Subcontractors for residential or commercial construction are companies that specialize in one trade. At Steve Allen Construction, for instance, we are a carpentry subcontractor that specializes in rough, frame and shop carpentry for both residential and commercial projects. Other subcontractors may specialize in things such as excavating, drywall, painting, etc.
With most construction jobs depending heavily on the work of subcontractors, it’s important to find the subs that will be a perfect fit for the job. For the builders who read this blog, we have compiled some insights on how to properly utilize subcontractors for your construction projects.
Finding a Subcontractor
The process for finding a good subcontractor is very much like that of finding a good general contractor. Ask around. See if friends, family or other professionals have a subcontractor they would recommend. You can also look around the area you’re building in and see if you like any of the residential or commercial work you see. Don’t be afraid to ask building owners who did the subcontracting work. You can also ask wholesale suppliers about who buys their products. Once you’ve found some good subcontractors, they can likely refer you to others who also do good work.
Hiring Your Subcontractors
With subcontractors, the scope of work is much more limited than it is for a general contractor. A clear description of the work a subcontractor will do should be written out to avoid any confusion. A subcontractor should also be properly licensed and insured so that you as a general contractor are not liable for any issues that can arise from hiring a non-licensed worker. Make sure the contract for the subcontractor covers details such as removal of debris and a schedule of when work should be done.
Have a Construction Manager
Whether you act as a construction manager or you hire one for the job, it’s important to have a person with the task of making sure all the subcontractors are doing good work and doing it on time. A construction manager should have ample experience in the industry and be able to work out any complications or issues that arise on the construction site. Ideally, if you’ve hired good subcontractors, an extensive amount of supervision will not be needed.
Potential Problems and Solutions
Unfortunately, not every construction job can go smoothly and you must deal with the issues that arise. One problem you may see with subcontractors is showing up late or not showing up at all. To avoid this, always touch base with the subcontractors a few days ahead of schedule. Make sure they’ll be in town and that they are paid on time! While some subcontractors are late to the job, others finish too quickly and leave a mess in their wake. To avoid this, don’t always go with the lowest priced subcontractor. Sometimes a low price also means low quality. Finally, there can sometimes be collateral damage during a subcontractors work. Often times, a subcontractor will only focus on their job and not realize they are ruining the work of other subcontractors. If possible, have a meeting on a job site to discuss accessing the worksite, protecting surfaces and cleanup to avoid this problem.
At Steve Allen Construction in Ocala, FL, we are confident in the quality of our carpentry subcontracting work. Give us a call or reach out to us on our contact page if you are interested in finding a reputable framing and finish subcontractor, and we’ll answer all your questions. We hope this blog has provided some helpful insight for making your next construction job a success.
— Steve Allen Inc. (@SteveAllenOcala) September 10, 2014