1 office, 5 field
Steve Cunningham has never done
anything other than construction. But
for a long time that involved working
for other contractors—and a certain
degree of dissatisfaction came with it.
Side jobs multiplied and Cunningham,
at 21 years old, told himself, “I am
going to create something from
nothing, and it’s going to be a business
that lasts.” Initially his company
specialized in all aspects of flooring,
but that evolved into the idea that it
would be a one-stop shop for home
renovation. Bathrooms became a
bridge to full-on remodeling.
Owners Steve and Melissa are
both hands-on, being personally
involved in all aspects of the company.
Continuing ed is a priority through
acquiring certifications, training, and
involvement in industry organizations.
QUALITY, GUARANTEED
Ger Ronan, Leo Duplessis
Yankee Home Improvement,
Northampton, Mass.
Replacement/specialty contractor
Years in business: 11
2013 volume: $4 million
Staff: 15 office, 35 field
Ronan, top producer at a local home
improvement company, founded
Yankee Home Improvement to
implement his own systems and
ideas. Well-trained salespeople,
fresh approaches to marketing,
and diligent customer service have
propelled the company’s growth.
General manager Duplessis sees the
company’s website as the first step in
familiarizing prospects with Yankee’s
services, thereby making the sales
appointment all the easier.
Yankee offers five guarantees
or warranties, among them the
guarantee that if a customer
finds someone to do the job at the
same scope but for a lower cost,
Yankee will give the homeowner
the difference plus $150; and the
company’s unconditional double
lifetime warranty on windows and
siding, as well as a manufacturer
50-year warranty on shingles.
MANAGEMENT MACHINE
Robert V. Quillen
Quillen Bros. Windows,
Bryan, Ohio
Replacement/specialty contractor
Years in business: 15
2103 volume: $4.9 million
Staff: 8 office, 16 field
A true specialty retailer, Quillen
Bros. Windows strictly sells windows
and doors. Owner/founder Bob
Quillen tracks and benchmarks
every aspect of the business that’s
key to performance: 47% of demos
(where a product is presented and a
signature on a contract requested)
were closed in 2013, a figure that
has remained consistently high
for the last five years; and the
canvassing program is coming in at
7.8%—as in marketing cost—Quillen
says. “That’s where my growth is
coming from.”
Quillen Bros. recently opened a
branch operation in Fort Wayne,
Ind., and has plans for more: Quillen
intends to soon be a major player in
all of Indiana, not just in Fort Wayne.
The company also has shown steady
growth in Net Sales Per Lead Issued:
an issued lead equated to $1,620
in revenue in 2009, and $2,088
last year.
Whether you face questions regarding roof sys-
tem installation, design or maintenance; need
information about specifc roofng products; or
want to know proper application, inspection,
maintenance or repair techniques for any roof-
ing job, NRCA’s dedicated technical staf and
extensive library of publications give you all the
information you need.
Looking for technical roofng industry expertise?
Look to NRCA.
ROOFING. TECHNICAL. EXPERTISE.
NATIONAL ROOFING CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION
information | education | technology | advocacy
www.nrca.net | (866) ASK-NRCA (275-6722)
6 6 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
P
h
o
t
o
:

