How to Measure the Performance of a Renovation Contractor

July 8, 2016


When selecting a renovation contractor, many building owners' decisions are based solely on the bottom line due to budget constraints, while others carefully consider the intricacies of the project's scope and the confidence they have that the project can be performed by the selected contractor "on-time and on-budget" as promised.


"What's often overlooked by decision-makers are the many value-added, non-financial components not affecting the owners' bottom line from the standpoint of the project itself, but that are imperative for the successful completion of the project," said Sam Cicero, Jr., president of Cicero's Development Corp., a General Contractor specializing in the hospitality industry.


According to Cicero, the performance measures listed below provide a balanced set of indicators that a building owner should measure a contractor by.

  • Business disruption avoidance - Can the contractor identify and categorize possible risks early on that could throw the project off schedule and result cost-overruns? Back-up plans should be developed accordingly in case risks come into play.

  • Qualify all bidders - How well a project is delivered can be impacted by the level of vetting of suppliers and subcontractors. It's the general contractor's responsibility to ensure that suppliers and subcontractors alike have the same commitment to value and dedication to the successful completion of the project as the contractor in charge. Professionalism, safety, good skill sets and communication, access to the right materials and supplies, as well as respect for the project are all very important attributes when selections are made.

  • Cleanliness of jobsite - Having a team that's not only skilled in their craft, but organized, efficient and professional will help ensure an overall positive renovation experience.

  • Controlling noise level - Being aware of peak times of operation and having processes in place that help eliminate the noise factor not only shows respect for those that remain in the space for the duration of the renovation project but also helps eliminate the stress involved with any renovation project large or small.

  • Complaints by clients - In the world of social media, companies can no longer afford to have complaints go unanswered in online reviews such as Tripadvisor, Angie's List and other social media sites. Many companies now have paid staff whose job it is to answer reviews whether positive or negative. Be mindful of social media backlash by having processes and systems in place to ensure that any negative feedback is at a minimum if at all and are immediately addressed.

  • Warehouse deliveries - What is the ordering and receiving process? How will materials be delivered so as not to incur additional costs or disturb the day-to-day operations due to elevators not being available as a result of deliveries not being properly scheduled?

  • Communications - Open communications between all stakeholders is a key to a successful renovation. It should include a daily report that identifies manpower levels, deliveries, threats to the schedule, safety, and areas out of service. Weekly phone calls between the stakeholders should also take place that encourage open discussion regarding the schedule, design, and client operations so that all parties can work to manage problems and issues as a team. 

  • Coordination of staging - Often a project will require laydown or staging areas when a space must be made available. These details should be communicated and monitored by the construction management team to determine any possible delays in delivery of the space, guest complaints and any added costs.

  • Punch process - Identifying the punch process procedure at the front end of the project is a key to setting the bar for expectations of quality, identify the team members included in the process, and allowing the recovery time needed to make the correction in the project schedule. This is an anxious time for all parties and often the anxiety is due to not having these expectations identified upfront. Signing off on punched areas is basically saying everyone has reviewed the work and agreed the space is ready to sell or occupy.

Performance measurement factors are one of the behind-the-scenes, non-billable tactics that all too often go unnoticed but are necessary for an overall positive renovation experience. Before selecting your next contractor consider each of these factors in your decision.

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