Last fall we began collecting data for our Cost of Doing Business Report, which will appear in our March issue. The NAHB research team collected the data but found that they had to spend a lot of time on follow-up calls to clarify the methods companies used to calculate common financial benchmarks. This is a problem that plagues this column, too, because remodelers can't seem to agree on a common definition and shared formulas for critical financial measurements.
Steve Farrell, president of The Farrell Co., Los Altos, Calif., pays his field crew a lower-than-average base salary, and they like it. That's because he then hands out yearly bonuses ó big ones. Last year he distributed one that more than doubled one employee's salary.