The Sub To GC Relationship / Connection Thread - General Discussion - Contractor Talk
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The Sub To GC Relationship / Connection Thread

 
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:40 PM   #1
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The Sub To GC Relationship / Connection Thread


So, forgive me if there is old threads that discuss this. I did search and was not able to find a recent discussion--

Coming into the busier season where we are all fighting for a piece of the pie, was thinking that its time for a new year of tips, tricks , thoughts and ideas. Also would like fresh ideas in my head as I am coming into contact with more people, as a newer player.

This thread is to talk about GC and sub relationships and connections.
* How the connections are made
*How the relationships are maintained
* What a GC looks for in a sub--contractor ( and vice-versa)
* How, When, where etc do GC's look for subs ( and vice-versa)
* Sub-contractors, what do you do to connect with GCs that you feel is different ( and working)
* What is your area , both geographic and trade specialty?
*Remodel or new builds?

(These are pretty different in my experience, because we are a framing company.)

I am looking for the good news, the positive advice.
Thanks all
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:55 PM   #2
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Re: The Sub To GC Relationship / Connection Thread


I asked the big question, so I will start with myself.

We are a framing contractor in California. As a conglomerate business, we did mostly new builds. Now that I am on my own, I am branching out to do more complex customs, commercial new and remodel, and basically anything that the biz requires.

I am always trying to build with new GC's. Bids do not rain from the sky, connections are key to that steady pipeline of work.

I feel confident in my relationship upkeep skills. We perform clean work, communicate well and often, respect the before and after trades, run a straight business and are thankful for any and all jobs. I deal with all persons I come into contact with the way I would want to be dealt with- fairly & honestly.

The market is tight here. I was on the worker bee side for a long time, so my Rolodex is thin where it counts.

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Old 05-03-2019, 07:45 PM   #3
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Re: The Sub To GC Relationship / Connection Thread


Quote:
Originally Posted by SixStarFC View Post
I asked the big question, so I will start with myself.

We are a framing contractor in California. As a conglomerate business, we did mostly new builds. Now that I am on my own, I am branching out to do more complex customs, commercial new and remodel, and basically anything that the biz requires.

I am always trying to build with new GC's. Bids do not rain from the sky, connections are key to that steady pipeline of work.

I feel confident in my relationship upkeep skills. We perform clean work, communicate well and often, respect the before and after trades, run a straight business and are thankful for any and all jobs. I deal with all persons I come into contact with the way I would want to be dealt with- fairly & honestly.

The market is tight here. I was on the worker bee side for a long time, so my Rolodex is thin where it counts.
Honestly bro, I have no idea how your guys world in Cali works. I started out as a framing company in Florida and there are two types, the ones who can handle high end complex framing and those who can't. If you can then you were in, **** up, and you were out.

The best thing I ever did was hook up with an architect who was notoriously picky. Then I got hooked up with some commercial/residential GCs at NBHA where the Archy gave a talk. Then straight commercial mixers from there.

Relationships are really just do you make a GC's life harder or easier. If you make it easier is it worth it to pay you how much easier you make it. On the flip side if the GC is a pain in your balls is it worth it for what he pays you?

All comes down to dollars and sense.
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Old 05-04-2019, 12:18 AM   #4
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Re: The Sub To GC Relationship / Connection Thread


Commercial they will shop price. I've framed in Southern California for many years before I went out on my own. Framed a few customs right after I got my GC license. Accidentally went into the decking business 16 years ago and haven't looked back. I took it to another level to say the least. My point is, framing is cut-throat in this state. Niches are where it's at as far as money is concerned.

I refuse to work for any other contractors. I only enter into prime contracts.


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Old 05-04-2019, 01:31 AM   #5
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Re: The Sub To GC Relationship / Connection Thread


I am a one man show GC who specializes in home repairs, with an occasional roof, deck, or fence. I mostly work by myself, but have help occasionally.

Pacific NW.

I reached out to my plumber and my electrician because they are also small outfits willing to do my small repairs.

I met my painter at a neighborhood we were both working at. We became friends before he helped me on a job. Iíve had him on a handful of jobs now.

I like to support the little guys, and generally pay a little bit more than the invoice. I pay when the job is done, sometimes before I get an invoice.

I have a network of subs I call on, and they sometimes call on me. I take care of them so they take care of me. Some were referred by others and some I just cold called.

Itís not about the price for me, but about the relationships. I help others out, they help me out, and we all succeed.

I would say reach out to someone you work around, like siders, and ask what they charge. Offer siding estimates along with framing labor.





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Old 05-04-2019, 10:08 AM   #6
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Re: The Sub To GC Relationship / Connection Thread


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Originally Posted by Mordekyle View Post
I am a one man show GC who specializes in home repairs, with an occasional roof, deck, or fence. I mostly work by myself, but have help occasionally.

