December 8, 2021

3 Easy Ways to Work With Subcontractors

Chances are, you’ve caught one of the now-famous HGTV shows about house flipping. It’s usually a couple or friends (never a subcontractor) who have little to no previous experience with general construction, design or real estate—and sometimes it shows! Projects go over budget and often-times material choices don’t make sense for rental applications. Let’s talk about some realistic ways to maximize the ROI on your Commercial Property—with the help of a subcontractor like Rubicon.

Creating a Project Timeline

Creating a realistic project timeline is one of the first steps in any commercial construction project—whether it is a small-scale renovation or a start-to-finish job. A general contractor like Rubicon can meet with you and assist with everything from the design to blueprints, material sourcing and then construction. Develop a realistic timeline with your general contractor and ask lots of questions about how they will stick to it. This will keep your costs in line, helping make the ROI or return on investment in the black.

When it comes to creating a timeline with your subcontractor for your next construction project, there are several key steps you should follow. First, create an outline of the desired scope of work. This will help define what needs to be done and when, as well as provide a roadmap for collaboration between yourself and your subcontractors. Discuss any potential scheduling conflicts or adjustments that need to be made with the subcontractor.

Once a timeline has been agreed upon, make sure both parties sign off on it so everyone is held accountable going forward. Communication is also key during the process; clear lines of communication should be established early on so that progress can be tracked throughout the duration of the project.

Finally, have regularly scheduled check-ins with the subcontractor so that any issues can be addressed quickly and efficiently. Following these steps will help ensure a successful timeline for your next construction project.

Woman doing calculations on large calculator, while holding a pencil calculating the cost of a subcontractor

Don't Pay Upfront

One of the biggest pitfalls we see, especially in small-scale construction projects, is when general contractors demand full payment upfront prior to work completion. Make sure to build in benchmarks and discuss approving work in stages and offering payment in stages to incentive your general contractor to stay on-track and on-budget.

Paying a subcontractor up front can be a risky undertaking. As the employer, you are responsible for the work that your subcontractor produces and you could potentially lose money if they fail to complete the job to your standards.

Additionally, there is always the chance that they will not return after being paid in full before any work has been completed. It is much safer to pay on a project-by-project basis or as stages of completion are reached so that both parties have some level of assurance that they will get what they bargained for in terms of quality and quantity of services rendered.

With this method, there is less risk of being taken advantage of, whether by the subcontractor or by yourself. Ultimately, it is much more advantageous to pay your subcontractor on a stage-by-stage basis rather than up front. This ensures that both parties understand what is expected and helps protect everyone from potential losses.

For more information on how you can avoid risk from early payment, click here.

Choose the Right Materials

It’s not just time that can cost money—materials can end up pushing your project over-budget, fast! We often see a client’s initial wish-list include glamorous materials they have seen elsewhere. These show materials may look good on paper but you need to think carefully about your project. How will the materials wear over time? What type of tenants do you have in these commercial buildings and will it be harder to maintain over time? Yes, we want your project to look good, but we also want it to last—so you don’t have to keep reinvesting over time.

The subcontractor you choose to work with on your construction project can often have a large impact on the materials used. Ensure that any subcontractor you hire is experienced and knowledgeable in the type of materials needed for the job. They should be able to offer valuable advice on which products are suitable for the building, as well as how to correctly install them.

Taking time to research contractors and their experience may help ensure that quality materials are being used in your project. Additionally, if possible, try and purchase supplies from reputable suppliers who source quality goods from manufacturers they trust. This will help ensure that you get reliable products that will last for years to come. With these tips in mind, selecting the right materials can go a long way towards ensuring a successful construction project.

If you want to discuss more ways to keep your investment sound or want to discuss Rubicon as your general contractor, reach out today.