Where to Find Subcontractors for Your Construction Projects
January 28, 2016
It is becoming much more challenging to find subcontractors for Construction Projects. Much less, reliable subcontractors.
So where do successful General Contractors find subs?
The answer can vary, of course, but we have curated a few of the traditional, and not so traditional ways that you can find contractors to help accomplish various scopes of work during your construction project.
Using the Internet to Find Subcontractors
By far the least time-consuming way to find subcontractors is using the internet. The internet has made the process more efficient than ever to not only find sub-contractors but even curate them almost immediately.
Here are a few examples of websites you can use to find sub-contractors. Many of them you may know about or have tried to use already.
- Angie’s List
When you do find a subcontractor using one of these services, you can use these services to help curate and determine how they have performed on other projects.
Using Online Permit Records
If you are searching for a particular trade, you can also go online and use your cities building department to find permits related to it. So if you are searching for a plumber, you can often search for plumbing related permits. Be sure to record their name, and also the name of the owner so you can contact the owner and find out how the tradesman performed.
But what are some of the traditional ways that Construction Companies use to locate good subcontractors?
Here are a few ideas:
- Suppliers: Contact your local materials suppliers. Specifically, try to talk to the sales reps that go out to the job site because they have seen how tradesmen perform.
- Your Subcontractors: If you haven’t already, ask your contractors. They may know or have worked with great tradesmen. One way to cut to the chase, would be to ask them: “If you were unavailable to work on your Mom’s house who would you get?”
Another approach is asking the follow-up tradesmen, i.e. your drywall guy may know of a good electrician because of how they installed outlets. Or your plumber may know of a good HVAC sub-contractor from previous projects.
Your best resource for finding great subs may be your carpenter, so talk with them first.
- Other General Contractors: Speak with General Contractors and find out some good tradesmen that they have used. They may not help you, but it is worth asking, especially if there is the chance that they might help.
- One of the more conventional methods, is to visit your local job sites, find a few tradesmen with the skills you need and get their business card. We have heard from many construction companies that this strategy works, and works well.
Excellent subcontractors often know other great subs. Many of them work together regularly, and they often know who does a good job. Consistently network with them to build a substantial database of tradesmen in your area.
We recommend that you have a backup list of 3-4+ subcontractors, just in case a few are busy with other jobs.
Of course, there is a lot more than this that goes into finding the right subs, such as insurance, bidding, and payments but those topics are for an entirely separate article. However, having the right subcontractors on-hand for projects is one of the biggest challenges that construction companies face.
Having the right project schedule is an important element in this process. During the project, you need to keep track of what trades you need and when you need them.
A Construction Management software like CMFusion can help you accomplish this using its cloud-based scheduling, and document management system.