Q:

What are some tips for contractors looking for subcontractors?

A:

Quick Answer

To find a good subcontractor for a project, check references and recommendations, ask the local Better Business Bureau about the subcontractor's record, and review at least three subcontractors per trade. Hire only subcontractors who are licensed and insured, and interview all prospective subcontractors in person before making a hiring decision.

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Full Answer

For residential projects, ask neighbors about subcontractors who have worked for them. Visit active jobs, and speak with subcontractors on site. For commercial construction jobs, ask building owners and maintenance managers for recommendations. Visit sites of a prospective subcontractor's finished projects, and inspect the work. Ask local construction supply retailers to give recommendations.

A qualified subcontractor is licensed and has a current certificate of liability insurance. Check with the city building department and the Better Business Bureau to ascertain that the subcontractor is in good standing. Research online consumer protection websites and construction trade publications to find reviews of specific subcontractors.

Interview subcontractors personally to gauge their familiarity with the planned project's scope and requirements. For specialty tasks, ask to see a portfolio of past projects, and ask if the subcontractor has a website. Ask job candidates about scheduling and availability during the project's time frame, and be sure the subcontractor is familiar with construction contracts and contract billing.

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