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5 Tips for Hiring Subcontractors

04 March 2020
5 Tips for Hiring Subcontractors

Finding a trustworthy subcontractor can prove to be a complicated process. As a contractor, you need someone that won’t let you down and that you can trust with your daily duties. That’s why when hiring subcontractors or trade partners, it’s important to put in the proper due diligence to avoid extra costs and delays.

Vetting subcontractors can be done by applying a few best practices. Our experts bring you our five best tips for hiring subcontractors so you can be confident in your team.

How to Vet Subcontractors

Vetting trade partners takes time and meticulous attention to detail. Without due diligence in the hiring process, you could end with major errors in the long run. Here are our tips to help out when hiring subcontractors:

Double Check Credentials

When vetting subcontractors and trade partners, ask potential trade partners to provide licensing proof. Remember, every state has different licensing regulations, so be sure to check with state laws to make sure the trade partner is verified. Also, check for proof of insurance.

Visit Job Sites

An excellent strategy for hiring subcontractors is to visit a current job site that the subcontractor is working on. Doing this will give you a first-hand idea of how a trade partner operates.

When visiting a job site, look over their safety procedures and how they operate. Ask questions like:

  • How do they handle their tools?
  • Are they using dust covers?
  • Are they adhering to safety standards and best practices?

If a trade partner meets your standards concerning these questions, then they may be a reliable partner.

Ask for Referrals & References

Ask for Referrals and References

Word of mouth is one of the most trustworthy ways to find great trade partners. When vetting subcontractors, ask around your network for referrals of subcontractors. Referrals are a great way to reduce risk since they have previously worked with someone you trust.

Additionally, always ask your trade partner for at least three references. Speak with their former clients and see how their experience went. This will give you a well-rounded picture of your potential trade partner.

Always Have Agreements in Writing

Having a written contract significantly reduces risk. Making agreements strictly off conversation can cause miscommunications and lead to things getting lost in translation. Draft a legitimate contract that includes:

  • Expectations from the subcontractor
  • Rate
  • Responsibilities for error
  • Responsibilities for tasks
  • Guidelines for repairs/changes after a finished project

Also, make sure to get all bids in writing.

Practice Proper Communication

Communication is key to a successful contractor and trade partner relationship. Miscommunications can lead to delays and expensive setbacks.

Communicate from day one what the trade partner’s responsibilities are, the length of the project, rates, and more to avoid any confusion. If a subcontractor is not easy to talk to or get a hold of, the partnership may not be successful. A contractor and trader partner must have a good relationship, as this relationship will last for at least the length of the project.

Focus has over 25 years of general contracting experience. Through time tested and well-established relationships with our trade partners, you can trust that every individual working on a project is experienced, skilled, and dedicated.

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