R
o
s
s

A
n
a
n
i
a
R E MO D E L I N G B I G 5 0
MODEL MARRIAGE
Jeff and Lisa Walling
Re-Bath of Tucson, Tucson, Ariz.
Bathroom remodeling
Years in business: 5
2013 volume: $2 million
Staff: 3 office, 9 field
The Wallings first interacted with
Re-Bath when they hired their local
franchisee to remodel their own
bathroom. Years later, they bought
the franchise in their area.
Lisa oversees marketing; Jeff is in
charge of production; and their son,
Austin, manages sales. All production
work is done by employees.
Streamlined production is one of
the company’s strong suits. “We’re
able to get in and out in a very timely
manner because [baths are] all we do,”
Lisa says.
The couple’s goal is to grow the
business by 10% each year for
the next five years by boosting
advertising. And they seem to be well
on their way to further expansion,
having recently purchased a second
Re-Bath franchise in El Paso, Texas,
and a 5 Day Kitchen franchise as well.
SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL
August Bergdahl, Emilee Birrell,
Todd Gits
Crescent Builds, Seattle
Full-service remodeling
Years in business: 7
2013 volume: $2.4 million
Staff: 2 office, 7 field
Over time working in the field and as a
project manager, Bergdahl identified
the systems and processes that make
up a remodeling company. Then he
started his own. He began with small
jobs because, with the onset of the
recession, little else was available.
Those initial small jobs allowed him
to build the client base and architect
relationships that today supply most
of the company’s business.
Bergdahl sells the work; wife Emilee
Birrell meets with architects and
clients to prepare for production;
and partner/production manager
Todd Gits manages the execution.
An internal weekly status meeting
ensures clear communication;
and a $250 charge for preliminary
estimates helps screen out ambiguous
leads. Crescent Builds also created
a service division to manage smaller
projects, which often plant the seed
for larger projects later on.
MEETING OF MINDS
Brian Miller, John Gwaltney
Outback Deck/Virtus Services,
Roswell, Ga.
Replacement/specialty contractor
Years in business: 4
2013 volume: $2.4 million
Staff: 3 office, 3 field
Atlanta-area contractors Miller and
Gwaltney had been running into each
other at various local contractor
networking events for some time.
Miller had a deck operation and
remodeling business, while Gwaltney’s
company specialized in windows,
siding, and roofing. When Gwaltney
needed new office space, Miller invited
him to relocate to his building. The two
got along so well that they decided to
combine their operations under the
umbrella of Virtus Services.
The company is committed to the
idea that in brand-conscious Atlanta,
homeowners want to deal with a
company that specializes in one
aspect of home improvement, not a
generalist. Since forming Virtus, the
companies under its umbrella have
added 30% to their volume and 29%
to profitability, primarily by reducing
personnel and cross-selling jobs.
FLEXIBLE ENTREPRENEUR
Mark Curry
Your Remodeling Guys,
York, Pa.
Replacement/specialty contractor
Years in business: 7
2013 volume: $8.3 million
Staff: 25 office, 60 field
When Curry sold his previous
company, which manufactured and
sold windows, siding, and sunrooms,
the sales agreement’s fine print
forbid competing in the same market.
So he launched a new company
and shaped it as he saw fit. First he
