8 Ways to Better Manage Your Subcontractor

October 10, 2014

Taking on a big project is never easy—especially if you don’t have the right team backing you up. Subcontractors can make or break any project.

It takes careful planning and management to make sure that everyone is on the same page and the job is done right.

While each project is different, these 8 tips for managing your subcontractors can be adapted to work for nearly any situation.

1. Provide Written Expectations

Before the job begins, provide a document or even an email that outlines your expectations. By doing this, there is no question what is expected.

2. Plan for the Worst

Have a backup plan, and a backup to your backup. That way no matter what, you will be able to recover from a given situation.

3. Communicate

Do not expect that your subcontractor will have the same knowledge as you. Communicate everything. Too much is always better than not enough when it comes to communication.

4. Encourage Collaboration

Do not look at each subcontractor as an individual entity. For example, encourage your sheetrock team to collaborate with the painters. It will make the entire process easier for everyone.

5. Stay Organized

Keep the jobsite organized and make sure everyone knows where he or she can find all the needed supplies. Many problems occur when there is chaos on site.

6. Replace Contractors Who Do not Mesh

For the best results, you need a team you can count on. If your electrician is not returning calls or you find out the HVAC expert doesn’t know the basics, don’t be afraid to keep looking for other team members. The right people make all the difference.

7. Have a Team Meeting

If possible, get together with all the subcontractors and hold a meeting. It is a great time to outline expectations and discuss any potential problems before they get out of hand.

8. Quality Control

While your subcontractors should be doing a fine job checking the work of their teams, it is up to you to make the final approval of all work. Spend time reviewing things as they progress.

Managing subcontractors is not always the easiest task, but if you are organized and proactive, it does not have to be that difficult. Your ultimate goal is assuring the work is done and it is done well. Don’t settle for second best!