What to Know When Hiring Subcontractors
General contractors are responsible for transforming 2D blueprints into 3D, real-life buildings. However, they don’t always have the right staff in-house. Subcontractors are hired to bridge the gap and ensure the work gets done properly and on time. Of course, hiring a subcontractor comes with its own challenges. Here’s what construction law attorneys want general contractors to know about hiring subcontractors.
Do your due diligence before hiring.
Before hiring any subcontractor, conduct a thorough background check and look elsewhere if there are any red flags. Investigate the subcontractor’s prior work history, including whether there have been any lawsuits, bankruptcies, disputes, or other claims. Examine the subcontractor’s management team, licenses, credentials, and experience. It’s also a good idea to consider the subcontractor’s current roster of work. Will the subcontractor have enough time to devote to your own project?
Evaluate the subcontractor’s safety practices.
Every general contractor must accept nothing less than complete compliance with OSHA regulations and all other applicable safety protocols. Worker injuries present significant liability issues. Plus, serious safety violations may shut the jobsite down temporarily, leading to significant losses in productivity, time, and resources. Subcontractors should be able to produce their safety plans, processes, and workplace injury incidence rate upon request. Look for an Experience Modification Rate (EMR) of one or lower.
Hire an attorney to draft the contract.
Every time you rely on a subcontractor to complete some portion of the project, you’re leaving the door open to potential problems. Aside from doing background research on the subcontractor, the best way to protect yourself from liability and losses is to have a construction law attorney draft a bulletproof contract. The contract should include information regarding the following:
- Scope of work
- Price of work
- Standards of quality
- Quality of materials
- Indemnity agreements
- Subcontractor insurance requirements
It’s also a good idea to use the contract to clarify issues like the work and payment schedules, as well as the jobsite cleanup expectations.
If you’re a general contractor or subcontractor in need of legal representation, the construction law attorneys at Mesch Clark Rothschild are here to help. Our in-depth understanding of the nuances of construction law and subcontracting inform our dispute resolution process. Call (520) 624-8886 to request a consultation in Tucson.