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and bidding | Lien Waiver
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A subcontractor is a contractor who is under contract
with the general contractor (or owner-builder) to
complete a specified portion of the work. The general
contractor or owner-builder is responsible to complete
the house on-time, on budget and according to specs.
Generally most of the work is done by subcontractors.
Subcontractors generally specialize in one type of
work. Competent owner can often do part of the work
if the general contractor agrees. Some general contractor
have a crew on his payroll that does some of the work.
The remainder of the work is subcontracted out.
Builders must rely on subcontractors to be competent
in their respective trade. Even though the home is
inspected by the builder and the building officials,
it is impossible to catch all of the mistakes that
the subs might make. To a large extent the quality
of the final product will be a reflection of the quality
and competence of the subcontractors.
The specifications describe
in detail the materials used and the methods employed
to construct the house:
The description of materials form is a good example
Get a form
A letter is sent along with the bid package to subcontractors.
In most projects it's a good idea to get a minimum
of 3 bids per trade.
- This letter gives the details of the
project. When the project is to begin, location of
the property, deadline for returning bids, and information
and requirements for bidders. Bidders are asked to
give information such as license number, bonding and
insurance information at the time of bidding.
All things being equal, choose the sub with the lowest
price. However, it's never that easy. Be wary of a
bid that is much higher or much lower than the others.
Accepting an unrealistically low bid is almost always
trouble. If you like a particular subcontractor but
his bid is significantly higher than others, ask him
why. There might be some good reasons.
Before choosing a subcontractor you will want to have
done a thorough investigation of the company and their
work. Subcontractors that come highly recommended
by friends and professionals are generally the best
bet. Even if a contractor is recommended follow the
outline on our contractor questionnaire form.
The contract will specify how, when and the amount
that is paid to the subcontractor. Here are the rules
for paying subcontractors:
Do your homework before hiring any subcontractors.
Getting competent subs is a sure way to save money.
As mentioned previously, do not pay subcontractors
for work that is not finished. A good rule of thumb
is to pay the contractors for the work completed less
10%. That way there will always be an incentive for
them to complete their work in a timely manner.