Collaborating with subcontractors is a vital part of a successful construction project. Miscommunication, vague expectations, and lack of respect can interfere with deadlines and have serious repercussions.
Building rapport with the subcontractors you utilize can mitigate your risks and improve project output. The tone you set at the start can facilitate the development of a productive and sustainable working relationship.
Require a Portfolio
When screening subcontractors, ask for a portfolio. This will provide you with an idea of the types of projects they have previously completed. A strong portfolio will also list specialties so you can confidently select an applicant that matches your standard.
There are numerous places you can go to source reliable workers for your job. The U.S. Department of Labor recommends collaboration with the OFCCP and worker referral programs to diversify hiring and improve your ability to find the most qualified subcontractors.
Set Clear Expectations
From the start of any project, provide clear expectations to any subcontractor that works for you. Consider the following:
- Give specific deadlines
- Articulate the type of workmanship you expect
- Disclose the consequences for any work that falls out of compliance or exceeds the deadline without prior notice
In return, describe what each subcontractor can expect from you.
Regularly Assess Progress
Make progress checks a priority. Schedule time during your week to check on a project and verify that all progression meets your standard. Ask the subcontractors to walk you through their plans for each week. Encourage them to communicate with each other. Regular check-ins can catch missteps before they undermine an entire project.
Working with subcontractors does not have to cause frustration and discord. Your diligence in setting the precedent can encourage compliance and integrity from everyone you hire.