Case Studies

Mamais Construction

In-house craftsmanship gives a leg up in greater N.Y.C
  • Written by: Self-submission by Lawson Harris, director of construction services for Mamais Construction
  • Produced by: John Carioti
  • Estimated reading time: 6 mins

After nearly 50 years, second-generation, woman-owned Mamais Construction (Mamais) has grown from a small one-room, one-truck operation to a full-service general contractor with more than 150 skilled, in-house craftspeople. Centered in Manhattan, Mamais has proudly served the New York area since 1968.

The family business started with then 21-year-old Eleftherios “Louie” Mamais and his brothers who left their home in Greece for a piece of the American Dream. Growing up with a construction background, the brothers came to the U.S. and started refining their skills as carpenters and millworkers, ultimately establishing Mamais in 1968.

Multigenerational skill

The same fine-tuned skill remains a hallmark of Mamais, with in-house tradesmen well versed in architectural woodwork, finish carpentry, framing and drywall, masonry, tiling, ceilings, doors, plaster, wall finishes and window installations.

“The unique thing about Mamais is we are a self-performing contractor,” Lawson Harris, director of construction services for Mamais. “Unlike most general contractors who subcontract all trades, we perform them in-house. We have about 150 tradespeople on staff, including finish carpenters, painters, millworkers, drywallers, tile setters, masons and general helpers; you name it. This allows us to perform all of the building from basic construction to high-end sophisticated details, only subcontracting mechanical, electrical and plumbing services.”

This reputation for skilled in-house work allowed Mamais to take off in the competitive New York City construction market. As the company steadily evolved, Mamais reached a turning point in 1994, when Louie and his brothers stepped down and transitioned the company to the second generation of the Mamais family.

In the mid-1990s, Louie’s son, Peter Mamais, became vice president and his daughter, Voula Mamais-Lorino, stepped into the role of president and CEO, making the company a woman-owned enterprise.

In his current position, Peter oversees all project management and field supervisory staff members, and is instrumental in shaping the business structure and culture that support the company’s success.

Meanwhile, Voula leads the strategic growth and financial operations of Mamais. She is responsible for leading the company’s business development and marketing efforts, as well as managing client relationships.

“We’re a second-generation company,” says Voula. “We’re working every day to build on the reputation and foundation our founders established. More than 80 percent of our annual work comes from repeat clients with the balance attributing to our passion for growth.”

Mamais ConstructionCompany structure

Operating out of its 19,000-square-foot facility in Manhattan, Mamais provides general contracting services for a variety of project types and scales, ranging from high-end renovations to general upgrades. These services are divided between two divisions of the company, project team, which focuses on larger contract agreement type work and the service team, which focuses on service agreement type work. While both are bound by the same commitment to innovation, dedication and quality, the divisions focus on two different segments of the market.

The Mamais project team provides general contracting services for high-end alterations and renovations. Project managers oversee every aspect of the project, including preconstruction services, MEP coordination, shop drawings, submittals, safety management and project closeout.

By becoming involved during the planning stages of projects and staying involved until completion of construction, the project team ensures continuity between the preconstruction and construction phases, so that decisions made during the planning stages are properly implemented in the field. Because Mamais is a self-performing general contractor, all of the work is completed by its in-house staff of highly experienced tradesmen. This offers a number of benefits to clients, including quality assurance, better communication, control over the schedule, cost savings and efficient utilization of manpower.

“Our combined industry experience and qualified staff provide us with the necessary means and ability to consistently meet our client’s expectations and produce results,” measures Lawson.

The Mamais service team specializes in the complete maintenance of commercial, educational, residential and retail facilities. The team of professionals is equipped to offer around-the-clock accessibility, quick response time and reliability. The company’s list of clients includes several universities, building management companies and big-box retail chains.

“When it comes to this type of work we set ourselves apart from the competition by offering a 24-hour emergency call center, fully stocked building material warehouse, fleet of over 30 trucks and custom millwork shop for repairs and fabrication,” states Lawson.

In-house millwork

Since its founding in 1968, Mamais has understood the role of quality millwork and cabinetry in the success of a construction project. Early in company history it was realized that in order to meet its own quality standards and client needs, Mamais needed to produce its own millwork. Over the last 45 years, Mamais has since grown to be one of the top suppliers of high-end custom cabinetry and millwork in New York City.

Mamais currently operates its millwork shop out of a 6,500-square-foot facility located in the Bronx. With state-of-the-art facility and machinery, Mamais is capable of providing products that meet the highest standards. In its millwork facility, technicians are capable of custom designing and manufacturing everything from a single radiator enclosure, to a piece of freestanding furniture, to millwork and built-in cabinetry.

The team also produces its own moldings in any shape. “For remodeling projects, this allows us to match the existing wood on your project not just close but exactly,” states Lawson.

In its long history of existence Mamais has successfully completed numerous millwork projects ranging from hospitality, retail, residential and commercial industries – and prides itself on offering competitive pricing to fit every price range.

Above and beyond general contracting

For 46 years, clients have turned to Mamais with confidence for renovations, restorations and remodels, carried out by its in-house skilled tradesmen. In addition to general contracting, Mamais provides design-build services, offering customers a single point of responsibility for constructability, cost, quality and schedule adherence.

The Mamais staff includes professionals in all areas, from estimating, scheduling and procurement, to construction administration, site safety, quality, cost control and MEP coordination and commissioning. By managing multiple objectives, including design and aesthetic quality, as well as constructability and budget adherence, Mamais frees owners to focus on timely decision making and specific goals and demands of the project, rather than coordinating between designer and builder.

“As a design-build contractor, we are able to draw upon our experience with industry leading architects, designers and suppliers to create an integrated design-build team customized to the needs and goals of our clients,” Lawson details.

Mamais also assumes the role of construction manager utilizing an in-house team of construction managers, managing the overall planning, coordination and control of a project from preconstruction planning to closeout.

As construction managers, Mamais brings a variety of construction expertise to every project. The company’s management team has proven experience that helps clients avoid costly planning and design oversights. Following a system of checks and balances, managers ensure project milestones and schedules are accomplished by conducting pre-construction meetings, proactively meeting with subcontractors to ensure that the overall project goals are met, maintaining focus on long-lead priorities and setting milestones for design and construction phases. In the post-construction phase, Mamais oversees the testing and documentation of all new equipment and building systems to guarantee the final product is delivered as specified.

Connecting community

Beyond construction projects, the Mamais family believes in coming together as an organization. Mamais actively supports the community through its involvement in a wide variety of organizations, community events and public awareness campaigns. The company believes in strengthening its community by supporting local businesses and local employment opportunities.

“The staff supports our company goals every holiday season by volunteering at a local charity,” shares Lawson. “We believe that doing something small in our community can make a big difference.”

The company also connects with the Wounded Warrior Project, Toys for Tots, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the Professional Women in Construction (PWC) and the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBENC), among others. As the company dives into 2015, Mamais Construction continues a commitment to its community roots, while building on the longstanding reputation the Mamais family has strived to develop over the last four decades.

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Spring 2018



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