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How to Handle Unreliable Subcontractors
Paragon C&D Builders / Vallone Real Estate
Wednesday, July 8, 2009 • Posted July 7, 2009

One of the biggest and most difficult problems home owners have to face when they are remodeling or building a house is subcontractors who fall through on their contracts. If you have this kind of problem, how can you handle subcontractors who don't do what they say they will?

Here are some basic tips for finding a reliable subcontractor and what to do if your subcontractor falls through on what they say they will do.

Finding a reliable subcontractor can be hard for a number of different reasons. One of the main reasons it's hard to find a good subcontractor is because there are over 40 different kinds of specialty subcontractors who are out there. You have to find the right subcontractor for each different job that you have to do with your building or remodeling.

Why bother with subcontractors anyway? Well, basically all general contractors depend on a bunch of other subcontractors to help them out. And any subcontractor that you hire will also depend on a whole bunch of other subcontractors that they hire to help them out.

Having a great team of subcontractors can ensure that you get your jobs done well and also can ensure that you meet any kind of building requirements and remodeling requirements. This is where a General Contractor can help out. They know what subcontractors to use. Plus your General Contractor is responsible for all the subcontractors. You have one go to person.

Before you end up with a problem with any of your subcontractors, try the following 9 steps to form a good relationship with your subcontractors and keep that good, strong working relationship with your subcontractors.

1. If you find subs/or a general contractor that you like, hire them for all of your remodeling and building contracts and projects.

2. Keep up a good communication with your subcontractors or general contractor. If they feel appreciated as a professional as you ask for their opinion and what they think, then they will work harder for you and do a better job.

3. Give your subs/general contractor up to date and detailed plans so that they know what they are supposed to do.

4. If there are any delays in your remodeling plans or if you make any changes, let all of your subs/general contractor know right away.

5. Have good working conditions.

6. If you are in charge of having the material ready, then you should have that material available when the subs show up for work.

7. Don't stick your nose in the subs work. You have to tell them what you want, but they are the experts.

8. Pay right away.

9. Have someone else who can help direct what is going on. This is the General Contractors job.

So what happens if you end having a problem with your subcontractors? Well, you can start out by trying to avoid problems by making sure that you only hire subcontractors or better yet, hire a General Contractor who is registered Texas. And make sure the subs have a license to do the job they are hired for. Plus, check to see if they carry insurance!!

If you hire a licensed contractor, then you can have recourse through the state to recover money from the subcontractor's business and their funds. If you hire someone who is not licensed by the state, then you might be up a creek without a paddle. Same goes for a Registered General Contractor. Also, check references.

It might appear that you can save money by hiring subcontractors without the General Contractor, but it can end up costing you a lot more too. You might want to get a couple quotes for a job. Do your homework first.

Information for this article was taken from

Always look at the Texas Residential Commission Construction site for registered builders ( or call 877-651-TRCC). For all your real estate and building needs or questions, call Debbie at (830) 833-4249 or .

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