sold garage organization systems,
then added closet organization. The
economy tanked, and he took on
cabinet refacing. Next came energy
savings services.
YRG sets itself apart from its
competitors by focusing on what the
house needs and the clients want,
making a point of providing lots of
options rather than a limited product
offering. Last year, when the non-
competes expired, YRG got back into
the window business. It was a year that
produced better revenue, but flattened
profits. “I look at it as a colossal failure,”
Curry says, “not to have that sustained
growth on the bottom line.” Time for
the next adaptation.
SHOW BUSINESS
Michael and Traci Tenhulzen
Tenhulzen Residential,
Bellevue, Wash.
Design/build remodeling
Years in business; 6
2013 volume: $2.3 million
Staff: 6 office, 7 field
Tenhulzen Residential has done away
with traditional construction job titles
in favor of film industry ones. Michael
Tenhulzen is director, not CEO; his
wife, Traci, isn’t a salesperson but
an executive producer; and on-
site superintendents are location
managers. The reason, Michael says,
is that it helps staff and clients better
understand the construction process:
pre-production, production, and post-
production. The org chart changed,
too: It now has the client as its center,
and job descriptions are given from
the customer’s perspective.
A popular event that the company
hosts is “cooking without a
kitchen,” where a professional chef
visits Tenhulzen’s showroom and
demonstrates how to prepare meals
using just a microwave oven, fridge,
and sink—handy for those in the
midst of a kitchen remodel.
FINE DESIGN
Pam Kofsky
Elegant Interior Designs,
Ambler, Pa.
Design/build remodeling
Years in business: 11
2013 volume: $250,000
Staff: None
Past knowledge has proved helpful
for Kofsky. A previous career as
a tax consultant for large
corporations prepared her well
for steering remodeling clients
through the budgeting process; and
she tapped her early aspirations to
be a fashion designer, parlaying them
into interior design.
The award-winning designer first
entered the remodeling world by
volunteering her design skills. But
soon she was truly in the game, with
certifications.
Kofsky’s designs aim to combine
functionality and elegance. Much of
her work comes via remodelers who
approach her about designing a job
they’ve been hired to build. “A lot of
remodelers resist hiring a designer
because they don’t want to incur the
additional expense,” she says. “They
want to knock out an update. But if
they could give homeowners choices,
it would be amazing.”
One of a Kind.
Ma!∀ 1/&∗∃ 100 ,∀.∀∗0 .∀4(∀! a.,∀0 #&b∀., ∀+-#.&∀∗!(4 N4(+D∀∋ &/ 0%∀
1∗&−1∀ !∀∋&∗∃ /+(10&+∗ 4+162∀ b∀∀∗ %+,&∗∃ 0+ #&∗!. B∃21(%2∗ N6∗−D∃∀) (0
02.∃/(−/, 6∃1 %%−/#!∗∃ −.1(−, 1∋1 0∃10 1∋∃ 01,#/# %−/ ,∃4 &∃,∃/1(−, −% #∃∀)(,& +1∃/(∗0.
7
C−,1(,(,& ,− 4−−# −/ PVC, N6∗−D∃∀) (0 (+.∃/3(−20 1− 41∃/, +−∗#, +(∗#∃4 ,# 1∃/+(1∃0
0− (1 4−,81 04∃∗∗ −/ /−1.
7
L−−)0 ∗()∃ /∃∗ 4−−#; #2/!∗∃ ,# /1∃# 14(∀∃ 0 01/−,& 0 −1∋∃/ ∗∃#(,& ∀−+.−0(1∃0.
7
B∀)∃# !6 ∃51∃,0(3∃ 1∃01(,& ,# 25-Y∃/ F#∃ ,# S1(, W//,16.
N6∗−D∃∀) 4(∗∗ ∋∃∗. 6−2 ∀/∃1∃ 1∋∃ (#∃∗, 4−//6-%/∃∃ #∃∀) 1−#6 ,# %−/ 6∃/0 1− ∀−+∃.
L∃/, +−/∃ 1 333.∗4(+!∀∋.+)
D∀/∀.0
S,&∀
Sa!!(∀
R+/∀
M+1∗0a&∗
M+%a
N∀3,+.0
W%&0∀
Ha.b+.
G.a4
C+a/0a(
M&/0
N4(+B+a.! 5 Ma!∀ &∗ GA, USA 5 877-NYLO-909 (877-695-6909)
F&∗! 1/ +∗:
Wa0% +1. 2&!∀+ 0+ (∀a.∗ )+.∀.
6 8 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
P
h
o
t
o
s
:

