Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Remodeler
Joined
·
824 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm fairly new to the business end of this. I do mostly carpentry work myself. Framing, finishing etc. I would like to work towards larger project where I would like to sub work to masons, and roofers. I am at a loss as to how to find and work with subs. Can anyone point me in the right direction.
One of the big reasons I went into business is from hearing from people that they were burnt by this contractor or he never finished the job. I don't want to ever get that reputation and relying on a sub is scarry. I know there are many many good contractors out there but don't know any myself. How do I find good reliable subs to work with and how are they paid.
Thanks for any help you may offer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,573 Posts
Just like advertising, word of mouth is always the best. Ask your colleagues and ask your suppliers. If that doesn't work you can always try using one of the internet services like servicemagic.

If I have contracted with a customer and a sub leaves me hanging, it is my responsibility to get that work finished ASAP even if I take a loss doing it.

I plan to use all sub labor, at least for the first few years I'm in business, and I already have more subs that I can keep busy. I have been working with all these guys for years and even been to a few of their houses and hung out. I'm totally confident that I won't have any of the "typical" problems you have with subs because they are professional subs. They don't like dealing with home owners, they do like dealing with guys like me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,265 Posts
MinConst said:
One of the big reasons I went into business is from hearing from people that they were burnt by this contractor or he never finished the job.
????????

MinConst said:
relying on a sub is scarry.
If you're planning on being a general contractor, as opposed to a specialty contractor or subcontractor, you'd better start getting comfortable with your fear. You'll have to be relying on subs a lot in order to succeed at meeting your customer's needs.

MinConst said:
How do I find good reliable subs to work with
One place to look is The Blue Book of Building and Construction www.thebluebook.com . It's pricy to advertise in the Blue Book so those that do have probably been succesful enough to afford it. It's pricy to buy the Blue Book as well. If you know someone that subscribes you might ask him if he'll give you last years' copy when the new one comes out.

Another thing you can do is join various trade associations. For my industry and locale the two big associations are the ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) on the commercial side and the NHBA (National Home Builders Association) on the residential side. Do a Google search that includes your city, trade and the words "trade associations". You'll probably find some good info.

MinConst said:
How [are] good reliable subs paid.
Two words - on time. If I need to I beg, borrow or steal (maybe not steal) in order to pay a good sub on time. Good subs are going to help you make you good money - and they're worth paying on time. Good subs are going to help you get good jobs - and they're worth paying on time. Good subs take good care of contractors that pay on time. You want to be paid on time don't you? So do they.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I agree with Rick Newell. We have a reputation of paying fast among the sub-contractor community in my area. When I call a sub, they know the money is quick (usualy on the jobsite the day they finish) so they are always there when I need them. I treat them with respect and professionalism. I does not take long, the word gets around and a few may even search you out.....Billy
 

·
Remodeler
Joined
·
824 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Great responces guys thanks,
Being new in business and new to the construction community around me I will be looking. I have a project to estimate and will need a mason a HVAc and a roofer. I will do the middle work.
Thanks again. I appreciate the help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
Builderschoice, Nathan can't be everywhere but please check the advertising rules.
 

·
Contractor
Joined
·
46 Posts
I don't know about the rest of you, but the only way to find a good sub is too find a place that always has a line out the door and get on it. Good sandwiches are hard to find. Okay, YES, that was my attempt of a joke!

You can analyze that question for decades and you still might be discussing it. I guess the only way to find out is the hard way TRIAL AND ERROR. There's just so many subs out there. A great sub for one might not really be good to another. It's like playing russian roulette. Just better hope the last sound you hear is not " BANG! "
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Very nice site!

MinConst said:
I'm fairly new to the business end of this. I do mostly carpentry work myself. Framing, finishing etc. I would like to work towards larger project where I would like to sub work to masons, and roofers. I am at a loss as to how to find and work with subs. Can anyone point me in the right direction.
One of the big reasons I went into business is from hearing from people that they were burnt by this contractor or he never finished the job. I don't want to ever get that reputation and relying on a sub is scarry. I know there are many many good contractors out there but don't know any myself. How do I find good reliable subs to work with and how are they paid.
Thanks for any help you may offer.
Very nice work and site !
 

·
Deck Designer/Builder
Joined
·
2,430 Posts
Paul,

Your site looks good. Simple yet effective. The only suggestion I would make is that it would be a nice if you added some "before" pictures for your projects to give people and idea of the difference your work makes.

Terry
 

·
Remodeler
Joined
·
824 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
DecksEtc said:
Paul,

Your site looks good. Simple yet effective. The only suggestion I would make is that it would be a nice if you added some "before" pictures for your projects to give people and idea of the difference your work makes.

Terry
Terry,
Ya know I generally plan on that but most of the time I forget the camera :eek: . I always say I want before and after and then forget it one or the other times.
I have to get better at that. Thanks for the compliment though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
MinConst said:
I'm fairly new to the business end of this. I do mostly carpentry work myself. Framing, finishing etc. I would like to work towards larger project where I would like to sub work to masons, and roofers. I am at a loss as to how to find and work with subs. Can anyone point me in the right direction.
One of the big reasons I went into business is from hearing from people that they were burnt by this contractor or he never finished the job. I don't want to ever get that reputation and relying on a sub is scarry. I know there are many many good contractors out there but don't know any myself. How do I find good reliable subs to work with and how are they paid.
Thanks for any help you may offer.
Another way to find subs is to go to Supply houses, plumbing, drywall etc. and talk to the manager, or employees at the counter. People that they have seen for years as customers. I still get references, but it's a pretty good start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
318 Posts
MinConst,
Didn't read through everything here. There is a very quick answer to "how to find a good sub" - it's "be a good G.C.".

Tim
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top