« Back to Facilities Management News Home

« Design & Construction

Tips for Hiring a General Contractor for Your Next Hotel Renovation Project

PLAINFIELD IL -- Of the many challenges facing hotels owners, one of the most daunting is maintaining their properties to the standards of travelers and the franchise brand. Once physical aspects of a hotel begin to show wear-and-tear, RevPAR declines drastically.

"To stay ahead of the competition, a hotel should schedule a major renovation every five to seven years," explained Sam Cicero, founder of Cicero's Development Corporation, a hotel renovation company with more than 40 years experience. "Regardless of the scope of work, a qualified contractor will need to be hired. Of course, the key is to find the right one."

Cicero suggests operators pre-qualify and interview three experienced design-build general contractors that specialize in hotel renovation projects. He also offers a list of tough questions to ask during contractor interviews:

    Does the Contractor simply ask you what you want done, i.e., paint the walls, or do they probe to determine what your project goals are? For example, if the goal is to generate additional guest revenue does the Contractor have recommendations or are they simply order takers?  
    Is the Contractor willing to take the time to work with you to write and define a very detailed "scope of work" to help eliminate change orders later in the project?  
    Will the Contractor give you a written preliminary budget, adjusting as you work through the preliminary planning?
    Will the Contractor give you a written project time-line with set milestones so that you can monitor it?
    What is the Contractor's back-up plan if the project time-line starts falling off?
    What is the Contractor's procedure for providing you with submittals prior to them placing product orders?   
    Does the Contractor plan to discuss with you project scheduling, budgets and overall status? Do they conduct daily meetings, along with weekly sit down meetings with written agendas?
    How will the Contractor address safety on your project? What is their safety record and can you verify it?
    Ask about their experience with local building and fire codes, as well as federal ADA requirements.
    Will the Contractor discuss in detail their project close out procedure?
    Will the Contractor provide training for your staff on any new equipment that they purchase for the project? If so, when?
    How long does the Contractor guarantee their work? Is it in writing?

Finally, Cicero warns hotel operators of unusually low pricing: "With less work to go around, be wary of firms that submit low bids and who may later hike the price through change orders or additional service requests. Make sure that you discuss their change order procedure openly, as this most commonly occurs at the worst time."


For more information, visit www.cicerosdev.com.

Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »   posted on: 12/21/2012

More From 12/21/2012 on FacilitiesNet