l
e
f
t
,

L
i
n
d
s
e
y

R
e
y
n
o
l
d
s

P
h
o
t
o
g
r
a
p
h
y
;

r
i
g
h
t
,

C
a
t
h
e
r
i
n
e

P
i
t
t
m
a
n
R E MO D E L I N G B I G 5 0
TOUCH POINTS
Steve Zarndt
Re-Bath of Illinois, Decatur, Ill.
Bathroom remodeling
Years in business: 15
2013 volume: $3.3 million
Staff: 6 office, 14 field
Re-Bath of Illinois aims to offer
exceptional experience every time.
Accordingly, the company’s customer
satisfaction system includes a
minimum of nine communication
points. Zarndt says it’s worth it: it
ensures that customers are happy,
and from that follow the referrals
that happiness brings.
The company handles all its own
unlicensed trades work and does
its own plumbing; only electrical is
routinely subbed. “The client wants
speed, choice, and convenience,”
Zarndt says. That means not only
getting in and out quickly, but
communicating well.
A customer advocate handles phone
calls when clients have a problem.
“It used to be part of the production
department, but that’s like having a
fox in the henhouse,” Zarndt says.
SMOOTH FINISH
Nick Richmond, Brian Darrick
Matrix Basement Systems,
Arlington Heights, Ill.
Replacement/specialty contractor
Years in business: 5
2013 volume: $7.8 million
Staff: 20 office, 64 field
Matrix Basement Systems, founded
in 2009, manufactures, markets,
sells, and installs in the Chicago
area. Run by partners Darrick and
Richmond, the company is now
selling components to other home
improvement operations as well.
While the other basement finishing
companies were disappearing
during the downturn, Richmond
identified that it wasn’t the product
that was the problem, it was the
ability of homeowners to finance the
purchase. So he set about ensuring
that customers could get credit.
In its first year the company sold
$2.5 million in basement systems.
Last year, sales neared $8 million.
Managing growth and establishing a
clear direction for the company have
been the partners’ priorities.
ALL ABOUT AUTHENTIC
Stephen Scott Ray
Ray Building Co., Birmingham, Ala.
Full-service remodeling
Years in business: 8
2013 volume: $1.1 million
Staff: 1 office
After a career in the military,
Ray worked as vice president
of operations for a remodeling
company before leaving to revive his
father’s old business, Ray Building.
A man whose ties to the
community are many and whose
passions run deep, Ray’s projects
tend to come from select
neighborhoods in Birmingham,
usually via referral. Projects tend to
be on the larger side—often whole-
house remodels—and Ray shows
up every day to work on them, on
point of principle. “Our clients like
to see involvement with the actual
contractor,” he says. “They loathe
the term ‘drive-by contractor.’ ”
Ray’s work in the community—
particularly on behalf of disabled
veterans—has made this company
and its owner a standout.
NEW BEGINNINGS
Rick Messier
Messier Construction, Tiverton, R.I.
Full-service remodeling
Years in business: 28
2013 volume: $3.3 million
Staff: 2 office, 15 field
Messier always played with the idea
of working in construction because
his father did. So when the United
Automobile Workers strike forced him
to shift careers, he took a chance on
construction, starting his business in
the back of a pickup truck.
At first, he concentrated solely
on the physical work. Soon after,
he started attending builders’
conferences and remodeling
shows to learn more about running
a business. Eventually he built
his business into the 17-person
operation it is today, with whole-
house remodels making up a large
part of the company’s work.
Going forward, Messier would
like to add another niche related to
remodeling—possibly insurance
restoration, which he has done in
the past.
Get extended Big50 profiles at Remodelingmag.com
7 0 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
C
r
e
d
i
t

-

G
a
l
a
x
i
e
P
o
l
a
r
i
s
_
6
/
7
B E F O R E + A F T E R
MAY 2 0 1 4 / R E MO D E L I N G 7 1 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
C
r
e
d
i
t

-

G
a
l
a
x
i
e
P
o
l
a
r
i
s
_
6
/
7
R
emodeling projects are infamous for outgrowing their
original scope, but architect Nils Finne and builder
Mark Vassallo knew that wouldn’t happen with this
1920s Seattle home. “This was the fourth project I did
with the owners,” says Finne, whose earlier interven-
tions included a new kitchen, a remodeled living room
and master bedroom suite, and a stone-paved backyard terrace
that doubles as the roof of the home’s below-grade garage. This
time around, the work would consist of a new study and master
bath, a reworked stairway, and a reconfigured third-floor suite.
That and no more, Finne says, “because we had done every-
thing else.” Limited scope doesn’t always mean limited impact,
however. This culminating project expands and enriches the
owners’ experience of their house, rounding out its character
with an Asian-inflected modernism that blends seamlessly
with the original building.
A strategically targeted remodel puts the finishing
touches on a much-updated Seattle residence.
/ by Bruce D. Snider
Current
Affairs
Red Zinger. Replacing an existing sun porch, the red cedar-clad
addition contains a new study at the first floor and a master
bathroom and dressing room above.
P
h
o
t
o
:

B
e
n

B
e
n
s
c
h
n
e
i
d
e
r
/
O
T
T
O
7 2 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
P
h
o
t
o
s
:

