The Key to Overcoming Hotel Renovation Roadblocks

Author's note: This is the second installment of a four-part series about hotel renovation and how to ensure project success and reduced business interruption. 

As you work to rapidly and safely complete hotel renovation projects in allotted timeframes, almost nothing can bring the project to a full stop as fast as mold and asbestos (or other unknowns like damaged pipes or wiring). The situation is all too common. A contractor scopes the project and creates an ambitious schedule all the while being unaware of what's hidden in the walls. Then, as soon as workers encounter an unexpected obstacle, the entire plan falls apart. Days or even weeks need to be added to the schedule as the contractor calls on specialists to come in and remediate the issues. In the meantime, the contractor and specialists struggle to coordinate schedules. And delays are often compounded as similar issues are discovered at later dates on other floors. 

While these types of situation are all too common, they can also be avoided. To reduce risks, the key is to perform an initial assessment on each floor as they are shut down for the renovation. Interstate's approach is to personally go out to project sites and walk the floor in search of unknowns with the project supervisor. We will look for issues, such as mold behind wallpaper or asbestos mastic under the floor or in mirrors and behind tub surrounds. We will also either do moisture content assessments to the exterior walls or each room, or even open the walls and pull out insulation to see if there is any moisture or other issues we may have to address. 

The benefit of this proactive approach is that surprises—and schedule delays—are minimized. By knowing what additional obstacles you're faced with, the project approach and schedule can be adjusted to meet the target end date. Part of the challenge is finding a contractor (like Interstate) who has the capabilities or relationships to quickly ramp up specialists as obstacles are discovered. Given the tight timelines and all of the pressures of a renovation project, a comprehensive set of capabilities that are all close at hand can make all of the difference between hitting the budget and timeline or getting hit with a huge delay. 

In the next article, we will take a closer look at project scheduling and its ties to communication and unforeseen issues. 

About the Author: Dan Dansby
Dan is the Executive Vice President for Large Loss Sales at Interstate. He has more than 30 years' experience in the general construction and restoration industry. Dan has extensive experience in area-wide catastrophe response and specializes in hotel renovation and repairs. Dan is a civil engineer graduate and holds several certifications in the field.