In early 2007, Renewal Construction began its “Guaranteed Renovation” program, which promises clients that their project will be “substantially complete” by a specified target date, barring certain unforeseen disasters such as a hurricane or tornado. “At the outset of a job, we guarantee a fixed price and a delivery date,” says Peter Michelson, owner of the Decatur, Ga., company, noting that both are adjusted in the event of change orders. “If we don't deliver on time, we refund the client $200 per day that we're late.”

This Job Completion–Homeowner Signoff form is filled out on the day that the project is deemed “substantially complete” (see below for definition). The homeowner's signature verifies the work that has been done and the accuracy of the items listed on the punch list, which Renewal Construction aims to finish within 10 days of the completion date. The form serves as a record that both the remodeler and the client have deemed the space inhabitable.

So far, the program has been a hit with clients and a success for the company. “We've been doing this for almost a year now,” Michelson says, “and we haven't missed a single delivery date.”