Quality-minded general contractors understand the importance of choosing subcontractors with top-notch skills and exemplary work habits. The success of their projects depends upon it, and so do their reputations. A talent deficit isn’t the only difficulty general contractors face. Dartmouth Licensed contractors are like magicians. They create three-dimensional buildings out of two-dimensional drawings and manage the many details that make that happen – from ordering materials and inspecting completed work to coordinating schedules, handling paperwork and troubleshooting job site problems. They’re also responsible for hiring and managing the specialised subcontractors who work under their direction.
With the current shortage of available projects, general contractors themselves need to keep bid prices down and may hire lower-cost contractors in order to accomplish that. While this may be a prudent choice for fiscal reasons, it may not be in the best interest of the project overall. If the sub’s workmanship is below par, the quality of the completed job may be at risk. Safety issues can lead to job site incidents that affect the entire project. And costs can easily double as a result.
Prequalifying subcontractors is the best way for general contractors to hire the best workers for the job and reduce the risk of rework, delays, and quality or safety issues once the job is underway. This may require additional upfront time but pays off in the long run. Prequalification checklists or questionnaires can expedite the process and ensure that all bidders are providing comparable information. These are recommended areas for general contractors to scrutinise:
- Look for strong credentials and solid performance. Request a report on the subs’ credentials, management team, experience, expertise and geographic reach. Examine work history and any lawsuits, claims, disputes or bankruptcies. Also look at current projects underway and upcoming projects in the queue to ensure the sub will have the capacity to meet the demands of your job in the timeframe you require.
- Ensure sufficient financial strength and stability to handle the job. Request details such as the sub’s annual contract volume, sales and net worth, or ask for two years of financial statements with the assurance that the information will be kept confidential. A review of these details can reveal red flags such as a lack of working capital, more debt than equity, or declining income with an increase in accounts receivable.
Require strong quality controls. Quality control and quality assurance (QA/QC) programs help prevent rework and warranty work and reduce the potential for construction defect claims. When screening potential subcontractors, ask about about their QA/QC programs and how they function.
- Understand the demographics of the sub’s workforce. Ask about the subs’ employees: are they permanent or temporary, and what are their age groups? Both young and aging workers statistically are more prone to injury on construction job-sites. Entry-level workers may not have the skills or tools required to meet performance expectations.