B
e
n

B
e
n
s
c
h
n
e
i
d
e
r
/
O
T
T
O
B E F O R E + A F T E R
CHEERING SECTION
The addition occupies the footprint of an old single-story sun
porch, with a study on the first floor and a master bath and
dressing room above. Finne stretched the volume of the sec-
ond-floor space with a series of projecting bays. One, which
turns the southeast corner of the room, contains an L-shaped
vanity cabinet; two smaller versions wrap twin built-in dress-
ers with countertop windows on three sides. The arrangement
elevates the everyday routines of washing and dressing, says
Finne, who asks, “How many dressers do you know that have
their own little bays?” The abundant light is also great for choos-
ing clothes, he adds.
To lighten the addition’s exterior appearance, Finne devel-
oped an innovative building section. Rather than cantilever the
second-floor structure to support the bays, he directed Vassal-
lo’s crew to suspend them from the roof’s I-beam rafters using
steel structural tubes. “If we hadn’t hung them, the bays would
be much heavier looking,” Finne says. “We had to put in some
amazingly big steel headers,” he adds, but carrying the loads
overhead allowed the carpenters to frame the bays’ undersides
with floor structures shallow enough to hide within the cabi-
nets’ kick spaces.
To make Vassallo’s life even more interesting, Finne specified
custom recessed shades that disappear into pockets in the ceiling.
“There’s an unbelievable amount of efort in planning for those
shade pockets,” Vassallo says, “and it goes all the way back to the
steel, to the early structural work. Then there’s wiring, tolerances,
motor size and location, getting the shades to line up so there are
no gaps, access to the pockets … and on a remodel, you don’t even
have control of the original conditions; that adds another layer. We
definitely scratch our heads to make those things come out right. ”
PIECE INITIATIVE
In the course of his career, Finne has assembled a portfolio of ar-
chitectural elements—steel hardware fittings, CNC-milled cab-
inet faces, lighting fixtures, and more—that unify his body of
work and allow clients to enjoy custom designed pieces without
bearing the full cost of product development. Here, the master
bathroom is fitted out with Finne’s twisted steel robe hooks and
towel bars—“We use them on pretty much all of our projects,” he
says—and a pair of steel-framed mirrors with integral LED light-
ing, also of his design. Suspended in front of the vanity cabinet’s
window wall, the latter elegantly do their job without obscuring
the view outside.
The steel balusters that transform the home’s central stair-
case also drew from Finne’s catalogue, with a delicate abstract
design laser-cut into 3-inch steel plate. “The pattern had already
1. Three window bays extend the master bathroom and dressing
space. Copper panels in a shoji-like pattern are a subtle Asian
reference. 2. Laser-cut steel balusters with a custom sapele rail
cap modernize the stair hall while paying due respect to the home’s
traditional style.
1
2
7 4 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
P
h
o
t
o
s
:

