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10 Signs of a Bad Subcontractor Part 4

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At Cotney Construction Law, our Clearwater construction attorneys understand that there are a variety of challenges present when working on a construction project. Hiring a bad subcontractor is never one you want to deal with. In the first, second, and third parts of this six-part series, our Clearwater construction lawyers discussed subcontractors that aren’t licensed, lack experience, or refuse to sign a contract. In this section, we will discuss the dangers of working with the subcontractors who offer “the best deal.”

5. They Provide Inadequate Work

Some contractors may be tempted to hire a subcontractor who is more affordable than an experienced one. Of course, if the general contractor is cutting corners and hiring strictly off of the lowest bid, they may also be sacrificing quality and reliability. If a subcontractor deliberately offers a bid much lower than competitors, chances are that the bid isn’t accurate or they will provide subpar work. If a subcontractor offers an estimate before learning about the intricacies of the project, this is not a subcontractor you want to work with.  

When a bid is considerably lower than other subcontractors, it could mean one of the following things:

  • Low-Quality Materials: Sadly, many professionals in the construction industry will substitute cheaper, low-quality materials to get the job done under budget.
  • Cheap Equipment: The subcontractor may be utilizing cheap equipment or not have the right tools to perform their portion of the work which creates safety issues and impacts their performance.
  • Poor Workmanship: Chances are that if a subcontractor isn’t using the right equipment or saving money on material costs, they aren’t providing the best workmanship either.   

6. They Make Shady Payment Requests

There are many red flags that can arise if the subcontractor requests an unconventional payment method. For example, it’s never a good idea to deal with subcontractors who only want cash for their services. Another example is if a subcontractor requests full payment upfront. You should only pay a subcontractor around 15 percent of their total compensation before they start their work. The one exception is if the subcontractor requires more compensation upfront for materials or equipment costs. However, an experienced subcontractor will be transparent about their reason for needing more capital upfront and even provide you with an itemized list of these supplies and their prices. After the subcontractor begins work on the project, you can scale out the rest of the payments when specific milestones are reached by the subcontractor.

For more information on signs of a bad subcontractor, please read sections five and six.  

If you would like to speak with a Clearwater construction attorney, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.