January 23

The Risk of Sub-Contracting

Hiring a sub-contractor is common practice for a general contractor. Installing or replacing windows throughout an entire house, doing electrical work, plumbing work, or ventilation work can be a daunting task for one who doesn’t do the work as their primary profession. It’s no wonder that professionals are sought out to sub-contract on a job. However, before starting the job, the sub-contractor should be aware of certain risks and do some homework.

Make Sure The General Contractor Is Insured
The number one fact that the sub-contractor needs to find out is if the general contractor they are going to work for has insurance. Working for a contractor who doesn’t have insurance is a dangerous game. It is a high risk to the sub-contractor and also it is also illegal in certain states for contractors to work without insurance; which is something a sub-contractor doesn’t want to get dragged into should legal issues arise.

Inspect What You Are Working With
It’s not uncommon for a general contractor to order the windows, wiring, plumbing supplies or vents for the job and have them at the site for when the sub-contractor arrives. In this case, the sub-contractor should take it upon themselves to take a look at the job at hand and the materials provided. If the materials are not the right ones for the job, the sub-contractor should inform the general contractor that they will not work and tell him/her to re-order them and offer to assist with the order. The wrong materials shouldn’t be installed, even if they are a close fit or could be rigged to work. The sub-contractor can be held liable should anything go wrong with the windows, electric, plumbing, or ventilation in the future.

Never Assume That The General Contractor’s Insurance Will Cover A Sub-Contractor
Because it bears repeating: A sub-contractor should never assume that the general contractor’s insurance will cover them in the event of a claim. The general contractor’s insurance is only looking out for the interest of their client and odds are they will try to place liability for anything that goes wrong with windows, electrical, plumbing, or ventilation on the sub-contractor hired for the job. It is always smart for sub-contractors to have their own coverage. Programs like  GlassProPowerProPlumbingPro, and HVACPro which are designed for the specific needs of those who work with glass, electric, and ventilation respectively, are available to help keep sub-contractors protected should claims be made against them.

It is always smart to be prepared when going to work for a general contractor as a hired sub-contractor. It is advised that the sub-contractor get some background info on the hiring contractor to find out if they have insurance, inspect the materials they are to be working with, and have their own insurance coverage as the hiring contractor’s coverage will not be looking out for the sub-contractor’s best interests.

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