Subcontractors are critical to a general contractor’s ability to successfully manage large projects and multiple clients. Fortunately, finding a subcontractor is easy, but finding a dependable one is a different story. You can help separate the best from the rest by carefully screening prospective subcontractors. Below are five questions that general contractors should ask of subcontractors before they hire them for a project.
1) “Please provide me with the names of 3 clients you have served in the past year.”
References are critical to carefully evaluating a subcontractor’s professionalism and quality of work. Be wary of subcontractors who fail to provide you with this information, as they could be associated with fraud.
2) “Are you licensed and insured to provide your services?”
Requesting proof of licensure and insurance is a basic but often overlooked question that every general contractor should ask. Failure to select a subcontractor that is licensed and insured could land you in deep water if an accident occurs.
3) “How long have you been in business?”
There is no substitute for experience when evaluating subcontractors. New or fly-by-night subcontractors may offer attractive pricing, but if they have no track record of success, you are usually better served moving on to the next prospect.
4) “What type of materials and tools do you use?”
Does the subcontractor use premium grade stainless steel or import cheap stainless steel from an unknown overseas provider? Does a roofing subcontractor use shingles with a lifetime warranty or the cheapest ones they can find? Subcontractors who use poor quality materials may return shoddy work. In turn, it could end up damaging your reputation as a general contractor.
5) “Do you offer discounted services if we hire you for multiple projects?”
If you find a dependable subcontractor who produces excellent results, the chances are you will want them for more work in the future. Be sure to ask about the possibility of adjusted pricing or services if you might be interested in a subcontractor for multiple projects or long-term services.
The Bottom Line
Subcontractors often play a vital role in helping general contractors complete projects on time. For years, the PlanHub team has worked with general contractors across the nation to help them improve communications with subcontractors and improve project efficiency. We look forward to introducing you to our FREE cloud-based application! To learn more about strategies and management system to help you effectively select subcontractors, we invite you to contact us today.


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