The craftsman
Murray Scureman, 68
By Anne Fisher, FORTUNE senior writer

(FORTUNE Magazine) -- Then

Scureman spent his first career moving back and forth between the computer industry (IBM, mainframe maker Amdahl) and the federal government (the Department of Commerce under Presidents Nixon and Ford).

While Scureman was working at Amdahl in 1993, he and his wife wanted to move but decided to remodel their ranch house instead.

Scureman - a lifelong building buff - loved working with the contractor so much that he quit his job and went into business with him. Though that lasted only 14 months, Scureman decided to strike out on his own.

Now

These days Scureman runs Denman Development Group in Potomac, Md.

Though he says his first partner just wanted him to "write checks," these days he's usually right there swinging a hammer with his crew of seven.

His firm's specialty? Hurricane-proof cathedral ceilings, which must be able to withstand winds of up to 90 miles per hour, thanks to newly enacted laws in the upscale suburban counties around Washington, D.C.

With three to seven home-renovation projects underway at any time, "there's a lot of sweat," says Scureman, "and not from the heat."  Top of page