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Penfield company builds on solid foundation

Rochester Chamber Top 100
Rochester Business Journal
January 13, 2017

At the cornerstone of Nicholas DeRisio’s business is the belief everyone should be treated fairly and honestly.

“Customer satisfaction is our top priority,” said DeRisio, the owner and president of DeRisio Construction Inc. “We don’t just say it, we mean it.”

That belief, which he calls the DeRisio difference, has led to double-digit percentage growth each year since the business was launched in 1999.

The Penfield company does kitchens, baths, additions, windows, decks, custom woodworking and general improvements. It serves customers throughout Monroe and seven nearby counties.

DeRisio also credits the growth of the firm to having a solid reputation that has helped it land several industry awards.

What also helps is providing impeccable workmanship, hiring the right people, building and maintaining vendor relationships and having partnerships with financial lenders, he said.

DeRisio’s interest in home improvement projects started when he was a youth working alongside his grandfather, the late Dominic DeRisio, in his wood shop. DeRisio would go on to launch his business, originally called Nick DeRiso Custom Carpentry.

For the first few years in business, DeRisio fabricated furniture and worked on kitchens and decks while earning an undergraduate degree in construction and a master’s degree in education.

After graduation, he continued to run the business while teaching. In 2008, he rebranded the firm as DeRisio Construction, a name he felt better communicated the scope of the firm’s work.

The business has grown every year since its inception, DeRisio noted. From 2013 to 2016 the business grew its employment from seven workers to 21.

DeRisio is looking for additional employees, including remodeling assistants and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design remodeling specialists.

The growth over the years has helped the business stay ahead of its business plan.

Sales were up 30 percent in 2016, and DeRisio expects another double-digit sales increase in 2017.

“We have no plans to put the brakes on anything,” he said.

Indeed, he plans to grow the business, adding more services that complement the interior and exterior improvements on residential and commercial properties that the firm already does.

Part of the firm’s success seems simple, he said, but is not always the case in the industry: employees show up on-time to jobs and the work is completed in a timely manner.

DeRisio has daily and weekly updates on the progress of projects, which helps the company meet its goals.

The business also uses in-house crews for its jobs. The company has a licensed plumbing division, DeRisio Plumbing LLC, and an in-house designer.

DeRisio’s attention to detail and establishing long-term relationships has helped grow its customer base, DeRisio said, noting the firm’s growth is largely due to repeat business.

Michele Harnischfeger and her husband had DeRisio undertake an extensive renovation at their ranch home on Lake Ontario in Monroe County.

The couple described the work as topnotch, noting they would recommend DeRisio Construction to anyone.

The crew was professional and completed the job in a timely manner, Harnischfeger added. She also liked that DeRisio had the talent on-staff that could complete the job instead of having to rely on other firms to come in and do additional work.

The economy continues to plays a major role in DeRisio’s business, he said.

“When households are doing well financially and local businesses are growing, our workload spikes, and we remain healthy and our employees thrive,” DeRisio said.

Working with local suppliers is also key.

“We try to use local companies and resources whenever possible,” DeRisio said. “The relationships we have created with our suppliers are invaluable.”

DeRisio Construction Inc.

Residential and commercial construction company

Year founded: 1999

Top executive: Nicholas DeRisio, president and owner

Current employment: 21

2016 ranking: 57

Headquarters: Penfield


The Rochester Chamber Top 100 program is presented by the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and KPMG LLP. Launched in 1987, it recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in Greater Rochester. The 2017 Rochester Top 100 event is slated to be held Nov. 2. For more information, go to

1/13/2017 (c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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