Many times we are asked the question, “If we hire you, who is going to be doing the work every day?” This question often stems from mistrust that homeowners have towards general contractors, most likely because of a former renovation experience that was negative. At times, clients have stated that random workers would show up at their home unannounced to complete a portion of their project forcing the homeowner to allow a stranger access to their personal possessions and families.
To answer this question, most GC’s work with a crew of people that include employees and sub-contractors who take on certain aspects of a job. The specific jobs that a GC might sub out could include plumbing, electrical work, roofing, basement waterproofing, painting, etc. This is actually a great benefit to the homeowner since it allows the most qualified workers to complete each part of a job. Townships require permits for almost every project that is done, and to grant these permits, they require fully licensed and insured contractors and sub-contractors do the work. The electrical work you have done is being done by a certified electrician who has spent his entire career studying and completing electrical work, and who is fully licensed and insured in that area of home renovation. The same goes for plumbers or any other sub-contractors working on your project. They have all the necessary certifications, licenses, and insurances, along with many years of experience in specific aspects of renovation. GC’s sub out work like this in order to have the best people possible doing the job and to satisfy the Township.
However, this fact doesn’t help the homeowner when the stranger arrives at your door asking for access to your home. So what should you do when you are looking for a contractor for your project in order to prevent this from happening? Make sure you ask the companies you are meeting with how many subs they usually use and how long they have been working with them. If a company doesn’t have a routine crew of subs that they have worked with for years, that could be a red flag for you. By contrast, if the company you hire has a crew that they use on every job who they trust and have worked alongside of for years, chances are those subs are just as reliable and knowledgeable as the company you have chosen to hire. Ultimately, a good GC understands that his sub-contractors are representing his company just as much as his own employees so they have a vested interest in working with the best, most trustworthy and reliable people possible.
So, the next time you find yourself wondering who will be coming to your house to work, remember to ask how long your contractor has been working with his crew. This will give you a better idea as to the level of trust you can put in the company.
BY: MELISSA GOODMAN