B
e
n

B
e
n
s
c
h
n
e
i
d
e
r
/
O
T
T
O
been road-tested,” says Finne, as had the asymmetrically carved
sapele cap rail, but the railing assembly still required a custom
installation. “It’s very difcult to predict how something like
that will perform,” Vassallo says. “We modified how the pieces
were installed as we learned more about how the installation
was performing. We [developed] some methods of adding rigidi-
ty without detracting from the design concept.”
For the 8-foot glass light fixture that hangs in the stair hall,
Finne scaled up an earlier 18-inch-long version, arranging colored
glass rods on a sheet of tempered glass, fusing the assembly in
an oversize kiln, and laser-cutting it into a serpentine shape. The
result is striking, but unlike Finne’s other custom gear, it will re-
main unique to this house. “I’ll sell the mirrors; I have a small
inventory,” he says. But in spite of receiving numerous calls re-
questing a duplicate light fixture, “I will not make that again for
anyone,” he says. “The installation was really tough. It took us six
hours to hang that one light fixture.”
‘JIM’S CEILING’
Drawing from a repertoire of previous patterns and designs also
frees Finne to devote more attention to the completely custom
areas of a job. “So many of the things that Nils brings to the proj-
ect are first-time ideas that are unique to the job,” says Vassallo,
who ofers the master bath ceiling as a prime example. Assem-
bled from Douglas fir stock in a variety of widths and thickness-
es, the composition walks a fine line between order and chaos.
“There is a repeat to the pattern,” Finne says, “but it does have a
random feel. The repeat is about every 24 to 30 inches.”
The task of projecting that pattern onto the room’s complex ceil-
ing plan fell to lead carpenter Jim Hovick, a 25-year Schultz Mill-
er employee and master finish carpenter. “That ceiling was called
‘Jim’s Ceiling,’” Vassallo says. “He was absolutely the right guy for
the job.” And Hovick’s input went beyond scribing the multitude of
fir pieces to plaster walls and steel beams. “Because of the ceiling
geometry, he did a lot of figuring out in the field,” says Finne, who
considers jobsite feedback essential to the success of such one-of de-
signs. “You really can’t anticipate every condition,” he says. “You can
draw a lot, but there’s a point at which you have to stop drawing.”
“Nils is very open to input from the trades and the carpenters,
to hearing someone say, ‘If you can make this a quarter-inch
larger, we can use a diferent material and save some money,’”
Vassallo says. When working with Finne, he adds, “we use a lot
of mockups—with light fixtures, trim details, cabinetry—prior
to investing in the actual production. We do elaborate things out
of cardboard and foam. Often that yields refinements.” —Bruce
Snider is a senior editor for Custom Home and Residential Ar-
chitect, sister publications of Remodeling.
3. Limestone floors, sapele cabinetry, and Douglas fir wall and
ceiling paneling lend warmth and texture to the master bath.
4. Exposed steel roof framing provides a crisp counterpoint. 5. One
of the two built-in dressers. 6. Many of the room’s fittings, including
the lighted vanity mirrors, towel bars, and this robe hook, were
drawn from architect Nils Finne’s portfolio of designs.
4
5 6
3
B E F O R E + A F T E R
A remodeler’s dream window.
Introducing Thermo-Fit Complete – custom full frame replacement windows.
Sizèd ro lr, rhèy'rè ovoiloLlè in o vorièry ol prollès, wood choicès, ond lnishès ro
morch ony homè. Thè vinyl lromè ond Lric| mould orè locrory ossèmLlèd ond rhè
prèlnishèd wood inrèrior orrivès rèody ro slidè inro plocè. No hosslès. No mèssy,
rimè-consuming lnishing. Jusr o losr, Lèourilul insrollorion wirh rhè smorrèsr window
solurion lor Luildèrs, rèmodèlèrs ond homèownèrs.
Another innovation from Thermo-Tech Premium Windows and Doors.
See the Thermo-Fit Complete video at ttwindows.com
Quick, easy
installation and
CVVTCEVKXG ƂPKUJs
inside and out.
Find over 400 dealers at ttwindows.com • 877-565-0159 • 320-529-4012
Installation is a
snap. Literally.
77
| may 2014 | remodeli ng remodeli ngmag. com |
Classifieds
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
on how to be a part of the next
REMODELING
MAGAZINE
special advertising section,
contact Phil Guerra at
202-452-0800.
FOR INFORMATION

l8l008l0 $l0fM 000f8
Dealers wanted!
Help us help you grow!
We’re not just jalousie doors!
WEATHERMASTER Wds & Doors
E-mail: sales@bondedwindows.com
1-855-371-3371
acrylicpatiocovers.com
Custom manufactured, high-quality
aluminum and acrylic patio kits that
can be installed in as little as one day!
K
I
T
S

