Duce Construction Company Ranks in Franklin Report Top 10 Cleanest Contractors
“I don’t let my guys bring a change of clothes to the job site, because if it’s okay getting yourself dirty, it’s okay letting the job site get dirty. I tell my guys to dress like they’re going on a first date right after work.”
– Peter McIntyre, Hibernia Construction
The path to a serene, freshly chic home can be fraught with mess and chaos–anyone who has endured stacks of lumber in the lobby and sawdust in the elevator knows that. However, there are still contractors who embrace zero-tolerance cleanliness, and we’ve found ten of the best. Our method? Ask the people who see high-end renovations up close, all day every day: Park Avenue superintendents. Relying on our network of contacts, we reached out to supers at some of the city’s most coveted addresses. They dished up the dirt (or lack thereof) on New York’s Top Ten Cleanest Contractors:
1. Clark Construction Corp.
2. Best & Company NYC
3. SilverLining Interiors
4. NYC Brownstone
5. Duce Construction Corporation
6. Hibernia Construction
7. Eljin Construction of New York, Inc.
8. Metamorphosis Construction Corporation
9. Taconic Builders Inc.
10. Cornerstone Contracting
Equipped with this list, we reached out to find out how these firms get the job done. One, NYC Brownstone, invited us along on a patch-up project for one of the buildings they maintain (by the way, it’s a historic home of Eleanor Roosevelt’s, and it’s for sale). Helmed by veteran contractor Jack Kaltner, the firm has a reputation for superior work on smaller jobs. Their technique for dust-free repairs involves a system of double plastic draping, including the taping of hands in bags. The average operating room is less hygienic. However, a trustworthy crew is the secret ingredient. “I know all my guys personally,” Kaltner said. “You have to, working on significant properties like this.”
Echoing this sentiment, Metamorphosis’ Konstantine Tsombikos told us “It’s about people, not about tricks. We do all the normal things: protective cloths, spraying with water to contain dust, careful taping and covering, all of it. But you have to have people who care, otherwise it doesn’t matter.” As a successful executor of lavish homes for over 25 years, principal of Duce Construction Rory McCreesh considers his practices Job Site 101. “Construction sites can be incredibly complex. We map out every stage of the game in excruciating detail to save the client’s time and money. Hyper-cleanliness isn’t just an objective, it’s the byproduct of a well-executed project.”
Chip Brian of Best & Co. takes it one immaculate step further with a multitude of live cameras at every site to ensure his personal zero-tolerance standards are being met. Furthermore, no food is allowed onsite and tool organization is paramount. Says Brian, “A disorderly job site indicates the contractor’s disinterest in the success of your project. Disarray is unacceptable and disrespectful of clients’ carefully considered investment in the project and resources. A messy site should never be tolerated at any stage of the project including demolition.” Those high standards, along with superior work, transparent communication and a sense of urgency keep Best & Co. at the top of all lists.
Another advocate of high-tech solutions for large scale projects is Josh Wiener, of construction heavyweight SilverLining. To placate the neighbors while ensuring a safe site for all, his crew lines all involved elevators with plastic zippered jackets to ensure even the slightest bit of debris doesn’t slip through the shaft to the floors below. Inside the apartment, a negative air pressure machine is used to suck in dirty air particles, scrub them clean and expel them back into the space. But, like the others in the Top Ten, Wiener also goes back to basics. “One precaution we always take is to keep either a wet cloth or a carpet sample by the front door. That way, even when the client or designer come to check on the progress, nothing from the outside comes in and nothing is tracked out.”
While it may seem like the city’s best contractors just spilled their secrets to success, the real takeaway is that cleanliness is something essential for distinguishing the very best. As head of Eljin Construction, Denis McCarthy, summarizes, “The simple answer is embedded in the company culture. We take a holistic view that in every job we work for everyone in the building. It’s easy to be considerate of neighbors and the building staff. After all, they are our partners in getting the job done.”