Subscribe to Inc. magazine

Confidence Survey ResultsInc. 500|5000 2010

INC. 5000

America's Fastest-Growing Construction Company

Direct Exteriors president Mike McAlpin devised an algorithm for where disasters will strike so he can be there to clean up the mess.
Mike McAlpin

Courtesy company

Mike McAlpin


No. 1 in Construction

Direct Exteriors
2,723.8% Three-Year Growth
Revenue: $5.5 Million
Employees: 32
President: Mike McAlpin
Founded: 2003
Overall RANK: No. 91
Maple Grove, Minn.

Construction com­panies are drawn to restoration projects—such as repairing homes ravaged by natural disasters or theft—for the high profit margins. But Mike McAlpin, founder of Direct Exteriors, knew how tricky it could be to get insurance agencies to pay up. After a friend in the business got into financial trouble, McAlpin studied the friend's books to see why it took so long to get paid. When a massive hailstorm hit McAlpin's neighborhood in suburban Minneapolis in 2007, he was ready. 'We figured out the secret,' he says. 'Insurance companies have a price for replacing every little shingle. You have to invoice the way they want.' McAlpin bought the insurers' software, memorized their rules, and learned to speak their adjusters' language. In 2008, McAlpin hired a forensic meteor­ologist to identify the regions of the country most damaged by natural disasters, down to the street level. Since then, Direct Exteriors has cautiously funneled profits into opening offices in six additional states.

Register on today to get full access to:
All articles  |  Magazine archives | Livestream events | Comments

Or sign up using: