Once a year, three remodelers in the Nashville, Tenn., area conduct a wage and benefits survey of local remodeling companies. Eight years ago, David Crane of Crane Builders, Ridley Wills and Wendell Harmer of The Wills Co., and Skeeter Coleman of Coleman Construction decided to send an annual survey to 50 remodelers in their area.

The three companies rely on the survey results to help them determine competitive wages and benefits for their employees. “We use [this information] as we review our employees, to make sure they are at the top or near the top of pay in our area,” Crane says.

The survey lists job titles in the remodeling industry — from sales to administration to production — and asks company owners to indicate the wage range and benefits provided for each position. It also includes questions about vacation time, tool allowances, and vehicle allowances.

Though the group usually receives 20 to 25 responses, it sends a summary of the results to all 50 companies on the list. The results vary from year to year. “In some years, [the wage range] seems flat; in other years, there's a bigger jump than you expect. It is not a straight graph; it varies based on the economy,” Crane says.