Our company has provided remodeling and handyman services to Chicago homeowners for the past 10 years. We started out working in single-family homes, but early on an architect hired us for a large job in a high-rise apartment building. Today, high-rise work accounts for half our volume. We work in downtown Chicago, on jobs ranging from building out a closet to a $650,000 complete renovation.

Once we learned the ropes, the high-rise niche became a profitable source of steady work. The clients are typically high-end; the jobs consist largely of working with finishes. The hours are easy to swallow — most building managers only want contractors on site from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The competition is predictable: Trades...

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