Hiring subcontractors is one of the most important tasks on a contractor’s to-do list, but making the right choice can be tricky. Contractors are responsible and often legally liable for every aspect of a project from start to finish. Top-notch subcontractors make a huge difference in the timely completion of projects and overall client satisfaction. Contractors should be picky about their subcontractors. These are the top 5 criteria to consider during the bidding process.
1. Safety First
Construction sites of all sizes come with a unique set of dangers. In some states, the contractor is responsible for job site safety. Contractors must be aware of a subcontractor’s safety protocols and any violations on their track record. Contractors should investigate their injury incident and Experience Modification Rate (EMR).
EMR is a number used by insurance companies to calculate costs associated with injuries and assess changes in risks for the future, and they use this assessment to calculate work compensation rates. Choose subcontractors will low EMR numbers. Subcontractors that maintain a written safety policy and follow strict safety protocols lower risks for the general contractor. These subcontractors also offer better quality workmanship and only employ certified skilled tradespeople.
2. Staff & Certification
One of the greatest challenges facing the construction industry is a diminished workforce. Contractors have to ensure that subcontractors have an adequate crew to complete their portion of a project. Nothing impedes a project more than a lack of adequately trained and certified workers.
Subcontractors that employ skilled certified tradespeople are crucial to the overall success of any project. Sufficient manpower enables a subcontractor to handle multiple projects and allows more flexibility with project timelines. Adequate subcontracted manpower also nurtures the health of the contractor-client relationship.
3. Equipment Accessibility
When selecting subcontractors, contractors have to consider their access to equipment. Delays in access or lack of access to necessary equipment can seriously impede a project. Contractors must choose subcontractors that own or have the financial ability to rent the appropriate equipment for the task.
Additionally, they must employe skilled certified tradespeople to operate the equipment. Working with a subcontractor that cuts corners when it comes to equipment can mean disaster for a project.
4. Price isn’t Everything
A subcontractor’s bid represents more than just the cost of services and equipment. Contractors have to look beyond the bid at the details of the bid itself. A low price may seem appealing, however, further inquiry is required.
Contractors have an obligation to provide the scope of the project and describe the requirements, including necessary materials and equipment, in clear terms to bidding subcontractors. Then the contractor must verify the bids they are considering can cover all specifications.
When a contractor gets large discrepancies in bid prices they should verify with the subcontractors that all specs have been accounted for to determine possible causes for a large difference in prices. Subcontractors may overlook certain materials or fail to factor in equipment costs which can come back to haunt the contractor later on during the project. Sometimes the higher price is justified, and it’s the contractor’s job to make that call in the best interest of their client.
5. Good Subcontractors have Good Reputations
Reputation reigns supreme in the construction industry. The right subcontractors will have quantified results and a trail of happy contractors in their wake. Subcontractors with a positive reputation are more likely to employ qualified skilled tradespeople.
This is ideal for a contractor and ensures that every facet of the building project will be successful. Creating relationships with quality subcontractors that have several years of experience often results in cost-saving solutions that benefit the project and the client.
Sierra View ensures project subcontractors prioritize safety, are fully staffed with qualified professionals and have access to the right equipment. We recognize the immense value of knowledgeable, high-quality subcontractors in the construction industry. We are proud to hire the best and most reliable subcontractors for our projects. With over 40 years of experience, Sierra View has aligned with the top subcontractors in California to deliver a positive experience for our customers.