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Hire People Who Keep You on a Schedule
Paragon C&D Builders / Vallone Real Estate
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 • Posted April 13, 2010 10:00 PM

When you have a construction project, it is important to keep your work moving forward on schedule. This is going to save you time and money. It is going to mean you get in your house faster, and you will have a better construction experience. You do not want to get your project off schedule because you hire people who make you get behind.

One of the leading causes of getting off schedule is subs not showing up for work. The other problem is builders (including owner builders) not taking responsibility for this problem. When your subs do not show up, it is your problem, not just theirs. While it is true you can't physically control the subs and make sure they show up on time, you can control who you hire, and what expectations they know you have of them. The expectations you set are the ones they are likely going to try and meet. So, set your expectations high and make sure your subs know that they need to be at work on time or they won't get paid.

Let's talk about how who you hire makes such a big difference. When you pick subs it is not always a price issue. While you can't save money if you pay too much for services, you won't save money if you hire people that aren't going to show up. While it is highly unpleasant, you need to be able to fire someone if they don't meet your expectations. To avoid this, you simply need to hire people that you can work well with, and that have a reputation for doing what they say they will.

So, how do you know if they have this reputation, especially if you are new to the business of home building? The best way to pick the right people-meaning the people you can work with, that work hard, stay on pace, and show up-is to check references. Checking references is your best way to ensure things go smoothly when you build. It can't be said enough, you have to get references and check them. You have to do it if you want to ensure that you get good subs. So, here is what you do:

1. Get the references, be sure you get the most recent, as well as at least two others. You need to see that the references you are given are not just family members and friends, but actual jobs, and the most recent will be your best indication of how they will be to work with.

2. Call the references and ask the following:

Did the sub show up and finish on time?

Did the sub do what was promised?

Did the sub do quality work?

Were there any surprises?

Do you know of other past customers?

(This question is very important as most people, out of human tendency, are only going to put people that like them down as references. However, you don't want to go to the trouble of checking references if the references given are all relatives, and won't say anything bad even if there is bad to say. You aren't calling to hear "good things," you are calling to find out if this sub will work well with you and your team.)

3. Check the other past customers if you are given any. Sometimes problems show up late, or hindsight is the best vision. So, check, check, check!

4. Look at the sub's work to see if it is quality. If they can get there on time, and their work is good, you want to consider hiring them.

5. Check with the BBB and the contractors’ licensing division of your state to see if there are any complaints against them. This is a smart move. It costs nothing, and it protects your bases.

6. Hire a General Contractor. This is your best bet for less head aches. The General Contractor will schedule all the subs and provide the work schedules for them. And most important, they will be familiar with all aspects of the job and know if the work is being doing right.

Information for this article was taken from For all your real estate and building needs or questions, call Debbie at 713-818-6658 or 830-833-4249 /

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