How Much Do You Know About Your Subcontractors?

Association of Construction and Development
January 15, 2013 — 1,748 views  

For busy contractors who handle a large number of construction jobs, hiring a subcontractor is a great option. If you don’t have enough time to oversee the work at multiple sites or if you need the expertise of someone who specializes in a particular aspect of construction work, a subcontractor can make your job easier for you. But this is possible only if you have a professional doing the work. There are several ways to check if a subcontractor is worth hiring. Here, we have a handy list of things to check for before you sign on a subcontractor to handle your work.

Things to Check before You Hire a Subcontractor

  1. License: Every state/province usually has its own set of rules and regulations for issuing licenses to subcontractors. Make sure that the subcontractor has a license that is valid for construction work in your state. This will also help you avoid hiring suspended entities or debarred entities.
  2. Insurance: Be sure to check that the subcontractor has a valid insurance certificate. Insurance should include liability to cover any damages caused by the subcontractor, as well as compensation for any injuries that they may suffer.
  3. References: Every contractor should have a minimum of three references of past construction jobs, of which at least one should preferably be in your state.
  4. Degree in construction work: Ensure that the subcontractor has a degree along with 3-4 years of work experience. In addition, he or she should have at least one year of work experience as a construction foreman.
  5. Trained staff: The subcontractor should have a well-trained staff with valid licenses and insurance.
  6. Preliminary site inspection: Visit the construction site with your subcontractor beforehand to discuss the work to be done. Ensure that he or she understands the work properly to avoid confusion and delays once the work begins.
  7. Drafting the contract: Once you’ve decided to hire a subcontractor, get a contract drawn up which mentions in precise terms what the job entails, who is responsible for different aspects of the job, and the amount of money to be paid to the subcontractor. The contract should be drafted in such a way that prevents exploitation in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Avoid a Bad Hire: Discuss the Job Beforehand

It is crucial that you discuss all aspects of the job with the subcontractor before hiring him. Failing to mention important factors such as insurance and overhead expenses can cost you time and money and may even cause you to lose the job. Visit the site and discuss the work in detail with the subcontractor so that there is no confusion about what his responsibilities will be. You should also have his credentials checked to avoid hiring suspended entities or debarred entities. Besides, discussing the necessary requirements for the job (license, experience, insurance etc.) beforehand will help you avoid hiring unprofessional or inexperienced candidates. It will also make it easier for you to find a good subcontractor suited to your work. 

Association of Construction and Development