Pacific NW.
And all this time, I thought you were a mason from the Chicago area.



No idea how I came to that conclusion.
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:04 PM   #7
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Re: The Sub To GC Relationship / Connection Thread


Mordekyle - I am a one man show custom home builder. Run an identical system. Probably could have copied and pasted your reply and just changed a few words. Your reputation and honesty will lead to referrals. Whether you are a GC or Tradesman.
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:11 PM   #8
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Re: The Sub To GC Relationship / Connection Thread


Quote:
Originally Posted by Calidecks View Post
Niches are where it's at as far as money is concerned.


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Old 05-05-2019, 01:02 AM   #9
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Re: The Sub To GC Relationship / Connection Thread


Quote:
Originally Posted by Calidecks View Post
Commercial they will shop price. I've framed in Southern California for many years before I went out on my own. Framed a few customs right after I got my GC license. Accidentally went into the decking business 16 years ago and haven't looked back. I took it to another level to say the least. My point is, framing is cut-throat in this state. Niches are where it's at as far as money is concerned.

I refuse to work for any other contractors. I only enter into prime contracts.


Mike.
_______________
Smart. Decking is tough to be truly good at, and your level is absolutely top notch.

We have our custom guys that we love to work for, and we are always asked back. I also do lumber lists for a few companies and that makes good money, better than using the using the lumber yards guys to say the least.Its a good thing I am proficient with all trade skills, and my finances, because it is, as you say, cutthroat.

Getting my B license, waiting for a test date. My specialty license has worked for its purpose, but it was definitely time to throw some skin in the game, so to speak. I am fortunate ( and hard working) that we are growing, albeit slowly, and never shrinking.
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Old 05-05-2019, 01:11 AM   #10
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Re: The Sub To GC Relationship / Connection Thread


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mordekyle View Post
I am a one man show GC who specializes in home repairs, with an occasional roof, deck, or fence. I mostly work by myself, but have help occasionally.

Pacific NW.

I reached out to my plumber and my electrician because they are also small outfits willing to do my small repairs.

I met my painter at a neighborhood we were both working at. We became friends before he helped me on a job. Iíve had him on a handful of jobs now.

I like to support the little guys, and generally pay a little bit more than the invoice. I pay when the job is done, sometimes before I get an invoice.

I have a network of subs I call on, and they sometimes call on me. I take care of them so they take care of me. Some were referred by others and some I just cold called.

Itís not about the price for me, but about the relationships. I help others out, they help me out, and we all succeed.

I would say reach out to someone you work around, like siders, and ask what they charge. Offer siding estimates along with framing labor.





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Good advice. I can tell you, my dad ran the way you do for years, a one man show. He built half of Mission Viejo before any one realized he was an owner/operator. You have my respect.

We have been doing siding the last few jobs, and I finally got a detail oriented guy I can count on. I pay him really good, and he is happy. It helps he gets along with my main crew. ( Carpenter politics... who knew, right? ) So Cal guys like to piece and choke out the price or they go elsewhere. I actually love that siding work. Composite cladding has been a big hit on my last 2 room additions, and I am really taking a close hard look at its future as a niche product.
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Old 05-05-2019, 01:19 AM   #11
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Re: The Sub To GC Relationship / Connection Thread


Quote:
Originally Posted by Deckhead View Post
Honestly bro, I have no idea how your guys world in Cali works. I started out as a framing company in Florida and there are two types, the ones who can handle high end complex framing and those who can't. If you can then you were in, **** up, and you were out.

The best thing I ever did was hook up with an architect who was notoriously picky. Then I got hooked up with some commercial/residential GCs at NBHA where the Archy gave a talk. Then straight commercial mixers from there.

Relationships are really just do you make a GC's life harder or easier. If you make it easier is it worth it to pay you how much easier you make it. On the flip side if the GC is a pain in your balls is it worth it for what he pays you?

All comes down to dollars and sense.

No nonsense point of view. I like it, and the way you put it.. My focus of the business since striking out on my own is just what you said... How easy am I to work with? For?

The framing world here has vastly changed. When I started out, it was much as you described it. Then the gates opened up with a lot of guys getting into the trades, and we have an incredibly dense population here. The numbers work against us. My skills as a roof cutter and knowing how to figure really difficult conventional type work has definitely kept me worthwhile.

I like your NHBA story. I have started attending some events with commercial GCs and I can see it paying off. It all boils down to pricing at times though, and I am simply not willing to work for peanuts, the way some outfits in So Cal do. My help and respecting their needs to make a living comes first. I aint the cheapest guy, but I am the best for the job, as they say.

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