Hire a Dependable Subcontractor in 4 Simple Steps


Experienced and easy-to-work-with subcontractors are a huge help to any project. But locating and hiring dependable pros isn’t always as easy as it may seem. Use these tips to find dependable subcontractors for your jobs.

1. Define the job. Under or over hiring for a job can result in delays, bloated prices and unhappy customers. Determine your job’s size and difficulty before you hire subcontractors. Make note of specialized tasks as you analyze your project. Highlighting specialty jobs will save time and eliminate any mid-project surprises.

2. Find a subcontractor. Ask around. Sometimes friends, family and other professionals can help locate a dependable subcontractor. If word of mouth doesn’t reveal a suitable pro, ask local lumberyards or material suppliers about available subcontractors. For specialty jobs, ask qualified retailers, like tile or paint shops, to recommend a pro. HomeAdvisor and other online market places can also help you find dependable subcontractors.

3. Host interviews. Once you’ve found several suitable subcontractors, set up interviews to ensure you hire the best candidate. Here are some questions to ask your potential subcontractors:

  • Are you insured? Make sure your subcontractor carries workers’ compensation,
    automobile liability and general liability insurance.
  • Do you have references? Ask to speak to several of your pro’s past contractors or clients.
    A quality subcontractor will be happy to provide references. If your subcontractor
    hesitates or refuses, keep looking.
  • Are you experienced with this kind of job? Hiring an inexperienced subcontractor can
    lead to mistakes and job delays. Make sure your pros are familiar with the size
    and scope of your project.

4. Write a contract. A signed, formal agreement will ensure that your job goes smoothly and according to plan. Here’s a list of what to include in your contract:

  • Job description. A clear description of the job will keep your project on track.
    Also, a detailed summary will help solve any potential disagreements.
  • Payment information. Clearly outline how you will pay your subcontractors. Details like
    payment method, payment frequency, transportation fees and invoice requirements
    are key features of your contract.
  • Termination clause. Outline the circumstances that will void the contract between
    you and your subcontractor. In the event of a disagreement, official documentation
    will help justify a termination. Outline job-canceling circumstances with your
    subcontractor before signing.
  • Non-compete clause. A non-compete clause will ensure you’re not undercut from
    a project. Further, include language in your contract that prohibits your subcontractor
    from being paid directly by your client.