F
R
O
M
$
19
per
square
foot
DELIVERED
TO YOUR DOOR!
YOUR CLIENTS
DESERVE MORE THAN
A BIG BOX SOLUTION
7 8 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
Advertiser Page Advertiser Page
* Issue mailed in regional editions
Metrostudy * ................................................................................63
NAHB ........................................................................................... 41
NARI .............................................................................................49
National Roofing Contractors Association ..................................65
NT Window, Inc. * ........................................................................63
Nyloboard ..................................................................................... 67
Panasonic Home and Environment ............................................45
PPG Industries ............................................................................ C2
ProVia ......................................................................................... C4
Railing Dynamics, Inc.................................................................. 12
Rainsoft ...............................................................................48a-l, 73
RAM Commerical Trucks ............................................................2-3
Remodeling Design Awards * ...................................................... 76
Remodeling Show ........................................................................ 25
Rinnai .......................................................................................... 57
Riverhead Building Supply * .................................................... 8a-b
Royal Building Products ..............................................................61
The Home Depot ....................................................................... 4,11
The Tapco Group/Foundry ........................................................... 55
Thermo-Tech Vinyl Windows * ................................................... 76
TimberTech ..................................................................................46
Titebond .......................................................................................22
Tony Hoty .....................................................................................24
Velux .......................................................................................24a-b
Versatex........................................................................................ 32
Whirlpool Corporation ..................................................................1
Wilsonart ....................................................................................59
ABC Supply Company .................................................................. 33
American Standard Brands ........................................................ C3
BehrPro ........................................................................................29
BOSCH Power Tools & Accessories ...............................................38
ClimateMaster ............................................................................. 75
DEWALT .......................................................................................19
Diablo ...........................................................................................16
Eldorado Stone ............................................................................6-7
Feeney, Inc. .............................................................................. 14, 79
Ferguson ...................................................................................... 13
Ford Motor Company ................................................................... 15
GEICO * .................................................................................. 40a-b
Glen Raven Custom Fabrics .................................................... 20-21
Grace ........................................................................................... 53
Granite Transformations .............................................................69
Great Southern Wood * ............................................................ 8a-b
Greenbuild .................................................................................... 8
Guardian Industries .................................................................... 37
JELD-WEN ...................................................................................43
Laticrete International, Inc. ........................................................34
Leviton ........................................................................................ 35
Mark E Industries ........................................................................ 14
Masonite * ...............................................................................64a-b
Masterchem Industries/KILZ ...................................................... 23
Matrix Building Products ............................................................26
MAX USA .....................................................................................36
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter .............................................................. 31
AD INDEX
71
| may 2014 | remodeli ng remodeli ngmag. com |
Classifieds
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
Patent Pending
The Ultimate Bendable
Head Flashing
www.astroplastics.com
1-800-334-4474
Customer
Satisfaction
Made Easy
You work hard to give your
customers what they need; we
can help make it a little easier.
Our CableRail stainless steel cables
are a great choice for your customers
who are looking for a view-friendly
railing infill option that’s attractive and
ultra-low maintenance, while our
packaged cable assemblies with
automatic-locking Quick-Connect
®
fittings make installations a breeze.
Learn more about our entire line
of architectural & garden products.
Free catalog and dealer locations,
1-800-888-2418 or www.feeney16.com
NEW
OPTION!
Save time with our
Aluminum Intermediate
Pickets, pre-drilled for
CableRail cables.
8 0 R E MO D E L I N G / MAY 2 0 1 4 R E MO D E L I N G MA G . C O M
You Built It /
P
h
o
t
o
:

A
t
l
a
n
t
i
c

A
r
c
h
i
v
e
s
There’s more where this came from. See more of our award-winning projects and
get fresh ideas for design details at remodelingmag.com.
This child’s bedroom in an early-1900s warehouse remodeled
as a family home, celebrates both the building’s historical nature
and its owners’ love of all things nautical. “They’re involved in
the yacht business,” says cabinetmaker Harley Ashbaugh, “and
they wanted something that [reflected] that lifestyle.” Following
that lead, Ashbaugh integrated the room’s new three-bed corner
bunk with a bookcase built into an old window opening, provid-
ing access to the upper berth with a traditional companionway
ladder and making efcient use of space with storage drawers
under the lower-level bunks. Constructed primarily of maple,
the assembly is finished in an appropriately yachty combination
of gloss-white paint and varnished teak trim.
BY BRUCE D. SNI DE R
Ship of Dreams
D E S I G N
A toilet so powerful, it helped change both of their lives.
Exclusive to trade, the Champion® Pro protects plumbers from callbacks with
its industry-largest siphonic trapway and max MaP test rating. But it doesn’t
just protect plumbers. The Champion Pro also helps protect the 2,000 children
worldwide who die from poor sanitation conditions every day. Our 2013 program
resulted in a commitment of over 500,000 sanitary toilet pans to organizations
working with communities suffering from poor sanitation. We thank those who
helped us make a difference in these communities, and we thank you for continued
support as we continue our Flush For Good program. Further proof that when
plumbers partner with American Standard, they’re helping protect the world.
Learn more at FlushForGood.com
Yes, we care…
...about siding details.
Heartland Siding by ProVia does insulated siding like no others. In-house lamination for insulated siding means
we control quality throughout the production process. And our warranties cover materials and labor. At ProVia our
goal is to serve you, by caring for details in ways others won’t. We’re building our products and our company to
last a lifetime. That’s The Professional Way.
Visit www.proviaproducts.com to fnd out how you can experience The Professional Way.
Doors | Windows | Siding | Stone